Friday, October 28, 2011

Philip and the Eunuch

Monday, October 31, 2100: Acts 8:26 – 29 (NKJV)                   Who spoke to Philip?
Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert. So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.”
Who spoke to Philip? An Angel of the Lord gave Philip instruction. Also, the Spirit spoke to him. They are one and the same.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011: Acts 8:30 – 33 (NKJV)                   What did reading and understanding mean then?
So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. The place in the Scripture which he read was this:
      “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; And as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
      So He opened not His mouth.
      In His humiliation His justice was taken away, And who will declare His generation?
      For His life is taken from the earth.”
What did reading and understanding mean then? Reading out loud appeared to be the practice. But Philip was asked to explain what the passage meant.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011: Acts 8:34 – 36a (NKJV)                   Who was the prophet Isaiah writing about?
So the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water.
Who was the prophet Isaiah writing about? Jesus Christ was the person in prophecy. Note that Philip spoke not of himself but preached Jesus Christ.
Thursday, November 3, 2011: Acts 8:36b – 38 (NKJV)                   What could have hindered the Eunuch?
And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.
What could have hindered the Eunuch? Lack of personal faith in Jesus Christ was the only hindrance.
Friday, November 4, 2011: Acts 8:39 – 40 (NKJV)                   What happened next to Philip?
Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea.
What happened next to Philip? The Spirit ‘beamed’ Philip miles away to the town of Azotus.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Stephan, the first Martyr

Monday, October 24, 2011: Acts 6:6, 8 – 10 (NKJV)
Why was Stephen’s wisdom irresistible?
And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch, whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them.
And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. Then there arose some from what is called the Synagogue of the Freedmen (Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and those from Cilicia and Asia), disputing with Stephen. And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke.
Why was Stephen’s wisdom irresistible? It was not his own, but given by the Holy Spirit.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011: Acts 6:11 – 14 (NKJV)
What was the accusation?
Then they secretly induced men to say, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” And they stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes; and they came upon him, seized him, and brought him to the council. They also set up false witnesses who said, “This man does not cease to speak blasphemous words against this holy place and the law; for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs which Moses delivered to us.”
What was the accusation? Stephan was accused of speaking against the Temple and Mosaic customs.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011: Acts 7:35 – 39a (NKJV)
What was Stephan’s rebuttal?
“This Moses whom they rejected, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’ is the one God sent to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the Angel who appeared to him in the bush. He brought them out, after he had shown wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness forty years.
“This is that Moses who said to the children of Israel, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear. This is he who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the Angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers, the one who received the living oracles to give to us, whom our fathers would not obey, but rejected.
What was Stephan’s rebuttal? Their fathers rejected Moses and now they reject Moses’ prophecies.

Thursday, October 27, 2011: Acts 7:51 –53 (NKJV)
What was Stephen’s counter-accusation?
You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it.
What was Stephen’s counter-accusation? Their fathers persecuted and killed all the prophets: now they murdered the one Moses prophesied about, Jesus Christ.

Friday, October 28, 2011: Acts 7:56 – 58 (NKJV)
What was verdict?
(Stephen) said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”
Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.
What was verdict? There was none pronounced, no deliberation occurred. They cast him out of the city and stoned Stephan to death.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Angelic encounter

Monday, October 17, 2011: Matthew 28:5 – 8 (NKJV)
But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”
So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.
How does Matthew record the angelic encounter? One angel invited them to look into the empty tomb; the women did and ran away in fear and great joy.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011: Mark 16:4 – 8 (NKJV)
But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away—for it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed.
But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.”
So they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for they trembled and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
How does Mark record the angelic encounter? One young man in a long, white robe invited them to see into the empty tomb; the women did and fled trembling and amazed.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011: Luke 24:2 – 10 (NKJV)
But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’” And they remembered His words.
Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles.
How does Luke record the angelic encounter? Two men in shining garments removed the women’s perplexity by reminding them of Jesus’ words.
Thursday, October 20, 2011: John 20:11 – 18 (NKJV)
But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”
How does John record the angelic encounter? Two angels in white asked Mary why she was weeping.

Friday, October 21, 2011
Who were the women?
And many women who followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to Him, were there looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons (Matthew 27);
Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joses, and Salome, … and many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem (Mark 15);
The women who followed Him from Galilee (Luke 23);
His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene (John 19)
How many angels were seen? Where were the angels?
An angel, sitting on the stone which he rolled away; a young man clothed in a long white robe inside the tomb; two men … in shining garments, beside the women; and two angels in white at the head & feet where the body had been.
Are the gospels inconsistent in this angelic encounter?
No, they merely give different accounts of the angelic encounters that different women had.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Who took the body of Jesus Christ down from the cross?
Monday, October 10, 2011: Luke 23:50 – 53 (NKJV)
Now behold, there was a man named Joseph, a council member, a good and just man. He had not consented to their decision and deed. He was from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who himself was also waiting for the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a tomb that was hewn out of the rock, where no one had ever lain before.
Comments: If Roman soldiers had taken the body down, bones could have broken. Joseph of Arimathea might have reverently extracted the spikes against rocks, without harming any bone.

Who buried the body of Jesus Christ?
Tuesday, October 11, 2011: John 19:38 – 40 (NKJV)
After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus. And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury.
Comments: Joseph brought linen strips; Nicodemus brought spices. They might have washed the body, covered it with spices and wrapped it tightly, lamenting all the time.

Were the spectators at the burial of Jesus Christ? Were they mere spectators?
Wednesday, October 12, 2011: Mark 15:47 (NKJV)
And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses observed where He was laid.
Luke 23:54 – 56 (NKJV)
That day was the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near. And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.
Comments: It was not yet sunset, the beginning of (High) Sabbath. The women returned, prepared spices and oils and ran out of time. They rested, in accordance with Sabbath law.

Who broke the Sabbath?
Thursday, October 13, 2011: Matthew 27:62 – 66 (NKJV)
On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.”
Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard.
Comments: The chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate instead of resting. In addition, they sealed the stone and set the guard, breaking Sabbath law.

Who shook with fear?
Friday, October 14, 2011: Matthew 28:2 – 4 (NKJV)
And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.
Comments: The Roman Guard shook with fear and became like the dead when they saw the face of the Angel of the Lord, who shone like lightning.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Irony multiplied

Monday, October 3, 2011: Matthew 27:32 (NKJV)
Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. Him they compelled to bear His cross.
John 19:17 (NKJV)
And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha
What was the irony? Jesus Christ carried the cross. So did Simon the Cyrene. Both reports were true. A scourging required weeks of healing during which death could result. One condemned to be crucified was not scourged. When it became obvious that Christ was not in any condition to keep carrying the cross, Simon was forced.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011: Luke 23:26 – 32 (NKJV)
And a great multitude of the people followed Him, and women who also mourned and lamented Him. But Jesus, turning to them, said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.
What was the irony? The words of Christ prophetic and  were carried out when the Romans ransacked Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011: Mark 15:20 – 23 (NKJV)
And when they had mocked Him, they took the purple off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him out to crucify Him. And they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull. Then they gave Him wine mingled with myrrh to drink, but He did not take it.
What was the irony? Christ submitted to the soldier’s mockery but did not submit to the pain reliever.
Thursday, October 6, 2011: John 19:19 – 20 (NKJV)
Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was:
Then many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.
What was the irony? Instead of the effect “This is what we do upstart Jews,” the words written declared Christ’s true title!
Friday, October 7, 2011: John 19:21 – 22 (NKJV)
Therefore the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘He said, “I am the King of the Jews.”’”
Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”
What was the irony? The chief priests and Pilate wanted to change the words but pride prevented Pilate from doing so because the Jews asked.