Friday, July 31, 2009

Jesus' Feet Anointed

Judas complained when Mary used up thousands of dollars worth of perfume on Jesus' feet.

My initial reaction is the same. Why the waste?

But John goes on to explain that Judas' motives were selfish.

When do I cover up my selfishness with reasonable questions? When do you, dear Reader?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Outline of John 12

Mary anoints Jesus' feet
Palm Sunday
Isaiah's prophesies fulfilled

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Keep 'em wondering

In verses 55-57, the religious leaders and crowds all wonder if and when Jesus will appear publicly.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Verses 53-54

Jesus didn't always confront his enemies directly.

Sometimes we face issues directly and sometimes we withdraw temporarily, until the time is right.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Verses 49-52
Caiaphas is unwittingly used to prophesy about Jesus' death.
Will I obey God willingly or will I be used despite my will?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Verses 45-48
Because Jesus was able to perform great miracles, the Sanhedrin feared that he would make them obsolete. Again, Jesus' opponents are right.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

You Stink! Verses 38-44
If Jesus can raise Lazarus from the dead four days later, then he certainly can help us smell sweeter!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Verses 17-37
Mary and Martha and the crowd nearly get it right: "He gives right to the blind. Why couldn't he have kept Lazarus from dying?"

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Verses 5-16
Lazarus died. Jesus' timing is rarely our timing.
Doubting Thomas nearly gets things right. He tells the other disciples, "Let us go, that we may die with [Jesus]."
This is precisely what Jesus had in mind!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Verses 1-4
If Jesus loves you, then there's no need to fear even death.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Outline of John 11
1) Lazarus dies
2) Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead
3) Caiaphas accidentally prophesies (v. 50)
4) Jesus withdraws to Ephraim

Monday, July 20, 2009

Opening Act
Verses 39-42
Jesus has better success when he withdraws from the city of Jerusalem to John's territory across the Jordan River.
John the Baptist prepared the people's hearts effectively for Jesus' ministry.
He was the perfect spiritual opening act.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

In verses 37-38, Jesus explains that his accusers should compare his actions to God the Father's work. Miracles and actions in isolation are not enough to establish Jesus' divinity, but his fidelity to his Father and the Scriptures establish his witness.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Psalm 82:6-7
You are gods.../
but you will die like mere men.
Jesus seems to be referring to our creation in God's image.
Despite our special place in creation, we won't live forever without God's help.

Friday, July 17, 2009

You are gods
Jewish leaders approach Jesus to stone him for claiming to be God. Jesus' reply is surprising. He quotes a Psalm: "You are gods."
Jesus' style of debate is fascinating. He consistently quotes his opponents to make points.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

They Have a Point

Some of the things Jesus has been saying sound like the words of a madman.

And miracles are not enough to establish a person's divinity (cf. Matthew 24:24).

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Good Shepherd

Mountain view with sheepImage by Jule_Berlin via Flickr

In verses 8-18, Jesus explains that he's not just an hourly worker who will flee at the earliest sign of danger.

He's fully invested in his flock.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Let's try this one more time!
Jesus tells the crowd that he is the gate and the shepherd.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Which Entrance?

FIREBAUGH, CA - APRIL 18:  Sheep congregate in...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

In verses 1-6, Jesus tells a story about how only shepherds can enter a sheep pen.

The shepherd needs to get past the doorkeeper, and the sheep will only respond to their shepherd's commands and voice.

Trouble is, the people listening to Jesus didn't get it.

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Outline of John 10

  1. Jesus is the Good Shepherd
  2. We are sheep
  3. We are "gods" (what does this mean?!)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Jesus tells the Pharisees it would be better if they were blind. Because they set themselves up as experts, they're even more guilty.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I Clearly Cannot Choose the Wine in Front of Me!

In verse 39, Jesus again turns everything topsy turvy.

His intent is to throw off those people who are confident and support those who are weak, "so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind" (NIV).

What's wrong with seeing? Is it a false seeing, an arrogant seeing?

The next two verses clarify this confusion.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

True Repentance

In verses 35-38, Jesus meets back up with the man whose sight he restored.

After a brief exchange, probably under 60 seconds, the man worships Jesus as the Messiah.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Don't Lecture Us!

(Especially when we know you're right and we don't want to admit it!)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Light of the World

Jesus illustrates his role as spiritual light of the world by bringing literal sight to a blind man.

He can do the same thing for all who believe in him.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Whose Fault?

Jesus makes it clear, in verses 1-3, that the blind man's disability was not the result of individual sin.

Labeling any disaster or injury a punishment for sin is on shaky ground.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Outline of John 9
1) Jesus heals a blind man.
2) They seriously tick off the synagogue rulers and Pharisees.

Friday, July 3, 2009

We Love You. We Can't Figure You Out. Who Do You Think You Are? Kill Him!

Jesus clearly outlines the gaps in his followers' understanding of his divinity.

Before the end of this argument, Jesus riles his adversaries up so much that they pick up stones to kill him.

"Before Abraham was, I Am!" (cf. Exodus 3:13-14)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Next Conflict

In verse 30, we learn that some people come to believe in Jesus despite all of the confusion.

In verse 31, Jesus goes on to take issue with some Jews "who had believed Him" (NASB).

The emphasis must be on the past tense word "had," because what follows is a strong confrontation.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Failure to Communicate

Jesus' critics complain that he is a lone witness.

From a natural point-of-view, this is a valid criticism.

Trouble is, his critics believe in the God of the Old Testament, and they ignoring their own God's testimony.

Then they get confused and think Jesus may be announcing plans to commit suicide.