Wednesday 18 February, 2015

John 19:31-42

31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. 32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. 35 The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. 36 These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,” 37 and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.” 38 Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. 39 He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds.[c] 40 Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. 41 At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 42 Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

This passage describes the rest of the activities that happened as the evening drew close on that first Good Friday. The people who were involved in dealing with the people who had been crucified (including Jesus) wanted to get everything sorted before sun down so they could participate in Passover activities. There is a great contrast between the first and second half of this passage. The first part sounds quite callous – they wanted to break the legs of those being crucified so they could finish what was needed. The second part about Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus shows people who were concerned that the body of Jesus was treated with respect and dignity.

It is easy sometimes to be so focused on getting everything organized or a task completed that we don’t realize how we appear to others – how they might feel ignored or discarded or unimportant. What God would want of us is to be more like Joseph and Nicodemus – to go out of our way to treat those around us with respect, dignity and love – that the people come first not the tasks.

Thank you for such a picture Lord. Help us to have the attitude of Joseph and Nicodemus in all we do. Help us to treat all those we come into contact with well.

Written by Therese Manning

3 replies
  1. Richard Botta says:

    Joseph of Arimathea was a secret disciple of Jesus.

    It is clear that Joseph loved Jesus and was prepared to put himself out for Jesus. While he was a ‘secret’ disciple there seems to have been no dispute about him taking Jesus’ body to be buried. This suggests that he was known, at least to the other disciples.

    His secrecy was with respect to the Jews, yet here in perhaps the most public of manners he aligns himself with Jesus. He was fearful of the Jews and what they would think, yet when it counted he stood up.

    What is the impact of the fear of man in my life. Do I stand up for Jesus at all times. Is there a group of people I dare not display my faith to, my family, business executives, neighbours? Am I consciously making secret my faith with any one or group of people. Perhaps I over compensate as my form of defence.

    Proverbs 29:25 rightly says “the fear of man brings a snare.”

    I love Joseph’s courage at the last and I pray I will have it not only at the last but at all times!

  2. Justin Ware says:

    This passage still strikes grief in my heart every time that I read it. The attitude of the government and the Jewish leaders towards Jesus is that he has no value. His life is treated very cheaply and they don’t want his death to get in the way of things that they deemed to be more important. As you point out Therese, the contrast between the way that the leaders treated Jesus and the way that Joseph and Nicodemus treat his body is a stark contrast. They embalm his body in 35kg of expensive spices and oils and lay him in a tomb carved out of solid rock near the capital city of the nation where real estate prices were high. He is treated as a Lord in his death by these two men even before His is resurrected to confirm His true Lordship

    I am convicted that at times, even though I know who Jesus was, I still treat him cheaply. I can defer going to him until I want something from him. I fail to acknowledge him for amazing achievements that he does in me and through me, and instead I try to take the glory. I read the word but don’t spend more than a few minutes in His presence because I am in a rush to start the actions for the day.

    Lord, help me to value you for who you are and help me to become more like your Son so that I can truly abide in him fully by really, truly and deeply knowing Him.

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Tuesday 17 February, 2015

John 19:16b-30

So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17 Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle. 19 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: jesus of nazareth, the king of the jews. 20 Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. 21 The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.” 23 When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. 24 “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.” This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said, “They divided my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.” So this is what the soldiers did. 25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. 28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Here we have the details of what happened just before Jesus died on the cross. To the onlookers at the foot of the cross and those today who are unfamiliar with the story the situation must look desperately hopeless. They must have been thinking it was over – beyond Jesus control, death was imminent. When Jesus finally says, “It is finished!” I imagine those close by thinking, well you got that right!

My take on this though, is who is in control? Who orchestrated these events?   Was it the soldiers? Was it Pilate? Perhaps it was the leading priests of the day? Most of us would probably agree that they all played a role. Or did they? I am struck by the fulfilment of prophesy discussed in this passage. It all came to pass down to the last gruesome detail. The dividing of Jesus clothes, casting lots for his robe and the drink of sour wine passed to him on a sponge. God was in control and Jesus knew it! He was not swayed by the various forms of authority of the day. Jesus Father was and is the ultimate authority and he went on to fulfil all that his Father required of him.

This passage of Scripture is very sobering. Yet, I am encouraged that this was God’s will and it came to pass. There have been times in my life that I felt that I have faced a dead end, that life is out of control etc. I am reminded of the sovereignty of God and that his purposes will come to pass in my life so long as I remain obedient to what he asks of me. Jesus obedience to the point of death is our example!

Dear God, thank you that you are in control of my life at all times. Amen

Written by Ainslie Woods

2 replies
  1. David Newton says:

    There is a not so well known saying that is a great principle to live by.

    “Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him”

    Thanks Ainslie

  2. Gabrielle Martin says:

    Your phrase “God was in control and Jesus knew it!” really made me think about how I am in the middle of tough situations Ainslie. It’s easier on reflection to be certain that God is in control. I just wish my foresight was as certain as hindsight!

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Monday 16 February, 2015

John 19:1-16a

19 Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. 2 The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe 3 and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face. 4 Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews gathered there, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.” 5 When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!” 6 As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!” But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.” 7 The Jewish leaders insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.” 8 When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, 9 and he went back inside the palace. “Where do you come from?” he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” 12 From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jewish leaders kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.” 13 When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge’s seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha). 14 It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon. “Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews. 15 But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!” “Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered. 16 Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. So the soldiers took charge of Jesus.

This passage focuses on Pilate’s interactions with Jesus. Pilate expresses such a complex mixture of emotions and attitudes towards Jesus. Disinterest and disdain to the point of having Jesus flogged and allowing his soldiers to do whatever they wanted to him. And yet, upon hearing that the Jews insisted he claimed to be the “Son of God”, Pilate is quite afraid and seeks to clarify what such a reference might mean from Jesus. I also see Jesus in this account, beaten, bloodied, humiliated, and yet still composed. Composed and assured – there is no fear of Pilate in Jesus.

For me, this is a confronting account of the complex mix of human brokenness being confronted with the composure and assurance of the Son of God. Whilst I have never been in a position to treat Jesus like Pilate literally did, I know that Jesus confronts me – even His great goodness and kindness is confronting when I consider my own efforts of goodness and kindness. I have come to realise this is a good thing, a wonderful thing in fact. Because Jesus didn’t come just to be a good man. He came as the Son of God to save me, to save all of us, in our broken humanity. And I need to be confronted with the need for salvation in order to want to accept it. Otherwise, I just plug away like everything is hunky dory! Passages like this help me stay confronted, help me stay in a place of seeking out and accepting His salvation, goodness, kindness and grace…to transform my life into something that truly is good, kind, and filled with grace.

Lord, I thank you for the confronting nature of your word. Which here gives account of the confrontation of Pilate’s brokenness by Jesus’ composure and assurance. Lord, thank you that you alone are true and pure salvation, goodness, kindness and grace. Help me draw in deeper, closer to you, and allow you into all of my brokenness – even when it is deeply confronting and painful. I must have this confrontation, or else I stay in my broken condition. You did not come to suffer and die upon the Cross to leave me unaided in my brokenness. Amen

Written by Ps. Rob Waugh

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Sunday 15 February, 2015

John 18:28-40

28 Then the Jewish leaders took Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning. The Jewish leaders did not want to be made “unclean.” They wanted to be able to eat the Passover meal. So they did not enter the palace. 29 Pilate came out to them. He asked, “What charges are you bringing against this man?” 30 “He has committed crimes,” they replied. “If he hadn’t, we would not have handed him over to you.” 31 Pilate said, “Take him yourselves. Judge him by your own law.” “But we don’t have the right to put anyone to death,” they complained. 32 This happened so that what Jesus said about how he was going to die would come true. 33 Then Pilate went back inside the palace. He ordered Jesus to be brought to him. Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” 34 “Is that your own idea?” Jesus asked. “Or did others talk to you about me?” 35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not from this world. If it were, those who serve me would fight. They would try to keep the Jewish leaders from arresting me. My kingdom is from another place.” 37 “So you are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, that’s the reason I was born. I was born and came into the world to be a witness to the truth. Everyone who is on the side of truth listens to me.” 38 “What is truth?” Pilate replied. Then Pilate went out again to the Jews gathered there. He said, “I find no basis for any charge against him. 39 But you have a practice at Passover time. At that time, you ask me to set one prisoner free for you. Do you want me to set ‘the king of the Jews’ free?” 40 They shouted back, “No! Not him! Give us Barabbas!” Barabbas had taken part in an armed struggle against the country’s rulers.

This passage fascinates me because of the personalities and the interactions.  Here is Jesus the most powerful man in the entire universe being quizzed, interrogated by a man who thinks he has all the power.

It is a classic situation of not being aware of who you are speaking to!

Pilate, who clearly is full of himself, arrogant, self assured to a fault, doesn’t perceive in whose company he is in.  How often have I done the same?  All too often to be true.

Humility is a wonderful thing – it gives us the ability to perceive when we are the student even of those who, on first glance, we may think we have little to learn from.  The younger, the older, the ancient, the less intelligent, the socially inept – whatever group of people I discount, you discount, and we all do.  Perhaps we are blinded by our position like Pilate and so do not perceive those around us correctly.

I am not sure the outcome would have been any different if Pilate had been humble, let’s face it the Pharisees really had it in for Jesus and God’s plan was for Him to die, but perhaps we would see Pilate in a very different light.

Father help me to be humble, even when I perceive I know/understand/deserve more than those who surround me.

Written by Ps. Richard Botta

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Saturday 14 February, 2015

John 18:15-27

15 Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. The high priest knew the other disciple. So that disciple went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard. 16 But Peter had to wait outside by the door. The other disciple came back. He was the one the high priest knew. He spoke to the servant woman who was on duty there. Then he brought Peter in. 17 She asked Peter, “You aren’t one of Jesus’ disciples too, are you?” “I am not,” he replied. 18 It was cold. The slaves and officials stood around a fire. They had made it to keep warm. Peter was also standing with them. He was warming himself. 19 Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus. He asked him about his disciples and his teaching. 20 “I have spoken openly to the world,” Jesus replied. “I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I didn’t say anything in secret. 21 Why question me? Ask the people who heard me. They certainly know what I said.” 22 When Jesus said that, one of the officials nearby slapped him in the face. “Is this any way to answer the high priest?” he asked. 23 “Have I said something wrong?” Jesus replied. “If I have, then tell everyone what it was. But if I spoke the truth, why did you hit me?” 24 Annas sent him, tied up, to Caiaphas, the high priest. 25 Meanwhile, Simon Peter was still standing there warming himself by the fire. So they asked him, “You aren’t one of Jesus’ disciples too, are you?” He said, “I am not.” 26 One of the high priest’s slaves was a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off. He said to Peter, “Didn’t I see you with Jesus in the garden?” 27 Again Peter said no. At that exact moment a rooster began to crow.

Here is a well-known event in the time leading up to Jesus’ death – Peter, a close friend and disciple of Jesus blatantly denies (3 times) that he is a follower of Jesus.

But if you read the end of the story, you see that Peter eventually returns, is welcomed back by Jesus, and in the end, becomes a foundational leader of the church.

Most of us would know people who once professed faith in Jesus but who are currently not following Him. This passage brings me encouragement and hope that abandoning Jesus (or living in a state of denial) – or any other kind of failure, for that matter, is not the end of the story. Grace, love and forgiveness are all there waiting for us after we fail Him.

Let’s be encouraged today not to give up hope for those who have walked away from their faith. This is not the end of the story. No matter how much we have failed He is there waiting to welcome us back.

Written by Shelley Witt

1 (reply)
  1. David Newton says:

    “Grace, love and forgiveness are all there waiting for us after we fail Him.” – This has to be the ‘Quote of the Day’.

    Thanks Shelley

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Friday 13 February, 2015

John 18:1-14

18 When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it. 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons. 4 Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?” 5 “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) 6 When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7 Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?” “Jesus of Nazareth,” they said. 8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” 9 This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”[a] 10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 11 Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” 12 Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him 13 and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jewish leaders that it would be good if one man died for the people.
1 (reply)
  1. David Newton says:

    “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”
    What inspiring words. In spite of everything Jesus knows he is about to endure including death his focus is still on serving other people.
    Thank you God that you would inspire us to always make ‘People our mission in life’. Amen

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Thursday 12 February, 2015

John 17:20-26

20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. 25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you[a] known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

Wow. That is a prayer from Christ for some serious unity right there- that the whole Church from the first hand witnesses through to us in modern times would be one in the same way that Christ is one with the Father…

I know that I definitely fall way short of this level of unity with other believers, but I really feel convicted by this passage that it is something that I should work on because the outcome in verse 23 is that this level of unity will mean that the world will know that Jesus was sent from God. The passage suggests that the keys to having this unity are being “in Christ” (v21) and “having God’s glory” (v22)

So how do I actually, and practically see this working?

Firstly, having God’s glory means having his “weight” and significance. For me, this is so much more than just an understanding of who he really is, but it is to have God’s power changing us from ordinary fallen humans to supernatural beings.

To be in Christ is a tricky thing to understand. Christ talks about abiding in him and being in him throughout the gospels.

I have been studying a series on my identity in Christ, so for me this is what it is all about- how I see myself. If I am in Christ, I will have all my understanding of who I am in Him. This has been something that I have been working on for some time!

Lord, help me to further understand how to fulfill my calling to see the unity of the Church come to pass and give me the power to make it happen too.

Written by Ps. Justin Ware

1 (reply)
  1. David Newton says:

    Interesting!
    I suppose the bottom line is, without unity we can never be involved with good works greater than what we alone can do. This probably goes part of the way to explaining John 14:12.

    Thanks Justin

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Wednesday 11 February, 2015

John 17:1-19

17 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. 6 “I have revealed you[a] to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of[b] your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by[c] that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled. 13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by[d] the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

This is the prayer of Jesus before He separated from His disciples and was crucified on the Cross.

Jesus prays for His disciples and Himself. For Him, He prays that God will glorify His Son so that the Son can in turn glorify the Father.

For His disciples, He prays protection by the power of God’s name and for unity just like He and God (The Father) have as One. Also, Jesus prays that His disciples are not taken out of the world but are kept from the evil one and sanctified by the truth (God’s word), while they are still in the world.

Jesus also reviews all the works God has given him to do. So, He made above prayer and asked God to keep the disciples safe because they were sent to the world to proclaim the good news.

The challenge of this passage to me is:

  1. Do I glorify Jesus name over myself and others day by day?
  2. Am I sanctified by His words?
  3. One day, when my time has come, will I dare to say to the Lord: I have done all the work which you gave me to do?

Dear Jesus, thank you for praying for me. You are my saviour, my rock and my fortress. Though a mother forgets the baby at her breast and has no compassion on the child she has borne, You will NOT forget me! Amen.

Written by Allen Leu

2 replies
  1. Justin Ware says:

    This passage makes me light up every time I read over it because it shows that Jesus actually confirms and affirms so many of the beliefs about Him: as saviour; his pre-existence before he was a man; his unity with the father and many others.

    The challenge here for me personally is in my lack of confidence to discuss these important tenets of my faith with those who question Jesus’ position as Lord and Saviour.

    I am learning that the only way that I can develop this confidence to discuss the particularly challenging faith concepts is to not only understand them deeply, but to actually memorise sections of scripture like this one that will give eternal truth to my own understanding.

    Lord, bless me with the ability to commit Your word to memory, so that I would be able to use it more readily to disciple others.

  2. Richard Botta says:

    John 12:36b-43

    They cared more for man’s approval than for God’s

    What a telling statement. How easy it is for this to be true, for my focus and actions to be moderated by my need for affirmation and approval. How often and who do I seek approval from.

    How actively do I seek God’s approval, do I seek Him, looking out for His interests above my own? Do I deliberately go out of my way to ensure that the God story is told, or do I draw attention to myself.

    Father I need Your help to live in such a manner that I do not seek the approval of men, but of the audience of one, You.

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Tuesday 10 February, 2015

John 16:25-33

25 “Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27 No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.” 29 Then Jesus’ disciples said, “Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. 30 Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.” 31 “Do you now believe?” Jesus replied. 32 “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. 33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Jesus has walked on this earth for 33 years or so. His work and ministry is now near completion. He came from the Father; the time has now come when he will be returning to where he came from.

But with his departure, he has not left his disciples as ‘orphans’. He has promised the coming of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will not only turn the disciples’ sorrow to joy but He will also enable them to come directly to God the Father in Jesus’ name.

With the coming of the Holy Spirit, the status of the disciples has changed. They are now sons and daughters of the Most High God. They can now come boldly to His Throne of Grace without any fear or inhibition.

“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father” – Romans 8:15

Lord Jesus, thank you for your sacrifice and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Thank you I am now an adopted child of the Most High God. Help me to live a life that is befitting of your son, reflecting your glory on this earth. Remind me time and again that whatever comes my way, I can be an overcomer because You have overcome the world. Amen

Written by Shin Liu

1 (reply)
  1. David Newton says:

    I am starting to realise how deeply significant the sending of the Holy Spirit is for us to effectively continue the work that Jesus began while on the Earth.

    Thanks Shin Liu

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Monday 9 February, 2105

John 16:16-24

16 Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.” 17 At this, some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” 18 They kept asking, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what he is saying.” 19 Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’? 20 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. 23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.

Jesus made a startling statement in verse 16 when He declared, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me”. This caught His disciples completely unawares! Even if they were well versed in the Scriptures there was no way they could understand what Jesus meant unless He gave them the explanation which would clarify His statement once and for all!

What He said was both unexpected and exciting. He outlined clearly the “flow-on” benefits which would accrue. It was not just a matter of belief in Him, rather it was also the new relationship with the Father which they would enjoy in His name.

How significant is Jesus’ emphasis on joy. What He told them would happen soon would bring them “intense sorrow” [TPT version] but when they saw Him again their hearts would “burst with joy” [TPT]. It seems to me that the essence of our relationship with our Father is exuberant joy, something which can never be taken away from us.

Father, I am so grateful that You made such an amazing provision for our life in Christ Jesus. Thank you that our prayer-access to You is unlimited when we make our requests in Jesus’name.

Written by Keith Bennett

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