Monday, May 22, 2017

Jonathan Goforth- The Craziest Miracle

By Mary Vee
Year: August 1900
Jonathan Goforth-41 years old


Jonathan Goforth's Journal


My name is Jonathan Goforth. My wife, Rosalind and I are missionaries in China. 

I sat on the floor in the rented unfurnished small home exhausted.  I looked at my blood-stained clothes and leaned against the wall so thankful to be alive. God had brought us here safely. 

I didn't have the strength to praise God out loud, but I did in my heart.

Rosalind joined me a while later. She sat on the floor next to me. "The children are asleep. Their full stomachs helped them rest sooner. It was a good idea to take the children to a restaurant."

I put my arm around her. Noises from the crowds blared through the windows. 

She closed her eyes slowly then opened them. "What are we going to do, Jonathan? We can't go to Canada looking like this." She pulled on her clothes. "We only have these blood-stained rags." 

She was so tired and emotionally spent. Soon tears poured down her cheeks. "We don't have any clothes to change into for the journey." Her hands flopped down on the floor where she sat. 

The poor dear. I hugged her. "God is going to work this out for us, Rosalind. He brought us here. You must have faith."

She tried the best she could. What she needed mostly was rest. She fell asleep in my arms. 

I didn't know how the problem could be solved, either. We didn't have different clothes. Everything we owned was stolen.  With the Boxer Rebellion in full force, there wouldn't be any stores selling clothes suitable for a westerner. The whole situation had become too big. I laughed to myself. Of course if we had a sewing machine, fabric, and enough time to make clothes for the six of us we could change into something more suitable. 

At some point I fell asleep. Laughing at the ridiculous idea and thankful my family and I were alive.

The next morning, I heard a knock on the door. Rosalind looked at me. No one knew where we were. We didn't know if Chinese had come to attack again. She cower in the corner of the room with the children and whimpered.

I opened the door and saw two women. They bowed and I bowed. They said they had seen our names on the refugee list and learned we were missionaries. They also knew we were leaving for Canada in ten days. 

"Excuse us. We were wondering if you needed sewing done. We are very good. Maybe you need us to make new clothes."

Rosalind ran to the door and took their hands in hers. "Bless you. Bless you dear ladies. Yes." She looked down at her clothes and wept. "We need new clothes for our journey. Can you make something for each of us?"

The ladies nodded. "Yes. We are fast and can make all your family clothes for your journey."

If she had stood in Canada right then, Rosalind surely would have hugged each lady. Instead she bowed. "Thank you."

Ten days later, we boarded the ship wearing new clothes. The only one without something new was baby Walter. Rosalind brought the fabric to make him something while we sailed. For now, she wrapped him in the old, dirty towel.

The ship set sail and we were aboard. I had honestly thought we would be in heaven at this point. God spared our lives and placed us on this ship bound for Canada.

We stood on the deck and watched our beloved China pull away from us and wept.




There is more to this story. Come back next time.

Jonathan has many stories to share. Come back each Monday to find out what happened next.



Resources Used for This Series
Being, Janet, and Geoff Benge. Jonathan Goforth: An Open Door in China. Seattle. WA: YWAM Pub., 2001.Print
Doyle, G. Wright. Builders of the Chinese Church: Pioneer Protestant Missionaries and Chinese Church Leaders. Eugene Oregon: Pickwick Pub, 2015. Print.
Goforth, Jonathan, and Rosaline Goforth, Miracle Lives of China, London" Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1931, Print.
Goforth, Jonathan. "By My Spirit" Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1942. Print
Goforth, Rosalind. Climbing; Memories of a Missionary's Wife. Chicago: Moody Pub, n.d. Print
Goforth, Rosalind, How I Know God Answers Prayers; The Personal Testimony of One Life-time, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1921. Print
Goforth, Rosalind. Jonathan Goforth. Minneapolis, MN: Bethan House, 1986. Print
Goforth, Rosalind, How God Answers Prayer: The Mighty Miracles of God from the Mission Field of Jonathan Goforth. USA: Revival, 2016. Print Original copyright not stated.
Jackson, Dave, and Neta Jackson. Mask of the Wolf Boy: Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 1999. Print.
McCleary, Walter. An Hour with Jonathan Goforth: A Biography. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1938. Print.
Meloche, Renee Taft., and Bryan Pollard. Jonathan Goforth: Never Give up. Seattle, WA: YWAM, 2004. Print.

.

Let Jonathan hear from you!
Leave a comment below.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Andrew- I Ran to Tell My Brother Who I Saw

By Mary Vee
John 1



From Andrew's Notes



Photo by Mary Vee - Desert near the Jordan River
My name is Andrew. I have been following John the Baptizer for some time. His words have opened my eyes to the things of God. It's hard to explain, but I feel the validity of the words he speaks in my soul.

I have been a fisherman working in the north, by the Sea of Galilee but have take some time away to listen to more of John's words. 

John had said he had been sent by God to prepare the way for the One. I didn't know exactly what he meant by that but wanted to hear more.  In the middle of a sentence John stopped and pointed at a man walking by and shouted, "Look! The Lamb of God!"

This was the Man John had told us about. I didn't fully understand who this man was and wanted to find out. I ran to him. We talked for a short time then He invited me and another man to join Him. We spent the whole day listening to what He had to say. I 

I was so taken by every word, I don't think I ate the entire time. On the inside I blazed with energy. A hunger to know more. A desire to tell everyone about this man and invite them to come hear what He had to say.

Like a lightening bolt I thought of my brother and how excited he would be to also hear what this Man had to say. 

I left the group sitting with The Man. He didn't call out to me to stop. He didn't ask me to explain why I up and left with out an excuse. Could it be that He knew? I had a feeling He did.

I ran all the way to the shores of the Sea of Galilee where my brother, Simon and I had a fishing business. This was the time of day when he would have been fixing his nets and preparing to go out fishing. 

Sand kicked up as I ran to him. "Simon! Simon!"

"Hold on there, runt. You're kicking sand on my net." He tugged on the net and cleared a space for me.

"Simon, you've got to come with me. You know how we have waited for the one who would come and save our people?"

He didn't look up from his work. "Yeah."

"He's here. I heard Him speak. I've spent the day listening to Him. Simon," he finally looked up at me, "We have found the Messiah."

My brother let go of his nets and stood. He set his huge hands on my shoulders. "Is this so?"

I laughed because I was so happy. "Yes!!! We have found the Messiah."

Simon pushed his nets to the side and stepped onto the sand. "Show me."

I ran, teasing him to keep up. "C'mon. Faster!"

It took him seconds to catch up. He would have passed me if he knew the way. I showed him the place where I had last seen the man. "He's over here."

Peter ran ahead then stopped a few feet away from the Man. He looked at Him and listened to what he said the others gathered there.

The Man stopped speaking and walked to my brother. He said, "You are Simon, son of John."

How did he know? I had told my brother the man didn't know where I went or what I was doing. My brother smiled.

The Man then said, "You will be called Cephas which means, Peter."

And just like that, we became followers of the Man called Jesus, the Lamb of God. We had so much to learn, and wanted to learn everything we could about the living God whom this man clearly knew more than anyone.

I know you can't see me as I am telling you these words, so I will tell you what I am doing. There is a smile on my face such as I've not had in a long time. I have fished for so many years and now I am listening to the Messiah speak!




Come back for the next story.

*********************************************************************************************


sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary

Jewish History.org
*Jewish Virtual Library.org

*My research in Israel.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Andrew: The Man Who Caused John the Baptizer to Stop Mid Sentence

By Mary Vee
John 1



From Andrew's Notes



Photo by Mary Vee - Desert near the Jordan River
My name is Andrew. I have been following John the Baptizer for some time. His words draw me closer to The Living God. It's hard to explain, but I feel the validity of John the Baptizer's words in my soul.

I have been a fisherman working in the north, on the Sea of Galilee. One day I took a break and walked down the Jordan to the wilderness. I saw a crowd gathered around a man and was curious what he was saying. I walked closer and listened. He spoke truths about the living God that hooked me immediately.

I suppose I'd heard these words about the God who chose our people at different times in my past, but they'd never impacted me like they did that day. His message helped me understand God's truth and expectations. That the Almighty God demanded we follow Him, obey His words, keep His words ever present in our heads and tell our children.

John quoted words from the Scriptures that I hadn't heard in a long time. I wanted to hear more, so I came back to listen again and again.

One day, a man came to the shores of the Jordan River where we sat listening to John. He stood among the crowd, listening. Watching. John looked at Him several times. It seemed John was distracted by Him. At first, John stammered then he stopped speaking. He looked at the man.

There was a connection I didn't understand. 

The Man did not say anything, but I sensed something different was going on. What it was? Who was this Man who captured John's attention. John held his gaze on the man as if He knew him, but didn't know who he was. He seemed confused but in awe of this man. I watched the two of them interact without words, intrigued by what was happening. 

The Jordan River, Photo by Mary Vee"


The Man stepped close to the water. John took a deep breath as though the very presence of this Man was so powerful, so great, like a child standing before a great king. 

The Man asked John to baptize Him. John shook his head and said, "I cannot. I am the one who should be baptized by you."

The words surprised me. John hadn't said anything like that in all the days I'd listened to him. Who was this Man who had such an impact on John?

The Man said, "This is the right thing to do. Trust Me. I must be baptized at this time to fulfill all the righteousness."

John nodded as if he understood something much bigger than I could understand. I was so intrigued. I had to learn more. I came back every day, wanting to learn more about what John had to say and about the man who was baptized that day.

Over a month went by since that day. The Man hadn't stopped by. I had no idea what he was doing and had hoped John would tell us more. There was a rumor that the Man went to the wilderness on His own.

THEN, and this is the incredibly exciting part I wanted to tell you, the Man walked near where John spoke. How did I know he did? Because John stopped mid sentence and pointed at him. "Look," he shouted, "The Lamb of God!"

As soon as I heard those words I ran to the Man. I wasn't alone. Another man ran too. We caught up to the stranger. He had to be a rabbi. Why else would John have directed us to him? 

The Man turned around and looked at us. He said, "What do you want?"

I didn't know what to say. I didn't have an answer to the question so I said, "Um, where are you staying?" At least I could find out where to find him again tomorrow.

He said, "Come, and you will see." Such a tender voice. One of a man who wanted to not only teach, but show us what He had to say. In that one day, I understood this Man had something to show me. Something I desperately had to learn more about. Something so big, I couldn't live without knowing it.

I have more to tell you next time.


Come back for the next story.

*********************************************************************************************


sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary

Jewish History.org
*Jewish Virtual Library.org

*My research in Israel.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Jonathan Goforth-Mass Chaos in the Streets

By Mary Vee
Year: August 1900
Jonathan Goforth-41 years old


Jonathan Goforth's Journal


My name is Jonathan Goforth. My wife, Rosalind and I are missionaries in China. 

Rosalind, our children, the other missionary families who traveled with us, and I stepped off the riverboat in Shanghai. 

It seemed like millions of people crowded the streets. We could barely walk through the masses. And they weren't all Chinese. 

Foreigners of all races, from many countries, were here for many reasons like business, internships, education, drug dealing, other criminal activity, peace keeping, government, missionary...you name it, someone was here for that reason. 

And all of them were in a panic. No, I am not exaggerating. Children sat on trunks crying, reaching out to their parents who were in a frenzy. 

They all needed to book passage on the few boats docked in the harbor. They needed money to pay for the tickets. They needed cash from their bank accounts. The banks didn't have that much money at their Shanghai office. What a mess.

Chaos. Mass chaos.

The first thing I did was to find an unfurnished home for my family to sleep the night. I took them there then went to the bank, took out all the money in my account, and purchased tickets for a ship headed to Canada. the ship will leave in ten days.

I went back to the house and hugged my children. "Guess what? We are going to a restaurant!"

"Really, Daddy? Can we eat anything we want?"

Poor thing was so hungry. We all were. "Yes. You can eat as much as you want."

They barely had the energy to giggle. I scooped up the youngest. "Let's go." 

I can't remember the last time I ate so much food. Such delicious food. We waddled back to our rooms. Rosalind put the children to bed while I rested. I looked at my blood-stained clothes and leaned against the wall.

God had saved us. 

It was such a terrible journey, yet there we were, alive.

Praise God, I am alive and have another story to tell.



There is more. Come back next time.

Jonathan has many stories to share. Come back each Monday to find out what happened next.



Resources Used for This Series
Being, Janet, and Geoff Benge. Jonathan Goforth: An Open Door in China. Seattle. WA: YWAM Pub., 2001.Print
Doyle, G. Wright. Builders of the Chinese Church: Pioneer Protestant Missionaries and Chinese Church Leaders. Eugene Oregon: Pickwick Pub, 2015. Print.
Goforth, Jonathan, and Rosaline Goforth, Miracle Lives of China, London" Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1931, Print.
Goforth, Jonathan. "By My Spirit" Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1942. Print
Goforth, Rosalind. Climbing; Memories of a Missionary's Wife. Chicago: Moody Pub, n.d. Print
Goforth, Rosalind, How I Know God Answers Prayers; The Personal Testimony of One Life-time, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1921. Print
Goforth, Rosalind. Jonathan Goforth. Minneapolis, MN: Bethan House, 1986. Print
Goforth, Rosalind, How God Answers Prayer: The Mighty Miracles of God from the Mission Field of Jonathan Goforth. USA: Revival, 2016. Print Original copyright not stated.
Jackson, Dave, and Neta Jackson. Mask of the Wolf Boy: Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 1999. Print.
McCleary, Walter. An Hour with Jonathan Goforth: A Biography. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1938. Print.
Meloche, Renee Taft., and Bryan Pollard. Jonathan Goforth: Never Give up. Seattle, WA: YWAM, 2004. Print.

.

Let Jonathan hear from you!
Leave a comment below.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

John the Baptizer-The Messiah IS Here

By Mary Vee
John 1



From John the Baptizer's Notes



Photo by Mary Vee - Desert near the Jordan River
My name is John. I live on my own in the desert near the Jordan River and have for some time. 

I woke this morning ready to go about my usual day telling anyone who would listen about the Messiah. I know He is here. God told me. 

The other day, Jesus came to the shores where I preached and baptized people. Remember I told you about it? His presence alone caused me to tremble on the inside. Not from fear, but because I realized who He had to be. I didn't feel worthy to baptize Jesus, but He insisted. He said something about the baptism was the start of the work He came to do. When Jesus came out of the water, a dove landed on Him and a voice spoke from the heavens saying, "This is my Son in whom I am well pleased."

That moment has played over and over in my mind. I had not seen Jesus for a little over a month since baptizing Him and didn't know where He went. I was still confused but continued preaching the words God told me to say.

Back to my day starting. I went about my usual preparations, ate breakfast, and walked until a group of people found me. I don't usually notice the individual faces, but I did this time and was surprised to see Jesus among them. Can you imagine! The Messiah stood in our presence. My heart fluttered. I couldn't find words to say. I didn't know how to respond.

Jesus separated from the others and walked toward me.

The Jordan River, Photo by Mary Vee"

Suddenly, words came to me. Words God put in my heart. I pointed at Jesus and said to the crowd, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

"He is the One I told you about when I said, 'A man would come, but He is the One who is worthy for you to follow and listen to instead of me.'"

I swallowed, and was so overwhelmed. I wanted the men and women in the crowd to understand Who Jesus really was. I said, "I myself did not know who He is. 

"EXCEPT the one who sent me to baptize with water and preach told me to watch for this sign. "The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is He who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'

I pointed to Jesus and faced the crowd. "I have seen and I testify before you that THIS man IS the Son of God."

We had been told long ago that God would send a Messiah. We had waited so long and wondered when He would come and who He was. We didn't know what He would do. We only understood He would save us.

And now. 

He IS here.

Jesus is the Son of God.


Come back for the next story.

*********************************************************************************************


sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary

Jewish History.org
*Jewish Virtual Library.org

*My research in Israel.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

John the Baptizer- Who Are You?

By Mary Vee
John 1



From John the Baptizer's Notes



Photo by Mary Vee - Desert near the Jordan River
My name is John. I live on my own in the desert near the Jordan River and have for some time. 

Apparently, I have become the talk of the city. Crowds travel to the desert where I live and listen to me speak. Some believe the message I tell about the coming Messiah. Some repent of their sinful ways and ask for water baptism..so I baptize them and teach them what God wants them to do. 

Some of the men who have heard my messages went to the priests. They told them what "the man in the desert" says. 

They tell them I wear camel skin clothes and eat locust and wild honey. I think they wanted the priests to come hear what I said then decide if my message was true.

Of course my messages are true. I'm only saying what God tells me to say. It's their choice to believe or not.

One day a group of priests showed up on the shore of the Jordan River. They stood in the back of the crowd and listened to me speak. When I finished they asked, "Who are you? Are you the Christ? The One you are speaking about?"

No way. Just hearing their question made me feel sad. I am only the one bringing the messages. "I am not the Christ." I spoke in a firm and clear voice so no one would mistake what I said.

The priests and rabbis then said, "Well, then, are you Elijah?"

Elijah? Really? The prophet of long ago who used to perform mighty miracles? "No, I am not Elijah."

The priests and rabbis looked confused. They talked among themselves then said, "Are you the Prophet?"

No. Not the One they meant. "No, I am not."

They stroke their beards and said, "Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. Tell us about yourself."

They wanted to know, so I told them using words from Isaiah the prophet. "I am the voice of one calling in the desert, 'Make straight the way of the Lord.'"


The Jordan River, Photo by Mary Vee


Among the people were some priestly men called Pharisees. These men spent many, many years studying the Scriptures. They were the learned ones, but didn't have a love for God in their hearts. The Pharisees asked me, "Why are you baptizing people if you are not the Christ, Elijah, or the Prophet?"

I answered them, "I only baptize with water. Here among you stands one you don't recognize. He is the One who has come that I have told you about. I am not even worthy to untie His sandals."

The priests left still uncertain about the whole conversation. Hopefully they will understand when they see Jesus.

Just so you know, this event happened on the other side of the Jordan River in an area called Bethany. 


Note from Mary Vee: in the photo above, the picture is taken from Israel's shore. Across the river, or the Jordanian side, is a building where armed military men stood with guns. That was the side that John the Baptist stood on when talking with these Pharisees, priests, and rabbis. 


Come back for the next story.

*********************************************************************************************


sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary

Jewish History.org
*Jewish Virtual Library.org

*My research in Israel.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Jonathan Goforth-Rejects and Hidden

By Mary Vee
Year: December 1900
Jonathan Goforth-41 years old


Jonathan Goforth's Journal


My name is Jonathan Goforth. My wife, Rosalind and I are missionaries in China. 

I am tired. Completely exhausted.

Twelve other missionaries and my family have been on the run for days. We can't seem to escape the violence started by the Boxer Rebellion. Even the queen ordered all foreigners to be killed in the southern areas.

We had no place to hide. 

On every corner, around each bend, and over every hill villagers threw rocks and sticks at us, stabbed knives and swords at us. I could barely walk. My one arm couldn't be used and I had a gaping wound on the back of my head. Our group had suffered terrible injuries. Some of our missionaries were critically injured. 

We left our compound in northern China before the violence got out of control. The only port large enough to dock a boat able to sail far enough to get us out of the country was in Shanghai, which was located in southern China. 

Between our compound and Shanghai, there was a river where we could hire a boat to take us to Shanghai. The river, though was many days journey away by ox and cart.

The last several posts I've told about the beatings we've endured. During one attack my son and a man from our group were separated from us. I don't know where they are. Those who helped us said we should keep going. They would look for my son and help him meet with us later. 

There were many stories to tell about the journey to the river. Basically all the same. Villagers attacked. One or two had compassion and rescued us. We continued the journey in pain until attacked again. At last we reached the river. The Chinese who said they would help find my son did as they said. I couldn't believe my eyes when he and the man from our group met us shortly before we reached the river. 

A captain agreed to take us part of the way to Shanghai. I paid him his fee. He order us to go below deck and stay hidden down there. He guided the ship down the center of the water lane. The Chinese along the river banks didn't know he had us on board. He was left alone.

We reached the destination the captain had promised. The harbor people would let him dock the boat, though. They yelled at him to keep going. 

He had no choice. He ordered the deck hands to steer toward the center of the river and kept sailing. Although it wasn't in his plan, he ended up taking us all the way to Shanghai. God clearly had a plan to see us safely to Shanghai.

I paid the captain more money for the extra distance.

At last, we were in Shanghai. I and the others had been missionaries in the villages in the north for twelve years. My my. Shanghai had changed a lot since I was there. But that was another story.



Praise God, I am alive and have another story to tell.



There is more to this story. Come back next time.

Jonathan has many stories to share. Come back each Monday to find out what happened next.



Resources Used for This Series
Being, Janet, and Geoff Benge. Jonathan Goforth: An Open Door in China. Seattle. WA: YWAM Pub., 2001.Print
Doyle, G. Wright. Builders of the Chinese Church: Pioneer Protestant Missionaries and Chinese Church Leaders. Eugene Oregon: Pickwick Pub, 2015. Print.
Goforth, Jonathan, and Rosaline Goforth, Miracle Lives of China, London" Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1931, Print.
Goforth, Jonathan. "By My Spirit" Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1942. Print
Goforth, Rosalind. Climbing; Memories of a Missionary's Wife. Chicago: Moody Pub, n.d. Print
Goforth, Rosalind, How I Know God Answers Prayers; The Personal Testimony of One Life-time, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1921. Print
Goforth, Rosalind. Jonathan Goforth. Minneapolis, MN: Bethan House, 1986. Print
Goforth, Rosalind, How God Answers Prayer: The Mighty Miracles of God from the Mission Field of Jonathan Goforth. USA: Revival, 2016. Print Original copyright not stated.
Jackson, Dave, and Neta Jackson. Mask of the Wolf Boy: Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 1999. Print.
McCleary, Walter. An Hour with Jonathan Goforth: A Biography. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1938. Print.
Meloche, Renee Taft., and Bryan Pollard. Jonathan Goforth: Never Give up. Seattle, WA: YWAM, 2004. Print.

.

Let Jonathan hear from you!
Leave a comment below.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Forty Days of Hunger

By Mary Vee
Matthew 3
Mark 1
Luke 3



From John the Baptizer's Notes



Photo by Mary Vee - Desert near the Jordan River
Jesus, the Son of the Living God, left the Jordan full of the Holy Spirit. 

John the Baptizer had baptized Jesus, and while doing so, let all the crowds watching know Jesus had come to save people from their sins. He was the Promised One. The Messiah. The Son of God.

Jesus went to the wilderness where wild animals lived. He wandered the area praying to His Holy Father. During this time Jesus didn't take time to eat. He devoted all his time to talking with His Father.

During this time Satan came with the goal to tempt Jesus. Day after day Satan tormented Jesus with temptations. Jesus never once did what Satan said. 

Jesus used words from the Scriptures, God's Word, to stop every attack. 

Forty long days dragged by. Satan never got tired of harassing Jesus. 

The next morning, Jesus woke feeling very hungry. His body was weak. 

But because He had spent the entire forty days talking and praying to His Father while Satan tempted Him, His mind remained alert, tuned in to the words the Father wanted Him to speak at every moment. He stood and walked a short ways.

The tempter stepped onto the path and said "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread." 

This was a test. Not a test to see if Jesus could turn the stones to bread. Satan knew Jesus, the Son of God, could do that. The test was to see if Jesus would let His hunger become more important than doing God's will.

We can not obey both God and Satan. Jesus would have to take his attention away from God to turn the stones into bread. For forty days, Jesus had lived on God's Word and He wasn't about to stop now.

Jesus said, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God."

Satan didn't say another word about eating. Instead he devised a new plan to trick Jesus. "Come with me," he said.

Because Jesus wanted to teach us He allowed Satan to take Him to the Holy City and on up to the highest point of the temple. They stood overlooking all of Jerusalem and beyond. Satan said, "If you are the Son of God throw yourself down to the ground. You know it is written in the Psalms: 'You are in the care of the angels they will catch you when you fall so you won't even stub your toe.' Prove yourself. Prove they will catch you."

Jesus voice became gruff. "It is also written in Deuteronomy, 'You should not test the Lord your God.'"

Satan didn't ay another word about that. He then took Jesus to a high mountain. "Look. See all the kingdoms of the world. You can have them all and all the riches and power that goes with being in charge of them. I will give you all of this if you will bow down and worship me."

Jesus was hungry and wanted to rest. But none of these problems kept him from standing straight and scoffing as this evil one. Satan didn't have the power to give these things to Jesus, God's Son. This was the last straw. 

Jesus said, "Get away from me, Satan! It is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and only Him." Those words are written in Deuteronomy.

Satan didn't say another word that morning. He walked away, the loser.

A host of angels came to Jesus with food, water, and took Him to a place to rest.

This was not the only time Jesus would be tempted. 



Satan tempts us, too. The temptations we face are not the sin. Obeying and doing what Satan wants us to do is the sin. When you find yourself wanting to do what Satan says, think of a Bible verse. The Bible tells us in James 4 that if we resist or walk away from Satan by using God's Word, Satan will leave you. This doesn't mean that Satan won't try to trick you again. It does mean he will stop picking on you at that time and every time you use God's Word as your weapon.


Come back for the next story.

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sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary

Jewish History.org
*Jewish Virtual Library.org

*My research in Israel.