Shall we turn to Mark’s gospel chapter three. As we continue our study and our journey through the Word of God, as we get into the third chapter, we find the story of,
Jesus entering into the synagogue in Capernaum; where there was a man there on the sabbath day with a withered hand (3:1).
Now the Greek language would indicate that this was not a condition from birth but his hand had become withered and probably as the result of a stroke. Whatever the cause, he was unable to use the hand. And they, that is the scribes who were there in the synagogue, not to worship but to see that traditions were observed, that nothing was done out of order or out of traditions, the scribes were watching Jesus to see if He would violate their traditional observance of the sabbath day and according to their traditions, not according to the law but according to their interpretation, where the law said, Thou shalt not do any servile work on the sabbath day, they had interpreted servile work, one of the works, as that of healing. And thus, they had considered that healing someone on the sabbath day was a violation of the law. Now they did say that you could do whatever was necessary to save a person’s life. You could take emergency means such as tying a tourniquet on a person who’s bleeding to death, but you could do nothing towards the healing process until the sabbath day was over. That was strictly traditional, not in the law at all, but in their interpretation of the law.
So they were watching Jesus (3:2),
to see if He would violate their interpretation of the law
would He heal on the sabbath day (3:2);
In our last chapter, the last episode of chapter two, we find that Jesus was going through the wheat fields with His disciples on the sabbath day, they began to pick the wheat, rub it in their hands to knock the chaff off, and to eat it and they found fault, Why do your disciples do that which is not lawful? And Jesus declared that the sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath, and that He was Lord of the sabbath. So this upset them. Now it’s the sabbath day in Capernaum, same issue, the interpretation of the sabbath day, according to their understanding and interpreting of the law, will He heal on the sabbath day?
in order that they might accuse him (3:2).
they’re seeking to find fault with Him. Anything for which they can made accusations against Him.
So Jesus turning to the scribes (3:4),
those who were seeking to form charges against Him, He asked them,
Is it lawful on sabbath days, to do good or to do evil (3:4)?
To heal a man with a withered hand would be good. Not to heal the man with a withered hand if you had the capacity to do so would be evil. So is it lawful to do good or to do evil? Now it’s a very logical question and He had them, there couldn’t say, It’s not lawful to do good. They couldn’t say that. So He had them and they knew it so they didn’t answer Him.
He said, Is it lawful to heal, or to kill? to do good or evil? heal or kill? And they really had no response for Him. And then He said to the man with the withered hand, Stretch forth your hand (3:4,5).
In commanding him to stretch forth his hand, He is commanding the man to do something which is totally impossible for him to do. It’s an impossible command. And at this point, the man has a choice. One, to argue with the command of Jesus and to tell Jesus all of the reasons why he could not stretch forth his hand. He could tell Him all about the stroke or whatever it was that created the blight, and he could give Him all the reasons why that was an impossibility. I just can’t do it. I tried to do it many times, just doesn’t work, I have no control. And he could have told Jesus all about his own personal weaknesses. Or he could will to obey the command of Jesus. And he can allow his brain to give a message once more to that hand, move. He chose the second, he willed to obey the command of Jesus and he discovered the moment he willed to obey the command of Jesus, what was an impossible command, everything that was necessary to obey was given to him by the Spirit. Now there’s important lessons for us here.
Because Jesus gives us commands concerning the blight or the weakness in our lives, that withered area of your life, and Jesus addresses those withered areas. Maybe it’s a weakness, a penchant towards a particular sin. And the Lord says to you, Be victorious in that area of your life, and unfortunately, so many times, we choose to tell the Lord why we can’t. How many times have we tried, and how weak we are, and we’re prone to just give Him all the excuses why we can’t do it. Whereas if we would will to obey, we would discover that immediately, all that was necessary to obey would be given to us.
I do note that the enemies of Jesus seem to have a keener insight concerning Him than even His disciples and many of us today. For when Jesus entered the synagogue on that sabbath day, knowing that this man was sitting there with the withered hand, as Jesus entered the door of the synagogue, they immediately associated Jesus with the man with the withered hand. They knew that Jesus would be interested in him and interested in helping him. So they watched to see if He would heal Him. They realize that Jesus would be concerned and wanting to help that man. They associated Jesus in their minds with the man with the greatest need. As Jesus had said earlier, I didn’t come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. They that are whole need not the physician but they that are sick. And Jesus came to minister to those people who have the greatest need. And they knew that and they instinctively realized that Jesus would be interested in that man.
We so often feel that the Lord is not interested in us because of our great need, because of that blighted area in our life, because of that weakness that we have, we feel the Lord is just tired of me, He’s tired of trying to help me, He’s not interested in me. Somehow, we look around and we see all the righteous people and all of the wonderful people and we think, the Lord’s interested I them, I can understand that. But He’s really not interested in me because I have failed and I have this weakness and I have this blighted area in my life. But you are the one that He is most attracted to because He came to seek and to save those who are lost, to help those who are weak, to heal. So we are told that,
He looked upon them with anger (3:5),
Now this is an emotion that we rarely associate with Jesus, anger. He was one of the coolest. Nothing seemed to disturb Him, except religious blindness. This is the thing that remember the other time where we saw Jesus angry? When He came into the temple and found that they had made merchandise out of the temple? They were using it for their own personal profits in selling the doves and the certified animals for sacrifice, and He made the scourge and began to drive them out angry. Here again, His anger was stirred by the religious people who, because of their narrow religious traditions, would keep a man from experiencing the touch of God and the help of God in his life. That angered Jesus and I believe rightfully so. Narrow, religious traditions that keep men from experiencing the touch of God, that God desires to bless them, but the religious traditions would keep them from that. It angered Jesus then, I believe it angers Jesus today. When the man was healed,
They immediately took counsel with the Herodians (3:6)
The Herodians were friends of Rome. The scribes and Pharisees, they would never think of eating with the Gentiles, of even having any kind of commerce with the Gentiles, touching a Gentile, they wouldn’t do that. But the Herodians were those Jews who were a part of Herod’s court and have become friends of Rome. And they were courting the favor of Rome. So the Herodians and the scribes and Pharisees were opposed to each other. But they were united in their common desire to destroy Jesus. And as we pointed out this morning, it seems incomprehensible that men would want to destroy Jesus. And why? Because he healed a man with a withered hand, contrary to their religious convictions, because it was a sabbath day. So they want to kill Him, now their law says, Thou shalt not kill, that does not seem to bother them. What an inconsistency! What a blindness!
and so they sought how they might destroy him (3:6).
And from here on, we’re going to find the breach between Jesus and the religious leaders becoming greater and greater, until finally, they have Him arrested, they bring Him to Pilate, to receive the sentence of crucifixion. And Pilate having examined Him, went out to the people and said, I’ve examined Him and I find no fault with Him. The people just irrationally cried, Let Him be crucified. Pilate said, Why? What evil has He done? Give me some charges. But it was totally irrational, they only cried the more, Let Him be crucified.
The ministry of Jesus is summed up, He went around doing good and healing all manner of sicknesses. That was the story of what He had done. Nothing but good. He taught that we should love one another. That we should forgive one another. That we should be merciful. And He taught that we should not strive, we should not be jealous of others and the things that He taught were right, they were good concepts, to live a good life, a holy life, a righteous life, a pure life. And He did nothing but good. And yet, He was a threat to the religious leaders.
The Bible tells us that Pilate knew that it was just for, because they were jealous that they delivered Jesus to be crucified. That was the real motive of their heart. This whole business of we’re trying to make sure the law is kept is a big farce. Down inside, they were jealous. They had already said, Look, if this man continues in His popularity, we’re going to be out of business. Everybody is being drawn to Him. We’ll not be able to rip them off when they come into the temple to worship God. And so they determined that something had to be done. Tragic, tragic, but even more tragic is the fact that there are people today who are still seeking to destroy Jesus.
They’re seeking to destroy the influence of Jesus in our society. They try to destroy God and they make up all kinds of fanciful stories, fairy tales, under the guise of science and try to explain our existence apart from God. When I was a child, I always loved the story of the princess who saw this little frog at the pond and became very fondly affectionate for that little frog. It seemed to be so friendly. And one day, on impulse, she leaned over and kissed the little frog and instantly it turned into a handsome prince, and they were married, the prince who had received a curse from a witch or something and he could only become a handsome prince again if a beautiful princess would kiss him. And so they lived happily ever after. He turned from a frog to a prince. Do you really believe that? Well that’s the story that men of science are telling you today, only it didn’t happen instantly, it took two billion years. But the frog turned into a prince, into a man, just took longer. It’s just as fanciful a fairy tale over two billion years as it is overnight or instantly. It’s the same. Interestingly enough, just interesting, the genetic code in the DNA in a frog is extremely more complex than the genetic code in your body. So the possibility if evolution is so, we’re moving towards the frog rather than the frog moving towards us. Little things they like to ignore.
There is this plotting now to destroy Jesus and so rather than a confrontation at this time, it’s going to come, but now is not the time for it. When the time comes, Jesus will face it squarely, He’ll go to Jerusalem when His hour comes. But it is not yet and so we find that,
He withdrew himself with his disciples to the sea [along the shores of the sea of Galilee, out of Capernaum]: and a great multitude from Galilee followed him, and from Judaea (3:7),
People now were gathering to the region of the Galilee even from the area around Jerusalem down in the south, Judaea, they were coming up and people from around Galilee. Now we are told by Josephus that at that particular time that Jesus was ministering, in the ten cities of the Decapolis, the population of these ten cities was about 25,000 at least in each city. So there’s a large population there in the Galilee region but they’re also gathering from the area of Judaea.
From Jerusalem, and from Idumaea [down in the southern part across the Dead Sea], and from beyond Jordan; and from about Tyre and Sidon [from the coast of Phoenicia], great multitudes (3:8),
Hearing about Jesus, hearing about the miracles of healing are gathering, so much so, the great multitude,
when they had heard what great things he did, they came to him. And so he told his disciples, Let’s get a small ship that we have it here because of the multitude, lest they should throng him (3:8,9).
So Jesus was getting in this little ship and getting away from the shore a bit and teaching the people because they were pressing. You know how crowds are, they want to get close, they want to press. In fact, the people were desiring to touch Him. So it must have been extremely difficult with these huge crowds of people, just pressing upon Him. So the little ship was so that they could pull out as we are told in one of the gospels how that Jesus said, Just pull out a little ways and He taught the people from the ship. And so here it is, a little ship to wait on Him because of the multitude lest they should throng Him.
For he had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon him to touch him, as many people who had plagues (3:10).
Just pushing their way through, shoving, pushing, getting close enough to touch Him. And when a person has a plague, when a person is very sick, they can become very pushy and shoving to get help. And thus, they were pressing Jesus.
And unclean spirits [demons], when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God. And he strictly charged them that they should not make him known. And then we find that He went up to a mountain, and He called unto him those whom he would: and they came unto him (3:11-13).
Notice that He called unto Him whom He would. He is now going to choose of the many disciples that are following Him, twelve to be called apostles. But it is His choice, He is the one who is going to choose them and later, in John chapter fifteen, the night that Jesus is betrayed, on that last night with Him, He turns to them and He said, “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained that you should be my disciples, and that you should bring forth fruit, and your fruit should remain” (John 15:16). So these He called and those He called, He chose.
He ordained, He willed that they should be His apostles, that He might send them forth to preach. And to have power to heal the sicknesses, and to cast out devils (3:14,15):
To do the things that He was doing. He ordained them that they should be with Him, that they might be sent forth to preach, and He gave to them the power to do the works that He was doing.
And Simon who surnamed Peter (3:16);
It was Jesus who changed his name. When He first met him, He said, You are Simon, but you shall be Cephas. When in Caesarea, Philippi, when Jesus said, Whom do men say that I am? Peter said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus said, “Blessed art thou, Simon son of Joanna, Barjona, [“bar” is son]: flesh and blood did not reveal this unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say unto you, that you are Petros, [you are stone or a little rock] and upon this Petra, I will build my church” (Matthew 16:17,18). Play on words here, Petros, little stone; petra, great rock. He’s not saying you are petra, you’re not the great rock, you’re a little stone. But upon the great rock I will build my church. What great rock? The confession of Peter that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God. That is the foundation upon which the church is built. “No other foundation have we than that which is already laid,” Paul said, “which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11). So you are Petros, little stone. Upon this Petra, I will build my church. So it was Jesus that called him.
Now it is interesting to me that probably the most vacillating of all these guys was Peter. He was a guy that was always wishy-washy and Jesus yet says, You’re going to be a rock. Knowing what could be through the power of the Holy Spirit. The one who was to deny Him. The one who was to draw the sword and start to fight and have to be rebuked by Jesus and told to put away the sword. The one who walked on the water and began to sink, just didn’t have it together. But yet the Lord said, You’re going to be a rock. And He changed his name to “rock, Rocky.”
He changed also the names of James and John.
James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, that means, sons of thunder (3:17):
And it was probably sort of a nickname that Jesus gave them because these were the guys that were ready to call down fire from heaven on some of the enemies of Jesus. And so when some people were giving Jesus a bad time, they said, Lord, you want us to call down fire from heaven and consume them? And so Jesus probably from that time called them sons of thunder.
And then Andrew (3:18),
Andrew was the brother of Peter but he was previously a disciple of John the Baptist and we are told that he was standing with John the Baptist as Jesus passed by and John said to him, “Behold, the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29). And Andrew came to Jesus and Jesus stopped and Andrew really, sort of at a loss what to say, said, Where do you live? And so Jesus just said, Come and see. It was Andrew then who went to Peter and he said, We have found the Messiah. And so it was Andrew who brought Peter, his brother. Andrew has sort of a, he appears in other places but whenever you see Andrew he is always bringing people to Jesus. Good job. When the multitude was there on the hillside and they, Jesus said, We need to feed them. It was Andrew who brought the little boy to Jesus with the five loaves and the two fish. It was Andrew who brought Peter to Jesus. It was Andrew who, when the Greeks came, saying we would see Christ, it was Andrew who came to Jesus with the request that the Greeks were seeking to see Him. Then there was,
Philip, and then there was Bartholomew (3:18),
Bartholomew was also named Nathaniel, and thus he was the one that Jesus said, Behold, an Israelite in which there is no guile. He was the one that Philip had called to come and see the Messiah. And when he met Jesus He said, An Israelite in whom there is no guile. Then there was,
Matthew wrote the gospel. He was a tax collector, we know a little bit about him. We had him in the last lesson. And then there was,
The doubting skeptic, a man who didn’t pretend to know something he didn’t. When Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know. Thomas said, Lord, we don’t know where you’re going; how can we know the way?” (John 14:1-5). He wasn’t, so many times we just sort of nod our head, yeah, yeah, we understand. Not Thomas, he was a guy that, show me. And then there was,
James the son of Alphaeus (3:18),
Of this James, we don’t know anything. He doesn’t seem to appear except on the listings but we really don’t know anything about this particular James, the son of Alphaeus. Then there was,
He was also called Judas and in the last night with Jesus, in the fourteenth chapter of John, when Jesus talked about how “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and we will come, and manifest ourselves unto them. And Judas, that is, not Iscariot, said unto him, Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself unto us, and not unto the world” (John 14:21,22)? Now that’s all we know about this particular Judas, that he appeared once more in the record but only as a questioner on the night of the paschal supper. And then there was,
Simon the Canaanite (3:18),
He was also known as the zealot. And the zealots were a radical revolutionary group. Radical guys. And no doubt he became radical for Jesus. But we don’t know much about him. And then,
Judas Iscariot, [we know much about Judas Iscariot] which also betrayed him: and they went into an house (3:19).
Or a home, and the Greek would indicate more or less a home where Jesus stayed generally and that probably would have been the home of Peter there in Capernaum.
And the multitude came together again, so they could not as much as eat bread (3:20).
There were so many people, so many pressures, so many people coming for help, they didn’t even have time to eat. I’ve seen that on a few occasions where you get so busy, you don’t even take time to eat, you don’t have time to eat. And so they didn’t even have time to eat bread.
And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself (3:21).
His friends thought that He was losing it. The term “beside himself” is used for a person who’s losing it, he’s gotten to the place where he’s talking to himself. So that’s the idea of “beside himself.” You say, where are we going to go? I don’t know, where are we going to go? And so that’s the idea of “beside himself,” a fellow who talks to himself. Sort of “out of it.” And so they were going to try and help him. They were going to lay hold on Him and rescue Him.
And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He has Beelzebub (3:22),
That is, the Lord of the house or really, they are saying that He is doing the things He is doing by the power of Satan. He has Beelzebub. Matthew’s gospel tells us that this accusation came as the result of Jesus casting a demon out of a man which had caused the man to be both blind and mute. He could not speak, he could not see because of the demon. And Jesus cast the demon out so that the man could both see and speak. And so the people, seeing this miracle, and the scribes from Jerusalem in seeing the miracle, could not just pass it off. He is demonstrating His divine power over the powers of darkness in such a way that it cannot be denied. They have already come to the conclusion that He is not the Messiah. But they are faced with evidence, indisputable evidence of divine power. And because they had taken the position He is not the Messiah, they have to somehow explain how He could do this, cast out the demon and give the man sight and speech. And so they said, “He has Beelzebub.” He has the powers of darkness.
and it is by the prince of devils that he casts out the devils (3:22).
He has the powers of Satan. “And it’s by the prince of devils that He’s casting out these devils.”
And he called them unto him, and said to them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan rises up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but he has an end (3:23-26).
In other words, He is showing them how totally illogical is their conclusion and is their statement. You saying that the house is divided, and if Satan is divided, then he’s going to fall.
No man can enter into the strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house (3:27).
Jesus was declaring that His power was greater than that of Satan’s. He had the power to bind the forces of darkness and then to spoil Satan’s house. And then Jesus warned them,
Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven (3:28)
That’s an interesting statement. All sins shall be forgiven, with one exception. You see when Christ died, He died for the sins of the world. Every sin that has ever been committed was covered by the death of Jesus. “God laid on him the iniquities of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). So if you have the misfortune of standing before the great white throne judgment of God in Revelation chapter twenty, and when the books are opened and you are judged out of the things that are written in those books, there is really only one charge that God will bring against you. They’re not going to bring up all the little sins that you’ve committed down the line because all manner of sins shall be forgiven. There’s only one sin that won’t be forgiven, and that is the sin of rejecting Jesus Christ. You see, God has provided for the forgiveness of your sins through Jesus Christ. He has provided for your salvation through Jesus Christ. But that is the only provision that God has made for your sin.
There is no other way that your sin can be atoned for than Jesus Christ. He is the only provision God has made for sin. So if you do not come to Jesus Christ, if you reject Him, then you are committing the unpardonable sin. You’re in the process. These men had not yet done it but they were getting close. The reason why they said that He was doing it by the powers of the devil, the prince of darkness, is they had taken the position He is not the Messiah. They had rejected Him. And now they are looking at indisputable evidence and seeking to deny it which shows that they are close to this unpardonable sin of the final rejection of Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Jesus has been dealing with you. He comes and He offers His love and His salvation and you reject. Again He comes, and again He comes, and again He comes, and again you reject and again you reject, and it is possible for you to get to the place as was recorded of the Pharisees in John 12:38, “Therefore they could not believe.” It wasn’t any longer, they would not believe, it was they could not believe.
Now Jesus said that “God did not send Him into this world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17). That’s the purpose of His coming, to save you. And “he that believeth is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already” (John 3:18). You’re already condemned. “All have sinned” (Romans 3:23), “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). The death sentence is already on you. It’s already been pronounced. But God has provided a way whereby you can be pardoned. For you to reject the pardon that God offers leaves no alternative. The judgment from which Jesus came to save you will be visited upon you. You’ll have to face the judgment of your sins because you’ve rejected God’s provision. Thus, “he that believeth is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already” (John 3:18). It’s already there. “And this is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, but men will not come to the light” (John 3:19). That’s the whole issue. Your failure to come to Jesus Christ. And then Jesus tells us why you won’t come, because “men loved darkness rather than the light, because their deeds are evil” (John 3:19).
So He warns them now when they begin to attribute the works of God to Satan, they are getting close to that place of blaspheming the Holy Spirit. So Jesus said, “I say unto you, all sins shall be forgiven”
unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: and it was because they said, He hath an unclean spirit (3:28-30).
Satan likes to take this particular scripture and use it against sensitive souls. And oftentimes we have had people come up totally disturbed saying, Chuck, I think I committed the unpardonable sin. And I always tell them, If you had, you wouldn’t be here. You’d have no more conscience, you’d have no more desire at all for Jesus. You’d have no more desire for spiritual things. When the Spirit of God leaves you, God said, “My Spirit will not always strive with man” (Genesis 6:3). And the very fact that you’re concerned about it, the Spirit of God is still striving with you. When you’ve committed the unpardonable sin, there’s no more striving with you. You’re just cold, no feelings concerning Jesus. No feelings concerning your eternal salvation. You’re just turned off. So don’t let Satan lie to you and say, You did it. As long as there is that concern for your salvation, you haven’t committed it.
But eternal life is not something to be toyed with. It’s not something to take chances with. It’s something you want to be absolutely certain about without any question, you don’t want any uncertainty when you’re talking about eternal life. You want to make sure.
There came then his brothers and his mother (3:31),
Mary, and the brothers of Jesus came, probably from Nazareth, and they had heard how that He’s not eating, they’re there day and night and just pressing and pushing Him and pressuring Him and all, so they probably came from Nazareth,
and they were standing outside of the house, there wasn’t room to get in because of all the people. And so they sent someone in with the message that said, Your mother and your brothers are outside seeking for you. And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, and who are my brothers (3:31-33)?
If I were asking Mary to intercede for me, I would have great problems with this particular passage of scripture. For when they said, Your mother is outside, He says, Who is my mother? Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners. That scripture would trouble me. I’m thankful I don’t need the intercession of Mary or any of the saints, that God has opened the door for me to just come directly unto Jesus Christ. And “there is one God, and one mediator between God and man, and that’s the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). So who is my mother, who are my brothers?
For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother (3:35).
In other words, there is a relationship, and interestingly enough, this is the first mention of Mary since the miracle of turning the water to wine in Cana of Galilee. She evidently was just taking care of the rest of the family in Nazareth. And not really a part even of much of Jesus’ travels and so a little later, she seems to join with Him, and of course, she’s there in Jerusalem when He is crucified. But here’s the relationship that Jesus is declaring exists and it is a relationship that is deeper than the natural family bond. And that is the bond that we have together in Christ Jesus. So Paul the apostle says that in Christ, “there is neither Jew nor Greek, Barbarian, Scythian, bond or free: Christ is all, and in all” (Colossians 3:11). And He makes us one. There is a bond within the body of Christ that is greater and closer than the natural blood bonds that you might have with family that is not converted. And you find that the family of God becomes closer to you and you experience more love and fellowship with them than those to whom you are related by natural birth. So here is Mary and His brothers, they are going to rescue Him, but Jesus said, Hey, you’re my brothers, you’re my sisters, you’re my mother. You who are doing the will of God. Calls us into that beautiful close intimate relationship with Himself. What a privilege, what a blessing!
Father, we give thanks tonight for the blessing of this relationship that we can have to you through Christ Jesus our Lord. And the fellowship that we have with Him and with one another, as we are bound together in the bonds of His love. Lord, lead us, guide us into all truth as Your Holy Spirit instructs our heart in the Word of truth. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #8031