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A Jet Tour Of The Majestic Life Of Christ & God’s Authentic Word

JET-07

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A Jet Tour Of The Majestic Life Of Christ & God’s Authentic Word-

Part 7 – Pastor John Barnett

 

One spot, so many blessings.

Abraham meets Melchisadek here. Kidron Valley by the Water Tower Gates

Hezekiah prepares for God’s deliverance here. Hezekiah’s Tunnel

Jesus gives His 6th Sign here. Pool of Siloam

 

John 7-9

Both chapters deal with Jesus at the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem. Especially noteworthy is the fact that two major themes associated with Tabernacles, i.e., water and light, come to prominence in these two chapters (vv. 37–39; 8:12). At the next Passover following this celebration of Tabernacles, Jesus was crucified. The central truth that dominates this whole passage is that Jesus was on a divine timetable. His life was not random, but operated according to God’s sovereign and perfect timing and direction[1]

7:1 After these things. A 7 month gap most likely took place between chaps. 6 and 7. While chap. 6 occurred around Passover (6:4—Apr.), chap. 7 occurs at the Feast of Tabernacles (Oct.). John wrote nothing about those months since his purpose was not to present an exhaustive chronology of Christ’s life but to portray Him as the Messiah and Son of God and show how men reacted to Him. walked in Galilee. Chapter 6 indicates Jesus spent two days with the multitude of 20,000 people (6:22), but He spent 7 months teaching His 12 disciples who believed in Him. This phrase subtly highlights the great importance of discipleship, for Jesus concentrated great lengths of time upon training His future spiritual leaders.[2]

7:2 Feast of Tabernacles. See note on 5:1. The Feast of Tabernacles was associated in the OT with the ingathering of the harvest of grapes and olives (Ex. 23:16; Lev. 23:33–36, 39–43; Deut. 16:13–15), while grain was reaped between Apr. and June. The feast occurred for 7 days from the 15th to the 21st of Tishri (Sep.-Oct.). According to Josephus, this feast was the most popular of the 3 principle Jewish feasts (Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles). People living in rural areas built makeshift structures of light branches and leaves to live in for the week (hence, “booths” or “tabernacles”; cf. Lev. 23:42) while town dwellers put up similar structures on their flat roofs or in their courtyards. The feast was known for water-drawing and lamp-lighting rites to which Jesus makes reference (“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink”-vv. 37, 38 and “I am the light of the world”-8:12).[3]

5:1 feast of the Jews. John repeatedly tied his narrative to various Jewish feasts,

 

John 2:13         Passover (March/April)

John 5:1           un-named feast perhaps Trumpets/Rosh Hashanah (Sept/Oct)

John 6:4           Passover (March/April)

John 7:2           Tabernacles (Sept/Oct)

John 10:22       Hanukkah or Feast of Dedication (December)

John 11:55       Passover (March/April)

 

Jewish Feasts

 

Feast of

 

Month on Jewish Calendar

 

Day

 

Corresponding Month

 

References

 

Passover

 

Nisan

 

14

 

Mar.–Apr.

 

Ex. 12:1–14; Matt. 26:17–20

 

*Unleavened Bread

 

Nisan

 

15–21

 

Mar.–Apr.

 

Ex. 12:15–20

 

Firstfruits

 

Nisan

 

16

 

Mar.–Apr.

 

Lev. 23:9–14

 

 

 

or Sivan

 

6

 

May–June

 

Num. 28:26

 

*Pentecost (Harvest or Weeks)

 

Sivan

 

6 (50 days after barley harvest)

 

May–June

 

Deut. 16:9–12; Acts 2:1

 

Trumpets, Rosh Hashanah

 

Tishri

 

1, 2

 

Sept.–Oct.

 

Num. 29:1–6

 

Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur

 

Tishri

 

10

 

Sept.–Oct.

 

Lev. 23:26–32; Heb. 9:7

 

*Tabernacles (Booths or Ingathering)

 

Tishri

 

15–22

 

Sept.–Oct.

 

Neh. 8:13–18; John 7:2

 

Dedication (Lights), Hanukkah

 

Chislev

 

25 (8 days)

 

Nov.–Dec.

 

John 10:22

 

Purim (Lots)

 

Adar

 

14, 15

 

Feb.–Mar.

 

Esth. 9:18–32[4]

 

 

Hezekiah’s Tunnel

 

The Gihon Spring

The only spring in Jerusalem, the Gihon is a siphonic, karstic spring, and its name means “gushing”; it surges and the sound can be easily heard. It is estimated that the Gihon could have supported a population of about 2,500. The cave is a natural one, but it has been widened. Solomon was anointed at the Gihon Spring while his brother, Adonijah, was attempting to take the throne through a surreptitious coronation at En Rogel (1 Kgs 1).

 

The Tunnel

A 1750-foot (530m) tunnel carved during the reign of Hezekiah to bring water from one side of the city to the other, Hezekiah’s Tunnel together with the 6th c. tunnel of Euphalios in Greece are considered the greatest works of water engineering technology in the pre-Classical period.  Had it followed a straight line, the length would have been 1070 ft (335m) or 40% shorter.

 

The Construction

2 Kings 20:20 “As for the other events of Hezekiah’s reign, all his achievements and how he made the pool and the tunnel by which he brought water into the city…”

2 Chr 32:30 “It was Hezekiah who blocked the upper outlet of the Gihon spring and channeled the water down to the west side of the City of David.”

 

The Meeting Point

Why is the tunnel S-shaped?

  1. A. S. Macalister said the tunnel was a “pathetically helpless piece of engineering.”

Henry Sulley in 1929 first suggested that Hezekiah’s tunnel followed a natural crack in the rock.

Dan Gill argues that the two crews of diggers followed a natural karstic dissolution channel.

 

The Location of the Siloam Inscription

“[…when] (the tunnel) was driven through.  And this was the way in which it was cut through:  While […] (were) still […] axe(s), each man toward his fellow, and while there were still three cubits to be cut through, [there was heard] the voice of a man calling to his fellows, for there was an overlap in the rock on the right [and on the left].  And when the tunnel was driven through, the quarrymen hewed (the rock), each man toward his fellow, axe against axe; and the water flowed from the spring toward the reservoir for 1200 cubits, and the height of the rock above the head(s) of the quarrymen was 100 cubits.”

 

 

THE FIRST THREE SIGNS SHOW

HOW SALVATION COMES TO THE SINNER:

 

  1. HE TURNS water into wine (2:1–11)—salvation is Miraculous; Jesus is Lord of Time and Creation, nothings exists apart from Him. # 22 Cana.

 

  1. HE HEALS the nobleman’s son (4:46–54)—salvation is by faith; Jesus is Lord of Space, no distance hinders Him. # 31 Capernaum from Cana

  1. HE HEALS the paralytic (5:1–9)—salvation is by grace; Jesus is the Lord our Healer, nothing is impossible to Him. #42-44 Pools Bethesda

 

THE LAST FOUR SIGNS SHOW

THE RESULTS OF SALVATION IN THE BELIEVER:

 

  1. HE FEEDS the 5,000 (6:1–14)—salvation brings satisfaction; Jesus is the Bread of God, and the Bread of Life come down from Heaven.  # 96-101 Capernaum

 

  1. HE STILLS the storm (6:16–21)—salvation brings peace; Jesus is Lord of Nature. # 97-101) Capernaum & Sea of Galilee

 

  1. HE HEALS the blind man (9:1–7)—salvation brings light; Jesus is Lord of Sight. # 149-153 By Temple & Pool Siloam

 

  1. HE RAISES Lazarus (11:38–45)—salvation brings life; Jesus is Lord of Life. # 166-69  Bethany

 

Salem—What We Can Learn From Abraham’s Visit to Jerusalem

 

Jerusalem has had many names. When King David captured the city, it had the name Jebus. But in the days of Abraham, it was called Salem.

(Photo: City of David with Middle Bronze and Iron Age walls. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

We usually associate Abraham with Jerusalem in connection with the binding of Isaac—Abraham’s heroic willingness to sacrifice his son in the region of Moriah—today’s Temple Mount (Gen. 22:2; 2 Chron. 3:1).

But Abraham had come to Jerusalem (Salem) many years earlier. His visit there gives us more than a peek at early Jerusalem.

It gives us a lesson worth pondering.

Why Jerusalem Is Where Jerusalem Is

Ancient Jerusalem owed its location to two geographic blessings:

The valleys that surrounded it on three sides made it easily defensible.

 

The site had a continual source of water, the Gihon Spring. But the spring surfaced near the valley, making it necessary to reroute the flow and to protect the spring.

(Old Testament Jerusalem. Map courtesy of Satellite Bible Atlas)

Long before Hezekiah’s Tunnel rerouted the Gihon spring to the Pool of Siloam, the Canaanites chiseled a tunnel called the Siloam Channel to divert water to a pool south of the city.

Today visitors who don’t want to get wet in Hezekiah’s Tunnel can opt for the shorter, dry walk through the Canaanite Tunnel.

(Photo: Siloam Channel. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

In the 1990s, archaeologists Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron discovered two towers that date to the Middle Bronze Age—which includes the time of Abram.

  • The “Pool Tower” guarded the pool that the Canaanite tunnel fed.
  • The “Spring Tower” sat over the spring and guarded it.

(Photo: Spring Tower excavations. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Abram’s Meeting in the Valley of Shaveh (the King’s Valley)

Scripture describes Abram’s visit to Salem in simple terms:

After [Abram’s] return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High. —Gen. 14:17-18

The meeting took place in the King’s Valley, which is traditionally identified with the Kidron Valley (2 Sam. 18:18). If so, the meeting may have occurred near the towers that covered the water system.

Melchizedek, king of Salem, had a name that means “King of Righteousness.” Melchizedek would mean little to us if he were not mentioned elsewhere in Scripture as being very significant.

(Image: Melchizekek greets Abraham, by Charles Foster. Public Domain)

In Psalm 110:4, Melchizedek serves an illustration of the Messiah. The book of Hebrews clearly shows Melchizedek as a picture of Christ.

  • He is both priest and king of Jerusalem. No one else ever served as both.
  • The book of Hebrews points to Melchizedek’s lack of lineage as a picture of Christ as eternal.
  • Melchizedek is not a Levitical priest—and neither is Jesus—showing the temporary nature of the Old Covenant.

 

What We Can Ponder from Abram’s Visit to Salem

It’s significant that Melchizedek blesses Abram:

And he blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tenth of all. —Gen. 14:19-20

How did Abram respond? Abram gave a tenth of the spoil to Melchizedek. I wonder if this offering laid the groundwork in Abraham’s heart for his second visit to Salem. At that time he would offer God a greater sacrifice—Abraham’s own son, Isaac—in the area just north, called “Moriah”—what we know today as the Temple Mount.

God’s greatest blessing in our lives has flowed from the one who is “high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek” (Heb. 6:20).

In light of everything the Lord has done for us, how can we not do as Abraham did—and surrender to Him the very best of our lives, including our money, our children, and our very lives?

At this point on a normal guided tour, we would return to the area inside the portal of the Lions Gate and head west to follow the Via Dolorosa. But our goal is to read John’s account of the restoration of a blind man’s sight after washing in the waters of the Pool of Siloam in its actual setting. So, instead, we exit the gate, head back down the steep road into the Kidron Valley, then turn right to follow, first Derekh Ha-Ophel past the Golden Gate and the Muslim cemetery along the base of eastern city wall, then Siloam Way to the extreme southern end of the ancient City of David, the oldest part of the city, where the early kings of Judah — David, Hezekiah, Manasseh etc. — resided and where Solomon had his gardens. The relatively small area of about 11 to 12 acres is now completely outside the circuit of walls, but at the time of Jesus it was inside. At the extreme south end was the rock-cut pool called Siloam:

 

Healing of a blind man after washing at the Pool of Siloam — Between October and December 32 AD

“As he [Jesus] went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no-one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.’ Having said this, he spat on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. ‘Go,’ he told him, ‘wash in the Pool of Siloam’ (this word means sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.” (John 9:1-7)

Siloam is a Greek name derived from the Hebrew shiloah or siloah, meaning “sent,” a term which John uses as a play on words to emphasize his point that the blind man was sent to Siloam by Jesus, the one who was sent. To gain his sight, the blind man obeyed the one who was sent:

The Pool of Siloam was originally built in the 8th century BC as a storage reservoir for the water from the 1,750-foot-long Hezekiah’s Tunnel that diverted water from the Gihon Spring, Jerusalem’s only permanent source of fresh water. Under the threat of a siege by the armies of the Assyrian king Sennacherib, king Hezekiah blocked “off the water from the springs outside the city” (2 Chronicles 32:3) and brought them inside the perimeter of the city walls. Even by today’s standards the tunnel was an extraordinary engineering achievement and was dug by workers tunneling with pickaxes from both ends simultaneously. It may be the pool referred to as the “reservoir between the two walls” in Isaiah 22:9-11, and referred to elsewhere as the “Upper Pool” (2 Kings 18:17, Isaiah 7:3 and Isaiah 36:2).

Both Hezekiah’s Tunnel and the Pool of Siloam were in use in Jesus’ time. The Jews held ritual purification ceremonies at the pool, particularly around the Feast of Tabernacles when water was carried to the Temple in a large gold pitcher, possibly in the mistaken belief that the pool was the original spring of David’s city. Even today, Hezekiah’s tunnel still flows with water up to waist-high.

It was probably included in Herod’s vast building program in Jerusalem in the 1st century BC, possibly forming part of a huge bathhouse that is thought to have existed at the end of the Tyropoeon Valley which divided the Upper City from the Lower City at the time of Jesus. It would not have survived the sack of Jerusalem in 70 AD by the Romans who, as stated by Flavius Josephus, “set all on fire as far as Siloam.” (Wars of the Jews, book 6, chapter 7:2)

A reconstruction of the pool in 135 AD by the emperor Hadrian is mentioned by the anonymous Bordeaux Pilgrim (333 AD). Christians were attracted to the pool because of its association with Jesus’ healing miracle, and a church was built above it by the empress Eudocia (c. 450 AD). Excavations attest the description by the Piacenza pilgrim (570 AD): “You descend by many steps to Siloam, and above Siloam is a hanging basilica beneath which the water of Siloam rises.” This church was destroyed by the Persians in 614 AD, but the tradition of the curative powers of the water, mentioned by Byzantine pilgrims, continued among the Arabs. In the 5th century the  pool was substantial remodeled at the behest of the Empress Aelia Eudocia. This pool, having been somewhat abandoned and left to ruin, partly survives to the present day; surrounded by a high wall of stones on all sides (except for an arched entrance to Hezekiah’s tunnel – which was only rediscovered in the 19th century), the pool is quite small, and has a modestly sized mosque next to (and partly over) it. Today, the minaret of the mosque marks the location of the pool (below left).

Rediscovery of the Pool of Siloam of Jesus’ time

In the summer of 2004, workers making repairs to a damaged sewage pipe discovered some large stone steps. Archaeologists realized that at long last the ancient Pool of Siloam of Jesus’ time had finally been uncovered (above right).

The Pool of Siloam was a freshwater reservoir and a major gathering place for ancient Jews making religious pilgrimages to the city. It was a much grander affair than archaeologists previously believed. It was about 225 feet long, with three groups of five stairs each, separated by narrow landings, allowing easy access to the water.

Only the steps on three sides have been uncovered and it is not known how wide and how deep the pool was because the fourth side lies under a lush garden filled with figs, pomegranates and cabbages behind a Greek Orthodox Church. The newly discovered pool is less than 200 yards from the Pool of Siloam built by the empress Eudocia of Byzantium (modern Istanbul), who oversaw the rebuilding of several biblical sites.

 

“Scholars have said that there wasn’t a Pool of Siloam and that (the gospel of) John was using a religious conceit” to illustrate a point, said New Testament scholar James H. Charlesworth of the Princeton Theological Seminary. “Now, we have found the Pool of Siloam…exactly where John said it was. A gospel that was thought to be pure theology is now shown to be grounded in history.”

 

The discovery puts a new spotlight on what is called the pilgrimage to Jerusalem, a trip that religious law required ancient Jews to make at least once a year, said archaeologist Ronny Reich of the University of Haifa, who excavated the site.

 

“Jesus was just another pilgrim coming to Jerusalem,” he said. “It would be natural to find him there.”

 

A Lesson from Biblical Archaeology

When I walked through Hezekiah’s tunnel, and when I gazed at the broad wall he built, and when I observed Sennacherib’s prism in the British Museum, or when I tried to read the Siloam instruction in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, one lesson continued to rattle in my mind.

I have a faith rooted in history—not mystery. The words on the pages of Scripture are supporting by simple elements we can dig out of the ground.

They prove nothing, but they support it all.

How can we expect to believe in the parts of the Bible we cannot verify—like faith, the Messiah, and heaven—if the Scriptures are not also true in the natural realm?

The Bible is not primarily a history book, but what it says about history is true. The Bible is not a science book, but what it says about science is true.

This reality reminds me of what Jesus said to Nicodemus: “If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” (John 3:12).

 

With my own eyes I have seen Hezekiah’s wall, Hezekiah’s Tunnel, Sennacherib’s Prism, and the Siloam Inscription. They are real.

So is my faith.

 

 

Hezekiah’s Tunnel and Wall Give a Lesson from Archaeology

The ancient world had a bully system that worked in straightforward terms.

 

A nation would conquer a region and demand tribute—annual payment of money and goods. If you didn’t pay tribute, they’d come and kill you.

Pretty simple system.

(Photo: Hezekiah’s Tunnel. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

King Hezekiah refused to pay tribute to the bully. So the Assyrians invaded Judah.

Archaeology has unearthed treasures that reveal Hezekiah’s faith in God.

 

Hezekiah’s Tunnel Brought Water Inside Jerusalem

After Assyria invaded Judah and began besieging the fortified cities (2 Chronicles 32:1).

“Hezekiah decided with his officers and his warriors to cut off the supply of water from the springs which were outside the city, and they helped him. So many people assembled and stopped up all the springs and the stream which flowed through the region, saying, ‘Why should the kings of Assyria come and find abundant water?’ . . . It was Hezekiah who stopped the upper outlet of the waters of Gihon and directed them to the west side of the city of David” (2 Chronicles 32:3-4, 30).

(Photo: Wading through Hezekiah’s Tunnel. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Today, visitors to Jerusalem can wade through the Hezekiah’s Tunnel, chiseled beneath the City of David—an absolute marvel of engineering. (There’s also an option to walk through a “Dry Tunnel” built earlier by the Canaanites.)

How many pieces of archaeology can you interact with so closely? Very few.

The famous “Siloam Inscription,” discovered at the end of the tunnel, described in ancient Hebrew script the process of digging the passageway. The inscription now sits on the top story of the Istanbul Archaeological Museum.

(Photo: The Siloam Inscription in the Archaeological Museum in Istanbul, Turkey)

Hezekiah’s Broad Wall Enlarged Jerusalem

To protect the large number of refugees who scrambled south after Assyria invaded the northern kingdom twenty years earlier, King Hezekiah built a wall around the western hill of the city of Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 32:5).

A portion of this “broad wall” still stands for all to see in today’s Jewish Quarter.

(Photo: Hezekiah’s Broad Wall in Jerusalem. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

God Likes Us To Prepare

God Wants us to Pray

Hezekiah’s Preparations Included Prayer

They had a wall. They had water. They even had weapons. But those preparations were not where they placed their confidence.

Hezekiah prayed with the Prophet Isaiah. (What better prayer partner could you have than the prophet Isaiah?) Hezekiah’s words to his people were wonderful:

“Be strong and courageous, do not fear or be dismayed because of the king of Assyria, nor because of all the multitude which is with him; for the one with us is greater than the one with him. With him is only an arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles” (2 Chronicles 32:7-8).

And what happened? The Lord sent an angel who wiped out the Assyrian army.

So much for the bully.

The Assyrian records also record this siege. Sennacherib recorded these words on a prism:

“As to Hezekiah, the Jew, he did not submit to my yoke. I laid siege to forty-six of his strong cities, walled forts and to the countless small villages in their vicinity and conquered them . . . . Himself I made prisoner in Jerusalem, his royal residence, like a bird in a cage.”

(Photo: Photographing Sennacherib’s Prism at the British Museum in London, England)

Notice it doesn’t say he conquered Jerusalem! The Assyrian king could only boast that he surrounded it. The part about God obliterating his army, Sennacherib conveniently omitted.

Spin politics isn’t a new thing.

A Lesson from Biblical Archaeology

When I walked through Hezekiah’s tunnel, and when I gazed at the broad wall he built, and when I observed Sennacherib’s prism in the British Museum, or when I tried to read the Siloam instruction in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, one lesson continued to rattle in my mind.

I have a faith rooted in history—not mystery. The words on the pages of Scripture are supporting by simple elements we can dig out of the ground.

They prove nothing, but they support it all.

  • How can we expect to believe in the parts of the Bible we cannot verify—like faith, the Messiah, and heaven—if the Scriptures are not also true in the natural realm?
  • The Bible is not primarily a history book, but what it says about history is true. The Bible is not a science book, but what it says about science is true.
  • This reality reminds me of what Jesus said to Nicodemus: “If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” (John 3:12).

With your own eyes you can see:

Hezekiah’s wall, Hezekiah’s Tunnel, Sennacherib’s Prism, and the Siloam Inscription.

They are real.

So is my faith.

 

#20: Siloam: How well do you see Jesus?

Read: John 9:1-11 Christ opened eyes

Salvation opened our eyes: Acts 26:18

 

What can keep us from seeing Jesus in daily life?

 “Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are blind, and naked—I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments … that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see (Revelation 3:17–18, emphasis added).

 

Danger 1—Beware of the sins of old age. These sins (which can occur at any age) can erase Christ’s “Well done!” Remember Solomon: he began by sacrificing thousands of animals and building the most beautiful worship place for the Lord, but he failed to finish well. He got to heaven yet so as by fire. (In today’s language, we’d say that Solomon got into heaven “by the skin of his teeth.”) What are these sins of old age?

The Lust for Comfort and Convenience: This sin is epidemic. We continually lust for comfort. A life consumed with a lust for comfort and convenience like that won’t finish well.

Greed for Recognition: Older people usually want to receive recognition of some sort. In fact, it seems that almost everyone lusts for the applause of others. We must beware of seeking approval from people and instead seek approval only from God.

Covetousness for Security: Our whole country has become security-obsessed. People want to know how to best secure retirement funds, how to secure college education funds, how to get job security, and how to secure their homes and other possessions. We are caught up in the pursuit of security, and are wasting valuable time and energy to protect things we cannot keep.

These sins of old age—the lust for comfort, greed for recognition, and covetousness for security—can erase Christ’s “Well done!”

 

Danger 2—Beware of the problem of exceptionism. What is exceptionism? It is thinking that your life is an exception to God’s Word. Thus you excuse yourself from doing anything for heaven because of things like your past, pain, poverty, or poor self-image.

Think carefully on this: you will never be in the future what you are not becoming today. If you are not responding to and obeying God’s Word now, and you feel like you’re always an exception, that attitude will stay with you till the end.

 

Danger 3—Beware of unmortified pockets of pride. “Unmortified pockets of pride” means allowing pride to grow can make you secretly, inwardly proud of your intellect (thinking you are smarter than others), or proud of your achievements, or proud of your goodness (“I’m not as bad as they are”). Sin, in the light of sin, never does look bad, but sin in the light of God’s holiness always looks bad. Pockets of pride in your life can erase Christ’s “Well done!”

Helen H. Lemmel (1864–1961), the blind hymn writer, gave us this beautiful song. I invite you to turn your eyes fully upon your precious Jesus as you sing the words to this great song. Its chorus packs a powerful message for today’s church!

 

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

O soul, are you weary and troubled?

No light in the darkness you see?

There’s light for a look at the Savior,

And life more abundant and free!

 

Thro’ death into life ever-lasting

He passed, and we followed Him there;

Over us sin no more hath dominion—

For more than conq’rors we are.

 

His word shall not fail you—He promised;

Believe Him, and all will be well:

Then go to a world that is dying,

His perfect salvation to tell!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in His wonderful face,

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of His glory and grace.1

 

Ask Him here today to open your eyes.

 

[1] MacArthur, J., Jr. (Ed.). (1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed., p. 1593). Nashville, TN: Word Pub.

[2] MacArthur, J., Jr. (Ed.). (1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed., p. 1594). Nashville, TN: Word Pub.

[3] MacArthur, J., Jr. (Ed.). (1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed., p. 1594). Nashville, TN: Word Pub.

* The three major feasts for which all males of Israel were required to travel to the temple in Jerusalem (Ex. 23:14–19).

* The three major feasts for which all males of Israel were required to travel to the temple in Jerusalem (Ex. 23:14–19).

* The three major feasts for which all males of Israel were required to travel to the temple in Jerusalem (Ex. 23:14–19).

[4] MacArthur, J., Jr. (Ed.). (1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed., p. 185). Nashville, TN: Word Pub.

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