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God calls those dead in sin to live before him through the word of God.

​This is the point of God's word to Ezekiel in Ezekiel 37:4-6, which says, "Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord,” (ESV).

To prophesy is to speak forth the word of God. Here, Ezekiel was told to speak forth God’s word to dry bones, which seemed to make about as much sense as proclaiming the gospel in a graveyard, but God knew that his word gives life!

If Ezekiel would preach, then God would raise the dead. And Ezekiel obeyed.

Ezekiel says in Ezekiel 37:7, “So I prophesied as I was commanded.” And God was, of course, faithful to his word - the dry bones began to come together!

Preaching, proclaiming, or speaking forth the word of God concerning Jesus seems like foolishness to most people today. Paul said that had been and always would be the case. In 1 Corinthians 1:18, he wrote, “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing...”

Paul also said that the day was coming when people would “not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they (would) accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and (would) turn away from listening to the truth,” (2 Tim. 4:3-4). Can any of us doubt that that day has arrived?

So much of what passes for preaching today is actually false teaching! Many of those who are not false teachers are light-weight preachers with practical tips for your family or your career, but there’s no Christ in their sermons! And if there is no Christ in their sermons, then the word of God has not been preached and the dead won’t be raised!

Men are DEAD in their sins before God and only the word of God by the Spirit of God will give them life!

We as individual Christians and as a body of believers must be absolutely committed to the proclamation of God’s word because God’s word gives life!

Paul wrote in Romans 10:17, “…faith comes from hearing, and hearing through word of Christ.” How is that those dead in sin are brought to new life through faith in Christ? It is through the speaking forth, the preaching, the proclaiming of the word of Christ!

As men hear the gospel, they are convicted of all their blasphemy, all their idolatry, all their irreverence and distrust toward God. They are convicted of their disregard for authority, of their sinful anger, of their lusts, their greed and covetousness and dishonesty!

As they hear the word of Christ, they are brought to understand that everyone of those sins on its own is deserving of eternal death in hell. As they hear the gospel, men feel the danger of God’s wrath bearing down on them and cling to the only salvation that God offers.

In Jesus Christ crucified and resurrected, God has made the way of salvation available to all those who would call on the Name of Jesus for salvation!The good news is that you can be forgiven! God’s wrath can pass over you! You can be brought from death to life through faith in Christ Jesus if you will repent of you sins and give your life to Jesus!

Will you repent today of your disbelief and distrust and disrespect toward God?

Will you call on Jesus to save you?

Christian, will we obey Jesus? Will we be obedient to prophesy like Ezekiel, to speak forth God’s word as he commands?

In Romans 10:14, God asks us, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?”

Will you preach, Christian? Will you speak forth the word of God so that those dead in sin will be born again through faith in Christ? Will you demand that I and every preacher who steps into a pulpit faithfully proclaim the word of God because you know that only God’s word gives life?

  • Writer's pictureBro. Rocky

There were things Mary didn’t understand about her Son, but she treasured those things, those mysterious things up in heart nonetheless.

We see that in Luke 2:51, but we also see it in Luke 2:19 when the shepherds came to behold Jesus wrapped in swaddling cloths and laid in a manger.

The shepherds said incredible things about Jesus, things Mary didn’t understand, things that made Mary marvel just as she and Joseph marveled when Simeon spoke his incredible words about Jesus when he was presented in the Temple (Luke 2:33).

It seems that throughout Jesus’ childhood Mary was asking about Jesus the question that people asked about John the Baptist as a child, “What then will this child be?”

Some think that Luke includes these comments about Mary treasuring these things in her heart, because Mary was one of the sources for his account of Jesus’ time on earth. If that’s true, then we can imagine Mary sitting with Luke and saying, “At the time I didn’t know what it all really meant? I mean, the angel… I was so young! The shepherds… I had just had my first baby in a stable! Simeon and Anna in the Temple… It was wonderful, but I didn’t grasp it all fully! In Jerusalem, when he was 12, when we lost him for a couple days, and found him in the Temple amazing everyone… well, we were learning and understanding who he was and what it all meant bit by bit.”

God is perfectly clear, but we are all dull apart from the Holy Spirit revealing to us who Jesus is in his fullness. But perhaps Mary sitting with Luke, filled with the Holy Spirit, thought back to this episode when Jesus was 12 and could then see clear indications of who he would become, who he was, and who he knew himself to be even at this early age.

What is this passage revealing to us about Jesus? Who is this passage indicating that Jesus is? Who is it indicating that we embrace when it calls us to embrace Jesus?

Luke 2:41-52 reveals Jesus as more than just a precocious child. It reveals a further glimpse into Jesus’ true identity as the Christ, the Promised Savior of God’s people, and it begins to indicate just what sort of Messiah Jesus would be.

If we are to embrace Jesus, we must embrace him as he is. We must embrace him in his fullness even if we don’t yet understand him fully. That’s what it meant for Mary to treasure up all these things in her heart concerning her Son.

Our relationship with Jesus is a bit like a marriage in that way. When two people get married, they think they know each other and to some extent they do in that moment. They embrace one another in that moment, but they can’t know each other fully because they haven’t lived with one another for 10 years, 20 years, 30, 40, 50, or 60 years.

The longer we’re married to someone the more we get to know them; the more fully we understand them. That’s our relationship with Jesus.

The Apostle Paul mentions this, saying, “…now we see in a mirror dimly, but (one day) face to face. Now I know in part; (but one day) I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known,” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

We embrace Jesus in his fullness even if we don’t yet understand him fully.

That’s what Luke 2:41-52 is calling us to do.

Updated: Jan 29, 2019

God’s people rebelled against him, so God carried them out of the Promised Land. First, it was the northern kingdom, Israel. God sent the Assyrians to carry them away into captivity. Second, it was the southern kingdom, Judah. God sent the Babylonians to carry them away into captivity.

God’s people were in effect (if not literally) scattered to the four winds, but in Ezekiel 37 God’s prophet, Ezekiel, spoke of a day when God would call his Spirit to fill his people and gather his people from every direction. God’s people would occupy the Promised Land once again.

However, the situation of God’s people in the present moment seemed hopeless.

In captivity for a while with no end in sight, they said, “Our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off,” (Ezekiel 37:11). They were cutoff from the land God promised to them! Much more significantly, they felt cutoff from God!

And they understood that this was the result of their own sin; their own disobedience to God! In Ezekiel 33:10 they said, “Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we rot away because of them. How then can we live?

God asked Ezekiel the same question in Ezekiel 37:3. Looking at the dry bones of his people who were hopelessly dead in sin, God asked Ezekiel, “Son of man, can these bones live?” Ezekiel was wise to answer as he did, “O Lord God, you know,” (Ezekiel 37:3b).

Only God knew if it was his will for these bones to live. If it was God’s will for these bones to remain dead, then no one could question that decision. His people had sinned and the price for sin is death.

But if it was God’s will for these bones to live, then no one except God had the power to bring them back to life. As Ezekiel 37 reveals, it was God's will to bring these dry bones back to life, but how did God bring these dry bones back to life?

Perhaps you’re broken over the sin in your own life and you're asking as God’s people did, “How then can I live before you, God?”

Perhaps you’ve been crying out to God, pleading with him to save a family member, a friend, a neighbor, or coworker, and you’re asking, “How can my friend or my son or daughter live before you, O God?”

Maybe you’ve been praying for true revival in our community or in our church, and you’ve been asking God, “How can this city live? How can our church live?”

Ezekiel 37:1-14 is the answer to that question. The passage shows us how God calls those dead in sin to new life.

So, how does he do it? He does it through the word of God, by the Spirit of God, to the glory of God!

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