“Facing the Facts”
Hello friend, I’m J. Mark Horst, your host and I welcome you to Hope for Today. The program you’re listening to is produced by Heralds of Hope, we’re an international Gospel media ministry. Each week the Bible teaching broadcasts of Heralds of Hope circle the globe in English and 21 other major languages. Thousands are tuning in each week to receive spiritual nourishment and blessing. And we’re glad you’ve joined us today!
But radio ministry is just one part of what we do at Heralds of Hope. We also distribute Bibles and literature. And our newest publication is called Hope Herald. It is a study guide that is designed to complement the teaching you’re hearing on this broadcast. We would be happy to send a copy of this study guide to you if you just write and ask for it. Stay tuned and I will give you the contact information at the end of the program.
If you listen to this program regularly, I’m alerting you to expect some changes to our programming in the next several weeks. At Heralds of Hope, we are a growing and changing ministry. We are expanding our audience, we are adding new personnel, and we are updating our content. Eventually, you will hear a new musical intro to the program as well as some other cosmetic changes. But one thing that won’t change is our commitment to teaching God’s Word!
On today’s broadcast of Hope for Today, we’re continuing our study in the Gospel of John So, I urge you to stay tuned. In just a few moments, Dr. Yoder will present today’s teaching, “Facing the Facts.”
God wants us to rejoice in Him. One of the writers of the Psalms urged us to praise the Lord like this: “Let all the people praise thee, 0 God, let all the people praise thee. Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy.”
Do you know that kind of joy? God intends for you to be joyful. But that is possible only when you know Him as a personal God, your personal God. That is one of the basic facts of life.
It is right that we demand to have the facts in hand. It is also right that we sort out what is only reports. We must be careful not to call facts mere reports and not to call mere reports the facts. When we have brought the facts, we must then face them with honesty and not try to avoid them.
It is also important that we go to the right source in the search for the facts. Especially is this true for the facts about Jesus Christ. Our Scripture text, John 11:47-57, gives some insights about FACING THE FACTS.
47 Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles.
48 If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.
49 And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,
50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.
51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;
52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.
53 Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.
54 Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples.
55 And the Jews’ passover was nigh at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the passover, to purify themselves.
56 Then sought they for Jesus, and spake among themselves, as they stood in the temple, What think ye, that he will not come to the feast?
57 Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where he were, he should shew it, that they might take him.
Jesus of Nazareth, my friend, is a different person. As we face the facts of His life, we must analyze with care these several CONSIDERATIONS.
First, The Evidence of His Miracles.
Consider the evidence of His miracles. When the leaders gathered together in that council, they consented to the fact that He did perform miracles. Now these were not His friends. No, these were His opponents. They admitted that Jesus did many miracles. Indeed, they were greatly concerned about it because they said, “If we let things go, all men will believe on Him, and He will have a great following and then the Romans will come and destroy us.”
Now take it from those who lived when He did. They said, “He performs many miracles.” Someone has counted them in the Gospel record and found recorded that 38 specific miracles were performed by Jesus. He did many miracles and you must consider the evidence of His miracles.
A second consideration is The Purpose of His Mission.
Jesus was not merely a worker of miracles. Even Caiaphas, the high priest, understood that. No, he really didn’t understand it but he spoke it. We are told in this text that Caiaphas, being high priest that year, prophesied. He spoke more than he knew when he said, “It is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.”
He was expressing in these words a great Biblical truth already stated by Isaiah the prophet in the 53rd chapter of his book: one would be sacrificed for the people. The prophecy that Caiaphas, the high priest, spoke unknowingly predicted that Jesus should die.
Our Scripture text says that not only would one die for that nation, “but also that He would gather together in one all the children of God who are scattered abroad.” I am really thankful for that, my dear friend, because that includes you and me.
Now consider the purpose of His mission. He came for that expressed reason. Not merely as a worker of miracles, but that He would die for the nation and for all who are the people of God scattered abroad. Now take it from this high priest, Caiaphas. He predicted that one man should die for the nation.
There’s a third consideration The Restraint of His Movements
When Jesus understood this, He retired to a remote place. We are told that He withdrew to the wilderness into a city call Ephraim. There He taught His disciples. Away from all the rest so that He would not be distressed or disturbed.
I get the impression that Jesus has a sense of timing. So, He operated that way. His movements were restrained so that the outcome would be exactly what the Heavenly Father had determined.
Now, when the others came to the Passover early, in order to purify themselves for the Passover, they talked among themselves and said, “Will he come to the feast?” He was the subject of their conversation. The Pharisees had told them that anyone who knew His whereabouts should reveal Him so they could take Him.
But Jesus understood this, and He walked and directed His movements in such a manner that He was not taken before the time. Take it from the situation. He knew what was coming.
In facing the facts of Jesus’ life, you must consider the evidence of His miracles; those who lived then admitted His miracles. You must consider the purpose of His mission, the high priest prophesied it. You must consider the restraint of His movements; Jesus knew what was coming.
These are compelling considerations. Now the decision is up to you. Believe on Him as some did when He lived.
My friend, do you know the facts about Jesus? Yes, He was a miracle-worker, but that wasn’t His primary purpose. No, His primary purpose for coming to earth was two-fold; to show us what God is like, and to give His life as a sacrifice so we can be forgiven of our sin.
Now, if you were blessed by this teaching and would like an audio CD or a printed copy of it, just write and ask for the teaching “Facing the Facts.” We would be happy to send a copy to you as soon as we receive your request.
The quickest way for you to contact us is to send an e-mail to [email protected]. That e-mail address is [email protected]. Or you may write to Hope for Today, Box 3, Breezewood, Pennsylvania 15533. Remember, you can request a printed manuscript or an audio CD of this teaching, “Facing the Facts.” We’d be happy to send one to you.
And when you contact us, you can request our newest publication, Hope Herald. It is a study guide that follows these radio programs and will help you learn more about what we are studying from John’s Gospel. So, ask for your free copy of Hope Herald today.
Here’s the contact information again. The quickest way to reach us is by at this address; [email protected]. Or write to Hope for Today, Box 3, Breezewood, Pennsylvania 15533. Remember; you can request a free copy of this teaching, “Facing the Facts.” It’s available in print or on an audio CD. And you can also request a free copy of our newest publication, Hope Herald. It will help you gain more value from our study in John.
And don’t forget our Bible teaching programs are available to you all the time and any time at the website, twr360.org. That’s twr360.org. Thousands are logging on to the site for spiritual nourishment and blessing. You can join them and be blessed too!
Now, I urge you to tune in next week as Dr. Yoder continues our study from John’s Gospel with an important message titled “Jesus and True Love.” You won’t want to miss it. And until then, I urge you to keep looking for that blessed HOPE.