After Jesus heard about His cousin John the Baptist, being thrown into prison for telling the truth about Herod the Tetrarch’s sins, He came into the area beside the Sea of Galilee.
There He preached powerfully about God’s wonderful coming Kingdom of God on this Earth, as had been prophesied by the prophets of God for 4,000 years. (Jude 1:14-15, Daniel 7:18 Daniel 7:27)
Jesus told people they needed to repent of their sins and turn to loving God and living by God’s Commandments and laws of how to live. (Mark 1:14-15, Matthew 19:17)
“The time was just about ready for Jesus Christ to do many miracles” says Nanna. “Do you know what was the very first miracle Jesus did?”
Well, his mother Mary and family were attending a big wedding at Cana, and after a while they sadly ran out of wine. The bride and groom were very upset, and so Mary asked Jesus for help.
So, Jesus asked the servants to find some large clay pitchers and fill them with over 100 gallons of water. Then Jesus prayed and asked God His Father to turn the water into wine. God did so.
The servants then began to ladle the wine into glasses. The Master of Ceremonies’ man, tasted the wine and with a big smile he stood up.
He turned to the Bride and Bridegroom and announced to all the guests: “This wine is truly wonderful! You know, most people bring on the best quality wine first at a wedding and then bring on the less quality wine later. But, you are far more noble, honourable and generous, because you have served up to your guests the very, very best quality wine later!” (John 2:1-11)
Soon after this wedding, Jesus Christ began His ministry by going up into a wilderness place to fast for 40 days and 40 nights. He did this to pray to God His Father and to draw upon the strength of God, in preparation for the next important three and a half years, as prophesied by the prophets. (Matthew 4:1-11, Daniel 9:26-27)
“Do you know what happened at the end of the 40 days of fasting?” says Grandad. “Satan came to try to tempt Jesus.”
Satan the Devil said to Jesus, when He was very, very hungry: “If you are the Son of God, command that these stone become bread.”
This was a very cunning trick by Satan, because he knew Jesus was very hungry. Also, Jesus knew He could have made the stones into bread if He had wanted to, but think about that our child?
If Jesus had done so, He would have been following Satan’s suggestion, just as Eve and Adam had done in the Garden of Eden. He would have been following Satan and not following God.
So Jesus very wisely answered Satan: “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”
Then the Devil took Him to the top of the Temple in Jerusalem and tempted Jesus again: “If you are the Son of God, why not just jump off this pinnacle, for it is also written ‘He shall give His angels charge concerning You, and they shall bear you up in their hands, lest You strike your foot against a stone.’”
Satan was very cunning in the way he deceitfully used the scriptures to tempt Jesus, but He was wise against the Devil’s cunning question.
Jesus wisely answered Satan, with another scripture: “Again, it is written, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’”
The Devil tried a 3rd time to trick and tempt Jesus by taking Him to the top of a very high mountain: “All these kingdoms you can see below, and more I will give to you, with all the glory that goes with it, if you bow down and worship me.”
By now Jesus Christ had enough of Satan’s wicked temptations, so He firmly said to the Devil: “Begone Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.’”
Then Satan the Devil, who is the one who deceives the whole world, left Jesus. God then sent His angels to minister to Jesus with food and water. (Mark 1:13, Revelation 12:9)
“What things do we learn from Jesus wisdom in the way He rejected these temptations?” says Nanna.
Then came the time for Jesus and his disciples to keep God’s Passover. (John 2:13, Leviticus 23:5-8)
As Christ came into the Temple area he saw many sellers of sheep, oxen, doves, and the money changers. He was disgusted by these people making money out of people’s needs to make sacrifices and how these evil people were turning God’s Temple into a “house of merchandise”.
So he made a whip of cords and He chased this band of crooks out of the Temple, shouting out at them: “Take these things out of here! Do not make my Father’s house a house of merchandise and thieves!”
“You would think that these terrible money changers and merchants would have learned their lesson and never came back, wouldn’t you?” says Grandad. “But no, they came back and a few years later Jesus Christ once again drove them out of the Temple area.” (Matthew 21:12)
Jesus did many miracles during that Passover and 7 Days of Unleavened Bread and many people came to believe in Him being the Son of God, when they saw the miracles He did. But, Jesus was very suspicious about their faith and the reasons why they wanted to believe. (John 3:23-25)
You see, God the Father and Jesus Christ love people who truly love God and love keeping God’s Commandments and Way of life. (1 John 5:2-3)
God does not like phoney believers, who just want to feel good or they want healing or they want money or they want blessings from God or they want to be seen by other people as good Christians. (1 John 2:3-5)
Jesus said: “Why do you call me, Lord, Lord, and do not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46)
“But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:9)
“Sadly, the majority of people who call themselves “Christian” in this world, do not do the things that God has commanded and many of them even say: ‘Oh you don’t need to keep God’s Commandments and laws. All you need to do is to believe in the name of Jesus Christ’”, says Grandad.
“Well Jesus said, do not think that I have come to destroy God’s law. I did not come to destroy the law, but to fulfil the keeping of God’s law and to magnify it, so that we shouldn’t even think to break any of God’s Commandments, much less actually do evil, by sinning against them.” (Matthew 5:17-18, Matthew 5:21-22, Matthew 5:27-28)
“Yes, and Jesus said that if someone says you don’t need to keep God’s laws, that person will be considered least in the Kingdom of God, when Jesus returns, to set up the Government of God on this Earth”, says Nanna. “But the good news is, that any person who teaches about God’s good laws and lives by them, will be called great in the Kingdom of God.” (Matthew 5:19
What sort of person do you want to be in God’s sight, our child?
Least in the Kingdom …or a great person who loves God and who God will love and honour?
To be continued in Chapter 16...