Jesus, Author & Finisher: Timeless Principles of Christianity
Brian Mulheran (Synergy, 2002)
Review by Outreach Magazine, Brisbane.
Brian Mulheran’s 200-page book, Jesus, Author & Finisher: Timeless Principles of Christianity, which includes a study guide, is designed to help new Christians, older Christians and pastors desiring to establish people in the faith.
Through his book, Brian hopes to further awaken people to their fullest potential in God. “Every Christian has great potential in their life to do something powerful for God,” says Brian. “They know that on the inside, but to see that come to pass, they need to really grab hold of the truths of God’s word.”
Having been a COC pastor for more than 15 years, Brian has seen thousands of people “come to the altar to have their faith authored, but many of them sadly didn’t finish the race”. “I see a lot of them struggle, trying to fix things up in their life in order for God to use them, but they end up just going round and round. This book gives them keys on how to release their potential.”
“Any ordinary person can look at the negatives of life in order not to succeed. Any ordinary person can read passages of scripture that seem to tell them what they need to do or not do in order to ‘keep themselves in God’. Any ordinary person will try to hold their life in God in order to make it to heaven. Any ordinary person can live a respectable life in God. Any ordinary person can pray enough and read their Bible enough in order to appear godly. But the Bible is full of extraordinary truths for ordinary people like you and me to allow our extraordinary God to do extraordinary things through us.”
Now working on a second book about the Holy Spirit, Brian believes many Christians are too pre-occupied with their own issues to focus on God. He says:
What could God do through a person who was not focused on whether or not they would commit any more sins but were totally preoccupied with fulfilling His call?
What could God do through a person who knew they were totally righteous and could stand before God at all times?
What could God do through a person who knew that He could not fail to do anything He said?
What could God do through a person who knew that they had the unlimited resources of heaven at their disposal?
What could God do through a person who knew that He was totally for them?
It is Brian’s desire that, through discovering these truths, readers would look to Jesus, the author and finisher of their faith, to lay a foundation from which to fulfil the call that God has placed upon their life.
Useful insight into Revivals in the South Pacific region
The cover’s the immediate attraction with this book – beautiful Pacific Island image …… Nice large format size book, too.
Geoff Waugh has been fascinated with Christian revivals since he was a young man, so it’s no big surprise that he should conduct some research into these fascinating phenomena ‘down under’ in the South Pacific area, as he has travelled and worked in many of these islands over several decades. His other recent book, Looking to Jesus: A Journey Into Renewal & Revival is another book worth checking out, being essentially an auto-biography of the author.
South Pacific Revivals gives some very illuminating information about numerous little-known revivals in the region, as well as a number of charismatic movements, one or two of which I personally wouldn’t necessarily term ‘revivals’, but many will find to be of much interest nonetheless, because of the phenomena exhibited and the passion aroused, etc. [The 3rd edition, 2012, has a comprehensive Preface of the history of revivals in the South Pacific.] A surprising number of movements are provided – including islands and places I had never before heard of! A number of remarkable personal testimonies are included, and some black and white photos are dotted throughout the book. Some useful appendices are included, such as ‘Characteristics of Revivals from Acts 2′ and ‘Examples of Repentance and Revival’.
If you’re interested in revivals, this is a book you’re going to want to get. (Blue Yonder, Amazon)
Jesus Film Project team members had arranged for a film showing outside a Central Asian village. Upon arrival near the community, an area they knew to be dangerous because of religious radicals, they sensed something was not right.
With no moon, all the team members could see were faint silhouettes of buildings and trees. They felt an unsettling and eerie foreboding but began playing music through the speakers to attract people from the nearby community to the film showing.
Nobody came, which almost never happens. Suddenly, they heard the sound of rustling bushes and the cracking of branches breaking under the feet of 12 radicals rushing toward them. Waving machetes, they screamed, “We are going to kill you and every infidel with you!” The three team members fled for their lives, running as fast as they could to their Jeep. With hearts pounding and fumbling to get the Jeep started, they sped away.
A year later, through prayer, they recognised that those people still needed to hear the Gospel, so they asked the Lord what they should do. In agreement, they felt God urging them to go back, although the risk was great. The members loaded the ‘JESUS’ film and equipment back into their Jeep, along with three boxes of Bibles, and headed for the village, several hours away.
‘Can you give me a ride?’ the police officer asked
On the road, they came to a police checkpoint – a potentially dangerous stop in the road considering the load of Bibles. The officer asked where they were going. Trying to be noncommittal, they said, “We are headed south.” To their surprise, he said “Well so am I. Can you give me a ride?” There was no way they could refuse the officer’s request. Insisting on climbing into the back of the Jeep, the officer sat on a box full of Bibles. They feared if the officer looked into the box, they could be arrested or possibly killed.
So they prayed and drove on. Soon, the team approached another police checkpoint. Popping his head out from the back of the Jeep, the first police officer told the other officers, “I’m with them. You don’t need to search the vehicle.” The police waved them through. This happened at three more police checkpoints, and all three times he got them through. At his request, they drove the officer to his home, where he invited them in for tea. Once there, he asked what they were planning. “We’ve come to show a film about the Great Prophet Isa (Jesus).”
In gratitude for their kindness, the officer asked, “What do you need?” This was the same village where radicals chased them out a year earlier, nearly killing them with machetes. “We need permission,” they answered. “Oh, that’s no problem. My brother is the mayor. Where do you want to show this film?” They asked, “Could we use the town square?” (This is where they had tried unsuccessfully before.) The policeman replied: “Sure, but you know we have some radical elements here. So I’m going to have my police guard you as you show the film.”
That night 167 people came to Christ
The team prayed and set up their equipment. Once again, as they had a year earlier, they played music as darkness fell to draw the people. This time a crowd gathered, sat down and watched ‘JESUS’, hearing the Word of God in their heart language. For the first time in their lives, they learned who Jesus really was. The Holy Spirit ministered to their hearts. Jesus was not just a great prophet, but the Son of God who demonstrated power and authority over sickness and death, was raised from the dead, and offered all who believed in Him eternal life. That night 167 people came to Christ!
These new believers need the support of trained church leaders, but training programs are lacking. And due to the threat of extreme violence, any evangelism must be carried out with sensitivity and wisdom. Please pray for the safety, growth and spiritual maturity of those in underground house churches. Ask God for a miraculous explosion of religious freedom and that believers would be bold in sharing their faith with family and friends.
1980: “JESUS” has first international showing in Hindi to 21 million Indian viewers. First “JESUS” film teams launch in the Philippines.
1984: “JESUS” film translations reach 100.
1985: The ministry “The JESUS Film Project” is founded.
1989: First Soviet Union language premier in Georgia, the birthplace of Stalin.
1991: First convocations on Christian morals and ethics, linked with the “JESUS” film, are held for Russian educators. It becomes the International School Project.
1993: “JESUS” reaches an astonishing one-half billion viewings.
1997: “JESUS” reaches one billion viewings and is translated into 400th language. Dramatic audio/radio versions of “JESUS” developed.
1999: “JESUS” reaches 500 translations. “The Story of Jesus for Children” is produced.
2001: “JESUS” is shown in every country around the globe. Audio/radio translations reach 200. The “JESUS” film is distributed in New York after the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks.
2002: Total viewings: 5 billions, Translations reach 700.
2003: “JESUS” film translations 800, audio/radio translations 300, “JESUS: Fact or Fiction?” apologetic DVD produced and packaged with “JESUS” film.
2004: The Global Short Film Network begins.
2007: 1,000th translation of “JESUS”. The film “Magdalena: Released from Shame” premiers at the United Nations, NY—and in 22 countries.
2009: Film translations: 1,071, Audio/radio translations (“The Story of Jesus”): 423, Translations of “The Story of Jesus for Children”: 135, Translations of “Magdalena: Released from Shame”: 48.
2012: Erick Schenkel named executive director of Jesus Film Project. Jesus Film Project app is released.
2013: 10,000th projector shipped.
2015: Enhanced 35th-anniversary Blu-ray edition of “JESUS” released. Version 2.0 of the Jesus Film Project app makes it easier for people to find videos of Jesus in their own language. Jesus Film Project sets goal to reach 5 billion people by 2025.
2017: 1,500th language produced for the Daasanach people.
Today: Jesus Film Project carries more than than 30 short and feature length films, and has partnered with more than 1,500 ministries to see more than 500 million indicate decisions to follow Jesus.
Many missions organizations have called the JESUS film “one of the greatest evangelistic success stories of all time.”
Jesus Film Project’s goal is to help people experience Jesus in their own language using media tools and momentum-building strategies. The fact that “JESUS” has been recognized by The Guinness Book of World Records as the “Most Translated Film” in history reveals how seriously we take the objective to share the gospel with people from every nation, tribe, and tongue.
Similarly, the Bible is the most translated book in history.
The Bible has been translated into many languages from the biblical languages of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. As of October 2019 the full Bible has been translated into 698 languages, the New Testament has been translated into an additional 1,548 languages and Bible portions or stories into 1,138 other languages. Thus at least some portions of the Bible have been translated into 3,384 languages. (Wikipedia)
Introduction The Life of Jesus The Birth and Boyhood of Jesus The Beginning of Jesus’ Ministry Jesus’ Ministry – Overview Jesus’ Ministry – Characteristics ~ Prayer ~ Crowds & Healing ~ Teaching ~ Parables ~ Opposition Chronology with Jerusalem festivals Holy Week The Resurrection & Ascension Appendix: Book Resources
This book, The Lion of Judah (3) The life of Jesusprovides an overview of Jesus’ life and summarizes some key verses or passages describing Jesus’ short ministry. These passages highlight important characteristics of his life and ministry.
They are: Prayer, Crowds and Healing, Teaching, Parables, Disciples, Opposition
This Blog reproduces the first ones: Prayer, Crowds and Healing
Jesus prayed, constantly.
Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’ (Luke 3: 21-22)
In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. (Mark 1: 35)
But now more than ever the word about Jesus spread abroad; many crowds would gather to hear him and to be cured of their diseases. 16 But he would withdraw to deserted places and pray. (Luke 5:15-16)
Now during those days he went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God. 13 And when day came, he called his disciples and chose twelve of them, whom he also named apostles. (Luke 6:12-13)
Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. (John 6:11)
Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. (Matthew 14:22-23)
Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. (Luke 9:28-29)
And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 9 In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors. 13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
(Matthew 6:7-13 NKJV, from a later manuscript)
So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upwards and said, ‘Father, I thank you for having heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.’ (John 11:41-42)
Jesus prayed at the last supper, and three times in Gethsemane, and on the cross.
After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all people] to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. 5 So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed. (John 17:1-5; full prayer, John 17: 1-26)
Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.’ 37 He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. 38 Then he said to them, ‘I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.’ 39 And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.’ 40 Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, ‘So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? 41 Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial;[a] the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ 42 Again he went away for the second time and prayed, ‘My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.’ 43 Again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, ‘Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. (Matthew 26:36-45)
When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. (Luke 24:30-31)
Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. (Luke 24:50-51)
Crowds and Healing
Jesus constantly healed people and great crowds flocked to him.
And great crowds followed him from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and from beyond the Jordan. (Matthew 4:25)
[Paralytic healed] And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay.
When the crowds saw it, they were filled with awe, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to human beings. (Mark 2:4; Matthew 9:8; see Luke 5:19)
Jesus went out again beside the lake; the whole crowd gathered around him, and he taught them. (Mark 2:13)
At daybreak he departed and went into a deserted place. And the crowds were looking for him; and when they reached him, they wanted to prevent him from leaving them. (Luke 4:42)
But now more than ever the word about Jesus spread abroad; many crowds would gather to hear him and to be cured of their diseases. (Luke 5:15)
A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick. (John 6:2)
Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, 2 he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. (Luke 5:1-3; see Matthew 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-20)
[The Beatitudes] When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. (Matthew 5:1)
Now when Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astounded at his teaching, (Matthew 7:28)
When Jesus had come down from the mountain, great crowds followed him (Matthew 8:1)
Now when Jesus saw great crowds around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. (Matthew 8:18)
Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house; and there was a large crowd of tax-collectors and others sitting at the table with them. (Luke 5:29)
[Jesus teaches and heals] He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. 18 They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. 19 And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them. (Luke 6:17-19)
When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, he said, ‘I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.’ (Luke 7:9; see Matthew 8:5-13)
[Jesus Raises the Widow’s Son at Nain] Soon afterwards he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went with him. (Luke 7:11)
[The Parable of the Sower] When a great crowd gathered and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: (Luke 8:4)
[A Girl Restored to Life and a Woman Healed ] When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered round him; and he was by the lake. 22 Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet 23 and begged him repeatedly, ‘My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.’ 24 So he went with him. And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. … [A woman who touched his robe was healed.] 30 Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my clothes?’ 31 And his disciples said to him, ‘You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, “Who touched me?”’ (Mark 5:21-31; see Matthew 9:18-26; Luke 8:40-56)
And when the demon had been cast out, the one who had been mute spoke; and the crowds were amazed and said, ‘Never has anything like this been seen in Israel.’ (Matthew 9:33)
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. (Matthew 9:36)
While he was still speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers were standing outside, wanting to speak to him. A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, ‘Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.’ (Matthew 12:46; Mark 3:32; see Luke 8:19)
He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him; 10 for he had cured many, so that all who had diseases pressed upon him to touch him. (Mark 3:9-10)
Then he went home; 20 and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. (Mark 3:19-20)
[The Parable of the Sower] Again he began to teach beside the lake. Such a very large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat on the lake and sat there, while the whole crowd was beside the lake on the land. (Mark 4:1; see Matthew 13:2)
[Feeding 5,000] Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. 15 When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, ‘This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.’ 16 Jesus said to them, ‘They need not go away; you give them something to eat.’ 17 They replied, ‘We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.’ 18 And he said, ‘Bring them here to me.’ 19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. … Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone (Matthew 14:13-19, 22-23; see Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-14)
[Feeding 4,000] Great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the maimed, the blind, the mute, and many others. They put them at his feet, and he cured them, 31 so that the crowd was amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel. 32 Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, ‘I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.’ 33 The disciples said to him, ‘Where are we to get enough bread in the desert to feed so great a crowd?’ 34 Jesus asked them, ‘How many loaves have you?’ They said, ‘Seven, and a few small fish.’ 35 Then ordering the crowd to sit down on the ground, 36 he took the seven loaves and the fish; and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 37 And all of them ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. 38 Those who had eaten were four thousand men, besides women and children. 39 After sending away the crowds, he got into the boat and went to the region of Magadan. (Matthew 15:30-39; see Mark 8:1-10)
[Deaf man cured] He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. (Mark 7:33; see Matthew 15:29-31)
He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. (Mark 8:34; see Matthew 16:24; Luke 9:23)
[The Healing of a Boy with a Spirit] When they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and some scribes arguing with them. 15 When the whole crowd saw him, they were immediately overcome with awe, and they ran forward to greet him. … 25 When Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, ‘You spirit that keep this boy from speaking and hearing, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again!’ (Mark 9:14-15, 25; see Matthew 17:14-20)
Meanwhile, when the crowd gathered in thousands, so that they trampled on one another, he began to speak first to his disciples, ‘Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees, that is, their hypocrisy. …’ (Luke 12:1)
As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. 30 There were two blind men sitting by the roadside. When they heard that Jesus was passing by, they shouted, ‘Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!’ 31 The crowd sternly ordered them to be quiet; but they shouted even more loudly, ‘Have mercy on us, Lord, Son of David!’ … Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes. Immediately they regained their sight and followed him. (Matthew 20:29-30; see Mark 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-43)
[The plot to kill Lazarus] When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. (John 12:9)
So the crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to testify. 18 It was also because they heard that he had performed this sign that the crowd went to meet him. (John 12:17-18)
[Triumphal entry to Jerusalem] A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,
‘Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!’
10 When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, ‘Who is this?’ 11 The crowds were saying, ‘This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.’ (Matthew 21:8-11; see Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:28-40; John 12:12-19)
[The betrayal and arrest of Jesus] While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; with him was a large crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. (Matthew 26:47; see Mark 14:43; Luke 22:47)
Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus killed. (Matthew 27:20)
[Pilate hands Jesus over to be crucified] So when Pilate saw that he could do nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took some water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, ‘I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.’ (Matthew 27:24)
References to healing all diseases and all people:
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people. (Matthew 4:23)
That evening they brought to him many who were possessed by demons; and he cast out the spirits with a word, and cured all who were sick. (Matthew 8:16)
Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. (Matthew 9:35 NKJV)
Many crowds followed him, and he cured all of them, 16 and he ordered them not to make him known. (Matthew 12:15-16)
When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. (Luke 4:40 NKJV)
One day, while he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting nearby (they had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem); and the power of the Lord was with him to heal. (Luke 5:17)
And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them. (Luke 6:19)
And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the market-places, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed. (Mark 6:56)
Jesus sent his disciples and others out to preach and heal.
Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. (Matthew 10:1; see Luke 9:1)
Then Jesus called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. 6 They departed and went through the villages, bringing the good news and curing diseases everywhere. (Luke 9:1-2, 6; see Matthew 10:1)
So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. 13 They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them. (Mark 6:12-13)
After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. 2 Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves. … 9 And heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ (Luke 10:1-3, 9)
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Looking for a great book to help you meditate on the wonder of Jesus in all his richness and grandeur and love? Geoff Waugh has helpfully and thoughtfully brought together wide-ranging biblical passages (not just a string of references for you to look up!), arranged in clearly titled sections (this book is a combination of his smaller books, The Lion of Judah nos. 1-6). Read this book prayerfully and you will not be the same! Then share it with others. Dr John Olley.
This book is full of information, biblical information. I have learned so much from it and what I wasn’t able to keep in my head, I had my handy highlighter, so I could go back to it and find it. It is a book of multiple books and it’s not that big, but it’s filled with so many facts and details. If you want to learn more from the Bible, this is the book to read. A. Aldridge.
Lion of Judah – Jesus/Joshua – Son of Man – Son of God – Son / Father’s Son – Son of David – Lord – Lord Jesus – Lord Jesus Christ – Messiah / Christ – Master – The Word – Word of God – King of Kings and Lord of Lords – King – King of the Jews – King of Israel – Saviour – Saviour of the World – Lamb of God – The Lamb – Rabbi / Teacher – Leader / Prince – Righteous One – Holy One – True One – Faithful and True – The Amen – The Branch – Root of David – Servant – Cornerstone – The Name – The Almighty – Immanuel / Emmanuel – Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
I am – The Bread of life, living bread – The Light of the world – The Door/Gate – The Good Shepherd – The Resurrection, the Life – The way, the truth, the life – The True Vine – The Alpha and the Omega – The first and the last – The beginning and the end – The root and the descendant of David – The bright morning star
Jesus was conceived in the power of the Holy Spirit, anointed by Spirit of God at his baptism, ministered in the power of the Spirit, and imparts his Spirit to us.
The Spirit in Jesus
Luke records how the angel Gabriel told Mary that she would conceive Jesus by the power of the Spirit: “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and God’s power will rest upon you. For this reason the holy child will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35).
The stories in Luke surrounding Jesus’ birth make frequent reference to the Spirit’s activity (see Luke 1:15, 35, 41, 67; 2:25‑27).
For about thirty years, Jesus matured as a Jewish male, worked as a craftsman in the family business, and would have supported his family. Then a major turning point came during the prophetic ministry of John the Baptist. John saw his main task as announcing the coming of the Messiah and preparing the people for that great event (Matthew 3:1‑17; Mark 1:1‑8; Luke 3:1‑22; John 1:19‑34).
Jesus’ experience of being filled with the Spirit was public and open, not a secret. God announced by his Spirit that Jesus was the Son of God, the Messiah, the one who would baptize us in the Spirit
“The next day he saw Jesus coming towards him and declared, ‘Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is he of whom I said, “After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.” 31 I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.’ 32 And John testified, ‘I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33 I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, “He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.” 34 And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.’” (John 1:31‑33).
The Spirit of God coming on Jesus at his baptism transformed his life. It launched him into three years of powerful and controversial ministry culminating in his death, resurrection and ascension.
It did not make Jesus any more holy. He was already holy.
It did not make Jesus more obedient. He was already obedient.
It did not make Jesus more divine. He was already divine.
It did anoint and empower Jesus for his mission, as he explained in Nazareth, quoting from Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, he has sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18-19; see Isaiah 61:1-2).
The passage in Luke 4:18-19, where Jesus quotes from Isaiah, makes a dynamic link between Old Testament prophecy and New Testament fulfilment concerning the Spirit of the Lord.
Jesus recognised the work of the Spirit of the Lord as crucial to his ministry. He did no mighty works before the Spirit came upon him at his baptism. Luke, especially, sees this as pivotal in Jesus’ life. The Holy Spirit came upon him (3:22), he returned from the Jordan full of the Holy Spirit (4:1), faced and overcame temptation being led by the Spirit (4:1), and then returned north to Galilee in the power of the Spirit (4:14). At Nazareth, Jesus interpreted his experience in terms of the Spirit of the Lord coming on him for the purposes described in Isaiah 61:1‑3.
Jesus’ ministry gives many examples of his words and his deeds which fulfilled this prophecy concerning the Spirit of the Lord, as Luke describes:
* bringing good news to the poor (Luke 4:38‑44; 6:17‑19);
* proclaiming liberty to captives (Luke 8:26‑39; 11:14‑23);
* giving sight to the blind (Luke 7:36‑50; 18:35‑43);
* setting free the oppressed (Luke 13:10‑17; 17:11‑19);
* announcing the Lord’s salvation (Luke 10:21-22; 12:32‑40; 18:15‑30).
Jesus answered a question about him being the Messiah by referring to that charter:
“John’s disciples told him about all these things. Calling two of them, 19 he sent them to the Lord to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’
20 When the men came to Jesus, they said, ‘John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”’
21 At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, illnesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. 22 So he replied to the messengers, ‘Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 23 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.’” (Luke 7:21‑23).
Jesus’ ministry demonstrated how the Spirit of the Lord was upon him enabling him to fulfil God’s purposes. The Spirit of the Lord fulfils God’s will in the world. Jesus saw his ministry in that context. So can we.
God’s purposes were supremely fulfilled in Jesus’ atoning death, his mighty resurrection and his ascension to glory where he now has all authority in heaven and on earth. He expresses that authority through the Spirit of Lord, his Spirit, in his people. The Holy Spirit continually glorifies Christ and reveals God’s will to his people and to the world. He convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgement by the resurrected Christ through his Spirit. (John 16:8-15; Acts 2:32-39; 3:13-16; 17:30-31).
Our mission is to continue the ministry Jesus had. The Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of Jesus, fulfils that work in and through us.
Jesus gave his disciples power and authority to do what he did (the twelve, Luke 9:1‑6; the seventy-two, Luke 10:1‑12). Then, after the resurrection he renewed that same commission:
Matthew 28:19‑20, we are to obey all Jesus commanded them to do;
Mark 16:15‑18, this applies to everyone;
Luke 24:45‑49, Jesus’ death and resurrection make it possible by his Spirit;
John 20:19‑22, we are sent as Jesus was sent by the Father in the Spirit’s power;
Acts 1:8, we are his witnesses to the whole earth, filled with the Spirit.
Further, Jesus promised us the power to do it. The Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of Jesus, still empowers the servants of the Lord.
Matthew 28:18-20, all authority has been given to Jesus; he is with us:
“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’”
Mark 16:17‑18, Jesus gives believers power for mission:
“Later he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were sitting at the table; and he upbraided them for their lack of faith and stubbornness, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. 15 And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. 16 The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: by using my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes in their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.’”
Luke 24:44-49, Jesus said he would send the promised power:
“Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.’ 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46 and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.’
John 20:19-23, Jesus breathed the Spirit on his followers:
“When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’”
Acts 1:1-9, Jesus promised that his followers would be baptised in the Spirit:
“In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning 2 until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3 After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over the course of forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4 While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. ‘This’, he said, ‘is what you have heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’
6 So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’ 7 He replied, ‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ 9 When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.
The Spirit of the Lord comes on us for mission, as on Jesus, and his disciples. This is the kingdom perspective: the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of Jesus, imparts power for mission.
Jesus, at the Last Supper, promised to send what the Father had promised – his Spirit.
‘When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. 27 You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning. (John 15:26-27)
Mary Magdalene – Mark 16:9, John 20:11-18 The Women – Matthew 28:9-10 Cleopas and friend, Emmaus Road – Mark 16:12-13, Luke 24:13-34 Simon Peter – Luke 24:34, 1 Corinthians 15:5 The Disciples – Mark 16:14, Luke 24:36-49, John 20:19-23, 1 Corinthians 15:5
40 Days – Acts 1:3
He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. (Acts 1:3)
Disciples with Thomas, one week later – John 20:24-29 500 at once – 1 Corinthians 15:6 James – 1 Corinthians 15:7 Galilee Shore – John 21:1-25 Galilee Mountain – Matthew 28:16-20 Ascension, Mount of Olives – Acts 1:6-9
Due to different emphases in each gospel, the chronological order is not always clear. The following passages are selected and reproduced in an estimated order using the New International Version (NIV).
1) Mary Magdalene
When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, ‘Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?’
4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
6 ‘Don’t be alarmed,’ he said. ‘You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, “He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.”’
8 Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
[The earliest manuscripts and some other ancient witnesses do not have verses 9–20.]
9 When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons.10 She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping.11 When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it. (Mark 16:9-11)
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!’
3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped round Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. 8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.
11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
13 They asked her, ‘Woman, why are you crying?’
‘They have taken my Lord away,’ she said, ‘and I don’t know where they have put him.’ 14 At this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realise that it was Jesus.
15 He asked her, ‘Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?’
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.’
16 Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’
She turned towards him and cried out in Aramaic, ‘Rabboni!’ (which means ‘Teacher’).
17 Jesus said, ‘Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”’
18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: ‘I have seen the Lord!’ And she told them that he had said these things to her. (John 20:1-18)
2) The Women
After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples, “He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.” This is my message for you.’ 8 So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’ And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshipped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.’ (Matthew 28:1-10)
3) Cleopas and Friend, Emmaus Road
Afterwards Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country.13 These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either. (Mark 16:12-13)
Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles[a] from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognising him.
17 He asked them, ‘What are you discussing together as you walk along?’
They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, ‘Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?’
19 ‘What things?’ he asked.
‘About Jesus of Nazareth,’ they replied. ‘He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.’
25 He said to them, ‘How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?’ 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going further. 29 But they urged him strongly, ‘Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.’ So he went in to stay with them.
30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognised him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?’
33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, ‘It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.’ 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognised by them when he broke the bread. (Luke 24:13-35)
4) Simon Peter
There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, ‘It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.’ (Luke 24:33-34)
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. (1 Corinthians 15:3-5)
5) The Disciples behind locked doors
Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. (Mark 16:14)
While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’
37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, ‘Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.’
40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, ‘Do you have anything here to eat?’ 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.
44 He said to them, ‘This is what I told you while I was still with you: everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.’
45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, ‘This is what is written: the Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.’ (Luke 24:36-49)
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 21 Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’ 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.’ (John 20:19-23)
40 Days – Acts 1:3
6) The Disciples with Thomas, one week later
Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’
But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.’
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ 27 Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’
28 Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’
29 Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’ (John 20:24-29)
7) 500 at once
After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 15:6)
Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. (1 Corinthians 15:7-8)
9) Galilee Shore
Afterwards Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. 3 ‘I’m going out to fish,’ Simon Peter told them, and they said, ‘We’ll go with you.’ So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
4 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realise that it was Jesus.
5 He called out to them, ‘Friends, haven’t you any fish?’
‘No,’ they answered.
6 He said, ‘Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.’ When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord!’ As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, ‘It is the Lord,’ he wrapped his outer garment round him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. 8 The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred metres. 9 When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.
10 Jesus said to them, ‘Bring some of the fish you have just caught.’ 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’ None of the disciples dared ask him, ‘Who are you?’ They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.
15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’
‘Yes, Lord,’ he said, ‘you know that I love you.’
Jesus said, ‘Feed my lambs.’
16 Again Jesus said, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’
He answered, ‘Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.’
Jesus said, ‘Take care of my sheep.’
17 The third time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ He said, ‘Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.’
Jesus said, ‘Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.’ 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, ‘Follow me!’
20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, ‘Lord, who is going to betray you?’) 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, ‘Lord, what about him?’
22 Jesus answered, ‘If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.’ 23 Because of this, the rumour spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, ‘If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?’
24 This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.
25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. (John 21:1-25)
10) Galilee Mountain
The great commission
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’ (Matthew 28:16-20)
When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. (Luke 24:50-51)
Then they gathered round him and asked him, ‘Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’
7 He said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’
9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.’ (Acts 1:6-11)
Jesus was, of course, the world’s best at short-term supernatural missions – constantly travelling, as Peter and Paul and their teams did later.
When I re-read Randy Clark’s chapter on Power Evangelism in Short Term Missions from his book Supernatural Missions I was inspired to produce this book – Jesus the Model for Short Term Supernatural Mission.
For over 20 years Randy Clark has led teams and equipped people of faith to minister just as Jesus told us to, and as Jesus taught his followers to do. This link takes you to a chapter from his book, edited for Renewal Journal 10: Evangelism, used with permission.
Jesus is the best model for short-term supernatural mission.
When Jesus, aged about 30, returned to his home town of Nazareth in the hills of Galilee, he explained his mission and ministry by quoting from Isaiah.
Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. 15 He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone. …
16 When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read,17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:
18 ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’
20 And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.21 Then he began to say to them, ‘Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’ …
(Luke 4:14-15, 16-21; see Isaiah 61:1-2)
Jesus fulfilled that prophecy in his life and ministry, and taught his followers to minister that way. We can too.
The name Joshua/Jesus means God saves, or God is salvation. That is why the angel announcing his birth said, “… you are to name him Joshua/Jesus (Yeshua), for he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). It is the same name as Moses’ general, Joshua, who led the Israelites into their promised land.
The earliest English translations of the Bible used the name Jesus for Yeshua of Nazareth, and the name Joshua for others with that same name. So in English the name Jesus became unique and sacred for Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, the Saviour of the world.
This book explores the mission and ministry of Jesus/Joshua the Christ/Messiah, the Son of God, and how he fulfilled his brief ministry (Chapter 1). Jesus took others to minister with him and sent them out to minister in the authority and power of his name (Chapter 2).
Peter and Paul travelled with teams in their mission and ministry, also anointed with the Spirit of God (Chapter 3).
I give some brief contemporary examples of short term mission and ministry (Chapter 4) and Bart Doornweed (Chapter 5) and Randy Clark (Chapter 6) describe their experience of short term supernatural mission.
The final chapter is a powerful story by Carl Lawrence about two teenage girls in China who established 30 churches in two years with congregations ranging from 200 to 5,000 (Chapter 7).
Listen to God’s Spirit as you read and apply this good news.
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Share to inform and bless others. Blessed to bless.
Reviews: Healing by Francis MacNutt;
Power Healing by John Wimber & Kevin Springer;
Healing through Deliverance by Peter Horrobin; Healing in the Now by John Blacker; All Together in One Place by Harold Hunter & Peter Hocken (eds)
The cover photo shows Grant Shaw with Leah Waqa. Grant Shaw and I attended the Sunday service at the Upper Room church in Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu in the South Pacific. There Leah, a nurse, told how she had been dispensing medicines at the hospital that week when parents brought in their young daughter who had been badly hit in a car accident, and showed no signs of life – the monitor registered zero – no pulse. Leah felt unusual boldness, so commanded the girl to live, and prayed for her for an hour, mostly in tongues. After an hour the monitor started beeping and the girl recovered.
Grant joined me on Pentecost Island in Vanuatu. South Pentecost attracts tourists with its land diving – men jumping from high bamboo towers with vines attached to their ankles. Grant prayed for a jumper who had hurt his neck, and the neck crackled back into place. That young man and his father both gave their lives to the Lord right there in the village. Grant prayed for a son of the paramount chief of South Pentecost. He was healed from a painful leg and later he invited the team to come to his village to pray for the sick. No white people had been invited there to minister previously. More were healed there in Jesus’ name. The full account is in South Pacific Revivals by Geoff Waugh (2010).
Healing is a tough subject, especially if you or your loved ones are sick!
Attitudes to ‘the healing ministry’ and theologies about healing vary greatly. At one extreme lies the claim that everyone can and should be well, and if you have enough faith in God you will be healed; at the other extreme lies the claim that healing, if it occurs, now happens through medical science.
People at the first extreme tend to avoid medical help, trust in God alone for healing, and deny any ‘lying symptoms’. However, they usually acknowledge the importance of healthy food, exercise, rest and positive attitudes – which people at the other extreme also acknowledge.
The truth, I believe, doesn’t just stand somewhere in the middle, but in both. God heals. His healing power is always at work in us with every heartbeat, every breath. Life is his gift to us. Healthy living contributes to good health. Oranges and Vitamin C tablets promote health. So do healthy attitudes. So does prayer, and faith.
We know that being healthy is good, not bad. We go to a doctor or we take medicine because that can help overcome sickness and restore health.
Most of us pray for healing, for others and for ourselves. We usually appreciate others praying for us. We pray for others in many different ways.
It may be the general ‘God bless them’ prayer or our wish for their well being. It may be the more specific ‘Heal them, please God’ or ‘Lord lay your healing hand on them’. It may be the still more specific prayer with a person as we lay our hand on them in Jesus’ name. It may be the even more specific prayer or command, led and anointed by the Holy Spirit, through various gifts of the Spirit including healing, miracles, faith, prophecy, words of knowledge or wisdom, discernment of spirits, or tongues and maybe interpretation.
And sometimes we don’t pray for healing, but it happens anyway!
More difficult to understand is when we do pray for healing, we do have faith, we ‘trust and obey’ and yet healing does not happen, as far as we can see. We have to acknowledge that we don’t ‘see’ very far yet. There is a mystery in healing, as there is in living. We don’t understand the mystery of life, nor do we understand a lot about eternal life.
However, we know that God gives life, and sustains life. We can learn more about how to co-operate with God, including learning how to pray more effectively, believe more truly, and love more fully.
Healing is complex. Most healing takes time, but intervention through prayer or medicine can speed up the process, sometimes dramatically. Healing also involves the whole being – spirit, soul and body (1 Thessalonians 5:23). These are inter-related.
We are also learning more about blockages to healing such as unforgiveness, unbelief, unhappiness, and unwillingness to yield fully to God. These can be removed in a loving, caring environment.
One major discovery in charismatic renewal, and in similar ministries, has been the reality of God’s healing grace revealing the Father’s love, such as through compassionate prayer in Jesus’ name in the power of the Holy Spirit. This ministry of love and compassion increases everywhere now.
Those who live and worship in places or among people where there is love, compassion, forgiveness, faith, courage and support for one another are especially blessed, for all these facilitate healing. As we yield to the Spirit of God among us, these abound, and so does healing. This is part of the Lord’s purpose and commission for his church – to be a loving and healing community.
We believe that Jesus healed, especially in compassion for people. He commanded and taught his disciples to preach the good news about the reign of God, heal the sick and cast out evil spirits. Jesus is the same – yesterday, today and forever. His commission is the same still. We are learning again to humbly and courageously obey him in the power of his Spirit. There is more to learn and do yet.
This issue of the Renewal Journal aims to help you do that. David Lithgow, Jim Holbeck, John Blacker, Colin Warren, John Warlow and Spencer Colliver tell of their discoveries and understanding of healing. Sue Armstrong and Trevor Faggotter describe revival movements which also include healing through prayer.
The next issue of the Renewal Journal, Number 5 (95:1), looks at Signs and Wonders including an overview of their place in the church throughout history and their explosion in revival movements today. Subsequent issues are planned for topics such as worship, prayer and compassion. These take on new meaning and expression in renewal ministry.
The Renewal Journal will continue to carry articles on renewal and revival across all churches and in the community. Please pray as you read! May God bring healing to the land as we repent and believe the good news of God’s great grace.