Riddle Me This!!!


Whom do men say that I am…no wait… whom do YOU say that I am?

Mt 16:13 “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” The original Greek is more specific, and means, “Who do the common people say that I am”? He does not ask for the opinion of the religious people, but of the everyday people.

Of course, there was a reply to that question. “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah (a strong man, a great prophet) and others say Jeremiah (someone who lifted himself up, or an appointed prophet) or one of the other prophets.” Curiously though all of these responses from the common people still reduced Jesus to being just a man. There is nothing really special about Him, in their mind, when you come to the finality of their response. Yes, He is strong, exalted an appointed prophet, like Jeremiah and Elijah, but there was already a Elijah and Jeremiah so they saw Him being in the same category. Their opinion cannot be faulted, that is the conclusion they came to because of the lack of relationship and closeness. He is a good man, He is a prophet who is a good speaker and seems to have a good heart. Some one who came from impoverished beginnings and lifted Himself to some notoriety in society. What other answer could He expected. I am one who is imaginary in my thoughts so hang with me. I imagine Jesus saying with a smile saying, “that’s cool, but tell me guys, since you have been with me for about three years, whom do YOU say that I am”.

I can see the disciple’s faces now as they hear His question. Can you see John, the youngest follower, slightly turning his head to Thomas saying “oh snap, dude…say something”. Thomas might have responded “no man, you answer Him, beside you, Peter and James are always taking those side trips with Him. If anyone should answer it should be one of you three”. John’s head, I imagine, is spinning to give an answer to Jesus’s question, but then John hears Simon (Peter) answering, and I am sure a sigh of relief came upon him. “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God”. What? What did you say Simon? I can see the other disciples whispering to each other, “did you hear that?” What hat did he pull that rabbit from?” I can see them looking at Jesus, then looking at Peter, then looking back at Jesus, waiting for a response to that blasphemes answer. OMG, Jesus is getting out of His seat and walking towards Simon Peter, it is about to get interesting now. “Matthew leans towards Andrew and says “See that is why I was not going to say anything”.

They watch as Jesus slowly approach Simon and (in my imagination) put His hands on Simon’s shoulders and says “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And upon that solid truth, that rock I will build my church…” Not upon you Peter, but upon the Truth you uttered without really understanding what you just said.

Ok, that is when I, Douglas, asked the Father what are you talking about? This is what He said to my spirit. “The Father, through His Holy Spirit will INSTILL the truth to you, but it is your life’s walks that REVEAL the Truth of what you proclaim.” Ok… explain. He then said many have accepted me as their Lord and Savior… They “say” I am the Christ, the Son of the living God and I AM, know that. But what do their life choices; decisions, motives, words, and attitude say about who I AM. It is in hard times, under pressure in the work place, in finances, in relationships, in their society where they reveal their embracing of that truth. Look at Peter after that spot on answer, he soon followed up by denying me 3 times. He lied, he cursed, reneged and recanted the instilled Truth. That is why I built my church on the TRUTH of the revelation not the one who uttered the revelation.

Today, many who have the instilled truth of Jesus, when asked the question of whom do you say that I am, are strangely answering, You are prejudice, You are heavy on homophobia but not overly concerned about lying, adultery, fornication, greed, envy, lust and a multiple of other “lower class” sins, as if. You are only for one race, one creed, one denomination. They say, through their life, that You are impatient with those who do not measured up to their standards. You are judgmental, you are intolerant and you are vindictive. You are disrespectful to those whom you, through your divine decision, given to rule over us. However, on the other hand we expect you to be patient, tolerant and delay judgment on our obvious sins. We say you will treat us differently for the same faults we condemn our fellow men. We say You are not the God of the second, let alone the two hundredth chance.

Who do YOU say that He is? Peter later through his life revealed that he embraced and yes cherished the Truth of his statement. What true answer will your life reveal? I am reminded and confronted by the life’s revealing Truth of those who have recently been beheaded in the Middle East because they would not recant of their revealed Truth. He is the Son of the living God. Even as recently as a few days of this blog there were university student in Africa who would not denounce “the Christ” but were brutally murdered because they chose to stand on that Truth. But sadly today we see others who so easily abandon against much lesser challenges and opportunities turn their proverbial backs on the instilled Truth, which they espouse. Who do you say that I am? No not the readers, Douglas… you!!!

Huh Jesus…did you notice Wednesday’s itinerary?


Today is what we call Palm Sunday. This religious holiday commemorates the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem in the days before his crucifiction. The people cried out, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Hosanna meaning:“save I pray thee; keep; preserve” (whenever a person would come to a king for help with his needs, he would use the word Hosanna…so here the people are acknowledging Him as King and Deliverer.)

It was a common custom in many lands in the ancient Middle East to cover, in some way, the path of someone thought worthy of the highest honour with branches and leaves.

All of the Gospels report that people gave Jesus this honor. In Mark, Matthew, and Luke they are reported as laying their garments and cut branches on the street. John is the only Gospel to specifically mention palm branches. The palm branch was a symbol of success and victory.

According to scholars, the prophecy often quoted as having been fulfilled by the Palm Sunday entry by Jesus into Jerusalem reads as follows: (Zech. 9 NIV)Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you,righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey,on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

The place name Jerusalem (pronounced Yerushalaim in Hebrew) is a combination of two words. The first is “yeru” meaning “flow”. This word has several applications such as the flowing of water in a river, the throwing of something as being flowed out of the hand or as the flowing of a finger in the sense of pointing out the way one should go. The “shalayim” is from the word shalom, which means to be complete or whole. When these two words are put together they mean something like “pointing the way to completeness”. No wonder the Hebrew people were told to look towards Jerusalem.

A word study in the New King James version for SHALOM says: Completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord, to be fully paid.

I just had a “Nu Mind” thought. Jerusalem, a place where flows a completed, fully paid for, “finished” work. (the death of Christ… FINSHED He would declare)

Obviously, for us followers of Jesus, we know Him to be King so the accolades given to Him upon His entrance is not a revelation, but what indicates Him to full fill the sacrificial lamb’s definition besides just a proclamation?

When Jesus entered Jerusalem I can only imagine what someone would have said if they saw His itinerary for the week. Let’s take a look. Imagine YOU are one of the disciples with him that week. Pick one, any one. Well I might shy away from the one called Judas BUT that is up to you. (smile)

You arrive on “Palm” Sunday, the crowd is praising and giving Him “rock star” treatment and you as one of His disciples are receiving a little overflow love also, I would imagine, correct? Great week ahead, you think. This is a major national festive holiday celebrating a MAJOR historical event (Passover), in the most important city in your nation, where the whole nation is gathering. This may or may not be your first time here for the Passover and Feast Holidays. It takes place every year but this time it’s different. This time the crowd is recognizing the one you are following. It is getting a little hard to push down the spirit of pride, is it not? Wow…if the first day of this trip is starting like this I can only imagine how good the rest of the trip will be. Say Jesus, what’s on the rest of the week’s itinerary? He hands you what is on schedule for the week.

Jesus, I see Monday we will go to the temple. You will probably upset some people as you overturn their money tables even though you will correctly quote Isaiah saying “My house shall be called a house of prayer” but the moneychangers have made this sacred holy place a “den of robbers”. That should be interesting to see although I do not see that going over very smoothly.

Tuesday we will visit Lazarus, Mary and Martha, nice. I always did like them. They are good people. There is nothing like being with good friends on holiday. Their hospitality is always of the highest loving quality. Yes, Tuesday should be a great day. After we leave their house later on Tuesday evening we will have a Passover meal together. That sounds really good Jesus. Oh and I see you have scheduled some prayer time for yourself in the Garden of Gethsemane. I would think you would move that schedule up a little bit, it seems late to be going out that time of night but prayer anytime is always good. Plus Tuesday is a full day.

Let’s see! Wednesday, Wednesday…uh Jesus…did you notice Wednesday’s itinerary? Capture, accusation, trial, conviction, scourging, torture, CROSS, DEATH!!! What is going on? You are the King, the Messiah all of Israel have been waiting and looking for your appearance.

Yes I am the King, I hear Him reply, but this week…I am the Lamb of God and MUST fulfill that role.

Does He? Yes I think so.

It was expected that a traveler would obtain a “sacrificial, unblemished” lamb from the “priestly shepherds” enter Jerusalem and care for and examine that lamb before sacrificing it on the fourth day. So in that timeframe, the lamb would be acknowledged to be perfect, having no faults. Not only did Jesus fulfill this feast symbolically, but also quite literally. On the Palm Sunday, Jesus rode down the Mount of Olives on a colt. He was crucified four days later on Passover. In that time there was an intimacy with those He came to be the prefect sacrifice for, and upon examination by Pilate the verdict came from his mouth, “I find no fault in Him” (which could indicate he looked for fault).

Why do I say Wednesday Christ was crucified instead of the traditional Friday? Without getting into it too deeply, Passover as described in Lev. 23:4, 5 indicates on the 10th day of the first month, Nisan, [roughly equivalent to April on our calendar], every family of Israel was to take a lamb, without blemish, and separate it from the flock. On the evening of the fourth day the Passover lamb was killed, cooked, and eaten during the night. This feast begins the celebration of the exodus from Egypt. If the clock begins on Palm Sunday, and the day of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem is day one. Wednesday is day four. Also remember the Jewish day begins at 6pm NOT midnight.

The Lamb of God… the one that God’s full fiery wrath would be applied to for mankind in order to reconcile us back to the father. Jesus through John 12:32 says and this is Jesus talking,” And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all [men] unto me”, this is from the King James Version. The original text in Greek reads like this “and I if might be elevated from the earth, all I will haul to myself”. God the Father forsook Jesus so that you and I would never be forsaken. All that we would have suffered through billions of years of eternity—the grief, the pain, and worst of all, the complete separation from the presence of God—Jesus experienced. And He experienced all of this for us. The judgment was made and the sentence carried out. The price was paid in full, once for all. He did not pay the price because of His sins, because He was sinless but He took the penalty, the sentence, the punishment, the separation that should have been mankind, all of mankind upon Himself. We could never pay for our sins. We could never become our own sacrifice. That goes against the very plan of God from the beginning. Christ, indeed is the Lamb slain before the foundation.

She did What? WOW!!!


The more I look, the more I realize how the Word of God is synchronized. Sometimes because of our lack of understanding of the culture and times of 2 thousand years ago we put things in the context of our own specific culture and reasoning. Obviously that presents a problem. Each culture, each country produces its own uniqueness and to really appreciate the history, the music, the tradition and other nuances one must try to become acquainted with those different aspects. So when we read the Word of God, for an example, we must understand the culture, the time and the people the Scripture is addressing. How does it line up with other factors found in Scripture?

We will be in the season, within a few weeks, where Christians will be remembering the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus the Christ, commonly known as Easter. It is also the same time of the Jewish Holiday Passover. Coincidence, no I think not. Maybe, just maybe in order to bring even more clarity of the perceived ending chapter of Jesus’ earthly life, we need to go back to the beginning.

Luke 2:6-14“And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them. That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger. Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.””

As an American, chances are one of the first songs you learned as a child was “Mary had a little lamb”, remember? “Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb…Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow….” I believe upon close inspection we will find yes, it is true. Mary indeed had a little Lamb.

Have you ever wonder why the shepherds were out watching over their sheep at night? Who were these Shepherds that the angels made the announcement found in Luke 2:11-12? How did the shepherds know where to go to find this babe? Why did they not have any hesitation or discussion as to what direction to take? After all it was not like the angels gave them a location. The answer is simple. These were not ordinary shepherds. They were “Priestly Shepherds” and the sheep they were guarding were “Sacrificial Lambs” which were used during the Passover. Because these particular sheep were used for sacrifice they had to be watched 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. These sacrifices had to be perfect and anyone wanting to buy a lamb for the Passover would come to Bethlehem to be guaranteed of getting “the best”. Bethlehem was considered in that day the “Holding Pen” for the “Sacrificial Lambs” so on this night Bethlehem became the “Holding Pen” for God’s Sacrificial Lamb, Mary’s baby. Is it no wonder that the angels would appear first to these “Priestly Shepherds” and they would be the ones to first join Mary and Joseph in welcoming “THE ULTIMATE” sacrificial Lamb, Jesus Christ. If this indeed is true, then the nativity scene we traditionally see at Christmas with the baby Jesus surrounded by cattle, and sheep and donkeys in a lean to shelter is not a reasonable picture of this birth event. I point back to my initial comments in understanding the times and culture. If truly Christ was born in a special place for special sheep for a special event then the environment would have to be favorable for the expected outcome.

MICAH 4:8 “And thou, O tower of the flock (Migdal Eder), the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem, O tower of the flock” –

Migdal Eder was the watchtower that guarded the Temple sheep that would be the sacrificed in Jerusalem. Again these were not just any sheep and the shepherds who watched over them were specifically trained for this job. They were educated in the requirements and it was their job to make sure that none of the animals were hurt, damaged, or blemished.

Migdal Eder was where the shepherds would watch over their flock from the second story and the first story was where the newborn lambs were placed from the fields of Bethlehem. The shepherds would wrap the newborn lambs in SWADDLING CLOTHES to protect the body of the lambs which would be offered as sacrifice at the Temple just about four miles away in Jerusalem. Swaddling clothes were used to tightly bind the new lambs from being bruised and injured by thrashing around. I imagine it provided a form of comfort just like when a human baby is wrapped in a blanket at birth. The lambs would be laid in a manger until they had calmed down. They immediately understood where to go to find the newborn Messiah, Jesus Christ. He would be found where the angel had told them, wrapped in SWADDLING CLOTHES lying in a manger in the lower floor of the tower of the flock, Migdal Eder. Jesus was born in Bethlehem where all sacrificial lambs were born, and died in Jerusalem where all sacrificial lambs were killed. He was born as the Lamb to be sacrificed to take away the sin of the world.

Abraham saw the arrival of the Lamb. When he was going to offer up Isaac, Isaac asked where was the sacrifice. And Abraham said, my son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering:

In order for Christ to be the Passover Lamb of God, He would have had to fulfill the role in its entirety. The Lamb had to be born in Bethlehem, without blemish. He would have to be a male and in the prime of life as a one year lamb was accept to be in prime strength. A man in his early thirties is to be assumed to be in his prime.

In John 1:29 – John proclaimed, “Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.” In other words this is no ordinary man, this is the “Lamb of God”. Yes it is true!! Mary really did have a little Lamb! What other events significantly point out the fact that He indeed is the ‘sacrificial’ Lamb of God? We shall see next week.

Briefly, a couple things I saw in writing this blog post. First, the shepherds were not watching the flock from the comfort of the second story of the tower at night. When the enemy, wolves, bears and lions are most likely to strike in the darkness of night, they were in the field to protect. They took their call to guard, protect and serve seriously, boots on ground, realizing the value of those charged to them. What say you Pastors and Ministry Leaders? Second let’s give the innkeeper a break. There was no room in the inn because there was not supposed to be any room in the inn… and it’s not the innkeeper’s fault. In order to fulfill and satisfy Christ’s end, Mary and Joseph could not get in at the inn. Here a thought some of you have tried to get in with the in crowd and try as you might, you never really get in. It could be because you are pregnant with something special and it cannot be delivered in the company of the “inn” crowd.