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The Division Caused by Jesus the Messiah**

In our study in the holy Gospel {Injeel}, we have studied that Jesus the Messiah was unique in His Life, in His Teaching and in our last study in we studied that God’s Word tells us that all power and all authority have been given to Jesus the Messiah.  We discovered that Jesus the Messiah possessed authority which surpassed the authority of a mere prophet. Jesus was full of the power of God. He was the very Power of God in a human body! That was why He could calm the storm, cast out demons, heal the sick and the blind, and even raise the dead to life.  He is the Word of God in bodily form!

In this study we will continue in the book of the Gospel {Injeel}, and hear how the Jesus the Messiah caused division as he taught who he was and what was expected from us.   Jesus often presented the truth in parables because most people who followed him around did not really want to know the Word of God. What they wanted was for Jesus to heal their bodies of sickness, but they did not want him to heal their souls of sin. Also tagging along behind Jesus, like a pack of hyenas, were the religious rulers who listened to him only to find an opportunity to accuse him. When they were around, Jesus would speak to the crowd in parables. He would wait until He was alone with His true followers to explain the meaning of the parables.

God wants everyone to know the truth and to be saved, but if our hearts are stubborn, God will not reveal His truth to us. God wants us to seek after the truth, as most people seek after riches! The prophet Solomon wrote, "If you look for the truth as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God." (Prov. 2:4,5)

How about you? Do you cherish God's truth more than money or any other kind of wealth? Does the true Word of God occupy the most important place in your mind and heart? Perhaps you do not know the true condition of your heart before God. Then understand Jesus the Messiah' Parable of the Sower.

We are reading in the Gospel of Luke, chapter eight. The Scripture says:

(Luke 8) 4While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: 5"A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. 6Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. 7Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. 8Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown." When he said this, he called out, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

9His disciples asked him what this parable meant. 10He said,… 11"This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 12Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. 14The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. 15But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop."

Do you grasp the meaning of the parable of the sower? In this parable, we see the seed and the soil. What does the seed illustrate? What did the Jesus the Messiah say? He said: The seed illustrates the true Word of God. How about the soil? What does it illustrate? The soil illustrates the heart of man.

Yes, the Word of God is like good seed, because it is alive and has power to bring forth eternal life and true blessing in your heart, in your life. However, man's heart is like soil which can be very hard and dry. Let us think a little about this. How many kinds of soil do we see in the parable? We saw how the seed fell upon four kinds of soil.

1.) There was seed which fell upon a hard path.

2.) There was that which fell on an area with many rocks.

3.) There was that which fell among thorns.

4.) There was also that which fell upon good soil.

First, Jesus taught that many in the world have a heart like a hard path upon which people walk. Some people's hearts are as hard as concrete. If a seed falls onto a hard path-what will happen? Will it spring to life and bear fruit? Never! It cannot even begin to take root. People will just walk on it, and the birds of the air will eat it. This is what the hearts of many are like. People with hearts like the hard soil are those who do not pay attention to the Writings of the Prophets and consequently they do not believe that Jesus is the Savior of the world. They only care about their own ideas or the traditions of their ancestors. The true Word of God cannot produce life in their hearts, just as a seed which falls on a hard path cannot produce life.

The second kind of soil about which Jesus spoke had many rocks and thin soil. The soil with many rocks illustrates the heart of the one who listens to the Word of God and accepts it immediately with joy, but it does not last, because the Word of God did not really take root in the person's heart. This kind of person says he believes, but when some trial comes or he is persecuted because of the Word of Truth, he turns away from the truth. Many are like this. The Word of God does not have deep roots in their hearts, because they prefer the praise of man to the praise of God. Consequently, the Word of God is worthless to them, just as the seed which fell in the rocky place is worthless.

The third kind of soil was full of thorns. What happens when seed falls among thorns? Will it bear fruit? No, it will not! The thorns will choke it before it can bear fruit. The soil with thorns illustrates the heart of the one who listens to the Word of God, but the cares of the world, and the deception of riches and greed overwhelm him (or her), choking the Word so that it is unproductive. Many children of Adam have hearts like thorny soil. They think: "Yes, one day, I will begin to look into the Writings of the Prophets. When I have time, I will listen to the Word of God, 'insha'a Allah!'"   However, Satan knows very well that such people will never take time to understand the Word of God. Everyday problems and needs will dominate their hearts and minds. They must work, make money, go to the market, buy, sell, study, sleep and so forth. Is this your experience? Is your life so full of needs and concerns that you have never yet taken time to seek after the Truth of God with your whole heart? Remember that one day death will suddenly come and usher you into eternity. On that day you will know what was the truth and what was a lie, but knowing the truth which you neither sought nor obeyed during your life will be of no value to you, because the time of repentance will be gone and you will be eternally lost!

The fourth kind of soil was good soil. The seed that the farmer sowed in the good, well-cultivated soil took root, grew and produced an abundant crop so that the farmer reaped a hundred times more than he had sowed. The good soil that received the seed illustrates the one who hears the Word of God, and retains it in an honest heart, thus producing righteousness and eternal life. God's Word is living and powerful and will produce eternal life and righteousness living in all those who receive it with a humble and honest heart.

That, in brief, is what Jesus taught in the parable of the sower. The Word of God is like the good seed, and our hearts are like hard soil. What must happen before seed can be sown into hard soil? One must plough it, as any farmer knows. Similarly, the heart that pleases God is a broken and contrite heart, prepared to accept the Good Seed of the Word of God. The heart that pleases God is the heart that receives His Word in humility and faith. That is what the Scripture declares when it says: "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak…Get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent, and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you." (James 1:19,21)

What is the condition of your heart? Do you have a humble heart, prepared to accept what God says in the Holy Scriptures through His prophets? Is the Word of God growing in your heart? Or do you have a heart like soil that is hard, rocky and thorny? God's Word is Good Seed, but it will only produce life and blessing in the hearts of those who truly believe it and obey it.

Now let us read another "farmer parable" which Jesus spoke to the crowd. It is the Parable of the Weeds. The Scripture says:

(Matt. 13) 24Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26When the wheat sprouted and formed ears, then the weeds also appeared. 27The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?' 28'An enemy did this,' he replied. The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?' 29'No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. 30Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'"

36Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field." 37He answered, "The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man (That is the Messiah, himself). 38The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. 40As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear." Amen.

In the parable of the weeds, the Jesus the Messiah compared the world to a field of wheat. The Sower illustrates Jesus the Messiah. The wheat which grew in the field illustrates those who are children of God because of their faith in the Good News of the Messiah. The enemy who sowed weeds among the wheat is the devil. The weeds are those who do not belong to God because they have not accepted the Good News of the Messiah. The harvest is the Day of Judgment. The wheat stored in the grain house illustrates those who have the right to live in the presence of God forever. However, the weeds which one gathers and burns illustrate those who will be cast into the eternal fire.

Friends, how about you? Are you like the wheat? Or like the weeds? Search your heart! The Day of Judgment is coming! The Judge is at the door! Do you have confidence to face the Judge in the Day of Judgment? The angels will divide the wheat from the weeds.  You need not fear that day if you will believe in your heart the Good News of the One who came to save you from eternal hell. Read what Jesus the Messiah declared concerning the Day of Judgment. He said, "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life!" (John 5:24) Amen!

As we continue in our study of the Truth of God and now read other truth teachings that Jesus the Messiah gave us, we learn that most did not follow him because He was the Savior of sinners; they accompanied Him only because of the physical benefits they received from Him. Now we will read more words spoken by the Jesus the Messiah. We will also see how He confirmed His words by performing a miraculous sign. Now let us continue in the holy book, the Gospel of Mark, chapter six. The Scripture says:

(Mark 6) 30The apostles gathered round Jesus… 31Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." 32So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. 33But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.

35By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. "This is a remote place," they said, "and it's already very late. 36Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat." 37But he answered, "You give them something to eat." They said to him, "That would take eight months of a man's wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?" 38"How many loaves do you have?" he asked. "Go and see." When they found out, they said, "Five - and two fish." 39Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties.

41Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42They all ate and were satisfied, 43and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. 44The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand. 45Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray. 47When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. 48He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, 49but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, 50because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." 51Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, 52for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened. 53When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there.

(John 6) 22The next day the crowd that had stayed on the opposite shore of the lake realized that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not entered it with his disciples, but that they had gone away alone… 24Once the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went…in search of Jesus. 25When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, "Rabbi, when did you get here?" 26Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval."

Why did Jesus say to the crowd, "Do not work for food that spoils"? Does that mean we should not work in order to have something to eat? No, it does not mean that, because the Word of God also says: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat." (2 Thes. 3:10) Why then did Jesus say, "Do not work for food that spoils"? What Jesus was saying was this: If you work only for your stomach, and merely seek after the things of the world, you will end up losing everything, because your body is going to die and return to dust. However, there is something in your body that will never perish. It is your soul. The soul of man will exist forever-either in the glorious place called Heaven (Paradise) or in the horrifying place called Hell. That is why Jesus said, "Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life!" That was how Jesus warned the crowd, so that they might not merely seek perishable food, but that they might seek the Word of God which never passes away. Because "man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." (Matt. 4:4) That is what the Jesus the Messiah said.

Sadly, most of those who surrounded Jesus did not care about the Word of God, nor did they believe in the One whom God had sent! Filling their stomachs with food was more important to them than filling their hearts with the truth that could save them from God's judgment. That is why Jesus said to them, (John 6) 27Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life…28Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?" 29Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."

Did you understand Jesus' answer? How can a child of Adam, who is conceived in sin, please God? Can we work and accomplish deeds that please God? Can we somehow save ourselves from the power of Satan and sin and hell? Can we produce the perfect and pure heart that God requires? Never! "Even if a log soaks a long time in water it will never become a crocodile."  How then can a descendant of Adam please God? What did the Jesus the Messiah say about this? He said, "The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent." No person can ever begin to please God until he (or she) believes in the holy Redeemer whom God has sent.

Sadly, most of the crowd did not believe that Jesus was the Savior, whom God had sent. That is why they said to him,

(John 6) 30"What miraculous sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31Our forefathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written: 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'" 32Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." 34"Sir," they said, "from now on give us this bread." 35Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty!"

With those words Jesus was saying: As God sent food down from heaven to feed the children of Israel for forty years so that they would not die in the wilderness, so God has sent to all the children of Adam "Food" which gives eternal life so that we might not perish in our sin!  Where is this "Food"? Is there a food on earth which if you eat of it you can live in the presence of God forever? No, there is not! What is this "Food" which gives eternal life? What did the Jesus the Messiah say? He said,

(John 6) 35I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. 36But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37All that [God] the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away… 40For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

41At this the Jews began to grumble about him because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven." 42They said, "Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, 'I came down from heaven'?"

43"Stop grumbling among yourselves," Jesus answered.… 45Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. 46No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. 48I am the bread of life. 49Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. 50But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. 51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever…."

60On hearing it, many of his disciples said, "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?" 61Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, "Does this offend you? 62What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. 64Yet there are some of you who do not believe." (For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him.)…

66From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. 67"You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve. 68Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."

Thus, many disciples turned away, no longer accompanying Jesus because of the truth he had shared about himself which was difficult to accept.  This caused division among the many disciples.  However, among those who followed Jesus were some who would not leave him, because they were convinced that Jesus was the Messiah, the Holy One from God--the Bread of Life--the "True Food" which gives eternal life!

Yes, that is the way it is. Once you know who Jesus really is and what He is like and what He has done for you--you will never be satisfied with another master! Jesus is the only Source of eternal life. He alone can satisfy the heart that hungers for assurance of salvation and a close relationship with God.

How about you? Are you seeking the truth even if it is difficult to follow?   Even if it causes division?  Do you hunger and thirst for eternal life? Do you long to have confidence before God here on earth and in the life to come? Then consider this great invitation from the Jesus the Messiah who says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.…I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty!" (Matt. 11:28; John 6:35) Amen.

As we continue to study what Jesus the Messiah was teaching, we see how Jesus was confronted by the religious rulers of the Jews, and how the Jews were also divided because of Jesus. As we begin, it is helpful to know that the religious experts known as the Pharisees, and most of the Jews, followed the customs that they and their ancestors had established. For example, when they returned from a public place, they would not eat until they had washed themselves in a certain way. They also had many other traditions, such as how they were to wash cups, water pots, and kettles so that they would be "clean."

Read what is written in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter fifteen. The Scripture says:

(Matt. 15) 1Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 2"Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don't wash their hands before they eat!" 3Jesus replied, "And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4For God said, 'Honor your father and mother' and 'Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.' 5But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, 'Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,' 6he is not to 'honor his father' with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: 8'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.'"

Did you notice how Jesus exposed the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law in front of everyone? The religious leaders were trying to be righteous before men, but the Jesus the Messiah knew what was in their hearts. Their hands, feet and faces may have been clean, but their hearts were contaminated with sin! A clean heart is more important than clean hands. Ceremonial washings (Ablutions) do not purify your heart. If you have a cooking pot that is dirty on the inside, will merely washing the outside make the pot clean? No, it will not! Similarly, the religious ceremonies which the Jews followed could not remove the sin that was in their hearts. That is why Jesus said to them:

(Matt. 15) 7"You hypocrites! [The prophet] Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: 8'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.'"

10[Then] Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand. 11What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean', but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean'." 12Then the disciples came to him and asked, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?" 13He replied, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit."

15Peter said, "Explain the parable to us." 16"Are you still so dull?" Jesus asked them. 17"Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean'. 19For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20These are what make a man 'unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him 'unclean'."

29Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. 30Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. 31The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel."

(Matt. 16) 1[After that,] the Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven. 2He replied, "When evening comes, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,' 3and in the morning, 'Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.' You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. 4A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah."

(Matt. 12) 40"For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here."

Thus Jesus predicted that, as the prophet Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days, similarly, Jesus would spend three days in the tomb. And as Jonah came out of the fish on the third day, Jesus would rise from the dead on the third day, thus giving an undeniable proof that He is the Messiah from heaven, the One who came to save us from the power of sin and death and hell!

As we come to a close of this study, let  us continue in the Gospel and see how the religious experts persisted in their unbelief. In the Gospel of John, chapter seven, the Scripture says:

(John 7) 1After this, Jesus went around in Galilee, purposely staying away from Judea because the Jews there were waiting to take his life. 2But when the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was near, 3Jesus' brothers said to him, "You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do. 4No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world." 5For even his own brothers did not believe in him.

6Therefore Jesus told them, "The right time for me has not yet come; for you any time is right. 7The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil. 8You go to the Feast. I am not yet going up to this Feast, because for me the right time has not yet come." 9Having said this, he stayed in Galilee. 10However, after his brothers had left for the Feast, he went also, not publicly, but in secret. 11Now at the Feast the Jews were watching for him and asking, "Where is that man?" 12Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, "He is a good man." Others replied, "No, he deceives the people." 13But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the Jews.

14Not until halfway through the Feast did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach. 15The Jews were amazed and asked, "How did this man get such learning without having studied?" 16Jesus answered, "My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me. 17If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.… 19Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?"

20"You are demon-possessed," the crowd answered. "Who is trying to kill you?" 21Jesus said to them, "I did one miracle, and you are all astonished. 22Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a child on the Sabbath. 23Now if a child can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing the whole man on the Sabbath? 24Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment!" 30At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come. 31Still, many in the crowd put their faith in him. They said, "When the Christ comes, will he do more miraculous signs than this man?" 32The Pharisees heard the crowd whispering such things about him. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees sent temple guards to arrest him.

37On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." 40On hearing his words, some of the people said, "Surely this man is the Prophet." 41Others said, "He is the Christ." Still others asked, "How can the Christ come from Galilee? 42Does not the Scripture say that the Christ will come from David's family and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?" 43Thus the people were divided because of Jesus. 44Some wanted to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him.

45Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, "Why didn't you bring him in?" 46"No one ever spoke the way this man does," the guards declared. 47"You mean he has deceived you also?" the Pharisees retorted. 48"Has any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him? 49No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law - there is a curse on them." 50Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, 51"Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he is doing?" 52They replied, "Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee." 53Then each went to his own home.

We have seen how the priests, the teachers of the law and the Pharisees harassed Jesus. They wanted to arrest him and have him put to death, but they could do nothing to him, because the time which God planned for Jesus to die as a sacrifice for sin had not yet come.   Sadly, most of the Jewish religious leaders had hard hearts. They despised Jesus and they threatened to expel from the synagogue anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah. Thus there was a division among the crowd because of Jesus. No one would say anything openly about Jesus because they were afraid of the religious leaders and the priests {Imams}. Secretly, among themselves, some whispered, "He is a good man." Others retorted, "No, he deceives the people!" The rest wondered, "When the Messiah comes will He do more miraculous signs than this man?"

Friends, what do you say about Jesus? What do you think about him? Do you believe that Jesus is the Messiah of whom all the prophets have written? Or do you think that Jesus was just one of the prophets? Let no one misleads you in this matter. Your destiny in the hereafter depends on your response to this question! Do you know who Jesus really is? Do you know why He came into the world? Read and take note what Jesus said about himself:

"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to [God] the Father except through me!…For this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me!" (John 14:6; 18:37)

Dear friend, on whose side are you? This is a divisive question.   Are you willing to side with Jesus the Messiah -- even if means being rejected by your own family?  Jesus the Messiah said,

"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth.…I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law--a man's enemies will be the members of his own household. Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me!" (Matt. 10:34-37)

May God give you insight into all that you have studied today as you remember the words of the Jesus the Messiah:

"He who has ears, let him hear!" (Matt. 13:43)

"I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty!" (John 6:35)

"Everyone on the side of truth listens to me!" (John 18:37)

 

** This is a study of Jesus Authority from the Holy Scriptures.   This teaching from the Scriptures is a compilation of Lessons 71, 72 and 73 from “The Way of Righteousness” by Paul Bramsen.    Posted here by permission of copyright holder – Paul Bramsen.

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