Thursday, January 30, 2014

I John 2: Words from a Gentle Shepherd

Maybe it's because I'm named Jon, but I've always felt a connection with John.  Reading over the words of I John 2 reminds me why.

I John 1: Walking in the Light

Following the Gospel of John, we continue into other the "Johannine" books (works written by the apostle John).  We can easily find many similarities between John's Gospel and his first letter known as I John..

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

John 21: The Story Goes On

John had to be selective about what to include in his Gospel.  Vs. 25 tells us that the whole world would not have room for the volumes that could be written about Jesus.  John uses the last lines of his work to give us one final look at an intimate moment between Jesus and His disciples.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Monday, January 27, 2014

John 19: Low in the Grave He Lay...

By now you may have noticed that John's Gospel is quite different than the other three.  Matthew, Mark, and Luke are sometimes called the "synoptic" gospels because they see things basically the same way.  Their stories are of Jesus' teachings, particularly His parables, and His miracles.  The Fourth Gospel (as John is sometimes called) stands apart from the others.  There are only a handful of powerful miracles, and long, detailed discourses by Jesus that we do not find in the other three accounts.  Personally, I am very thankful that John came along to include this material that would otherwise be missing because we have it nowhere else.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Friday, January 24, 2014

Thursday, January 23, 2014

John 17: The Lord's Prayer

No, not that Lord's Prayer!

Jesus' prayer for His followers (including us) takes up the entirety of chapter 17.  Some of the aspects of this prayer that I really enjoy include:

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

John 16: Promises

Jesus has some incredible promises for His disciples.  He promises to send the Counselor or the Advocate, who we know most familiarly as the Holy Spirit.  Jesus promises that the disciples will see Him again.  He also promises that their sorrow will turn to joy, much like the experience of a woman going through labor.  Jesus promises that our prayers offered in His name will be answered.

John 15: Love and Hate

Again and again, Jesus impresses upon His disciples that we are to follow His commands (15:10, 15:14), and that His command is for us to love one another (15:12, 15:17).

Sunday, January 19, 2014

John 14: Jesus Says Good-bye

Some things that Jesus felt were important enough to include in His final conversation with the disciples:

Psalm 3: When the Odds Are Against You

Psalm 3 is short but sweet.  David, on the run for his life after a coup staged by his son Absalom, is calling out to God for deliverance.  David senses that he is outnumbered - "many" are against him, "many" are writing him off as hopeless.  Even "ten thousands" have set themselves against him.

Friday, January 17, 2014

John 13: The Full Extent of His Love

What would you do if you had ultimate power?  My list would include some noble ambitions, as well as some petty concerns.  I don't know that I would take time to do what Jesus did - which was to humbly serve His followers.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

John 12: The Hour Has Come

I get a real sense in John 12 that events are rapidly coming together now, and that the time has arrived for Jesus' purpose.  Back in John 2, He told Mary, "My time has not yet come" (2:4); now "the hour has come" (12:23).  This is just the tip of the iceberg of the foreshadowing in this chapter.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

John 11: Up from the Grave He Arose (No, Not Jesus Yet!)

I'm noticing a trend here.  Jesus feeds a crowd of 5000 people with a few loaves.  He states: "I am the bread of life."  He boldly declares, "I am the light of the world."  He proceeds to give sight to a man born blind.  In this chapter, Jesus proclaims, "I am the resurrection and the life," and then raises His friend Lazarus from the grave.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

John 10: The Lord Is My Shepherd

Did you catch all that sheep talk?  There are several places in the Bible where the people of God are referred to as sheep.  I don't know how you feel about the favorability of that comparison, but it seems apt to me!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

John 9: Was Blind, But Now I See

Some people just can't help but be critical.  Give them a free trip to Disney World, and they'll complain about the humidity in Orlando.  Take them out for dinner, and they'll get upset about having to wait for a table.  In this chapter, Jesus performs the unheard-of miracle of giving sight to a man born blind, and the Pharisees get all constipated because He did so on the Sabbath.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Psalm 2: Zion's Hill

It's always great to stumble across our church's namesake in scripture.  Psalm 2:6 says, "I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill." (NIV)  For those who may be unaware, it is believed that "Zion's Hill" was the original intent behind "Science Hill!"

Friday, January 10, 2014

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

John 7: Comings and Goings

Maybe this is just the way my goofy mind works, but I see this as a chapter full of comings and goings.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

John 6: Bread of Life

When Jesus says "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you," is He talking about Communion?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

John 4: Thirst No More

Can you imagine Jesus asking you for a drink?  That actually happened to one woman in Samaria.  What happened next changed her life.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Psalm 1: Be a Tree!

The first Psalm contrasts the way of the wicked versus the path of the righteous.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

John 3: The Key of Belief

Much could be said about this famous (most famous?) chapter in the Bible, but I'd like to post just a few observations:

I am struck by the repetition of "belief" in Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus.  The religious leaders don't believe (3:12), but Jesus identifies belief in Him as the key to eternal life (3:15; 3:16; 3:18).  Of course, the richness of John 3:16 could be mined forever!  There is a reason it appears so frequently on stickers and signs, on tattoos and terrible towels.  It contains the essence of the gospel message in a single verse.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

John 2: The Unexpected Messiah

In John's Gospel, Jesus frequently confounds the people of his day.  For a Messiah, He often does the unexpected.  When Jesus shows up at the Temple, we certainly would expect Him to worship, to pray, to teach perhaps.  But to make a whip out of cords?  To overturn tables and scatter coins?  To yell at people?  Unexpected.  Of all the artistic representations you have seen of Jesus, how many of them are of this scene?