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.
Monday, August 7, 2017
Jesus’ miracles are evidence that his claim to be the Son of God is true. John the Baptist didn't have miracles, but his predictions about Jesus came true.
Sunday, August 6, 2017
Saturday, August 5, 2017
12-20 God the Father bears witness to Jesus. Again the authorities couldn’t arrest him because his time had not yet come.
21-59 Jesus exposed the priests and Pharisees. Everyone who sins is a slave to sin (v 34) Before Abraham was, I AM (v58) Jesus declared that he is YHWH.
Friday, August 4, 2017
When I read this passage years ago, I thought, “Was Jesus misleading his brothers that he wasn’t going to Jerusalem? Since he went secretly later?” But, as Thomas pointed out earlier in the discussion, it was just a matter of proper timing.
13-31 Jesus’ teaching wasn’t like the regular religious leaders’ teachings. Jesus pointed out the folly of being legalistic about the Sabbath.
“When Jesus said this, the people tried to grab him. But no one was able to even touch him, because the right time for him had not yet come.” This reinforces what Thomas said about timing earlier. God’s ultimately in control.
32-53 Jesus’ teaching was so amazing that even the temple police couldn't make themselves arrest Jesus when the priests told them to. The Jewish leaders couldn’t get over their idea that a prophet cannot come from Galilee.
Thursday, August 3, 2017
Jesus was focused on his real mission, and did not allow himself to be distracted by the allure of power.
16-21 “Hantu!” “Bukan, Tuhan.” (c/f our discussion on this in Mark.)
22-71 The people were interested in Jesus because of the miracle of the loves & fish. But the physical bread isn’t the important thing -- more important is the spiritual bread of Jesus’ eternal life: “Believe in the one He sent.”
People were offended that we had to eat his body and drink his blood for eternal life. I find it interesting that because of this, many of his followers left and stopped following him (v66) but Jesus didn’t change his teaching for them. Instead, he only affirmed the 12 apostles… even Judas Iscariot.
Wednesday, August 2, 2017
Do I sometimes expect Jesus to solve my problem in a particular way, and am blind to other ways that Jesus might have for me?
But some Jews were so fixated on the fact that Jesus healed on the Sabbath that they blinded themselves to the great miracle God had wrought. They even became more determined to kill Jesus!
Is there any way in which we also get too blinded by our particular issues that we miss what God is doing?
19-47 God gave Jesus the power to judge. Eternal life is in the Son. Moses testified to Jesus.
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
She tried to divert the conversation from her own sin to general theology. Jesus didn’t rub her face in it, but still steered it back to her personal relationship with God.
As a result, virtually the whole village came to know the Gospel.
The disciples were blind to all these things at first. They didn’t even think of the Samaritans as a people group to reach out to.
What are our own blind spots?
43-54 Galilee. At this point, in contrast to another time, they welcomed Jesus because of what they had seen him do in Jerusalem.
The basiliko in Capernaum’s son was sick, but Jesus didn’t go -- he just told him, “Go home, your son will live” and the man believed, and the son was healed remotely.