November 14th – The Jesus People



3000 people were baptised into Christ and his church on that first day of the first Pentecost in the Christian era. Then we read:
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:42
That verse lists four characteristics of the living church: namely: the Apostles teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer. Those four things. Let’s look at the first one today.
“They devoted themselves to the Apostles teaching”:
They were hungry to know what those who had lived with Jesus for almost three years, day and night, had to teach them about Jesus. They all believed that he was the Messiah, the Son of God, but there were so many other things they desperately needed to know. Such as, just who is He? ‘When did you Apostles discover the secret of his person?’ He was not a phantom man – nor an ordinary human promoted to the status of a god by hero worship – just what was he?
The Apostles told of their personal experiences of Jesus. The miracles of healing, the casting out of demons from the possessed, his extraordinary powers. When he ’stilled’ a storm on the lake with a word, they were awe-struck “What manner of man is this that even the wind and the sea obey him?” they gasped. The crowds were astonished and filled with wonder at his teaching. No legal hair-splitting like they were used to, but clear direct, and to the heart of things. They also taught how Jesus fulfilled the prophesies of him in the Old Testament. Not only those obvious references to him, as in Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53, which speak of God’s suffering, redeeming servant, but also his mission to bring the Kingdom of God to earth. “It’s at hand now” he said, and he meant the very realm for which Israel had been chosen, to become a working model of God’s Kingdom on earth, which all the world could see and flow toward to learn the ways of God: that’s what has arrived. He brought it.
They also wanted to know what about their old Jewish religious rules, for example, did he observe the Sabbath strictly? What about paying taxes? How did he see the occupying Roman army? What did he teach them about the Law of Moses? What did he eat? Are Kosher food laws still to be observed by Christians? What about prayer? What about worship? They couldn’t get enough of the Apostle’s teaching for they taught also about the mystery of his Passion, his crucifixion, his resurrection, his ascension, his coming again. It was not that they learned so much about Jesus, but they got to know Jesus himself.
This is how the Apostles could speak:
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete. 1st Letter of John 1:1-4
A Prayer: Lord, I can never know enough of Jesus, nor ever know him well enough. I am hungry for him.
Now read Mark 7: 1-23

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