Monday 18 February, 2019

John 2:13-25

13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” 17 His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.” 18 The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” 20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken. 23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. 24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. 25 He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.

I see 3 lots of people in this passage, all centred around belief. Firstly, the ‘many’ who believed in Jesus because they saw the signs and wonders he was doing V23; secondly, the disciples who believed the scripture and what Jesus had said – after He was raised from the dead V22 and the last group, “the Jews”, who heard and saw – but wanted another “sign” v18.

It’s easy to think about non-believers as wanting signs, but I think I can see myself in all 3 groups. How many times have I heard of something miraculous Jesus has done for someone and yet I’m still just a bit cynical. Or how often have I wanted an additional “sign” to confirm something in the Word He is saying to me? Am I any different to the Jews in not accepting His authority or cynical that Jesus is able to do what He has said He will do?

John writes his gospel so that I can come to believe (20:31) and even after 30 years, I think I still have a long way to go.

Lord Jesus, help me to believe so much more in who you are – your authority & power, as my saviour and Lord.

Written by Suzie Hodgson


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Sunday 17 February, 2019

John 2:1-12

2 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” 4 “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. 8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, 9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” 11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. 12 After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days.

Weddings are always a joyous occasion! Jesus is all about joy. Our joy. This miracle in John 2 is one of my favourites because it’s a little confusing. No one was healed. No one was saved from hell (not directly anyway) and hardly anyone knew that it was Jesus who did it. So why did he do it? I wonder if it was because the young couple’s joy would have been turned to angst when they realised the wine was gone. Jesus wouldn’t have a bar of that! Not on their wedding day. And dodgy wine would have sufficed since it was late in the celebrations. Again, not with Jesus. Only the best would do. Not a partial miracle, a full miracle. Not partial joy but full joy.

Lord Jesus, when will I learn to live in you? When will I learn to come to you for joy and hope and peace and love? You are magnificent in your miracles and as whimsical in your reasons as simply wanting to give us complete joy. Awesome Jesus! I worship you.   Amen

Written by Boudy Van Noppen


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Saturday 16 February, 2019

John 1:43-51

43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip. 47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” 48 “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” 49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.” 50 Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” 51 He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man.”

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Saturday 16 February, 2019

John 1:43-50

43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip. 47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” 48 “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” 49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.” 50 Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.”

For me, this passage is about seeing.

God sees me. All of me. My doubts, my pain, my troubled thoughts. He sees it all. Yet He loves me. He cares. He is my Heavenly Father and I am His son. I am dear to His heart in the same way that Jesus is dear to His heart. That’s how much He loves me.

I’m in awe….how can that be?

But there is more to this “seeing”. First He sees me – then He helps me to see.

Just like Nathaniel He says now you will see… and I do. I see that this world is a temporary veil that will soon be torn away. I see angels strong and mighty dispatched at the Fathers command to bring His purposes on earth about. I see Jesus on the cross carrying all my sin upon Himself – past, present and future – that makes this “seeing” possible. I see a Father in Heaven who says of me “I must have him in heaven with me! No other outcome is acceptable!”

Oh God thank you for seeing me.   Amen

Written by Boudy Van Noppen


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Friday 15 February, 2019

John 1:35-42

35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” 37 When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?” They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” 39 “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon. 40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).

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Friday 15 February, 2019

John 1:35-42

35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” 37 When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?” They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” 39 “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon. 40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).

Two of John the Baptist’s disciples are curious about Jesus – they have just been told that he is the Messiah – so they start following him. But they keep at a distance. Perhaps they are wondering what kind of Saviour this Jesus might be? How will he interact with ordinary people like them? So they hang back a little and don’t say anything. But Jesus notices them. More than that, he turns to engage them and asks, “What do you want?”

Jesus reveals what he is like when he asks after them. His attention is on them. This is a warm curious question. I wonder if they were expecting this kind of response? I wonder if I really do? Sometimes I get so focused on tasks that I forget to focus on those around me. But here Jesus demonstrates that he is personal and caring. So when they ask Jesus where he is staying, he responds, “Come and see!” Jesus wants them to see for themselves and share it with him. Jesus is all about the person. He is all about us.

I find this passage upturning poorly laid foundations I have in my life: where I have learned to be wary and cautious of people, and expect Jesus to be the same (“whaddya want? Go away”), as I interact with him through prayer while I mull over this passage, I find Someone completely different: Jesus focusing on me, asking me “What do you want?” I hear kindness, not harshness.

Lord Jesus, I am still learning about you and your love towards me – I am both overwhelmed and undone. Lord, may your love continue to change and heal my heart.

Written by Gab Martin


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Thursday 14 February, 2019

John 1:29-34

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”

What an amazing man John was! His honesty is obvious for even when he was questioned by the church leaders of his day he had no hesitation in setting the record straight. “I am not the Messiah!” The next day, when he saw Jesus walking towards him his prophetic insight prompted him to declare, “Look! There he is – the Lamb of God! He will take away the world’s sin.

John’s ministry was to prepare the people for the most significant event of history – the coming of the Kingdom of God among men.

Jesus’ ministry was to proclaim the Kingdom. No wonder John called Jesus “the Mighty One” and acknowledged his greatness and his pre-existence!

How exciting it was to see with his own eyes the Spirit descending on Jesus as he was baptised. John was so excited that he shouted, “This man is the Son of God!’’

John knew what his God-given role was. It was unique in God’s plan of salvation. The truth is that everyone of us has a unique role to perform, and we need to embrace that role with confidence, realising that God’ s anointing is on us.

John had no idea what would happen when God called him, but he was ready for whatever God wanted to do in and through him. The same applies to us, for we never know what is coming; but we can serve with expectation of God’s power in action to come in and through us.

Lord, we thank you for John’s faithfulness and his honesty. We pray that you will empower us daily to be people through whom Your Presence and Power will revealed in our world.

Written by Keith Bennett


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Wednesday 13 February, 2019

John 1:19-28

19 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.” 21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.” 22 Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’” 24 Now the Pharisees who had been sent 25 questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26 “I baptize with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. 27 He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.” 28 This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

I love that John knew exactly who he was, what he was doing and why he was to do it. We’re told that he was completely honest, didn’t evade the questions, nor did he make anything up, he was the one preparing the way for another.

We don’t often think about John having choices here … he could have grabbed the limelight, big noted himself, taken his ‘15 minutes of fame’, had a huge following, he had the leaders of society interested in him, wanting to know his story. But he stayed true. He walked in the calling/ministry that was his, he didn’t try to be someone else (Elijah, the prophet), or take his place (the Messiah). He is quite the role model of ministry and integrity.

I have never looked at John quite like this before. I am completely impressed. Refreshing to see a man who knows so completely who he is and his place in the ministry he is to do.

Lord, thank you for the example we have in John the baptist, a role model of honesty, integrity, strength of humility & focus, completely relevant for today.

Written by Suzie Hodgson


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Tuesday 12 February, 2019

John 1:14-18

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and[a] is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

John writes in verse 17 (NLT): “For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.” The New American Standard Version puts it this way-

“For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realised through Jesus Christ. ”

Were realised – came to be – through Jesus Christ.

The law – the rules – “behaving right” over “believing and trusting right” – seem to be my go to – my measurement of successful spiritual living. Even though I read that I do not live under the law – somehow I fall into the habit of living under the law – instead of realising the amazing grace and truth Jesus has brought and wants to keep bringing into my world. I so need to keep reading and holding onto the truth of God’s Word. Allowing it to renew my thinking – which then informs my doing.

Lord – forgive me for choosing to live under the wrong belief that You love me based on what I do and how many rules I get right. Free my thinking (again) – to realise that grace and truth – Your unfailing love and faithfulness are mine because of You Jesus. Thank you.

Written by Ps. Linda Quinn


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Monday 11 February, 2019

John 1:9-13

9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

When Jesus came into the world as the Son of God there were many who did not recognise Him, both those who were God’s chosen people and those who had nothing to do with God. These people missed out on receiving all God had to offer. The next sentence though involves a big ‘but’. Yes there were those who failed to recognise Jesus, BUT, there were many who did recognise and accept Jesus. And what happened to these people? They became the sons and daughters of God, not by any human effort, but because of God’s actions.

Do I really stop and think about the people who accepted Jesus? Do I ponder how their lives changed, not just for the years on earth, but for eternity? Do I somehow undermine the amazing truth that those who were in rebellion against God came into his family, by focusing on the fact that many failed to recognise and even rejected Jesus? Do I continue to focus on that today? Do I spend more time thinking about all the people around me who fail to recognise Jesus, rather than taking a look at the lives of those who have come to know Jesus? Do I consider how their lives have changed, and how their eternity is now filled with hope?

God, please help me to take off my dark shades and to see the amazing work you are doing in the people around me – bringing people to you and changing people’s lives as they become your sons and daughters. Help me to see that you are powerfully at work, and for every one who recognises you, a life is forever changed. Thank you that you call me to partner with you in helping people to recognise Jesus, Holy Spirit shine through me and help me reveal more of Jesus’ goodness and greatness. Amen.

Written by Beth Waugh

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