Big Hill Christian Church

1150 Goggins Lane, Richmond, KY

Big Hill Bible Studies
28 March 2018
 
John 18
 
After Jesus' prayers in the garden, He was arrested and proceeded to go through a mockery of a trial before the Priests.  During the interrogation, John records Peter's denial of Christ.  The focus I would like to bring up today is the time Jesus spent in Pilate's court. 
 
Reading verses 28 through 40 in chapter 18 you'll see that Pilate did his best to avoid having to deal with Jesus.  After confronting the mob, he confronts Jesus and the conversation turns to Jesus' identity.  Pilate saw Jesus as a threat to Rome and his arrogance blocked him from actually hearing what Jesus was saying.  His kingdom is not of the world.  I feel certain that Pilate didn't know what Jesus was talking about at that time.  The thing I want you to consider is - do you think he ever did?  We don't know how Pilate responded to the events after the crucifixion and resurrection.  Do you think he realized the truth then?
 
During their conversation Jesus said, ". . . For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth.  Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice." (v37)  Note how Pilate responds to Jesus' statement in verse 38.  Pilate replies to Christ by saying, ". . what is truth?"  The truth is, the truth is standing right in front of him. 
 
What I want you to consider is how you would respond to Pilate's question.  Pilate was a Roman official subject to his superior officer.  The political truth could change according to the situation at the time and what was needed.  Today we have differing truth as well, while all the while the truth is standing us in the face.  Go back to John 14:6 and we see Jesus states, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."  In light of the week we are celebrating, what does this statement mean to you?  What truth do you realize this Easter?      
 
Stand
​Firm, ​
Jim
Big Hill Bible Studies
27 March 2018
"In The Garden"
 
Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22
 
Id like for you to read the passages in these three gospel that record Jesus' prayers in the garden of Gethsemane. 
 
Jesus knows what is about to take place and He is "grieved and distressed" (Matt 26:37 NASB). Verse 38 even says He Himself says He is "grieved to the point of death." He takes Peter, James, and John with Him and asks them to keep watch while He prays.  Matthew and Mark write that Jesus went off to pray three times.  Luke only records the prayers and Jesus' return to the disciples,   yet he records that an angel came to Jesus to strengthen Him and that Jesus' agony caused Him to sweat drops that appeared to be like blood,  Here are a couple things to consider.
 
In the gospels of Matthew and Mark the three prayers of Jesus are recorded.  He prays for the "cup to pass" if it is at all possible, but to allow Himself to have the strength to accept God's will for Him.  The disciples He depended on to keep watch have fallen asleep each time He leaves then.  We see here a contrast in the importance and urgency in our prayers.  Before Jesus goes off to pray He tells the three disciples, "Pray that you may not enter into temptation"  (Luke 22:40).  They are instructed to pray, yet they fall asleep.  Why?  Have you ever fallen asleep while praying?  The command of Christ could not stand up against the dark night and the tired bodies of the disciples - they fell asleep.  Three times.  In a row.  And while they were sleeping, Jesus was praying in torment, sweating drops like blood and being strengthened by an angel.  Yet Jesus loved them to the end (in our reading yesterday), and prayed that if it was not possible for His life to be spared that God's will would be done.  When Jesus explained that He was grieved to the point of death, do you think they prayed for Him?  Tried to strengthen Him themselves?  Talked about Him while they did a poor job of  "keeping watch?"
 
I wonder if they thought of the time they were terrified in their boat while Jesus slept.  He was resting safe while they were scared to death.  Could they not understand His concern and do what they were asked?  He was able to overcome their fears and calm the sea and still the winds.  They saw His power and authority - and recognized their inability to help themselves.  How could they not care enough to keep watch.  Jesus in His humanity was experiencing grief and sorrow to the point of death and His disciples slept.  What is He asking us to do?  Are we too tired, or are we willing and able to obey?  
    
  
Stand Firm,
Jim
Big Hill Bible Studies
26 March 2018
 
John 13
 
Read chapter 13 and then go back to verse 1 and read it again.                    "Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end."
 
As you read the chapter did you see the evidence of His love for the disciples?  Knowing the betrayal by Judas, and making it known that He was going to be betrayed, washing their feet, and assuring them of the gospel's revealing.  He then gives them a "new commandment."  Read 13:34-35 again and consider the message in the statement that they were to love one another, even as He had loved them.  He goes on to tell them that this is how others will know they are His - their love.
 
Do you see the message He is sending to them?  He will soon be back with the Father, but He wants to make sure they know of His love for them.  Just as He wants us to know.  Consider all that has been done and compare that to His love for you.  Do you realize He died on a cross in order for us to have life eternal.  But this is only available if we die to self. 
 
Stand Firm,
Jim
Big Hill Bible Studies
23 March 2018
 
In John's gospel, just after the account of the Triumphal Entry beginning with 12:20, he writes of some Greeks who come to Philip and say to him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus.  Reading from verses 20 through 26 we read that Jesus proclaims His time has come and His death is imminent and necessary for the salvation of mankind.  Anyone who wishes to follow Him must lose his life in the sense he gives control to the Lord.
What do you think caused these Greeks to want to see Jesus?  Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead.  He had come to Jerusalem riding a colt just as prophecy had stated.  The Passover was coming and the Greeks may have been in the same situation as Matthew records the city was.  Matthew writes the whole city was stirred and asking, "Who is this?"  What do you think went through the minds of the these men and how did they react to Jesus?  How do you react to Jesus as He comes into your life?  Many will ask to see Him, but when they do, how do they react?  What will you do when you meet Jesus?  How did you receive Jesus - were you wanting to meet Him?  Why? 
 
Consider what has happened to your life since meeting Him?  Are you willing to testify about meeting Him to others?     
   
Stand Firm,
Jim
​​
Big Hill Bible Studies
22 March 2018 Entry
Matthew 21:1-11
 
Let's take a look at Matthew's account of Jesus' "Triumphal Entry" into Jerusalem.  Matthew gives us a little more background and stresses the identity factor of the account.  He records Jesus coming from Bethpage, "house of figs" about 2 miles outside Jerusalem, which indicates He may have stayed with Lazarus, Mary, and Martha for a few days over the Sabbath.    
 
The thing that stands out to me in Matthew's account is found in verse 10, "When He had entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, "Who is this?"   It is believed the population of Jerusalem during Jesus' entry was 30,000 with 125,000 pilgrims coming for Passover.  With over 150,000 people in the city shouting "Hosanna" it is hard to imagine anyone there who did not know about Jesus and His entry.  Yet people asked, "Who is this?"  Here is what interests me - if the people were shouting "Hosanna", why would they respond to the question "Who is this?" with "the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee?"
 
Perhaps we can see the reason in the emphasis Matthew puts in his writing as he quotes from Zechariah 9:9 to show the humility of Christ coming humbly (gently) on a donkey colt rather than a horse in triumph.  He shows Jesus as the coming "Prince of Peace."  The question comes to us as well - "Who is this?"  As Jesus comes into Jerusalem to cheering, shouting crowds yelling Hosanna! - how do we receive Christ as He comes into our hearts?  With celebration, or with questions?  As Easter comes near, let's keep in mind what is taking place in the life of Jesus as He approaches His crucifixion and resurrection.  
 
Stand Firm,
Jim