Day 25 (March 21), John 9:1-23

John 9:1-23

Context:  While still in Jerusalem, Jesus sees a man born blind from birth.  His disciples wonder who had sinned to trigger the blindness but Jesus says no one sinned, he was blind to display the works of God, and then Jesus heals him!!  In a rather interesting fashion that involves the Pool of Siloam (which is the same pool the chief priest gathered his water from on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles).  It’s also the 6th sign, or attesting miracle of Jesus, recorded in John’s narrative. The man’s friends and neighbors debate if it really is the same man and the Jewish leaders are incredulous claiming it’s really just ‘fake news.’  They bring in the man’s parents who, out of fear of the Jewish leaders, tell them their son should speak for himself. 

Observations:  This man did not ask Jesus to be healed (that we know) so why did Jesus heal him?  Think through the man’s involvement … what was it like and what was he thinking as he traveled, still blind, to the Pool of Siloam?  When God does a ‘work’ in someone’s life, why is it that some believe and others do not? Why is it sometimes so difficult to believe when others will reject us?

Application:  Consider a way you can increase your faith in God’s work today.  Do you need to ask him to do something that ‘only Jesus can do?’.  If God wants you to be part of that work, are you open and willing to do it?

Prayer:  Ask the Lord for a ‘new story’ in your life and in the lives of those connected to Evergreen.  Ask Jesus to help us be his hands, feet and voice as the fears and uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 intensify in the days and weeks ahead.

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Day 24 (March 20), John 8:48-59

John 8:48-59

Context:  Jesus concludes the latest debate and discourse with the Jewish leaders by refuting their claim he has a demon and that he truly is trying to bring glory to God, his Father.  He also declares that if anyone believes His word they will not see death.  The Jewish leaders raise the issue of Abraham, as the patriarch of the Jewish people, who himself tasted death. He responds by saying they do not know Abraham, but before Abraham was, ‘I AM.’  This is a direct claim of his deity and eternal existence as well as a reference to Exodus 3:14 where God, the Father, speaks directly to Moses and makes the very same, and outlandishly bold, claim. 

Observations:  Why did the Jewish people present in this conversation pick up stones to kill Jesus at its conclusion?  How does this help you refute the statement people make that Jesus never claimed to be God?  What assurance can you have through these uncertain times from this glimpse into Jesus’ personality and teaching?

Application:  Since Jesus is eternal, omniscient and pre-existing, He was fully aware of all the circumstances we would face today (and will tomorrow) with respect to the COVID-19 scenario.  Do something very proactive today that will help you sense His presence and peace in real and tangible ways:  express your pain and frustration, give your thanks, write down some action steps you should be taking to respond to circumstances, take some of your down time and commune authentically with Jesus, or perhaps the passages in John are stirring you to engage the culture and community around you somehow.

Prayer:  Make certain you thank Jesus for something specific today!!  It will go a long way to help you sift through the frustration, challenges and limitations.  How about that ‘you’ll never see death’ if you are a true believer in Christ?  That you have already passed from death to life and that physical death cannot separate you from Jesus … it only ushers us into a greater experience of His presence!!

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