“Jesus in the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time with the Wrong Type” ( John 4: 27, LSM Recovery Version ) by Carley Evans


“And at this point His disciples came, and they marveled that He was speaking with a woman; yet no one said, What are You seeking? or, Why are You speaking with her?”

Jesus’ disciples are shocked. They are downright flabbergasted to find Jesus speaking with a woman. They are amazed that not only does He speak to a woman; He speaks to a Samaritan woman, a woman of mixed ancestry, a woman outside Judaism as they know and observe it. On top of their shock, they don’t bother to ask Him why He speaks to this woman. They don’t appear to care; they only care that Jesus is doing something unacceptable, out of fashion, and politically incorrect.

The disciples don’t care that Jesus is physically thirsty. They don’t care that as He seeks to quench His own thirst, He recognizes the woman’s spiritual thirst and her need for what Jesus is – the Living Water.

I imagine Jesus is scolded by one or another of the disciples, perhaps by Judas Iscariot, the betrayer or by Peter, His defender on the night He is taken for crucifixion.

The disciples scold Jesus because they only care that He is doing the wrong thing at the wrong time in the wrong place with the wrong type of person. His disciples judge by appearances rather than by substances.

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“He Shall Rise Again To Life” ( Matthew 20: 17-19, WYC ) by Carley Evans


Jerusalem
Jerusalem (Photo credit: swallroth)

Jesus teaches some truths privately. He takes aside His twelve disciples — including Judas the betrayer — to tell them about their trip to Jerusalem. We’re going up there to the city of God so that I can be condemned to death. I’m going to be ‘scorned, and scourged, and crucified.’ But I’m also going to ‘rise again to life’ on the third day. He may even speak an aside in Judas’ direction, This will thwart the plans of Satan, those plans in which you are to be deeply involved very soon.

Imagine the twelve looking at each other. What did Jesus say? What are we doing? Why are we going to Jerusalem? Did Jesus really mean He is going to die? And what else did He say? He’s going to rise again to life?

“And Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and took his twelve disciples in private, and said to them, [And Jesus, ascending up to Jerusalem, took his twelve disciples in private, and said to them,] Lo! we go up to Jerusalem, and man’s Son shall be betaken to princes of priests, and to scribes; and they shall condemn him to death. And they shall betake him to heathen men, for to be scorned, and scourged, and crucified; and the third day he shall rise again to life. [And they shall betake him to heathen men, to be scorned, and scourged, and crucified; and the third day he shall rise again.]”

Then, upon entering the city, the crowds greet them with waving palm branches and shouts of “Hosanna! to the Son of David! Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21: 9, KJV)  You can almost hear the disciples, What are we to make of this? These people don’t seem to want Jesus to die? What’s going on? Is our Master mistaken?

These men walk about in a daze, not fully knowing. The next thing Jesus does is clear the temple of money-changers, saying to them, “My house shall be called the house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves.” (Matthew 21:13, KJV) Next He heals the blind and the lame. Then, He tells the chief priests and scribes that God has “perfected praise” in the mouths of infants. (Matthew 21:16, KJV) He laments over Jerusalem, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them who are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matthew 23:37, KJV)

From the moment Jesus enters Jerusalem, He challenges the chief priests, scribes, Pharisees and Sadduces as well as the Herodians. Eventually, the plot to kill Him is fully developed and His statement to His disciples comes to pass. Soon they know.

“In The Face of Doubt” ( Matthew 28 : 18 – 20, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


“The eleven disciples travel to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus directs them. When they see Him, they worship, but some doubt.” (Matthew 28: 16 – 17, HCSB)

“Some doubt:”  In that moment of doubt, Jesus reassures them. He tells them that “all authority has been given to Me” both here on earth and above in heaven. Jesus reminds them that He is the Christ, the One who is to come; the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world; the way, the truth, and the life.

And, He commands them to “go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Not only that, He tells them to “teach them to observe everything I command you.”

Jesus wants us to “make disciples.” He doesn’t just want people to hear about Him; He doesn’t just want people to be baptized. Instead He wants us to teach; to “make disciples.”

And, He is with us always, “to the end of the age.” His authority walks within us; and the earth belongs to Him.

“No Fear In Love Perfected” (Joshua 1: 9, ESV) by Carley Evans


God commands us to be brave because He “is with [us] wherever [we] go.” We are commanded by Him not to “be dismayed,” not to “be frightened.” Instead, we are to “be strong and courageous.”

Jesus tells His disciples, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me.” (John 14: 1) He tells them, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14: 27)

David tells Solomon, his son, “Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the Lord God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished.” (1 Chronicles 28: 20)

Nebuechadnezzar asks Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, “And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?” (Daniel 3: 15) They say they have no need to answer him, yet state that “our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of your hand.” (Daniel 3: 17) Of course, God does indeed deliver these three young men from Nebuechadnezzar, a man who comes to recognize that “there is no other god who is able to rescue in this way.” (Daniel 3: 29)

The author of 1 John writes, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because He first loves us.” (1 John 4: 18 – 19)

“The Least Is Greater” (Mark 9: 35, ESV) by Carley Evans


Jesus says that as we receive, accept, help, love a child in His Name, we simultaneously receive, accept, help and love Him. What we do for the least in God’s world we do for Him.

As we become “last of all and servant of all,” we come to reflect Jesus. Reflecting Jesus to others makes us first in the world.

Jesus tells His disciples that they have power over spirits, but He tells them not to rejoice in this power, but to be glad and grateful that their “names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10: 16)

He reminds them that though John the baptist is the greatest man ever born of woman, the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater.

Satan fell from heaven, and in the eyes of the world is the greatest ‘being’ here, ruling it firmly. Yet, the least in the kingdom of God is greater.

“Throw Yourself Into The Sea” (Colossians 3: 17, ESV) by Carley Evans


Paul exhorts us, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

Paul does not distinguish between word and deed. He refers to “word” as action and he refers to “deed” as action, then calls upon us to “do everything” in Jesus’ Name — align our speaking with the Lord as we align our deeds with the Lord.

What does it mean to “do everything in the Name of the Lord Jesus”?

Jesus tells His disciples, “Have faith in God. I will tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.” (Mark 11: 22 – 23)

He clarifies by adding that “whatever you ask for in prayer, believe you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11: 24)

When we come to God the Father in prayer, we come in the power of the Holy Spirit through the blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus teaches us to pray. His model prayer begins with a recognition of God as our Father, and with a hallowing or honoring of His Name. Then we call on God to achieve His will here on earth just as His will is accomplished in heaven.

As we have faith in God and ask in prayer for “anything” (which is implied in Jesus statement: “whatever you ask for”), then believe in our hearts that we “have received it” then “it will be [ours].” “Whatever we ask for in prayer” is anything which is aligned perfectly with God’s will. If aligned perfectly with the will of God, then we will believe it to be ours already, and we will receive it. The doubt comes upon us when we realize that perhaps what we ask for is not fully in God’s will. We are not certain. Therefore, we do not receive it because we doubt. Our doubt is the proof that what we are requesting is not God’s will.

So, whatever we say or do, we are to say or do in the Name of Jesus Christ. As we say and do everything in God’s Name, then whatever we ask for, we will receive. Believe; or as Jesus says, “Have faith in God.”