Friday, March 4, 2016

In The Upper Room

Scripture: John 13:18-30

Focus Scripture: “I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill the scripture: ‘He who shares my bread has lifted up his heel against me.’” John 13:18 (NIV)

      The Scene is the upper room. The time is Passover. The activity is the Passover meal. Those assembled are the Master and his 12 disciples.

      In this lengthy passage, Jesus tells of his soon-coming betrayal. Peter gets John’s attention and asks him to ask Jesus to tell who the betrayer is. Jesus gives a clue to the disciples as to which of them plans treachery. He, then, excuses Judas Iscariot to do what Judas has to do.

     This action shows me Jesus gave permission to complete the plot that the leaders had planned. In addition, this passage tells me the enemy was present. (Verse 27)

     Were the any of the disciples listening? Simon Peter seems curious but chooses to ask John to inquire as to what it means. The eleven others did not realize what the Master said to His betrayer.

      Had they realized what was unfolding, could they have stopped Judas Iscariot from what he had to do? I think not, God was in control and this happening was part of His plan.  

      In our 21st Century world, we have many heart-breaking events in the news begging for our attention. I recently read that these harsh events come to us in order for us to pray for those involved.

Early in my Christian walk, I received instruction to pray for people on all sides of a circumstance. Later, I heard we needed to pray for the caregivers as well as those who are ill. We should pray for all those involved in troublesome events, especially when we do not understand them or their actions. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Jesus’ Example

Scripture: John 13:8-17

Focus Scripture: “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” John 13:15 (NIV)

               What was Jesus really doing when He assumed a servant’s role and washed the disciples’ feet?

               William Barclay points out there is only one kind of greatness, the greatness of service.1.Anything else is selfishness. He tells us the Teacher made this fact an underlying message through the visual image of foot washing.

               When do we do service in our 21st Century church? When we do any of the following:
1. Volunteer for a task.
2. Visit those who are ill.
3. Pray for others consistently.
4. Donate time and talent to ministry.
We are all servants. When we ask Jesus to come into our hearts, He bestows certain Spiritual gifts he desires us to use for the expansion of His kingdom. What we do with those gifts is our gift to Him

1. Daily Study Bible Book of John, vol. 2, William Barclay, page 139, © 1975 Westminster                   Press Philadelphia

Monday, February 29, 2016

Jesus and His Love

Scripture: John 13:1-7
Warner Sallman painting

Focus Scripture: “Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.” John 13:1b (NIV)

               Jesus, possessor of all authority of God, washed the disciples’ feet. We wonder why He would do something that servants would do. He knew of His upcoming betrayal. He knew the hearts of the eleven others. Jesus modeled love to them. I am sure they were humbled because of this deed. It was very personal to each of them. 

               When we read this as new believers, we focus on the main action, the foot washing. As we mature in Christ, we look at Jesus’ motivation.

               Only one of the disciples, Simon Peter, spoke up and asked Jesus if the He was going to wash his feet. Jesus responded with, “You do not realize now what I am doing but later you will understand.” (John 13:7)

               We all have had times where someone did something we did not understand. Usually, it is someone in authority. Even in our relationship with Jesus, conditions come to us that are beyond our comprehension. Sometimes, we have to spend quantity time in prayer and in listening for God to give us direction.

               We should be ready to hear God’s words and allow Him to work out the condition in which we find ourselves. Jesus’ reason for all He does is that He loves each of us deeply.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...