|Volume 17 Number 1 January 2015||
Mark N. Posey
The Rich Young Ruler, whatever the reason, addressed Jesus with this profound truth, “Good Master” (Luke 18:18; Matthew 19:16). As the second person of the Godhead, Jesus is inherently good. As a teacher of righteousness, He was preeminently good. The biblical record declares that Jesus “went about doing good ”(Acts 10:38). Our Lord Himself declared, “I am the good shepherd” (John 10:14). Master (“didaskalos”) means, “teacher.” Question: Is Jesus the Good Master of my life? Does He master my attitude, actions and abilities? Does He master my time, talents and treasures? Does He master my heart, mind and soul?
Jesus is the Master Teacher (John 3:2; Matthew 19:16; 22:16-24). “Teacher” is found 29 times in the gospels, 90 times in its noun (teacher) and verb (teach) forms in the New Testament. Jesus taught in such a way that astonished those who heard Him. The reason being, Jesus taught with authority lacking in the other teachers in His day, who often only quoted other Rabbis. Jesus spoke with inherent authority – the authority of God’s revealed Word (Matthew 7:28-29). Therefore, the character, conduct and charisma of Jesus was manifested in that He practiced what He preached, He taught with authority, and He cared enough to sacrifice Himself for the world. Thus, multitudes flocked to His side and hung on every word that He spoke (i.e., “the common people heard him gladly,” Mark 12:37).
Jesus is the Master Builder (1 Corinthians 3:10-11). Jesus is building our future home (John 14:1ff), faith home (Matthew 16:18, i.e., church) and family home (Psalm 127:1). He is the foundation like no other and the most essential element of the building – the chief cornerstone (1 Peter 2:6). Heaven is described as having a firm foundation, builder and maker – God (Hebrews 11:8-10). Jesus built the universe (Colossians 1:16), the Bible (John 1:1), the church (Matthew 16:18), and He is building a city (Revelation 21:2).
Jesus is the Master Healer (Isaiah 53:4-5; 1 Peter 2:24-25). We can say without reservation that perfect, total, complete healing is God’s promise to every Christian, paid for by Jesus’ stripes and the totality of His work for us. Yet, we must also say that it is not promised to every believer right now, just as the totality of our salvation is not promised to us right now. The Bible says that we have been saved (Ephesians 2:8), that we are being saved (1 Corinthians 1:18) and that we will be saved (1 Corinthians 3:15). Even so, there is a sense in which we have been healed, are being healed and one day will be healed. God’s ultimate healing is called the “resurrection,” and it is a glorious promise to every Christian. Every “patch-up” healing in this present age anticipates the ultimate healing that will come. Thus, the healing of our minds, hearts and souls strengthens our hope for a land free from pain, sickness and dying.
Is Jesus the Good Master of your life? We are told to confess that Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:9); this means He is Lord and God (John 20:28).
Mark N. Posey
In 1 Chronicles 29:10-15, King David thanked the Lord for all the blessings of life. He led Israel in a prayer of thanksgiving as they prepared to build the Temple and appoint Solomon as their new King. Verse 13 in that passage reads, “Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.” David’s prayer teaches us about the importance of thanksgiving! Thus, for what am I thankful?
I am thankful for the blessed hope (v. 13). Blessed Hope equals “prosperous expectation.” It’s the Christian’s absolute certainty of future good. “Faith accepts, hope expects; faith appropriates, hope anticipates; faith receives, hope realizes; faith is always and only concerned with the past and present, hope is always and only concerned with the future.” The “blessed hope,” then, for which the Christian is looking is not an event, but a Person: Christ himself. “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness,” wrote Edward Mote. The return of our Lord is the great incentive for a pure and devoted life of service. Thus, God’s Grace strengthens the blessed hope: past, present and future.
Past: God’s grace redeems us (v. 11); it brings salvation to all who will receive its wonderful and marvelous blessings. Present: God’s grace reforms us (v. 12); it is instructional in nature – teaching both denial (“leaving”) and determination (“living”). Future: God’s grace rewards us (v. 13); it is a reward from the Great (“megas”) God and Savior (i.e., rescuer, deliverer, preserver).
I am thankful for the blood of Christ (v. 14). This verse is the heart of God’s grace. We are bought out of our slavery to sin and purchased for His service. Jesus gave – voluntarily. He was not pressed, coerced or forced into giving Himself. He volitionally gave! Jesus gave Himself – completely. Jesus gave not in part and parcel but totally, fully and entirely. He paid it all! Jesus gave Himself for us – as a substitute. Substitutionary atonement refers to Jesus Christ dying as a substitute for sinners.
I am thankful for the Book of God (v. 15). A message is only as strong as the authority behind the message. In this case, God’s Word is authority. Speak with all authority; proclaim the message of God’s grace! Exhort with all authority. Uplift the fallen with God’s grace! Reprove with all authority. Rebuke the sinner using God’s grace!
A leper requested the singing of “Count Your Many Blessing.” A diseased child claimed to have everything with only two sticker books and a doll. A breast cancer survivor was reminded of great blessings by remembering other survivors. Thanksgiving is not an annual event, it is a daily blessing. “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15).