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Acts 5:12-42

Jesus faced opposition while on Earth, and after He ascended to Heaven, the apostles faced opposition as well.  Because of Jesus, they were able to perform miracles for the people to witness.  The Sadducees knew about this and were very jealous.  They decided to arrest the apostles.  Subsequently, the apostles were put in jail.  However, at nighttime, an angel opened the jail doors and told them to go and teach the people.

The next day, the officers had to tell the Sanhedrin that even though there were guards and a “securely locked” jail door, the apostles weren’t there.  That report confused the chief priests.

God sent the apostles an angel to get them out of jail.  I believe God sent me an angel on 5/21/09.  I was driving without my family on Bever Avenue, a busy street, when someone ran a stop sign and headed for the left front of the car.  I was forced to swerve immediately to the right onto a side street, and unfortunately, there was a little car that suddenly appeared at a stop sign there, right in my path.  I closed my eyes and braced for the impact as my tires screeched, but instead, the front of our car just seemed to float.  When I opened my eyes, I saw the little car I had tried to avoid still at the stop sign, with no damage.  I was pointed in the right direction.  Shaken, I drove very slowly and found a place to park.  I checked out the car.  There wasn’t any damage, and I wasn’t injured!

Believe what you like, but I believe God sent an angel to pick up our car.  Thanks be to God, my rescuer!


Acts 3-4:1-22

There are many accounts of healing by Jesus in the New Testament.  But after Jesus ascended to Heaven, Peter and John later came upon a 40+-year-old man who was crippled.  The crippled man had been brought to the temple gate each day so he could beg.   Peter called on the power of Jesus’ name for the man and he was healed!  The man jumped around, praising God.  He wasn’t the only one praising God.  Shocked onlookers that knew the man, ran to them, praising God too.

Oh, the power of Jesus’ name!  If the man’s mother was around, I’m guessing she would have been one of the loudest praising God.  PRAISE GOD!


Luke 22:49-59, John 18:10-11, 25-27

In Luke and John, we read about a man named Malchus.  Who’s Malchus?  Well, before Jesus was arrested, Peter wielded his sword and chopped off Malchus’ ear.  Jesus then healed him.  Malchus was a servant of the high priest.  Later, one of Malchus’ relatives asked Peter if he was with Jesus in the garden.  And as you probably remember, others questioned Peter as well.

Regarding those who questioned Peter, Luke mentioned, “a servant girl,” a man, and “another.”  John gave the significant detail of Malchus’ relative to this account.

The Reformation Study Bible says about Malchus’ relative, “A question by this man endangered Peter more than the previous ones, since he might have wanted to avenge Malchus.”  And the NIV Study Bible says, “a relative.  Another piece of information we owe to John.  A relative would have a deeper interest in the swordsman than other people had.  But the light in the garden would have been dim, as in the courtyard (a charcoal fire glows, but does not have flames.)”

This chapter in Peter’s life included Malchus and a relative of his.  What feelings would Malchus have had?  Malchus probably screamed when his ear was cut off.  I don’t know if Malchus had time to be angry at Peter since Jesus healed him so fast.  If Malchus’ relative tried to rile Malchus later about Peter, Malchus might have instead secretly told him about the loving, healing touch of Jesus.  After all, Jesus has a way of stealing the show.


John 18:1-9

One of the most interesting parts in the Bible is Jesus’ words right before He’s arrested and what followed.  Soldiers and Pharisees were coming after Jesus, but “they drew back and fell to the ground” after Jesus said, “I am he…”

Liberty Bible Commentary says about verse 6, “The crowd was caught off guard by the unusual behavior of Christ.  He calmly faced the crowd, identified Himself, and made no effort to escape.”

I wanted a visual for the action in John 18:4-6 and found a 2003 movie called, The Gospel of John.  With eager anticipation, I watched the scene where the actor for Jesus said, “I am he” and watched closely as Roman soldiers looked slightly fearful and walked backward a few steps.  Someone behind them seemed to have fallen since they looked down behind them.  Seriously?  If I could have directed that scene, I would want at least 10 falling Pharisees and soldiers.  Bummer.


John 11, 11:16, John 20:24-31

Most have probably heard of “Doubting Thomas” and that the reason he’s been called that is because he doubted the disciples had seen Jesus.  He doubted until he saw Jesus for himself.  That Thomas is found in John 20.

If you go back to John 11, you read about the same Thomas, but he’s acting in an honorable way.  Jesus had heard Lazarus in Judea was sick.  A couple days later, Jesus wanted to go to him even though the Jews had recently attempted to stone Him.  Thomas (Didymus) then bravely told the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

There’s no doubt that Thomas doubted.  But let’s not forget Thomas’ bravery for Jesus.


John 9:13-41

In John 9, Jesus had healed a formerly blind man, and Pharisees had the man in the hot seat peppering him with questions about the healing.  The man became exasperated and asked, “Do you want to become his disciples, too?”  The Pharisees seemed flabbergasted when they replied, “…but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.”  Then, the healed man said, “Now that is remarkable!  You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes…”.

Jesus later intercepted the man and spoke of spiritual blindness with Pharisees nearby.  They remarked, “What?  Are we blind too?”  The flabbergasted Pharisees strike again.

John 1:44-50, 21:1-14

Nathanael was with Jesus at the beginning of His ministry and at the end of His earthly ministry.  Near the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, Nathanael wondered aloud about Nazareth if “anything good could come from there.”  Soon, he found himself talking with Jesus, who amazed him by saying he had seen Nathanael by a fig tree before he was called.  He became a disciple.  Nathanael was from Cana, less than 10 miles north of Nazareth.

Why did Nathanael make that disparaging remark about Nazareth?  For an answer, I referred to R. C.  Sproul’s Reformation Study Bible which says, “Nathanael apparently expresses contemporary skepticism that a prophet could arise from Galilee.  Nazareth was an insignificant village, not mentioned in the Old Testament or other Jewish literature of the time.”

At the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry, when He was making one of His unforgettable appearances, this time causing the near net-breaking fish catch at the Sea of Galilee, Nathanael was there.  Interestingly, Nathanael’s hometown of Cana is over 10 miles west of the Sea of Galilee, so he had a farther distance to travel to the Sea of Galilee than Peter, who was from Bethsaida, less than 2.5 miles away.

Nathanael wondered how something good could come from Nazareth.  Nathanael soon got to experience Jesus’ miracles.


Matthew 26:32, 28:1-7, Mark 16:3, John 20:19, Revelation 22:20

For Children’s Church this Easter Sunday, we brought a colorful bag with chocolate crosses.  We sang, “Hear the Bells Ringing” and I read the verse that goes with the hymn, Matthew 28:6.  The verse says, “He is not here: for He is risen, as He said.”

Let’s take a closer look at the above verse and other related Scripture.  The “angel of the Lord” came from Heaven to roll the stone of Jesus’ tomb back.  Why did the angel move the stone?  It certainly wasn’t for Jesus.  In John 20:19, Jesus unexpectedly greeted the disciples after going through a locked door.  No, a large stone wouldn’t stop Jesus.  The women going to Jesus’ tomb, however, were concerned about the stone obstacle.  The angel moved the stone for them.

With the appearance of the angel came not only the moving of the stone but an earthquake.  The tomb guards were shaking “and became like dead men.”  When we think of the deceased, we know that they are not standing, but lying down.  The fearful guards were probably lying down on the ground in front of the tomb.

The angel dealt with the stone and the guards and sat on the stone.  I picture the women possibly struggling to keep walking with the earthquake (if it wasn’t just around the tomb), being afraid yet pleasantly surprised to see the guards out of commission, feeling a new fear and maybe gasping greatly as they witnessed the intimidating appearance of the angel of the Lord.  The angel knocked out two obstacles before the women arrived, and so apparently knew they were coming.  When they saw the angel, the angel said, “He is not here: for He is risen, as He said.”  By saying this, the angel revealed he knew the words Jesus spoke while on Earth and expected Jesus’ words to come true.  To me, “as He said” could show a little irritation that people on Earth didn’t remember what Jesus said in Matthew 26:32, and they appeared not to believe what Jesus said would happen.

What did Jesus say in Matthew 26:32?  He said, “But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”  After the angel told the women, “as He said,” he spoke, “Come and see the place where he lay.  Then go quickly and tell his disciples:  ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee.  There you will see him.  ‘Now I have told you.”

The angel believed that whatever Jesus said would happen would come to pass.  Jesus said He would rise from the dead and He did.  In Revelation, Jesus said He’s coming.  I believe Him!

Revelation 7:9-10

Mark 11:9

My wonderful husband, John, pointed me to a place with palm branches last week so we could celebrate Palm Sunday in Children’s Church today.  As I started to pass out palm branches this morning, one boy asked if he could have two.  I gladly gave him two and then of course the other kids wanted (and got) two too.  As we sang, “Hosanna, Loud Hosanna,” it felt so good to see everyone praising God waving those branches.  I told them they could take them home where they could continue to praise Jesus.

In the third verse of “Hosanna, Loud Hosanna” it says, “…O may we ever praise Him with heart and life and voice, and in His blissful presence eternally rejoice!”  Today this verse reminds me of Rev. 7:9-10, where the disciple John saw a colossal crowd before Jesus and the throne.  They held palm branches, and with a deafening shout, shouted, “Salvation comes from our God upon the throne, and from the Lamb.”  They were praising Him loudly.

Will you give Jesus a shout-out today?  HOSANNA!

John 12:12-19

Mark 11:1-11

I hope that someday in Heaven, the scene is recreated of Jesus going into Jerusalem on an unridden colt surrounded by a crowd wielding palm branches and shouting, “Hosanna!”  As you read this account you can feel the excitement.  I wonder if the new colt tossed its head in reaction to the frenzied crowd.

As I went shopping this afternoon for palm branches, I wasn’t feeling the world’s excitement.  I went to three different stores and although there were plenty of pink rabbit planters and neon-colored polka dot plastic eggs for Easter, there were no palm branches.  I came home empty-handed except for a bag of popcorn that looked good.  I was surprised since Palm Sunday is this upcoming Sunday and Easter is the week after that.

As I got in the car, I turned on a Christian radio station and heard the words of Sidewalk Prophets’ song, “Help Me Find It.”   I had to smile.