In No Way Could God Be At Work In This

God's Message on the Web - My earliest podcasts.

Life is often confusing. We are constantly trying to figure life out. Quite often we think we have succeeded. About the time we think we have life figured out, something occurs that makes us realize we still do not have life figured out.

God is often confusing. We are constantly trying to figure God out. On occasion we conclude that we have succeeded in figuring God out. Just as we come to that conclusion, something occurs that makes us realize we have not even come close to figuring God out.

Consider some thoughts today that hopefully will challenge you to realize that this confusion is not new and will never be resolved.

  1. “Please let me introduce myself: my name is Thomas.
  1. “When I walked with Jesus as one of the twelve, many people called me Didymus, my Greek name which means Twin (John 11:16).
  1. “I became one of the select twelve men to follow Jesus when, up on a mountain, he called us out from a larger group of disciples (Mark 3:13-19).
  2. “We were supposed to be with him daily to follow him and teach/preach with him.
  3. “Eleven of us were Jesus’ apostles after Jesus’ crucifixion.
  4. “Only Judas was not with us following Jesus’ crucifixion–he was so overcome with guilt because he betrayed Jesus that he committed suicide (Matthew 27:3-5)
  5. “But, I am getting ahead of myself.
  1. “It is humanly impossible for me to get you to feel what we twelve felt as we lived with Jesus every day.
  1. “The multitudes that followed Jesus made the most popular athlete and the most recognized movie star look unpopular.
  2. “Everywhere Jesus went there was an excitement, an expectation, an awe that was so real you could sense it as it overwhelmed you.
  3. “That man was so popular and created so much reaction that he could not even hide to find some private time!
  1. “If he went into a uninhabited area, if just one person saw him, soon there would be a crowd around him.
  2. “Where he was going did not matter–people followed even if they had no food and water and the area was wilderness area.
  3. “They would even carry physically sick people of every kind of sickness on mats (even paralyzed people!) in the mere hope Jesus would heal them.
  4. “For miles and miles, for hours and hours people would carry those deathly sick or helpless as they searched for Jesus.
  1. You cannot believe what I saw with my own eyes and experienced in person!
  1. “I was in a boat in a storm as waves created by the wind were flooding the boat (Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4:36-41).
  1. “The wind was howling and the waves white-capping!
  2. “The boat was on the verge of sinking!
  3. “All of us were terrified as we were certain we were going to drown!
  4. “I saw Jesus stand up in that rolling boat knee deep in water and verbally rebuke the wind and the waves.
  5. “I saw the Sea of Galilee become calm without a breath of wind blowing.
  1. “I was in the boat the night when we spent most of the night rowing in a storm (John 6:16-21).
  1. “I guarantee you that trying to row a large boat on a churning sea in the dark is one scary ordeal!
  2. “I was there when we saw this strange figure walking on the waves!
  3. “All of us were scared to death!
  4. “But it was Jesus walking on the waves telling us not to be afraid!
  5. “I saw that with my own eyes and heard it with my own ears!
  1. “Day after day I watched Jesus heal hundred and hundreds of people of every kind of disease–even those caused by spiritual forces!
  1. “There was never one kind of disease he could not heal!
  2. “I watched him heal all types of sickness!
  3. “I even saw him raise people from the dead!
  1. “There were certain things all twelve of us knew.
    1. “We all knew the kingdom God promised Israel for hundreds of years was on the verge of coming.
    2. “We all knew the great Messiah God promised was on earth right then.
    3. “We knew Jesus was the Messiah.
    4. “We knew Jesus would rule from a throne in Israel and we would be part of his new government.
    5. “We knew at last Israel would be restored to her past glory!

 

  1. “However, some very powerful people in Israel were afraid that would happen.
     

    1. “Most of these people were in the current religious government of Israel.
  1. “Most of these people lived in Jerusalem; Jerusalem was their power base.
  2. “When Jesus’ popularity kept growing, they become increasing aggressive and hostile.
  3. “In time everything became quite tense when Jesus visited Jerusalem.
    1. “Every time he came (near the time of his death), people expected a confrontation.
    2. “The hostility and anger were enormous–Jesus’ presence divided the city every time he was there.
  1. “When Jesus preached his ‘bread of life’ sermon, the situation became dangerous (John 6:22-7:1).
  1. “Even all Jesus’ disciples, except for us twelve, were so upset they left never to return.
  2. “He even asked us if we also were going to leave him.
  3. “When we went back to Galilee, he refused to return to Judea because he knew the powerful people would kill him.
  1. “Later, at the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus secretly returned to Jerusalem (John 7).
  1. “After he arrived, he went to the temple area and began to publicly preach.
  2. “The religious leaders who controlled the city and temple area sent some officers to arrest him.
    1. “The officers returned without him.
    2. “When asked why, the officers responded, ‘We never heard a man speak as he does.'”
  3. “Later in the same visit, Jesus preached that God was his Father and was at work in him (John 8).
    1. “Those who rejected his identity picked up stones to throw at him.
    2. “Jesus hid, and slipped out of the temple area.
    1. “Still later on a visit at the Feast of Dedication, Jesus’ enemies openly challenged him in a manner designed to turn people against him (John 10:22-42).
    2. “They said, ‘Don’t keep us in suspense any longer; tell us plainly if you are the Christ.
    3. “Jesus said he had told them, and they did not believe.
    4. “Again, he declared God was his Father.
    5. “Again, they picked up rocks to stone him.
    6. “When they tried to seize him, Jesus slipped away through the crowd.
        1. “This time things were so tense we had to go across the Jordan River into the wilderness area where John the baptizer began his work.

  1. “From the day that Peter confessed Jesus was the Christ, the son of the living God, Jesus told us often that the rulers in Jerusalem would have him killed (Matthew 16:13-21).
  1. “We regarded what he predicted as unthinkable and impossible if he just used a little common sense.

    1. “The only place he had powerful enemies was in Jerusalem.
    2. “The only people who were determined to kill him were in Jerusalem.
  2. “With his popularity in Galilee combined with the power he possessed, he could not be killed if he just stayed out of Jerusalem until his enemies lost power and influence.
    1. “Given his power even to raise the dead,
    2. “Given his enormous popularity in many places,
    3. “His enemies were sure to lose power and influence in time.
  1. “While we were hiding across the Jordan River, a messenger came to tell Jesus that his friend Lazarus was sick (He loved Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha very much).
  1. “They lived in Bethany about a mile and a half from Jerusalem on the road to Jericho (John 11:1-16).
  1. “For Jesus, visiting Bethany was extremely dangerous.
  2. “The message simply read, ‘The one you love is sick.’
  3. “All of us knew that was a request for Jesus to come heal Lazarus.
  4. “We all were really scared Jesus would go back to the Jerusalem area because he really loved these people.
  5. “However, he said, ‘This sickness is not for his death, but to glorify God and His son.’
  6. “We breathed a sigh of relief and stayed there two more days.
  1. “The third day Jesus said that it was time to go back to Judea.
  1. “We all said, ‘Lord, your enemies are just looking for opportunity to kill you.
  2. “Jesus said, ‘Lazarus is asleep, and I must go wake him up.’
  3. “We said that if Lazarus was asleep he will be okay.
  4. “Jesus responded, ‘Lazarus is dead.’
  1. “Nothing made sense about this whole situation.
  1. “In this climate a body began to decompose in a day or less–that is why people buried on the day of the death.
  2. “Jesus had resurrected people who had just died, but we had never witnessed him raise a decomposed body!
  3. “If Jesus went back to visit his friends, his enemies would surely know it and catch him.
  4. “You could have cut our gloom with a butter knife!
  5. “Finally I said, ‘Let’s all go back with Jesus and die together.’
  1. “Unless you were there, you cannot possibly imagine what happened!
  1. “First, Jesus actually raised Lazarus from the dead after Lazarus was dead for four days and you could smell the decay.
  1. “All Jerusalem went wild for Jesus!
    1. “Absolutely everyone was talking about the resurrection!
    2. “Lazarus was living, talking proof of Jesus’ incredible power (John 12:12-19)
    3. “The largest Jerusalem multitude to assemble welcomed Jesus into the city just as the kings of ancient times were welcomed.
    4. “He was more popular than he had ever been!
    5. “For a week, Jesus owned Jerusalem!
  2. “We knew this was the moment!
    1. “There was no way Jesus’ enemies were going to kill him now!
    2. “Because he had the momentum, the nation and the throne was his!
    3. “Nobody could stop him now!
  1. “Then the worst living nightmare, the worst form of hell on earth broke loose.

    1. “With none of us suspecting him, Judas left our last meal together to betray Jesus (John 13:21-30).
    2. “Jesus gave us this last set of instructions which we found confusing.
    3. “He told us he was going somewhere and we could not go with him.
    4. “He even said we knew where he was going, so I asked, “How do we get there?
    5. “All he said was, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life.’
  1. “Though we were confused, it did not matter!
  1. “We knew God was at work!
  2. “We knew Jesus owned Jerusalem!
  3. “We knew the nation wanted Jesus to be king!
  4. “We knew nothing could stop God and Jesus now!
  1. “However, Jesus grew more and more troubled.
  1. “He went to pray, and asked us to go with him.
  2. “All of us had drunk the Passover wine, felt confident, were relaxed, and went to sleep when we tried to pray.
  3. “After Jesus prayed, Judas showed up with Roman troops and temple guards all of whom had torches and weapons (John 18:3).
  4. “In confusion and fear, we fled!
  5. “Then there were the horrible Jewish trials.
  6. “Those were followed by the horrible hearings before Pilate.
  7. “The mob was screaming for blood, there was the unbelievable scourging, and the awful mocking!
  1. “Then there was the horrible crucifixion!
  1. “There was so much hate there!
  2. “And there were those sobbing, helpless women!
  1. “I do not know how to describe how I felt.
  1. “My mind screamed, ‘God, where are You!’
  1. “What was happening simply could not be God’s plan!
  2. “All I could see was Satan at work!
  1. “I knew it was over.
  1. “There would be no kingdom.
  2. “Jesus would not be king!
  3. “The golden age of Israel would not be restored!
  1. “We eleven were so defeated, so terrified!
  1. “We expected them to kill us next!
  2. “While I was out in the night, Jesus appeared to the others.
  3. “When they excitedly told me, I replied that I would not believe it unless I felt the nail holes and the sword wound.
  4. “Eight days later when I was with everyone, the resurrected Jesus came to us, looked me straight in the eye, and told me to feel the holes.
  5. “All I could feel and say was, ‘My Lord and My God.’
  1. “Only then did I realize that God had been at work all the time.”

Life will give all of us disappointments. There will be times when we see only evil at work. There will be times when it seems as if evil has won. But we must learn for ourselves that God is always there, always working.

Nothing was more evil and vile than Jesus’ crucifixion. Yet, God was not only there working–He won!

Jesus says to us as he said to Thomas, “Believe; don’t doubt!”

David Chadwell

 

Author: Greg

Welcome to Gods Message on the web. My name is Greg and I want to welcome you. I started doing these Podcasts, MP3, and Audio Books back in 2007. Stay awhile and make yourself at home. The Christian Podcasts here are free and for everyone to enjoy. I’m doing a complete series on David Chadwell who is a retired minister from Fort Smith, Arkansas. I’ve also done an Audio Book for Wayne Jacobsen’s the Naked Church. Plus a series of MP3s for Pastor Billy Crone and his The Final Countdown series.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *