Healing and Forgiveness

(Revised)

Min. Jim Blossomgame

3/11/2022

And he was preaching the word to them. And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. 4And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay.5And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”[1]

Rather than tell the paralytic that he was healed, or, get up, Jesus said to him that his sins are forgiven. So what is the Lord’s purpose in saying it that way? It appears that a very strong point is being made – that healing is a by-product of the forgiveness of sin. This is what the prophet Isaiah revealed in his foreknowledge of the “Suffering Servant,” Jesus the Christ:

Isaiah 53:4–5 (ESV) — 4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.

At the hearing of Jesus’ announcement that the paralytic’s sins were forgiven some of the scribes questioned within themselves about Jesus’ authority to do such a thing and accused Him of blaspheming.

Mark 2:6–7 (ESV) — 6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Mark 2:8–11 (ESV) — 8 And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— 11 “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.”

In posing the question: “Which is easier to say…,” He is indicating that healing is a product of salvation.

10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— 11 “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.”

Take note of Jesus’ order of statements in verses 10 and 11. He says: “that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…” His way of showing that He has authority to forgive sins is not by telling the paralytic his sins are forgiven but by telling him to, “rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” The focus of His statement is on salvation, for salvation and forgiveness of sin go hand–in–hand. In the light of the definition of salvation, the people were very much aware of what Jesus was saying.

SALVATION (Heb. yēša‘; Gk. sōtēria).

I. In the Old Testament

The principal Heb. term translated ‘salvation’ is yēša‘ and its cognates. Its basic meaning is ‘bring into a spacious environment’ (cf. Pss. 18:36; 66:12), but it carries from the beginning the metaphorical sense of ‘freedom from limitation’ and the means to that; i.e. deliverance from factors which constrain and confine. It can be referred to deliverance from disease (Is. 38:20; cf. v. 9), from trouble (Je. 30:7) or enemies (2 Sa. 3:18; Ps. 44:7). In the vast majority of references God is the author of salvation. Thus God saves his flock (Ezk. 34:22); he rescues his people (Ho. 1:7) and he alone can save them (Ho. 13:10–14); there is no other saviour besides him (Is. 43:11).[2]

We need to understand a very significant factor in this story. The person healed was a paralytic; having no freedom of movement. Jesus came to bring salvation from sin, and in doing so, delivered us from that which confines and restricts – the source of this being sin. Because of sin men are not free to go about in the way that God intended. Sin confines, and cripples, physically and especially spiritually. The unsaved soul is a spiritual paralytic.

The Place of Forgiveness and Freedom

Psalm 31:5–8 (ESV) — 5 Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God. 6 I hate those who pay regard to worthless idols, but I trust in the Lord. 7 I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul, 8 and you have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy; you have set my feet in a broad place.

Into your hand I commit my spirit: the psalmist is prophetically uttering the very words spoken by Christ on the cross one thousand years later, as He pays the debt for our salvation.

Note the words at the end of verse eight: broad place, mer-hab (Hebrew). Its definition is closely related to the meaning of salvation.

            5303 מֶרְחָב (měr·ā): n.[masc.]; ≡ Str 4800; TWOT 2143c

  1. LN 81.15–81.19 spacious place, roomy place, i.e., a broad and relatively vast place as an indefinite space, with the associative meaning of comfort or possibly safety and freedom (2Sa 22:20; Ps 18:20[EB 19]; 31:9[EB 8]; 118:5+); [3]

The account in Mark 2 is beyond all doubt an indication that physical healing is a product of salvation.

Focusing On the Word Alone

Now some may ask: Then why are there those who are not experiencing healing? In response, I’d like to comment that we should not judge God’s word or His promises according to the experiences of others. Faith is a matter of believing God’s word and nothing else! Keep in mind the reason why many of the Israelites were unable to enter the Promise Land (Numbers 13).

Consider Mark 5:21-34, wherein a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for many years believed in her heart if she touched Jesus’ garment she would be healed. There was a crowd thronging Jesus and many were touching Him, but it was this one woman with the discharge of blood who received from Him. She was not disheartened by the fact that others who touched Him did not receive anything for the Lord only felt power go from Him when He was touched by this woman. SHE DID NOT WAIVER DUE TO THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF OTHERS.

The Attentive Heart

A close study of Mark 4 can help us to understand how this works. We can hear the word but hearing is the first step in this process. The word sown in the heart must be nurtured to produce fruit or the desired result.

Mark 4:20–25 (ESV) — 20 But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”

21 And he said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand? 22 For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light.

It sounds paradoxical that a lamp is hidden before it can be made manifest, but:

What Is Hidden, Is What Is Heard. What Was Hidden from Us Is Now Hidden in Us, Yet to Come to Light, That People Will See and Glorify God.

23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” 24 And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. 25 For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

“Pay Attention to What You Hear”

To What Are You Giving Your Attention

The Dominance of the Invisible Over the Visible

Hebrews 11:3 (NKJV) — 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

We are focusing (in faith) on that which brought into existence the universe. The invisible spirit world is the parent of natural existence. And faith is how we come to KNOW this. By faith, we come to experience and begin to realize the overwhelming reality of the invisible spirit world. Every time we receive from God or overcome darkness by faith in God’s word, we are experiencing the power of the invisible spirit world crashing in on our situation – the invisible, overwhelming the natural.

We must focus on the word until it becomes more real in our hearts than whatever needs to be overcome by it. And the word of God is a greater reality! There is something all around and in the Believer that has a greater existence than, sickness, pain, lack, depression, etc. The spirit is the parent of this natural world.

THINK OF BEING BORN – AGAIN AND THE INCREDIBLE TRANSFORMATION THAT HAS AND IS TAKING PLACE; A RESULT OF THE INVISIBLE – A TRANSFORMATION THAT COULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED THROUGH HUMAN EFFORT.


[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Mk 2:2–5.

[2] G. Walters and B. A. Milne, “Salvation,” ed. D. R. W. Wood et al., New Bible Dictionary (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996), 1046–1047.

[3] James Swanson, Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).

More than Human

2 Corinthians 5:10 (ESV) — 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

The Christian’s reward will be determined by what we have done in these fallen bodies. This, therefore, eliminates excuses such as: “I’m only human.” We are human, but, not only human, for believers are joined together with God through Christ by His Spirit. NOW, IN THIS WORLD, WE ARE TO CHOOSE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE WORLD TO COME.

1 John 4:17 (ESV) — 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.

The Birth Certificate

1 John 5:6 (ESV) — 6 This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.

This is a reference to Jesus’ two births; this chapter begins with the mention of being “born”: Vv. 5a Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God,[1] The water indicates that He is born a man, with all the frailties of human life, like us, yet without sin. It was necessary for a sinless man to be sacrificed for the sin of man; for all (mankind) had sinned and fallen short… Thus, Jesus was born a sinless man and lived a sinless life. The blood points to His coming back into life through His crucifixion and resurrection from the dead.

Every Believer comes also by water and blood – the Blood of Jesus

Water, being the first birth, and the Blood of Christ, the second. God will not start over anew by creating a new race of humans as in the beginning. He obviously has the power to do so, but He takes from the old (us) and makes a new family through faith in Christ Jesus. He wants us, those who came into this life through the first Adam! He foreknew US! How great is His love towards US!!!

1 John 5:7–8 (ESV) — 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree.

All three testify that Jesus is a living human (man), before and after the crucifixion. Through His natural birth, He stepped into human history, and though He died by crucifixion he arose from the dead and still abides in history.

When an unsaved person hears the gospel message; the one who can give an eyewitness account of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection is present; He is, the Spirit of God. He testifies to the validity of the gospel in the heart of the hearer. When faith is applied to what is heard, regeneration occurs, and eternal life is received from God.

1 John 5:9–10 (ESV) — 9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son.

The Testimony of Men and the Testimony of God’s Eternal Birth Certificate

The testimony of men today would be a birth certificate, indicating that we are living human beings. However, the testimony of God, that we have been born into eternal life through faith in Christ Jesus is a greater certainty; a certificate of eternal birth, and that testimony abides within the believer.

I WRITE THESE THINGS TO YOU WHO BELIEVE IN THE NAME OF THE SON OF GOD, THAT YOU MAY KNOW THAT YOU HAVE ETERNAL LIFE.

1 JOHN 5:13 (ESV)


[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), 1 Jn 5:1.

Forgiveness and Healing

And he was preaching the word to them. And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”[1]

Rather than tell the paralytic that he was healed, Jesus said to him that his sins are forgiven; an indication that healing and redemption go hand–in–hand. Actually, this is what the prophet Isaiah reveals in his foreknowledge of the “Suffering Servant,” Jesus the Christ:

Isaiah 53:4–5 (ESV) — 4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.

At the hearing of Jesus’ announcement that the paralytic’s sins were forgiven some of the scribes questioned within themselves about Jesus’ authority to do such a thing and accused Him of blaspheming.

Mark 2:6–7 (ESV) — 6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Jesus responded:

Mark 2:8–11 (ESV) — 8 And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— 11 “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.”

In posing the question: “Which is easier to say…,” He is indicating that healing is a product of the atonement.

10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— 11 “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.”

Take note of Jesus’ order of statements in verses 10 and 11. He says: “that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…” His way of showing that He has authority to forgive sins is not by telling the paralytic his sins are forgiven but by telling him to, “rise, pick up your bed, and go home.”

SALVATION (Heb. yēša‘; Gk. sōtēria).

I. In the Old Testament

The principal Heb. term translated ‘salvation’ is yēša‘ and its cognates. Its basic meaning is ‘bring into a spacious environment’ (cf. Pss. 18:36; 66:12), but it carries from the beginning the metaphorical sense of ‘freedom from limitation’ and the means to that; i.e. deliverance from factors which constrain and confine. It can be referred to deliverance from disease (Is. 38:20; cf. v. 9), from trouble (Je. 30:7) or enemies (2 Sa. 3:18; Ps. 44:7). In the vast majority of references God is the author of salvation. Thus God saves his flock (Ezk. 34:22); he rescues his people (Ho. 1:7) and he alone can save them (Ho. 13:10–14); there is no other saviour besides him (Is. 43:11).[2]

Now some may ask: Then why are there those who do not get healed? In response, I’d like to comment that we should not judge God’s word or His promises according to the experiences of others. Faith is a matter of believing God’s word and nothing else!

Consider Mark 5:21-34, wherein a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for many years believed in her heart if she touched Jesus’ garment she would be healed. There was a crowd thronging Jesus and many were touching Him, but it was this one woman with the discharge of blood who received from Him. She was not disheartened by the fact that others who touched Him did not receive anything for the Lord only felt power go from Him when He was touched by this woman. She did not waiver due to the circumstances of others.

A close study of Mark 4 can help us to understand how this works. We can hear the word but hearing is the first step in this process. The word sown in the heart must be nurtured to produce fruit or the desired result.

Mark 4:20–25 (ESV) — 20 But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”

21 And he said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand? 22 For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” 24 And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. 25 For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

It sounds paradoxical that a lamp is hidden before it can be made manifest.

What Is Hidden, Is What Is Heard. What Was Hidden From Us Is Now Hidden In Us, Yet To Come To Light, That People Will See And Glorify God.


[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Mk 2:2–5.

[2] G. Walters and B. A. Milne, “Salvation,” ed. D. R. W. Wood et al., New Bible Dictionary (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996), 1046–1047.

Is Jesus the Son of God?

Someone commented that maybe Jesus was a real person, but is He really the Son of God?

If you ask Him from your heart (not intellect) He will reveal Himself to you! He longs for you to know Him intimately and personally! He is more real than others of the past whom we have never met but trust what the historical record tells us about them. He is the only person who existed in the past and yet can come to meet you in the present and personally reveal Himself to you today! Give Him that opportunity!!

Where Does My Help Come From?

Genesis 2:18 (NKJV) — 18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”

There is a deeper meaning for helper other than Eve. God, in knowing everything that would transpire after telling Adam of the consequences of eating from the forbidden tree (v.17) begins preparation for his redemption. Adam (mankind) was going to fall through disobedience, resulting in eternal separation from his creator. This was a separation in which man would not have the ability to bridge. He would need Help. Immediately (v.18) God begins the means through which a helper would come and end that estrangement.

Before the fall, Adam was not alone, for the LORD God was with Him. Many have thought that the Lord viewed Adam as being alone because he was without a suitable mate or wife. However, Eve would become the doorway through which this Helper would come. The woman would play a vital part in ending the separation that was coming. She was to be a helper, not only to Adam but to mankind itself. The woman would become the instrument that God would use to bring about what was hidden in His heart to redeem. And yet, through deception she would be an integral part in bringing about the fall. Satan used Eve to help cause man’s fall, and gloriously God would lift her to the glorious position of bringing in man’s Helper/Savior. 

The verse below clearly delineates the incredible role of the woman (brackets mine).

…for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s [mankind] sake.  1 Corinthians 11:9 (NASB95).

“…It is not good that the man should be alone…” This is the first time in the creation account where God says that something is not good – He sees man’s impending separation from Himself – FOREVER!

  • To be alone is not a momentary state but a permanent one,…[1]

Alone (bad Heb): 4.LN 1.17–1.25 unit: בַּד שְׁאוֹל (bǎḏ šeʾôl) Underworld, formally, bars of Sheol, i.e., the place where the dead reside as a figurative extension of the bars of a gate to Sheol (Job 17:16+); 5. LN 3.47–3.59 unit:[2]

Note: The above is a definition of the same Hebrew word translated “alone” (Genesis 2:18) in the ESV. It possibly renders a better understanding of what God meant about man being “alone”, due to Adam’s ensuing fall into sin, separating him from God. It also reveals the Lord’s tremendous love for us and the depths to which He would go to be reunited with us (Immanuel).

The Helper

Matthew 16:16–18 (ESV) — 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Emphasis mine).

Note: Some ancient texts render “gates of hell” as “bars of Sheol,” (e.g., the Syriac Diatessaron).

Bars of hell or gates of hell; the point to consider here is, the writers’ intended point in the use of the Hebrew, bad (alone), in relating to man being alone. Was it a reference to hell, the abode of the dead, of those eternally separated from God?; I contend that God was looking beyond that of a wife, companion for Adam, although that was a partial role for Eve. The purpose for the woman was deeper. And since both Adam and Eve fell, both were estranged from God, therefore when God said: “it is not good that man should be alone,” it can be considered that God was saying, it is not good that humankind should be alone, for the word Adam can also be translated as humankind or mankind.

In some cases the Bible encourages that it is advantageous for a servant of God not to marry:

1 Corinthians 7:32–35 (ESV) — 32 I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. 33 But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. 35 I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.

The previous verses of scripture are not a prohibition of marriage but rather an indication of where our main point of devotion/intimacy should be – towards God. The primary focal point for, husband, wife, unmarried is the Lord. Even in marriage, without God man is alone!

IN THE PLAN OF GOD, THE WOMAN’S ROLE WOULD BE FAR GREATER THAN THAT OF A COMPANION.

Genesis 2:19–20 (ESV) — 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam, there was not found a helper fit for him.

In naming the animals, Adam saw that they were not a fit helper for him, although they would become a temporary help through sacrifices of atonement. Man’s true helper would have to come in the manner of likeness. The Helper would have to be in the likeness of Adam (Genesis 5:3), yet without sin, and this is where the woman’s hidden role comes into view – “the Seed of the Woman” (Genesis 3:15).

Note: The woman’s true role was not understood until the time of the revelation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Genesis 2:21 (ESV) — 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.

This “deep sleep”, which appears anesthetic in nature is also indicative of the deep sleep of sin and death that would come upon the human race through Adam’s rebellion. Man would have no part in helping redeem himself – for him, it was impossible – for he was dead in trespasses and sins. His attempt to do so, at best, would only culminate in a false belief system. In this state of utter helplessness, God provides for man his true Helper, and He brings Him out from man, through the woman. Compare the place from where God takes the rib from Adam (most likely his side) to the place where Jesus was pierced after He had died. There is a similarity here: they were asleep, and something came from the sides of both. From the side of Jesus came, water and blood: symbolic of His two births, natural and spiritual.

Water, being the first birth, and blood, the second, for the cross (blood) was the only way for the “Son of Man” to go to the SIDE of the Father (John 16:5, 7) where we are now seated in Him. Jesus is the “firstborn” among many brothers” (Romans 8:29).

Note: “Son of Man”(above) is used to specify Jesus’ humanity. He is the union of God and man.

1 John 5:6 (ESV) — 6 This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.

God will not start over anew by creating a new race of humans as in the beginning. Obviously, He has the power to do so, but He takes from the old (us) and makes a new family through faith in Christ Jesus. He wants us, those who came into this life through the first Adam! Jesus is the last Adam, He foreknew US; How great is His love towards US!!!

1 Corinthians 2:9–11 (ESV) — 9 But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— 10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

The above verse is a testimony of mankind’s “deep sleep” like state concerning God’s plan of salvation through bringing forth his Helper. Before the revelation of salvation which came through the gospel, the concept of a crucified Helper was inconceivable in the mind of man.

Genesis 2:21 (b)-23…and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,

            “This at last is bone of my bones

and flesh of my flesh;

       she shall be called Woman,

because she was taken out of Man.” [3]

Note what Adam said about the woman: “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.” This is possibly a statement indicative of mankind’s restoration to Eden. When Jesus ascended into the Heavenly Holy of Holies, He entered, with His own blood, but it was not in His body, for, “…flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of Heaven… (1 Corinthians 15:50).”

This at last:” Could this have been a Spirit-inspired utterance of Adam’s, in that he was speaking ahead, beyond Eve to the risen Christ who would come forth through the woman, as Jesus is the “last Adam?”

Genesis 3:20 (ESV) — 20 The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.

Note: Eve (Heb. haw-wah) sounds like the Hebrew for life-giver and resembles the word for living[4]  

  • The mistake should not be made in seeing Eve as the “life-giver,” however, the true life-giver would come through her.

Genesis 4:1 (ESV) — 1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.”

  • Eve, not knowing the true outcome of Cain who would become a destroyer of life, was looking back to the promise of God (Genesis 3:15) that the Helper (“seed of the woman”) would come through birth and bruise the serpent’s head. In her heart, she knew that the one promised would be by the “help” of the Lord.

An excerpt from the writings of Church Father, Irenaeus:

As also the Scripture tells us that God said to the serpent, “And I will place enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed. He shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”9 And the Lord summed up in Himself this enmity, when He was made man from a woman, and trod upon his [the serpent’s] head,[5]

The Place of Birth: All are Gathered Together

Luke 2:10–12 (ESV) — 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”

Manger (אֵבוּס, evus; φάτνη, phatnē). A feeding trough or feeding bin for animals, especially livestock. The word is found in Isa 1:3; Luke 2:7, 12, 16; 13:15.[6]

Definition

The biblical word used for “manger” can also mean “stable.” It is best, therefore, to define the word in a given text according to its context. A stable is a barn-like structure where animals like livestock would be kept. Inside the stable, there would be a manger or feeding trough from which the animals could eat.[7]

  •  This is most likely why God chose for Christ to be born in such a place. Here, all are gathered together: the man(kind), the animals (the temporary helpers), the woman (the doorway for the helper), and Jesus (the Helper).

From Death in a Lush Paradise to Life from the Place of the Dead

Luke 23:55-24:11

55 The women who had come with him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid. 56 Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments.

On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

The Resurrection

24 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, 11 but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. [8] (Emphasis mine)

Remember, it was Eve who turned to Adam and gave him the forbidden fruit and he ate. And it was the woman who came with the fruit from the “Tree of Life,” the gospel of the risen Christ, and this time the man, at first  (in unbelief) would not eat.

Psalm 121:1–2 (ESV) — 1 I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? 2 My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.


[1] William David Reyburn and Euan McG. Fry, A Handbook on Genesis, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1998), 71.

[2] James Swanson, Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).

[3] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Ge 2:21–23.

[4] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016).

[5] Irenaeus of Lyons, “Irenæus against Heresies,” in The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus, ed. Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe, vol. 1, The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1885), 524.

[6] Charles Joshua Parrott, “Manger,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).

[7] Charles Joshua Parrott, “Manger,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).

[8] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Lk 23:55–24:11.

The Great and Strong

Isaiah 53:12 (NIV) — 12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Consider Satan’s wilderness attempt to get Jesus to worship him by offering him all the authority and glory of the world’s kingdoms (Luke 4:5-6). Jesus rejected the worship of the devil, stayed true to the purpose of His Father and suffered on the cross. In doing so He disarmed and spoiled Satan, and divided the spoil with the strong and great — those who trust God.

Formed by God

Genesis 2:7 (ESV)

then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

Adam was formed from the dust of the ground by God. There are several things that we Christians can learn from this:

  1. Adam was formed from lowly dust.
  2. He had no say in how he would be formed, or his appearance.
  3. He remained still and lifeless until God was finished.
  4. It was God’s Spirit who gave him life; a God pleasing life.
  5. He was not asked if he wanted to have children.

El Shaddai, the Broad Almighty Provider

A Continuation

John 6:22–29 (ESV) — 22 On the next day the crowd that remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. 23 Other boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. 25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” 26 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

John 6:30–31 (ESV) — 30 So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ”

  • Their spiritual insight was limited to what God had done for them in the past; in the wilderness. Are you able to allow God to take you deeper/further?
  • What do you think it takes to go further with God?

John 6:34 (ESV) — 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”

  • They asked, but their hearts were not prepared to receive the “New Bread” that God had to give them.
  • What are you asking from God? And what are you prepared to receive from Him?

John 6:35–40 (ESV) — 35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.

38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

  • Verse 39: This is crucifixion language. For Jesus to lose nothing of all that the Father had given Him could only come through the Cross. They had no idea that God was about to go to such a length for them and the world.

John 6:41–51 (ESV) — 41 So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43 Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day

  • The Jews grumbled among themselves (flesh looking to flesh for understanding); Jesus explained that the understanding could only come from God and not man.

45 It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me— 46 not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

  • Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father…, not that anyone has seen the Father except He who is from God.
  • He’s not talking about someone having sat in a classroom with God as the teacher, but receiving understanding through the Spirit. Only Jesus had seen the Father, for He had come down from heaven. We can know and understand by the Holy Spirit.
  • To know what God is doing in your life is to receive understanding from Him.
  • Are you allowing circumstances or the advice of others to instruct you?

John 6:52–59 (ESV) — 52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum.

  • Crucifixion Language: They had no way of knowing what the Lord was saying to them. The mention of His flesh and His blood would become understandable to many when they saw or heard of His horrible death on the cross; of how His body was torn and beaten, and how He shed so much blood.
  • There may be times when God is doing something that we are not able to understand at present. Through trust and endurance, we will always inherit what He has to give us.
  • What is the significance of John mentioning the synagogue in verse 59?
  • John mentions ‘synagogue’ here, because, In contrast to Jesus’ words, it was a type of wilderness, and again, He sought to feed them. Compare Peter’s statement in vs. 68.
  • John 6:68 (ESV) — 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,

6 Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. 7 But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— 10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. 14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:6–16 (ESV)

Finished

Behold the Man

BEHOLD THE MAN

John 18:28 – 19:16

These were the resonating words of Roman Procurator, Pontius Pilate which drew the attention of the mob-like crowd to a man who had been terribly beaten by Roman flogging.

“What is truth?” This question, Jesus did not bother to answer, for He knew that Pilate was in possession of the answer, and it would become quite evident when he admitted to the crowd: “I find no fault in Him at all.” Truth is always without fault!

For one to look upon Jesus; torn and somewhat disfigured by the terrible beating would certainly cause one to think: Surely this man must be guilty of something.

Why was Jesus able to suffer in His body the terribleness of our punishment through crucifixion? Was it because He was God? I think not. He died as a man in the place of mankind, not as a god for gods. He was able to endure the harshness of the world’s sin because He spoke truth; He was the truth. No matter how much truth is attacked it will always stand. No matter how we beat it down it will resurrect. Let us study His life/word and learn the victorious life.

THE MORE WE STAND – ABIDING IN TRUTH; THE MORE WE RESIST THE EVILS OF THIS WORLD; EVEN SICKNESS AND DISEASE.