Jesus’ mother knew what a wonderful son He was and how she had brought so many of her problems to Him, especially since Joseph had died, so her natural reaction, when there was a problem for her friends, was to do the same. She told Him the problem and just left it. She then told the servants to “do what ever He tells you to do” as she had discovered that whatever He had told her to do had worked out. Obedience was vital to the fulfilment of the answer.
Obedience in our lives means: yielding to authority and complying with another’s command.
Obedience in body: means following the Word of God in the area of our strengths, talents and sexuality, which are given to us by God to be used for pleasure and fulfilment according to His rules, not ours.
Obedience in our finances: means deciding that all of the resources we have ultimately come from God and that we are to be managers of them and not owners.
Obedience in soul: encompasses our mind, will and emotions. It involves the following:
- Mind – Choosing to think how God wants us to think by knowing Him and His Word, so His principles and values form the foundation of all we think and do.
- Will – Choosing to give ourselves completely to God.
- Emotions – Choosing to love God more than any other relationship, activity, achievement or possession!
Obedience in spirit means: Our born-again inner man chooses to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and to do what He says, not what we think or have always done. It includes:
- Past – Choosing to put the past behind and pressing forward.
- Present – Knowing that everything we have comes from God, Romans 1:5.
- Future – making it our main purpose to serve God and others as our life’s work.
Blessings of obedience
1. Healing – Exodus 15:26; Deuteronomy 28:1-14.
2. Saves lives – Genesis 7:5 (Noah).
3. God’s glory – Deuteronomy 8; Leviticus 9:22-23.
4. Miracles – 1 Kings 17:13,14.
5. Peace – 2 Chronicles 14:1-6.
6. Combats temptation – Luke 4:1-13.
7. Key to living as Jesus did – 1 John 2:6; Hebrews 5:8.
Mary told the servants to: “do whatever He tells you to do.” John 2:5
By changing water to wine, Jesus was not encouraging alcoholism. Drunkenness was a great disgrace. Today alcoholism presents a massive problem which few people are able to address. It threatens lives every day with people dying from alcohol-related diseases and half of fatal car accidents being related to alcohol. It is destroying family relationships and encouraging young people to lower their guard against drugs and sex. In one word it is a killer. As Christians we have to be bold and very courageous and show:
Firstly: life in Jesus Christ is so exciting that we certainly do not need any artificial stimulus for our fun. Walking with Jesus is moment-by-moment, power-packed excitement. We also need to be constantly alert and spiritually aware and to keep our armour on and prepared for all temptation.
Secondly: we should not be drunk with alcohol, but drunk with the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 5:18.
Thirdly: anything that abuses the human body (which is the Temple of the Holy Spirit) is wrong, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
Drinking wine without drunkenness is not directly condemned in the Word. Each Christian needs to pray seriously about this and not cause a problem to his brother (Matthew 18:6). God wants your temple to be holy. Whatever we have to do without is no price to pay compared to the Cross. If unsure about what is right for you, then stay on the lemonade!
Later in this chapter Jesus cleans out the Temple of the Jews, (John 2:14-16) and this is exactly what He wants to do for us in the temple of our bodies. He “gets on our case” about alcohol and, when we deal with that, He talks to us about other things we are doing. Are we eating properly? Do we dress wisely – or to kill? Do we live in divine health? Are we exercising well? Are we involved in unwise sexual activity? Do we have an unhealthy balance in any area of our physical being? Do we have any life-controlling habit?
Decide today to do something about what God is talking to you about. Ask His help to remove desires and so be in control of your life, Romans 12:1-2. If you still have a problem, do not give up but fight with the weapons God has given us (Ephesians 6:10-18) until you know that you have the victory. If you need to ask a person for help, go to someone who has the victory in that area of life, but remember it is your choice that will bring you through. No one else can do it for you.
Blood-Soaked Entry John 2:13-25
Jesus chose the time of the Passover to go to Jerusalem and start declaring who He was, helping the people to see the signs. Even the dates were important. John had already named Him the ‘Lamb of God’ twice. The Passover was the feast celebrated every year to look back to the time when the children of Israel came out of Egypt. The perfect lambs were killed. Their blood was put on the doorposts and lintels of their homes to protect them from the angel of death as he passed by and killed all the Egyptians’ first-born. Their sins were only covered (Hebrews 10:3-4) by the blood every year as they killed the lambs. Jesus knew, like John, that He was The Perfect Lamb and, when the time was right, He would shed His blood for the sins of the whole world and they would be washed away once and for all, Hebrews 10:10.
We are marked
One of the most thrilling, often-overlooked truths about the blood of Jesus is that it marks those who trust in Jesus Christ and distinguishes them from everybody else.
1. The first mark is INTERNAL, inner cleansing. When a sinner calls on the Name of the Lord to be saved and takes Jesus personally as Saviour, the blood of Jesus does a deep and thorough work. We are made clean in soul and mind – conscious, subconscious and unconscious. Every evil image is thrown down. There need be no more nightmares about hell and judgement, but God-given “visions and dreams” instead. It is wonderful to dream about Jesus. Our past has gone and God remembers it no more. There’s no need to keep digging it up and asking again for forgiveness. God never recalls it. The demons have a good go at reminding us, but God makes it clear in the Word what we are to do about it: “take every thought captive” 2 Corinthians 10:5. This, however, does not mean that we are already spiritually perfected Christians. As we feed on the Word of God, the Holy Spirit will lead us from one growth step to the next.
2. The next mark is EXTERNAL. The Bible states it is foreshadowed in the Old Testament and fulfilled in the New Testament. We read, “Moses slaughtered the ram and took some of its blood and put it on the lobe of Aaron’s right ear, on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot”. Leviticus 8:23.
This is the New Testament fulfilment
After Jesus has cleansed us inwardly from all our sins by His blood, an outward mark is impressed upon us, (Ephesians 1:13). It is one which heaven and hell can discern. Satan sees it and trembles, but his only defence is attack. God looks after His property. We cost God too much for Him to neglect and lose us.
“You are not your own, you were bought at a price”, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
When Jesus takes over, He saves and keeps us by the power of His Spirit.
“Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5.
As long as we follow Him He will not permit repossession of His property by unclean spirits.
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1.
“They overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” Revelation 12:11.
This is the glorious and perfect protection which the Lord gives His children, free of charge:
“No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the Lord, Isaiah 54:17.
No curse can be fastened on you, and no witchcraft can harm you.
“Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying, a curse that is causeless does not alight,” Proverbs 26:2.
3. The mark is ETERNAL. The blood mark stays there. It does not rub off. It outlasts time. However, we need to appreciate our salvation and keep on following Jesus. The blood of Jesus is no licence to sin. God has given us an everlasting salvation. We are His for ever, not just when we feel like it. Hallelujah! All heaven will be filled with blood-marked saints. Not one of them will go to Hell – not even accidentally.
“Satan comes in the darkness and tries to frighten the children of God with his mighty roar. But when you switch on the light of the Word of God, you discover that there is no lion, there is only a mouse with a microphone!” (Reinhard Bonnke).
“He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” Genesis 3:15 RSV.
At Calvary it happened: the foot of Jesus crushed Satan’s head. Since that moment the devil has suffered some kind of “brain-damage.” He can no more “think the things of God”, Matthew 16:23. God knew already in the Garden of Eden that the blood of His mighty Son would destroy the works of the devil. It was no empty promise when Jesus spoke to His disciples (including you and me).
“He… gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness,” Matthew 10:1.
He could do that because Jesus HAS power over the devil.
Jesus’ Blood leaves nothing untouched: body, soul, mind, spirit, heart, the depth of our being. His blood is the secret of victory. Let Jesus mark you, internally, externally, eternally and you will be a son or daughter of God, a member of the Royal House of the Lord. You then have every right to apply the Blood to cover all your possessions, activities, communications and relationships; to put a hedge about you to protect you from the works of the enemy, Job 1:10.
Make sure you have BSE. To us it is a blessing!
My Father’s House
Jesus was totally motivated by love. When He says in John 2:17 that He is “totally consumed for the Father’s house”, He is showing amazing love for the Father and for us. Even though He saw the activities in the Temple as an insult to God, He did not deal with it half-heartedly, but was righteously angry.
We need to check our own attitude towards the part of the Body of Christ in which we are involved in our area and to make sure that we are doing everything in our power to keep it growing – by each of us loving and encouraging one another. Each part of the Body is vital. A body does not function well unless each part is doing what it was made to do, and each knows how vital it is to the whole body – Ephesians 3:6; 1 Corinthians 12:12-25.
We have no time or energy to criticise the body of believers of which we are a part, as we are responsible to pray and walk in love and allow the zeal of Jesus to totally control us, Romans 12:8. Then we will have a ministry of reconciliation and encouragement. Churches up and down this nation will have ministers who know that the people are for them not against them. They will then encourage others to walk in their full potential in Jesus Christ and to feel secure in what they are doing. Then the world will know that Jesus is alive because of the way that Christians love one another. John 17:21.
Home Challenges for Power Up! – No. 4: Who has BSE (Blood-Soaked Entry)?
1. Read the notes about “Obedience”. Was there anything new? challenging?
2. Read the notes about “Alcohol”. Did you have any life-controlling problem over which you have real victory? Do you feel you can write down your experience here? Is there anything that helped you that would help others?
3. Read the section on BSE and look up the Bible references. Is there anything new for you? Do you pray each day and claim the protection of the blood for your household and yourself? If not start today.
Read John 3:1-21
4. Who was Nicodemus? What time of day did he come to see Jesus?
5. What did Nicodemus say about Jesus in John 3:2?
6. What condition did Jesus put on entering the Kingdom of God?
7. Explain what this means in your own words?
8. Have you made this decision? Would you like to share your story here?
9. Jesus re-emphasises this in John 3:7. Read John 14:6. Do you really believe that Jesus is the only way or do you think there are many ways. Why?
10. What has God done for the whole world according to John 3:16-17?
11. By what are we condemned according to John 3:18?
12. What happens when a light comes into a dark room? What do people prefer to light in their lives according to John 3:19?
13. Why do you think people prefer darkness?
14. What do you think is the light in your life?
15. What encouragement do you get from John 3:21 for the difficult situations in your life?
16. Choose a verse to memorise from this passage and write it where you will see it often.
17. Sum up in one sentence what this passage means to you.