Day 23 (March 19), John 8:31-47

John 8:31-47

Context:  Jesus marches deeper into this conversation with increasing tenacity.  He tells them that only if they abide in Jesus’ word are they truly disciples, and that by doing so they will know the truth and the truth will set them free!  They relate to freedom to physical, historical slavery, not to the condition of the human heart.  They tell Jesus they are children of Abraham, have never been enslaved and have one Father, God himself.  To which Jesus replies that they cannot understand His words because their father is the devil and they have believed His lies!! 

Observations:  Are those who believed in Jesus’ that he is addressing genuine followers of Jesus, or not?  What does the rest of the passage suggest?  Is it possible to outwardly profess a faith in Christ and still not be a genuine, born-again follower of Jesus Christ?  Why was Jesus so direct when he said ‘your father is the devil and you believe his lies.’?  What was his motive in asking ‘Which one of you convicts me of sin?’

Application:  Spend time alone and undistracted with Jesus.  Not only is he the light of the world but the Truth!!  What is one aspect of His teaching or his example that you would like to follow better?  Take a step (or two) in that direction today.

Prayer:  Lord, help me not to be so distracted during all the adjustments the coronavirus scenarios are creating that I forget to commune with you, to cast all my anxiety on you and to be a conduit of your grace, truth and love today!!  Ask Jesus to give you a divine appointment and opportunity today to be the hands, feet and voice of Jesus!

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Day 22 (March 18), John 8:12-30

John 8:12-30

Context:  Jesus now picks up where he left off with the Pharisees on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles.  He makes one of his 7 ‘I am’ statements here: ‘I am the light of the world.’  He moves deeper into the claim that the 2nd witness of his messianic and claim to divinity is God, the Father, who sent Jesus.  He also challenged their relationship with God:  ‘I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin.  Where I am going you cannot come.’  He concludes this section of the dialogue by saying, ‘When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he (the Messiah).’ 

Observations:  Jesus’ statements and teachings only heightened the Jewish leaders’ desire to have him arrested; why didn’t it happen?  How did the Father bear ‘witness’ of Jesus?  Why was Jesus so bold with the Pharisees (who opposed him), yet we are often so timid within our own culture?  Why wouldn’t the religious leaders like his statements about their sinfulness?  Do you think Jesus' statement about ‘lifting up the Son of Man’ is a reference to the crucifixion?

Application:  Bring everything that is troubling you today to Jesus.  Learn to walk ‘by faith and not by sight.’  John 8 (as we’ll see tomorrow) is an affirmation from Jesus that He was, He is, and He is to come so, just as his followers had to learn then, we need to trust (and obey) Jesus when we don’t have a guaranteed outcome of the future.  ‘In this world you will have tribulation,’ Jesus said, ‘but fear not for I have overcome the world.’  Embrace this!!

Prayer:  Jesus, you ARE the light of the world, and the darkness cannot overwhelm you.  We pray today that you would bring light into people’s souls, especially those who are directly affected by the coronavirus:  those who have it, their family members, the medical professionals on the front lines, the researchers seeking a cure, the first responders and the people who may lose money and/or jobs as a result.  Might their pain turn them to the Great Physician, Healer and Comforter.

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