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FOCUS ON THE WORD Encouragers Along the Way

by Paul Boeker

Recently I came across an old spreadsheet which listed all the people who encour- aged our family when our son suffered a se- vere head/brain injury in a skiing accident. Some treated the injury, others shared, opened their homes, called, or visited. Te value of encouragers increases dramatically when we are facing fear or crisis. For many months Jesus knew he was

going to the cross. Right aſter the transfig- uration, Jesus “set his face to go to Jerusa- lem” (Luke 9:51). He had already begun to explain that he would “be delivered into the hands of men” (Luke 9:44), that is, be arrested. He continued to explain that Jerusalem meant betrayal and death. Jesus was human as well as divine. He would suf- fer. Te road to Jerusalem would be a very lonely road. Te disciples seemingly could not understand or accept the idea that Jesus would die. So along that road, God put many other people who encouraged Jesus as he went to the cross. From the list of encouragers whom God placed along the way, let’s meet three. Less than two weeks before the crowds

in Jerusalem would clamour for his cruci- fixion, Jesus approached Jericho, the last major city before Jerusalem. A blind man happened to be sitting on the side of the road begging when he heard the commo- tion of people approaching. Someone told him Jesus was coming by. Te man leaped to his feet and began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me! Son of David, have mercy on me!” As the leaders of Judea were scheming to kill him, one man recognized Jesus as Messiah and put his trust in him. What an encouragement this must have been to Jesus! He asked the man what he wanted him to do. Te man wanted Jesus to give him sight. Jesus did, and his newly-sighted friend joyfully followed Jesus on his way to the cross. Just down the road, Jesus paused,

looked up into a tree, and invited himself

to stay with the arboreal onlooker. In his house, Zacchaeus stood up and made a declaration: “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold” (Luke 19:8). Jesus took this as evidence of that Zacchaeus had put his trust in him. Te Lord’s response was: “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” What an encouragement for Jesus to continue to the cross! Another person was counting on him for salvation. Only two or three days later, just out-

side of Jerusalem, Jesus and his followers paused at the village of Bethany. Lazarus and his sisters honored Jesus with a dinner. Tat in itself must have been an encouragement. But as Jesus reclined at the table, Mary took her precious alabaster bottle of pure nard, broke it, poured it over his head and feet, then wiped his feet with her hair (Mark 14; John 12). What an encouragement this was to Jesus! Mary understood that Jesus must die in Jerusalem. “She has done a beautiful thing to me,” Jesus said. “She has done what she could; she has anoint- ed my body beforehand for burial. And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her” (Mark 12:6-8). One person understood the cross. One person was an encourager to Jesus. Mary was rewarded by being the first person Jesus met and reassured aſter his resurrection. He had gone to the cross for her. Are you going through a crisis? Are

you struggling with a temptation? Look for the encouragers that God places in your way. He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” so we can expect to find encouragers along the way.

You are invited to join a Creation webinar on April 9 at 10 a.m. CST. All you need is a computer and headphones or speakers. Rev. Trevor Kirsch will present

the webinar. Does it matter whether God creat-

ed the universe in six days or six peri- ods of time? How do the various views of creation affect our understanding of sin and death? Is our particular view of creation foundational to our faith or is it just a matter of opinion or personal preference? The FEBC believes that Genesis 1

presents a literal, six-day creation account, and we believe this is very important and fundamental to our approach of the Scriptures as a whole. This webinar will examine how the stand we take on creation influences our posi- tion on the fall of man, redemption and even the inerrancy of Scripture. Rev. Trevor Kirsch has served as Associate Pastor at Compass Im- manuel Church since 1998. He and his wife Twyilla have been married for 22 years and have been blessed with three children. Trevor loves to teach, and creation is one of the topics he is very passionate about.

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