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Lesson # Matt. 14:12-13
Study Material - Matt. 14:12-13
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
12 And [kai] his [autos] disciples [mathetes] came [proserchomai] , and took up [airo] the body [soma] , and [kai] buried [thapto] it [autos] , and [kai] went [erchomai] and told [apaggello] Jesus [Iesous] .
13 When [kai] Jesus [Iesous] heard [akouo] of it, he departed [anachoreo] thence [ekeithen] by [en] ship [ploion] into [eis] a desert [eremos] place [topos] apart [kata] [idios] : and [kai] when the people [ochlos] had heard [akouo] thereof, they followed [akoloutheo] him [autos] on foot [peze] out of [apo] the cities [polis] . KJV-Interlinear
12 And his disciples came and took away the body and buried it; and they went and reported to Jesus. 13 Now when Jesus heard it, He withdrew from there in a boat, to a lonely place by Himself; and when the multitudes heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities. NAS
John had a loyal following. They must have had a difficult time when they went to collect John's body. Presumably the prison personnel would not have cared about its condition or presentation to any who would come to collect it.
Here is the finality of two very different men. Herod who had power and authority, which by the way was given to him by God (Jesus Christ controls history). Recall our study in Daniel related to Nebuchadnezzar. God places everyone in their respective positions in life.
Jesus Christ controls history. He does this in three ways. The first way is through His direct will. He spoke and created the universe. God Himself actually causes events to occur. The second way is through His indirect will. God works His will through other parties. John for example was positive toward God and John did Gods will by learning functioning in his life in accordance with Gods will. God did not force or cause John to do anything, but just like you and I, we follow our hearts, with the doctrine resident in them and do what we know to be right in life. The third method of Gods control over history is through his permissive will. God allows mans volition to run free even when man is evil to the core. He allows the Herod's and Hitler's of the world to function and uses their evil ways to either punish those who need punishment, or to discipline those who need it, or to test those who need testing in this life.
Today we see events unfolding in the Middle East. Why doesn't God just strike those guilty with lightening? That is not His plan. Man must come to God through doctrine first of all, and second, history is unfolding which is shaping the world for the next dispensation - the Tribulation. Ours (the Church Age) is a dispensation of historical trends, but it is also a dispensation of previews of things to come. All the bad we are witnessing will culminate in even greater atrocities in the Tribulation which will be of similar pattern as that we see now. The terrorists, the abusive leaders of countries, the apathetic leadership of countries, those who will stand behind that which is right, and those who will do what Herod did, and think more of their reputations and political positions than of justice and right.
Jesus could have restored John's life, but He did not. Each person in history is here for a reason. Your reason might not be clear to you, especially if you have been out of fellowship and more or less out of Gods will for your life, but you do have a purpose in life.
Many folks in the world are here as filler. Not a very good legacy for ones life. For those populations that advance in their life styles with disregard for God, there is always an evil group who rise to power and inflict problems on all. For those who are positive toward God and advance in their spiritual lives, then Gods purpose sooner or later presents itself to you and you will see it clearly.
Often times we may live a very long time and then discover our purpose. It can take many years of our finally getting with the program before God can use us. Some people are just stubborn throughout their life until something happens that gets them on board with their spiritual life. John lived his whole life, about 30 years, in preparation and then he spoke out in the desert for less than two years. That was his purpose in life.
Others of us can be used for many years. David was king for several decades. And still others will miss out on their intended purpose and be just filler. What is filler? Those who make up the environment in which other positive believers grow up. Better to be a player in the show, than an extra. And history is really kind of like a show. God ordained it all and God controls it all. How? You ask again! Directly, indirectly and permissively. Better to clear up the 'directly' part. God gives each of us life. At birth of an infant child, God imputes human life into that child. God, knowing all that there is to know about each one of us, and knowing what thoughts and actions we will do in our life, can decide to give us life in any part of history of His choosing. Why were you born into the twentieth century rather in the first century? Because God wanted you here in this time and place in history. It is the best place for you and for your future. So taking into account all the thoughts, words, and actions of every human being throughout history, God can so design history such that all will work out for the best, and without ever interfering in each of our thoughts, decisions, and actions. We do those on our own.
John was the right man for the time in which he lived. He fulfilled prophecy - credibility for the Bible. He fulfilled his role of announcing the Savior - credentials of Christ. He lived a perfect life, save one moment of uncertainty from his prison cell. No other person in history has lived such a perfect life as John, and John relied on the Holy Spirit for his strength and faith throughout his entire existence, Lk. 1:15. God protected his mother through her pregnancy and then John through his life. Why? Because Satan is the arch enemy of God and Satan stands over any and all (Christ especially) who threaten his success in the angelic conflict, Rev. 12:4.
Now you and I most likely will never draw attention from Satan. We are not important enough to him. He is probably very hard at work in the Middle East and in other trouble spots of the world.
Jesus heard the news of which He would already have known was to come. He left the place where he was and did not do anything more for John. John had served his purpose in life and with honor. Herod had been given a high place of honor in that he was a leader in the region. Herod served with dishonor. John had no resources except for the power of God. Herod had all the resources of Rome at his disposal, and he abused his power and authority.
The primary issue in life is never anyone of us personally (although many people make a big deal about themselves and how others treat them), but of Christ - how we consider Him initially for salvation, then how we consider Him subsequently for our spiritual growth. To make a big deal out of ourselves and how others treat us is to make us no better than Herod. Self centered and shallow. To make a big deal in our life of Jesus Christ is to fulfill our purpose in life and in eternity to the fullest.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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