Mary thought Jesus was the gardener so she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, please show me where you put him and I will get him.” That’s love. Maybe Mary weighed 110 pounds. Let’s assume Jesus weighed 180, and John tells us that Nicodemus and Joseph had wrapped His body in 75 additional pounds of aloe and spices. So this little woman was willing to heft a corpse weighing over 250 pounds on her shoulder and carry it back inside the tomb. That’s love. Her hope was shattered, and her faith was absent, but her love was still there. John 20:1-18.
INCONCEIVABLE The Gospel writers don’t go into minute detail about the crucifixion because all of their First-Century readers had witnessed the horror of crucifixion with their own eyes. We really don’t have a modern frame of reference for it. It would be like me going back to the time of Jesus and saying there was a head-on collision on Loop 49 and none of the passengers were wearing seatbelts. You get the picture—but they wouldn’t. We can’t begin to imagine the wickedness and cruelty of Roman crucifixion. John 19:17-27.
I like the fact that this was a quiet miracle. Because miracles don’t have to be loud to be miracles. There was no word of command, no hysterical shouting, no laying on of hands, or the binding of Satan. There was no hocus-pocus or mumbo jumbo. Jesus didn’t even touch the water. The water simply became wine.
Never miss the opportunity to worship. You never know when will be the last chance to worship God. This lesson also applies to showing love and appreciation to people as well. Never miss an opportunity to tell someone you love him or her, because you never know when you’ll have another chance.
In our wealthy culture, there are not many of us who worry about whether or not we’ll eat, drink, or wear clothes. We worry more about what we eat, drink, and wear. We worry, “Should I eat a Chick-fil-a or a Papa Murphy’s pizza?” We worry, “Should I get a café latte’ or a mocha? Venti, or Tall?” “Should I wear the black pants, or the khaki?” Decisions, decisions. The truth is that most of us worry about so much more than the basic necessities of life. We worry about terrorism attacks, gas prices, and the stock market. But whatever you worry about, Jesus said that worry is a sin.
What are we to think about those little boys who were killed by Herod? God delivered Jesus, Joseph, and Mary—why didn’t He protect the other children? I don’t know why God chooses to protect some and not others. As we learned earlier, God’s ways and thoughts are not our ways and thoughts. However, I do believe these little boys will occupy a special place in heaven. Stephen is often called the first Christian martyr, but these little boys were actually the first Christian martyrs. They were the first to shed their blood for the One who would later shed His blood for them. I believe God the Father welcomed them into heaven and gave them the special prominence only reserved for His martyrs.
An interesting thing about the list of names in Jesus’ genealogy is some of the people on the list we might think weren’t spiritually qualified. For instance: Rahab (who was once a prostitute) and Ruth (who was not Jewish, but Moabite). There are some pretty lousy kings who made the list too. Manasseh was one of the worst kings in Israel’s history. The Bible says he led Israel into sin and did more evil than any other king. The point is that God can use all kinds of people. If He can redeem the life of a former hooker, an unclean Gentile, and a lousy king, do not be surprised that He can make something special of your life, even if your past is less than perfect.
Certainly Mary was shocked and amazed to receive the news from Gabriel that she would be the mother of God. I’m sure she had a lot of questions, but she placed her trust in God, with whom nothing is impossible. Two thousand years later we have a lot more answers about Jesus. And examination of six profound questions that might have been in the mind of Mary.
I love to read about the great characters of the Bible, because the Bible doesn’t try to cover up their mistakes and sins. Noah was a great man, but he got drunk and laid around naked—two of his sons had to cover him up. When he woke up he cursed his other son for looking at him naked.
Abraham was a great man, but when he visited Egypt, he lied and said Sarah was his sister instead of his wife. Jacob was a man of faith, but he had history of dirty deals. Moses did some great things, but he murdered a man. King David, a man after God’s own heart, committed adultery and murder. Even the big fisherman writing this letter denied he knew Jesus and cursed in front of a teenage girl. The Bible is about real people who made tons of real mistakes.
Luke’s description of the birth of Jesus is far more detailed than any other gospel writer. In order to help us grasp the fullest significance of who Jesus Christ was and what He accomplished, Luke takes us back to the very beginning of Jesus’ life. He describes more fully than any other gospel writer the announcement of John the Baptist’s birth and the announcement of Jesus’ birth, then the birth of John and the birth of Jesus. By describing the origin of John and the origin of Jesus side by side he shows how their destinies dovetail in God’s plan, but also how Jesus is vastly superior to his forerunner.