Day 27 (March 23), John 10:1-6

John 10:1-6

Context:  Jesus continues his discussions with the Jewish leaders (and the followers) in and around the Temple complex.  He is addressing in a different way their claim he has a demon, or is a madman (a claim made by his biological brothers as well). Jesus says he is both the gate to the sheepfold as well as the Good Shepherd.  ‘The sheep hear his voice and they follow him,’ Jesus says.  A stranger, or hired hand, does not have the same trust with the sheep, and in times of danger they do not respond in the same way as to the shepherd.  

Observations:  Why did Jesus use the analogy of sheep and shepherd?  Was he drawing a direct reference to Psalm 23?  Was he pointing to the crucifixion (‘The shepherd lays down his life for the sheep’)?  Why was this a wise (shrewd) way for Jesus to respond to their accusations without responding to them directly?

Application:  Do something today to help you cultivate your ability to ‘hear the Shepherd's voice’.  What distractions do you need to reduce?  What inputs do you need to practice and cultivate?  Consider this quote from Henri Nouwen, which was incorporated into today’s LiveStream message:  Solitude is the furnace of transformation. Without solitude we remain victims of our society and continue to be entangled in the illusions of the false self. Jesus himself entered into this furnace. Practice solitude without relational or spiritual isolation today!

Prayer:  Ask the Lord to use the painful, tragic and devastating consequences of the coronavirus for good (Romans 8:28).  Ask him to show YOU how to be part of it, or to make you AWARE of it!

Posted by Dave Blum with

Day 26 (March 22), John 9:24-41

John 9:24-41

Context:  The incident of Jesus healing the man born blind concludes in dramatic fashion.  The Jewish leaders call the healed man in for another round of questioning.  The man is profuse both in giving testimony to his healing but also coming to the defense of the authenticity of Jesus as Messiah.  ‘If this man were not from God he could do nothing,’ was his bold declaration.  Their response?  They cast him out of the synagogue!!  Soon after, Jesus finds the man and helps him see and understand that Jesus is the Son of Man (God in the flesh); the man believes and worships Jesus.  They ask Jesus if they were born blind, too.  Note the disruptive honesty of his reply.

Observations:  Why would the Jewish leaders not accept the testimony of either the witnesses or the man himself regarding his miraculous healing? What preconceived beliefs, values or assumptions led to their conclusion?  What does their statement ‘You were born in utter sin and would you teach us?’ tell us about their pride and humility?  Why do you think Jesus sought out the healed man after he was cast out from the synagogue?  What do you think of Jesus’ last statement in the chapter?

Application:  Walk today as if Jesus wants to walk WITH you and heal you of the blindness in your soul!  Find an example in John 9 you want to follow … and do it!  Ponder an example you DON’T want to follow … and avoid it!  The synagogue was a place of gathering, learning and connecting for the Jewish people.  Gather today online with fellow followers of Jesus for encouragement, instruction and hope.

Prayer:  Call out to the Lord in worship today:  thank Him for a way that he has healed you physically, emotionally, relationally, spiritually.  Pray that in the midst of pain, suffering and disappointment during the COVID-19 crisis, people look to Jesus for the supernatural and transformative work of Jesus and that many turn to him in faith for the first time.

Posted by Dave Blum with

12...78910111213141516 ... 2324