The “Red Letter Bible” was first printed in 1900. The words of Jesus appeared in red so that they can be easily identified.
Long ago church leaders made calendars with dates in red to signify a special day or event. The phrase “red letter day” came to mean a special day. Perhaps the idea of significance was applied to the Red Letter Bible edition as well.
“Red ink” means a deficit. Fortunately, that doesn’t apply to Jesus; he doesn’t suffer from a deficit of power or dominion.
He spoke with authority and power as he began his earthly ministry. Those who heard him were amazed. “And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.”
Sickness and disease were no match for his words of healing. However, in his hometown, unbelief hampered his efforts. Only a few were healed by the touch of his hands. “No mighty work” was done like he intended. Jesus did many things that caused people to marvel; yet he marveled at the unbelief in Nazareth.
When he stilled the storm, those who saw it exclaimed, “What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” Moreover, he demonstrated his power over the elements by walking on the water.
Even death had to obey his words. He spoke to a dead 12-year-old girl, “Maid, arise.” He told a young man being carried to the graveyard, “Young man, I say unto thee, arise.” Lazarus had been dead four days, yet Jesus called, “Lazarus, come forth.” These three short statements to young, or relatively young, people who were dead brought about resurrections. I wonder if they celebrated “Back to Life” days along with their birthdays?
Jesus said, “I am;” and applied that title to many situations and needs of mankind. The light and life, the way and truth, the door and shepherd, these and many more were used by Jesus to describe what he can be for us.
Even those who opposed him acknowledged the words of Jesus. “Never man spake like this man,” they reported to the authorities when they returned without apprehending him.
One who persecuted the new believers was converted in a powerful encounter with Jesus. When he asked, “Who art thou, Lord?” he heard an astonishing reply that changed his life. “I am Jesus.”
Jesus said this to his disciples about the words he spoke, “they are spirit and they are life.” Words form the basis for communicating in a relationship. That is why Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” His word communicates his love for us. Our love for him can be shown in our obedience to his word. Let the words of Jesus lead you to greater experiences of faith.
The final words in red are, “Surely I come quickly.” His return is imminent. We can obey his words to be ready for that day.
Mitch Glover is pastor of the Sterling United Pentecostal Church located on Swanson River Road at Entrada.