Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Gospel of John - Examine the Witnesses

Chapter 18 – the witness of I AM – “When therefore He said to them, “I AM,” they drew back and fell to the ground.”

Why does an armed mob of Roman soldiers and temple guards cower in the presence of one unarmed man?   For a moment before He allowed Himself to be arrested, Jesus proclaimed the name by which He was known in the Old Testament.  A name so sacred to the Jewish people that they had lost the pronunciation of it because they believed it was too holy to be spoken out loud.    If just speaking His name had this effect, imagine what can happen when we call on His name?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Gospel of John - Examine the Witnesses

Chapter 17 – the witness of the aliens – “I have given them Your Word and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”

Shortly before His death, Jesus was praying for His followers asking that His Father would sanctify them in the truth of His Word (v17).   If followers of Jesus look and act differently it’s because they are to be spreading, by word and action, the love and Good News about Jesus.   And they’re told that they are ambassadors for Jesus – representing Him in a place that isn’t really their home.   It’s not easy, but it’s necessary.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Gospel of John - Examine the Witnesses

Chapter 16 – the invitation of the Helper – “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.”

When Jesus spoke to them of going away, He was referring to his death for the sins of the world, His resurrection and the 40 days He would have with them before being taken bodily into heaven.  But He would not leave them alone.   For several chapters now, Jesus has been telling His followers that He would send to them “the Helper, the Holy Spirit” (14:26).  Do you know of any other belief system or religion where God indwells His people?    And for what purpose?
  •          v4 to bring to remembrance His words and teaching;
  •           v9 to convict the world concerning sin;
  •           v13 to guide them into all truth;
  •           v22 to have joy that the world cannot take away:
  •           v33 to have His peace.  “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage, I have overcome the world.”

We all need Help.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Gospel of John - Examine the Witnesses

Chapter 15 – the invitation of Jesus – “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.”
Once again Jesus makes a very bold statement.  In the previous chapter of John’s Gospel, Jesus indicated no one could come to God the Father unless they come through Him.  And now, “Apart from Me you can do nothing.”   Jesus is not being politically correct, all inclusive or tolerant of other beliefs.  So do you reject Jesus or do you consider the proof that has been offered (see previous blog postings)?

Still uncertain?   Consider Jesus’ emphasis in this chapter of “abiding” in Him:
  •           v2 expect God to work in your life as a vine-dresser prunes the branches to result in more fruit
  •           v4 abide  and stay close and attached to the vine
  •           v7  abide in the words of Jesus and pray to Him
  •           v8 abide to prove you are His disciple
  •           v12 abide in Jesus’ love and show it to others

Invite Jesus to show you the joy of abiding in Him.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Gospel of John - Examine the Witnesses

Chapter 14 – the witness of Thomas – “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how are we to know the way?

Jesus is speaking about going to prepare a place for them and that they knew where He was going.   He was speaking about returning to heaven soon and that they should have known this, but Thomas spoke for all of them in asking the question.  Jesus responded, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.”    

This is a very exclusive statement by Jesus.  He is saying that only through Him can a person come to God.   These is not a popular view today, but if you were drowning and a person said take my hand, would you listen and respond, or tell them that’s not what you had in mind?    We need to understand that Jesus was exclusive, because God is exclusive, even though He wants to be inclusive.   What do I mean?   God is holy and perfect and He cannot allow sin into His presence.   He sent His Son, Jesus, to be the sacrifice for sins.  He took our place and suffered the judgment we deserved so He can now let God the Father pronounce the guilty sentence on each of us (because of our sins), but if we trust in Jesus, He offers His death, not for His sins, but for Ours.  That’s why Jesus is exclusively the way, but if we believe in Him, the Father will include us in those who are His own.   

Do you know the way?