John 16

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John 15

This chapter has more content than we can possibly cover with a blog comment.  But then again, what chapter doesn’t?   Jesus is the vine, and we are the branches


John 14

The images in this chapter are of marriage, union and power.  And let’s not forget love, devotion and sacrifice.  Honestly, John 14 is a great chapter!


John 13

One of the hardest things in life to negotiate is betrayal.  It seems like you can endure most things as long as people are with you, encouraging you on…but when people you were counting on betray your trust, it robs you of something…


Luke 22

Lots of questions:
1. how did Luke know that an angel came and comforted Jesus?   How did he know that Jesus was sweating profusely in prayer?   The disciples were sleeping when this happened.
2.  Judas betrayed Jesus because satan entered into him.  He was a disciple who became an enemy.  I suppose the same is true today.  Are there people locally who once believed and are now methodically and intentionally trying to destroy the ministry?
3. When Jesus told the disciples to follow the man carrying a jug of water, how did he know that?  How did he know a Passover table was set up?  This sounds incredible, and yet we never hear anything more about it.  I think miracles were so common around Jesus that they almost became commonplace.
4. In vs. 16 Jesus says he won’t eat the Passover again until it’s meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom.  Since he didn’t remain on earth until Passover the following year, that must mean we will celebrate something like Passover in heaven.
5. I’m certain that in the 40 days following his resurrection Jesus had wine, therefore the Kingdom of God has already come (begun).  But as we know from the Passover comment there is more to be fulfilled later.
6. The cup of wine shared after the meal is the one that signified the New Covenant.  I need to refresh my memory on what that cup stood for in the Passover celebration.
7. Vs 22: the disciples begin to discuss who would betray Jesus, but the conversation soon devolves into an argument about which of them is the greatest.  If I were Jesus I think I would have been sick to my stomach, and wanted all of them to leave.  Jesus however models unlimited patience with them, and uses the moment to teach them.  The disciples at this point had much experience with Christ, but He clearly was not  living inside them.  I suspect that today we have the opposite situation…we have Christ living inside us, but we have a very limited experience with Him.   Either way leads to a lack of power.
8.  Praying through the night was meant to keep the disciples strong in the face of temptation, it was never going to change any of the events that were pre-planned.  I think we often pray long or hard hoping to either avoid or change events.  I’m sure that’s possible to do, since we have evidence of it in Scripture, but that isn’t always the reason for prayer.
9. Peter had to repent because he had “walked away” from Christ.  And yet Jesus said his faith would not fail, and that he would be restored after he had repented.  There is apparently a difference between sinning and losing your faith.   It would appear Peter’s sin was intentional, but Jesus forgave him.   Jesus would have forgven Judas, had he asked.  Jesus always forgives.  And, when we sin; whether it’s intentional or unintentional, it always diminishes our connection to Christ, and it always requires forgiveness.
10. vs 35: the lesson taught earlier was that “God supplies our needs”.  I think Jesus is driving that point home, and telling them that the time has now come when they will be rejected.  God will still supply their needs, but it won’t be like it was before.  From now on, they will experience first hand the same hatred and resistance that was directed at Christ.  Up until this point he was the object of derision, now it will be them.   They needed to remember that God provides needs.
more later

Matthew 25d

Let’s play a game:  If Jesus walked up to you and asked for a winter jacket, or $30….would you give it to him?


Matthew 24

When will the End of Days happen, and how does knowing about it change anything?


Mark 13

In this chapter Jesus speaks about what will happen before He returns. 


Luke 21

When do you think the earth will end?  When will the “time of the Gentiles” be over?  How close are we to the second coming of Christ?


Luke 20

Today’s reading is very similar to yesterday’s in Matthew 23


Luke 2:1-38
  • The references to Augustus and the census, and to Quirinius help us to document the date through other ancient records.
  • I noticed that Luke’s record doesn’t say the baby was born the night they arrived. I wonder if they were in the stable for more than a night?
  • The radiance of God’s glory surrounded the shepherds. This was more than a bright light that shone down on the earth like a beam of light. This light chased away every shadow, and illuminated all sides of the shepherds. It was more than daylight.
  • The vast host might not have been singing. The armies of heaven may have been chanting the phrase in verse 14. It doesn’t say whether the army said it once, or kept saying it. From what is written, it sounds like they said other things as well, because it says they were “praising God and saying” not “praising God by saying” or “as they said”.
  • When the shepherds told their story to the people, everyone was astonished. There’s no record here that they were not believed because of their station in life. Generally, people want to believe good news, and news about a deliverer being born was good news indeed.
    The shepherds shared and went back to work. Mary meditated on what they said.
  • I wonder if any of the shepherds lived long enough to see Jesus ministering to the people. Could one of the shepherds been young enough to see Jesus born and crucified? Shepherds were often younger men.
  • God orchestrates wonderfully.  Simeon “just happens” to be in the temple when Mary and Joseph arrive. That’s because he listened to the Holy Spirit and moved when he was supposed to. I’m so glad that he did! Anna “just happens” to be walking by when Simeon is prophesying and praising God. Anna practically lived at the temple, but it’s a fairly large place with lots of people milling around. This is no less a miracle than Simeon. Interesting that a woman would play such a key role in the announcement of Christ.
  • Luke doesn’t mention that Mary and Joseph returned to Bethlehem to stay for awhile. He doesn’t mention the visit from the wise men, or the trip to Egypt. Honestly, that seems odd to me, because Luke has so many other details recorded. (like Mary’s song of praise). Maybe Matthew was already recorded, so he didn’t feel the need to reiterate.
  • I’ve mentioned this before: they offered the sacrifice of poor people, two young pigeons. Oddly enough, within a year or two they would be very wealthy because of the gifts of the Magi. (at least we think they were). Some scholars believe that Mary lived out her life on the income from the Magi. I doubt it, honestly.
  • Vs 34 says that Jesus was a “sign from God” but he was also much more than that.
Pastor Rick signing off for today.   Be blessed!