January 2, 2016

Genesis 3-5
The serpent was clever...He spoke to the Woman: “Do I understand that God  told you not to eat from any tree in the Garden?”   The Woman responded:...It’s only about the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, ‘Don’t eat from it; don’t even touch it or you’ll die.’”  The serpent told the Woman, “You won’t die...You’ll be just like God, knowing everything, ranging all the way from good to evil.”  When the Woman saw that the tree looked like good eating and realized what she would get out of it--she’d know everything!---she took and ate the fruit and then gave some to her husband and he ate.  Immediately the two of them did “see what’s really going on.”...  

God called to Man...The Man said, “The Woman you gave me as a companion, she gave me fruit from the tree and , yes, I ate it.”  God then asked the Woman:  “The serpent seduced me, “ she said, “ and I ate.”... He told the Woman: “I’ll multiply your pains in childbirth; ... you’ll want to please your husband, but he’ll lord over you.”  He told the Man: “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree...The very ground is cursed because of you; getting food from the ground will be as painful as having babies is for your wife; you’ll be working in pain all your life long...So God expelled them from the Garden of Eden.

Adam slept with Eve.  She conceived and had Cain.  The she had another baby, Abel.  Abel was a herdsman and Cain a farmer.  Time passed.  Cain brought an offering to God from the produce of his farm.  Abel also brought an offering, but from the firstborn animal of his herd, choice cuts of meat.  God liked Abel and his offering but Cain and his offering didn’t get his approval.  

Cain lost his temper and went into a sulk.  God spoke to Cain: “Why this tantrum?  Why the sulking?  If you do well, won’t you be accepted?  And if you don’t do well, sin is lying in wait for you, ready to pounce; it’s out to get you, you’ve got to master it.”  

Cain had words with his brother...Cain came at Abel and killed him...God said to Cain, “Where is your brother?”  Cain said, “How should I know?  Am I his babysitter?”  God informed Cain that he will farm the ground, but it will no longer give you its best.  He would be a homeless wanderer on Earth.  God put a mark on Cain to protect him so that no one who met him would kill him.  Cain left the presence of God and lived in No-Man’s-Land, east of Eden.  Cain slept with his wife.  She conceived and had Enoch.  Cain then built a city and named it after his son, Enoch.

Adam slept with his wife again.  She had a son whom she named Seth....and then Seth had a son whom he named Enosh.  That’s when men and women began praying and worshiping in the name of God.  The family tree of the human race started with Adam - Seth-Enosh-Kenan-Mahalalel-Jared-Enoch (walked steadily with God.  And then one day he was simply gone)-Methuselah-Lamech-Noah (Shem, Ham & Japheth).

John 1:19-1:51
When Jews from Jerusalem sent a group of priests and officials to ask John who he was, he was completely honest.  He told the plain truth: “ I am not the Messiah.”...”I’m the thunder in the desert: ‘Make the road straight for God!‘ I’m doing what the prophet Isaiah preached.”  Those sent asked: “ If you’re neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet, why do you baptize?”  John answered, “I only baptize using water.  A person you don’t recognize has taken his stand in your midst.  He comes after me, but he is not in second place to me.  I’m not worthy to hold his coat for him.”

The very next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and yelled out, “Here he is, God’s Passover Lamb!...This is the man I’ve been talking about, ‘the One who comes after me but is really ahead of me.”..

John clinched his witness with this: “I repeat, I know nothing about him except this:  The One who authorized me to baptize with water told me, “The One on whom you see the Spirit come down and stay, this One will baptize with the Holy Spirit.‘
The next day John was back at his post with two disciples...He looked up, saw Jesus walking nearby, and said, “Here he is, God’s Passover Lamb.”  The two disciples heard him and went after Jesus.  Jesus looked over his shoulder and said to them, “What are you after?”  They said, “Rabbi, where are you staying?”  He replied, “Come along and see for yourself.”  They came, saw where he was living, and ended up staying with him for the day.  It was late afternoon when this happened.  Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard John’s witness and followed Jesus.  The first thing he did after finding where Jesus lived was find his own brother, Simon, telling him, “We’ve found the Messiah” then immediately led him to Jesus.  Jesus took one look up and said, “You’re John’s son Simon?  From now on your name is Cephas” (or Peter, which means “Rock”).  

The next day, Jesus decided to go to Galilee.  When he got there, he ran across Phillip and said, “Come follow me.”.... Phillip went and found Nathaniel and told him, “We’ve found the One Moses wrote of in the Law.  The One preached by the prophets. It’s Jesus, Joseph’s son, the one from Nazareth.”  Nathaniel said, “Nazareth?  You’ve got to be kidding.”.... When Jesus saw him coming he said, “There is a real Israelite, not a false bone in his body.” ...One day, long before Phillip called you here, I saw you under the fig tree.”  Nathaniel exclaimed, “Rabbi! You are the Son of God, the King of Israel!”  Jesus said, “You become a believer simply because I say I saw you one day sitting under the fig tree?  You haven’t seen anything yet!  Before this is over you’re going to see heaven open and God’s angels descending to the Son of Man and ascending again.”