I also have a general blog.
Monday, August 14, 2017
Sunday, August 13, 2017
Saturday, August 12, 2017
Friday, August 11, 2017
14:5-14 Jesus is the way. We can believe because of the miracles he did. When we see Jesus, we’ve seen our Father in Heaven. And, somehow, we will perform even greater miracles!
I have seem small miracles (e.g. at the Supernatural Encounter last month), but I honestly can’t say I’ve seen greater miracles. Back when I was under the influence of dispensationalist Christians, they used to weasel out of this by saying that the greater miracle was the spreading of the Gospel.
14:15-31 “If you love me, you will obey my commandments.” Clearly I don’t love Jesus enough! Since I still disobey every so often!
But thank God for the Advocate, indwelling us and leading us.
Satan has no power over Jesus -- similarly, has no power over us -- except what the Father permits.
Thursday, August 10, 2017
13:21 Jesus was greatly distressed. Being fully God, Jesus knew he was going to suffer and be executed. Being fully human, Jesus felt the stress of his impending suffering and execution.
13:34 Loving one another is to characterize us as Christians. I fall so far short of this -- my selfish human nature keeps getting in the way. I need to learn as John the Baptist did, “He must increase, and I must decrease.”
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
After the Triumphal Entry, even at this time, there were Greeks who wanted to see Jesus (12:20). The Gospel is not for "our own people" only, but for all peoples.
“Now my soul is greatly distressed. And what should I say? ‘Father, deliver me from this hour’? No, but for this very reason I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Jesus didn't avoid suffering because it was necessary for his mission. How often do I not do my mission just to avoid suffering?
12:42-43 “Nevertheless, even among the rulers many believed in him, but because of the Pharisees they would not confess Jesus to be the Christ, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue. For they loved praise from men more than praise from God.”
Two things to note here:
First: there were actually many of the Sanhedrin who believed in Jesus. In fact, there were so many Pharisees who believed in Jesus that they became a problem for the early church -- they were the Judaizers that Paul argued against.
Secondly, how often do I hide my Christianity because of loving praise from men more than praise from God? Maybe not hiding our Christianity, but hiding our Bible-informed opinions? I personally know that I have refrained from voicing out objections to the homosexual agenda among my liberal American friends, because I knew I would be ridiculed.
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Previously Mary seemed the more spiritually matured one (when Martha complained that Mary was sitting at the Master’s feet instead of helping serve the food) but now Martha seemed to have learned her lesson, “But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will grant you.” Martha seemed to have the faith for Jesus to resurrect Lazarus even before the fact.
Jesus wasn’t immune to Mary & Martha’s suffering, however: here’s the shortest verse in the Bible: 11:35 Jesus wept.
I used to wonder, why did Jesus weep when he knew he was going to resurrect Lazarus presently? But then I listened to the Adventures In Odyssey episode when Connie was mourning over Mitch’s death, not realizing that Mitch was really alive and hidden by the FBI, and I felt myself tearing up over her sorrow. Maybe it’s like that -- Jesus had empathy with Mary’s suffering even though he knew he was about to raise Lazarus from the dead.
In this case, Mary & Martha saw in their lifetime why Jesus delayed, why Jesus allowed them to suffer first. Many a time we don’t see in this lifetime why God delayed, why God allows us to suffer, and we just have to trust that we have a loving yet omnipotent God and we can trust Him.
I find it interesting that the Bible affirms that Caiaphas, a bad high priest, had a true prophecy because God honoured his position in spite of his personal character. Reminds me of my Jesus-following Catholic friends’ assertion that the Holy Spirit still prevents the Pope from teaching officially any incorrect doctrine, even if the person holding that position may be a bad person.
Again, we see the theme of the Jewish leaders being so caught up in their own designs that they ignore a blatant miracle (this time, the raising of Lazarus) and become more determined to kill Jesus.