POWER FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Pharisees and Sadducees had been tempting Jesus to show them a sign from heaven. He showed them that they could discern the signs that appeared on the face of the sky, and yet could not discern the signs of the times.
He would give them no sign to satisfy their unbelieving curiosity, remarking that a wicked and adulterous generation sought after a sign, and that no sign would be given to them, but the sign of the prophet Jonah. A wicked and adulterous generation stumbles over the story of Jonah, but faith can see in that story a wonderful picture of the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. After Jesus had departed from the Pharisees, and had come to the other side of the lake, He said to His disciples, “Take heed, and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.”
The disciples began to reason among themselves; and all they could think of was that they had taken no bread. What were they to do? Then Jesus uttered these words, “O ye of little faith!” He had been so long with them, and yet they were still a great disappointment to Him, because of their lack of comprehension and of faith.
They could not grasp the profound spiritual truth He was bringing to them, and could only think about having brought no bread. “O ye of little faith! Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?” At one time Jesus said to Peter, “What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children or of strangers?”
Peter said, “Of strangers.” Then Jesus said, “Then are the children free. Nevertheless, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast a hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money; take that, and give unto them, for me and thee.” Peter had been at the fishing business all his life, but he never had caught a fish with any silver in its mouth.
But the Master does not want us to reason things out–for carnal reasoning will always land us in a bog of unbelief–but just to obey. “This is a hard job,” Peter may have said, as he put the bait on his hook, “but since You told me to do it, I’ll try;” and he cast his line into the sea. There were millions of fish in the sea, but every fish had to stand aside and leave that bait alone, and let that fish with the piece of money in his mouth come up and take it. There is where men lack. All lack of faith is due to not feeding on God’s Word. You need it every day.
How can you enter into a life of faith? Feed on the living Christ of whom this Word is full. As you get taken up with the glorious fact and the wondrous presence of the living Christ, the faith of God will spring up within you. “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17).
Jesus asked His disciples what men were saying about Him. They told Him, “Some say that thou art John the Baptist; some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.” Then He put the question, to see what they thought about it, “But whom say ye that I am?” Peter answered, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
And Jesus said to him, “Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” It is simple. Who do you say He is? Who is He? Do you say with Peter, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God”? How can you know this? He is to be revealed. Flesh and blood does not reveal this. It is an inward revelation. God wants to reveal His Son within us and make us conscious of an inward presence. Then you can cry, “I know He is mine! He is mine! He is mine!” “Neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the
Son will reveal Him.” Seek God until you get from Him a mighty revelation of the Son, until that inward revelation moves you on to the place where you are always steadfast, unmovable, and always abounding in the work of the Lord. There is a wonderful power in this revelation. “