Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Thirty Days of Jesus Redux: Day 21, Shepherd

By Elizabeth Prata

This section of verses that show Jesus’ life are focused on His earthly ministry. We’ve seen Him as servant, teacher, and now shepherd.

thirty days of Jesus day 21

Ligonier: In the bosom of the Shepherd, Isaiah 40:11 devotional

Spurgeon’s Devotional on Isaiah 40:11

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Thirty Days of Jesus Series-

Introduction/Background
Day 1: The Virgin shall conceive
Day 2: A shoot from Jesse
Day 3: God sent His Son in the fullness of time
Day 4:  Marry her, she will bear a Son

Day 5: The Babe has arrived!
Day 6: The Glory of Jesus
Day 7: Magi seek the Child
Day 8: The Magi offer gifts & worship
Day 9: The Child Grew
Day 10: The boy Jesus at the Temple
Day 11: He was Obedient!
Day 12: The Son!
Day 13: God is pleased with His Son
Day 14: Propitiation
Day 15: The gift of eternal life
Day 16: Two Kingdoms
Day 17: Jesus’ Preeminence
Day 18: Jesus is highest king
Day 19: Jesus emptied Himself
Day 20: Jesus as Teacher

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Thirty Days of Jesus Redux: Day 20, Jesus as Teacher

By Elizabeth Prata

thirty days of Jesus day 20

How can we know God unless He reveals Himself to us? The creation confirms His existence, but what does the creature know of His attributes, Person, or Power? Unless He teaches us about Himself, we will not know. God sent His Son Jesus to earth as a born-babe, to live the full life of sinlessness under the Law, and to teach us about Himself. He was prophesied to die as the atoning sacrifice, and then rise again to receive His people through His work on the cross. Grace abounds.

We are in the section of these verses throughout the series where we examine His works and ministry. Yesterday, we saw the He first emptied Himself. This is the kenosis, and it’s explained on Day 19.

Today we see Jesus as Teacher. I mentioned earlier that Jesus’ first recorded words in His incarnation was when He was in the temple as a boy. His desperate parents sought him for three days, and upon discovering him there, He said, “Did you not know I must be about my Father’s business?” Jesus had been

sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. (Luke 2:46-47).

The following is from the Christian Courier.

Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, conceded that Jesus of Nazareth was “a teacher” from God, as documented by the “signs” which he did (John 3:2). A wealthy young ruler approached the Lord asking, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” (Matthew 19:16). Even Jesus’ enemies addressed him as “Teacher” (Matthew 22:16, 24), though their use of the expression was not always genuine. The Lord is addressed as “Teacher” twenty-nine times in the Gospels. The noun (teacher) and verb (teach) combined are used of Jesus some ninety times.

Christ’s teaching was informative, logical, buttressed by Old Testament evidence, well-illustrated, documented by divine power, original, and uniquely authoritative (Matthew 7:28). When officers once were sent to arrest him, they returned to their superiors empty-handed, exclaiming: “Never man so spoke” (John 7:46). The Lord’s various methods of teaching beg for careful study. Source-

Jackson, Wayne. “Jesus: The Master Teacher.” ChristianCourier.com. Access date: December 16, 2017. https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1497-jesus-the-master-teacher

Go to the link for more.

GTY Sermon: Jesus Teaches the Teacher

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Thirty Days of Jesus Series-

Introduction/Background
Day 1: The Virgin shall conceive
Day 2: A shoot from Jesse
Day 3: God sent His Son in the fullness of time
Day 4:  Marry her, she will bear a Son

Day 5: The Babe has arrived!
Day 6: The Glory of Jesus
Day 7: Magi seek the Child
Day 8: The Magi offer gifts & worship
Day 9: The Child Grew
Day 10: The boy Jesus at the Temple
Day 11: He was Obedient!
Day 12: The Son!
Day 13: God is pleased with His Son
Day 14: Propitiation
Day 15: The gift of eternal life
Day 16: Two Kingdoms
Day 17: Jesus’ Preeminence
Day 18: Jesus is highest king
Day 19: Jesus emptied Himself

Posted in prophecy, Uncategorized

Thirty Days of Jesus Redux: Day 18, The Highest King

By Elizabeth Prata

thirty days of jesus day 18

Further Reading

Though the verse is literally speaking about King David, the relation of David to Christ means the verse also prefigures the preeminence of King Jesus. The throne, through David’s line, would last forever through Christ.

Gill’s Exposition says,

Also I will make him my firstborn,…. Or, “make him the firstborn”; make him great, as Jarchi interprets it; give him the blessing, the double portion of inheritance: so Christ is made most blessed for ever, and has all spiritual blessings in his hands; and is heir of all things, and his people joint-heirs with him. Christ is God’s “firstborn”, or “first begotten”, Hebrews 1:6, being begotten by him, and of him; … even him the Father promises to make “higher than the kings of the earth”; having a kingdom of a superior nature to theirs, and a more extensive and durable one; and even they themselves shall be subject to him; hence he is called “King of kings”, Revelation 19:16.

The King of Kings shall reign forever, His Kingdom shall endure.

Thirty Days of Jesus Series-

Introduction/Background
Day 1: The Virgin shall conceive
Day 2: A shoot from Jesse
Day 3: God sent His Son in the fullness of time
Day 4:  Marry her, she will bear a Son

Day 5: The Babe has arrived!
Day 6: The Glory of Jesus
Day 7: Magi seek the Child
Day 8: The Magi offer gifts & worship
Day 9: The Child Grew
Day 10: The boy Jesus at the Temple
Day 11: He was Obedient!
Day 12: The Son!
Day 13: God is pleased with His Son
Day 14: Propitiation
Day 15: The gift of eternal life
Day 16: Two Kingdoms
Day 17: Jesus’ Preeminence

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Thirty Days of Jesus Redux: Day 17, Jesus’ Preeminence

thirty days of jesus day 17

Further Reading

Grace To You sermon: The preeminence of Christ

Desiring God: The preeminence of Jesus for Life

Institute for Creation Research devotional: Preeminence of Christ

11 verses on the preeminence of Christ

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Thirty Days of Jesus Series-

Introduction/Background
Day 1: The Virgin shall conceive
Day 2: A shoot from Jesse
Day 3: God sent His Son in the fullness of time
Day 4:  Marry her, she will bear a Son

Day 5: The Babe has arrived!
Day 6: The Glory of Jesus
Day 7: Magi seek the Child
Day 8: The Magi offer gifts & worship
Day 9: The Child Grew
Day 10: The boy Jesus at the Temple
Day 11: He was Obedient!
Day 12: The Son!
Day 13: God is pleased with His Son
Day 14: Propitiation
Day 15: The gift of eternal life
Day 16: Two Kingdoms

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Thirty Days of Jesus Redux: Day 12, The Son!

By Elizabeth Prata

We’ve flowed through the first section of this series, in looking at verses that prophesy Jesus’ coming, His arrival, and His early life.

Starting today, from Day 12-16 we will look at verses that focus on Jesus as The Son.

thirty days of Jesus day 12

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Further Reading

Ligonier: What does ‘the world’ mean in John 3:16?

Ligonier: John 3:16 and man’s ability to choose God

Crosswalk: Why John 3:16 should be more than a slogan

Spurgeon: Devotional on John 3:16, His Love, His Gift, His Son

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Thirty Days of Jesus Series-

Introduction/Background
Day 1: The Virgin shall conceive
Day 2: A shoot from Jesse
Day 3: God sent His Son in the fullness of time
Day 4:  Marry her, she will bear a Son

Day 5: The Babe has arrived!
Day 6: The Glory of Jesus
Day 7: Magi seek the Child
Day 8: The Magi offer gifts & worship
Day 9: The Child Grew
Day 10: The boy Jesus at the Temple
Day 11: He was Obedient!

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Thirty Days of Jesus Redux: Day 11, He was obedient

By Elizabeth Prata

We’ve flowed through the first section of this series, in looking at a few verses that prophesy Jesus’ coming, His arrival, and His early life.

Starting tomorrow, from Day 12-16 we will look at verses that focus on Jesus as The Son.

From Day 17-26, verses will focus on the preeminence of the Son, His works, and Ministry.

Days 27-36, His resurrection, ascension, and return.

Yes, there are more than 30 verses, lol. There’s a postlude.

thirty days of Jesus day 11

Coffman’s Commentaries on the Bible

The precocious wisdom of the boy Jesus, and his certain consciousness of his unique relationship to the Father in heaven, were not looked upon by Jesus as sufficient to his earthly mission; but he recognized himself still to be a child. The hour of his emergence as the world’s Saviour would be awaited by him until some sure indication of the Father’s will informed him that “his hour” had come. In the meanwhile, he would not disgrace himself as a child prodigy. He manifested the noblest quality of youth, that of loving submission to his earthly parents.

Further Reading

Answers in Genesis: Christ’s Obedience to the Father

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Thirty Days of Jesus Series-

Introduction/Background
Day 1: The Virgin shall conceive
Day 2: A shoot from Jesse
Day 3: God sent His Son in the fullness of time
Day 4:  Marry her, she will bear a Son

Day 5: The Babe has arrived!
Day 6: The Glory of Jesus
Day 7: Magi seek the Child
Day 8: The Magi offer gifts & worship
Day 9: The Child Grew
Day 10: The boy Jesus at the Temple

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Thirty Days of Jesus Redux: Day 9- The Child Grew

By Elizabeth Prata

thirty days of jesus day 9
Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

Further Reading

What happened during Jesus’ childhood?

Why doesn’t the Bible say much about Jesus childhood?

The boyhood of Jesus

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Thirty Days of Jesus Series-

Introduction/Background
Day 1: The Virgin shall conceive
Day 2: A shoot from Jesse
Day 3: God sent His Son in the fullness of time
Day 4:  Marry her, she will bear a Son

Day 5: The Babe has arrived!
Day 6: The Glory of Jesus
Day 7: Magi seek the Child
Day 8: The Magi offer gifts & worship

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Thirty Days of Jesus Redux: Day 8, The Magi offer gifts & worship

thirty days of jesus day 8

By Elizabeth Prata

Thirty Days of Jesus Series-

Introduction/Background
Day 1: The Virgin shall conceive
Day 2: A shoot from Jesse
Day 3: God sent His Son in the fullness of time
Day 4:  Marry her, she will bear a Son

Day 5: The Babe has arrived!
Day 6: The Glory of Jesus
Day 7: Magi seek the Child

Further Reading:

Grace To You: What the Magi Mean To Christmas

Answers in Genesis: We Three Kings

Love Worth Finding: The Gifts of the Wise Men and Our Gifts to Jesus

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Thirty Days of Jesus Redux: Day 7, The Magi Seek the Child

By Elizabeth Prata

The flow of the series is a presentation of an initial section of 11 verses on photos depicting the life of Jesus from prophecy to birth and boyhood.

The next section (#12-16) will feature verses about the Son.

From #17-26 we will survey the Preeminence of the Son, His attributes, and His ministry.

From #27-36 we’ll look at His Resurrection, Ascension, & Return.

Yes there are more than 30 verses. I just couldn’t pare it down! There’s a postlude.

All photos are by EPrata unless otherwise noted.

There is no better refreshment for the soul than to meditate on Him. Enjoy!

I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. (Psalm 119:15)

thirty days of jesus day 7.jpg

Thirty Days of Jesus Series-

Introduction/Background
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4

Day 5
Day 6

Further Reading

Art & The Bible: Adoration of the Magi

GotQuestions: What Does the Bible say about the Three Wise Men (Magi)?

Answers in Genesis: We Three Kings

Grace To You: Who Were the Wise Men?

Posted in theology

Blasphemy: Jesus is not Isa, Isa is not Jesus

By Elizabeth Prata

For several years now we have been hearing stories of Muslim people in closed Islamic societies claiming to have had a dream of a certain person appearing to them in a white robe, sometimes introducing Himself as Isa, and variously either sharing the Gospel in the dream or saying that someone will soon come to share the Gospel with them. Missionaries have reported many Muslims allegedly coming to faith by this method.

Sadly, even former International Mission Board President David Platt repeated one of these stories in his report to the Board last summer.

Here is a full transcription of David Platt’s missions report to the IMB at the 2018 SBC meeting in June 2018.

Village in Palestine, 1890s

I explicitly said “full transcription” for a reason you’ll discover below. To read my full transcription, go here. Below is the pertinent section-

Starting at 4:18-

And here’s one fuller story: In one Muslim country in southeast Asia, one of our missionaries was with one of his national partners named Ahmad. It looked like it was about to rain, and Ahmad asked our missionary if he could borrow an old shirt to wear as he rode his motorcycle. He didn’t want to get his new jacket wet. Our missionary handed him a big, white tee shirt. It looked like it was about to rain and as Ahmad got on his motorcycle. He started on his trip though, and indeed it started raining. As many people do, he pulled his motorcycle over under an awning. As he stood there, the owners of the house nearby came out and as was their custom invited him in for tea. He went in and over tea Ahmad thought, ‘I might as well share the Gospel.’ And after he did, he asked the couple ‘Do you want to believe and be baptized?’ Without any hesitation, they said yes. Ahmad was taken back at how quickly they responded. He said, ‘Do you understand what you’re doing? You will probably be shunned by your family for this or even worse?”

“The man said, ‘You don’t understand. I’ve had several dreams over the last three nights. And in each dream a man wearing white has told me he had the way to salvation for my family and me…[interrupted by applause, Platt raises his voice]

“Last night, a man, that man, appeared to me again, and told me a man dressed in white would come to my home the next day telling me the way of salvation. When we saw you standing outside we knew we needed to invite you in and hear whatever you had to say to us.”  [rising applause].

“This formerly Muslim couple is now a follower of Isa the Messiah.”

So, if anyone asks you what’s happening at the IMB, you tell them, disciples are being made, churches are being multiplied, and Jesus Christ is being glorified among people who have never even heard his name. Mr. President that is my report on the work of the International Mission Board.

Heavy applause/ standing ovation

I transcribed this from the live video as it was being recorded by someone who was physically present. The transcription published on the IMB website OMITS that Platt had stated that the couple is now following “Isa the Messiah”, instead choosing to transcribe that Platt said the couple is following “the Messiah”. His speech was 6-minutes long and his final story about the man in the white robe began at 4:18. Unlike in past years where the full report is published on Youtube or the IMB site, this year only a recap video is available at the IMB site.

As warm and joyful as it makes any Christian to hear that many are coming to the Messiah, the method of their coming must align with the Bible. Secondly, the Messiah they are coming to must be this same Jesus. (Acts 1:11). Names are important. Count how many times in Acts, a mission-book of the Bible if there ever was one, the word “name” is stated. One must know to whom one is appealing for forgiveness of sins. Isa is not the Messiah.

Isa is a devil.

There are two issues with the Muslim dreams stories, the name and the method. First, let’s examine the issue with the name.

In Islam, Isa is a prophet of Muhammad and a messenger of Allah. In Islam, it is written that “Jesus/Isa” did not die on the cross, but was alive and unconscious, taken down and nursed in a cave.

Although this source says Christians believe ‘Isa died on a cross, and Jews claim they killed him, in reality he was not killed or crucified, and those who said he was crucified lied (An-Nisa’ 4:157). ‘Isa did not die, but ascended to Allah. (An-Nisa’ 4:158) On the day of Resurrection ‘Isa himself will be a witness against Jews and Christians for believing in his death. (An-Nisa’ 4:159).

Muslims teach that “Jesus/Isa” will arrive to break the cross and kill the pigs (Jews and Christians). (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 43, Hadith #656)

His name Isa in the Muslim world is translated Jesus in the English speaking world, but he is not THE Jesus of the Bible. Therefore he is not the real Jesus. Saying that Jesus is Isa is attributing his power to Allah, who is actually satan. Let that sink in. (Luke 12:10).

Defenders of these Muslim dreams and visions say Jesus is doing that in order to make himself known to a people who are already familiar with the name Isa and also because they readily accept supernatural dreams than Westerners. Incidentally, Muslims are not the only culture that accepts the supernatural, especially dreams and apparitions. Why would Jesus not also go to the Native American, the Aboriginal Australian, the Guajiro of Columbia, South America, or the Dene Tha of northwestern Alberta, who all also (among others) involve dreams and visions as part of daily life?

Jesus would never refer to Himself as anything but who He is, certainly He would not introduce himself as Isa, a satanic idol. He has revealed Himself in His word (Hebrews 11:1). I AM WHO I AM, He said. He is not Isa.

Now, let’s examine the issues around the method of his appearing. Would Jesus appear to Muslims and share the Gospel in this way? Or send an emissary in dreams to speak for Him?

Here is Fred Butler from Grace To You with an answer to the question:

Though it should be recognized that God can communicate the Gospel message in any fashion He so chooses, the NT teaching on evangelism involves God proclaiming the Gospel of salvation to the lost world by the means of human preaching, see for example Matthew 28:19-20, Romans 1:16, 10:13-15, and 1 Corinthians 1:21.  The Gospel message comes by the preacher who preaches biblical and theological content as contained in Scripture.  The recipients hear that message and then respond to it by either rejecting the message or believing in it with a supernaturally produced faith.

If Muslims are having dreams about Jesus who then in turn directs them to salvation, such an activity would seem to have God contradicting what He has clearly ordained in Scripture as the only legitimate means of Gospel evangelism for the Church age.

It is a shame that a well-known person such as David Platt repeated these stories of dreams and visions as credible, and worse, disastrously called Jesus Isa, (which he did, edited IMB transcription notwithstanding).

We so very much want to evangelize and disciple converts to the faith, but we should not be so eager to immediately accept conversion stories of dreams and visions until and unless we compare these methods to the Bible to see if they align.

Here are further links to credible and scriptural essays on the subject.

Gary Gilley: Muslim Dreams and Visions

An Evaluation of Muslim Dreams and Visions of Jesus [Part 1] and
An Evaluation of Muslim Dreams and Visions of Jesus [Part 2]