Posts Tagged ‘sin’

John 17

John 17 has Jesus praying for His disciples and the rest of us who will follow Him.  He knows the end is near, and He wants to prepare those who have walked with Him the past three years for what is to come.  “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him”.  Jesus is the Good Shepherd.  He has authority over all things, yet He is under the authority of the Father.  He’s cared well for those who have followed Him, and now He is praying for God to take care of them as He leaves this earth.

He goes on to explain the foundation of eternal life for all.  “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent”.  Salvation is about a relationship.  That’s how we receive the gift of eternal life.  It isn’t gained by what we do.  It isn’t about us at all.  It is about knowing Jesus Christ and receiving Him crucified – faith in the gift of grace God offers freely to all who will turn from their sin and receive it.  That’s why Jesus came.  He had to be the sacrificial Lamb that would take the sins of the world to the cross so we could have the possibility of eternal life.  Left to our own righteousness, we’re going to fall short.

Jesus has spent three years teaching the Twelve to know Him and God’s truth.  “For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me”.  The Disciples have walked with Him and know that He is from God and came to take away the sin of the world.  Even so, they are at risk because the world and our spiritual enemy wants to destroy us.  So Jesus asks that they be protected.  “I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me”.

Jesus makes a simple request of the Father.  “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth”.  God’s desired outcome for each of us is to be sanctified.  First we are saved through faith, but then He begins the sanctification process which is when we start the path to becoming holy and set apart.  To do that, we have to know and choose to obey God’s truth, which comes from His Word.  We have to know and live scripture in our life.  Jesus ends with the truth that He’s prepared His followers.  “O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them”.

Advertisements

John 14

John 14 has Jesus talking with His disciples as He goes to His final day.  “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In  my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also”.  Here’s Jesus’ game plan.  He came to earth so He could provide a way for us to be set free from our sin, and then went to prepare a place for us as we receive His grace.

Jesus makes it very clear how we can receive eternal life – it’s Him.  And Him only.  “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”.  This is the problem for many – they want to find eternal life through some other way.  But Jesus is clear – it is Him and Him alone.  There is no plan B.  It is Jesus or nothing.  We have to deal with the reality that eternity will be based on what we do with Jesus.  We’ll stand before God and have to answer to that truth.  Are you ready for that conversation with God?  If not, now is the time to discover Jesus!

Faith in Christ will do more in our life than prepare us for eternity.  “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father”.  Being a Christ Follower means we’ll walk in obedience to God’s Word.  Christ will guide our life.  And when He does, we have access to amazing promises and power.  “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it”.  Ever wonder what power there is in prayer – Jesus makes it clear.  It’s a promise we should hang on to tightly!

But beyond that, Jesus says “If you love me, you will keep my commandments…. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me….If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words”.  Obedience is the outcome of a relationship with Jesus.  Being a Christ Follower means we no longer live as we wish, but we live as He wishes.  Jesus is our guide.  He sets our course.  Jesus is Lord which means we walk in obedience with Him!

John 12

John 12 has Jesus going to Jerusalem for the coming Passover.  He’s just off raising Lazarus from the dead.  “When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus”. This is a big problem for the religious leaders.  They see their control and power slipping away and want to figure out how to stop Him.

But Jesus is not going to be stopped.  He is moving toward the Cross and knows that His time is short. He tells those who are following that “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life”.  We are called to hate our life not in the sense that we disregard it, but in the sense that we freely give it up for God. Our life is precious to us, especially because it is something we can give to Jesus.  We have to put life in its rightful place in comparison to eternal life.  That has far more value.

If we want to be a Christ Follower, we must act.  “If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also.  If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him”.  Being a Christ Follower is not about sitting in the pew on Sunday morning.  It’s about following the Savior.  It doesn’t mean that you stop working your job or caring for your family or studying at school. It means you do all that as a servant of Jesus, a follower of Jesus.  Life is not about me.  It’s about following Jesus and loving those in my patch.  It’s about being a servant and living out servant leadership.

Jesus makes it clear as to why He came to earth.  “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness”.  Faith in Christ is the way we can get out of darkness into the light.  It’s how we can move from being lost, to having the promise of eternal life.  We have a choice to make – what will we do with Jesus.  That choice determines our eternity.  “The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day”.  We’ll stand before God someday.  Jesus is our ticket for entry into eternal life!

John 8

John 8 has Jesus continuing to get under the skin of the Jews. He was risking His life, but He continues to teach. “Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them”. The common people listened and believed.  It was the religious leaders who could not deal with what Jesus said and taught because it was upsetting the applecart of how they had lived.  So they try to trap Him.  They bring in a woman caught in the act of adultery. They said “Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women”.

They wanted Jesus to tell them what to do.  “Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground”.  This was a careful and deliberate response from Jesus. Instead of making an immediate verbal response He stooped down. There have been lots of speculations made about what Jesus wrote that day.  Guzik gives us quite a list of possibilities:

  • Some think that Jesus simply doodled in the dirt. The verb translated wrote could also mean, “to draw.” (Morris)
  • Some think Jesus simply stalled for time.
  • Some think that Jesus wrote the passage in the law that condemned the adulterous woman.
  • Some think Jesus wrote out a passage like Exodus 23:1: Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.
  • Some think that Jesus wrote the names of the accusers.
  • Some think that Jesus the sins of the accusers.
  • Some think that Jesus followed Roman judicial practice and wrote out His sentence before He said it.

We’ll not know for sure until we can ask Him someday in heaven.  But what He did say, when He spoke, was powerful and stopped the religious leaders in tracks.  “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her”.  He doesn’t fall for their trap.  He turns the question back upon them.  Then he writes a bit more on the ground before he asks the woman a question. “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you”?  Jesus knows they have all left, but He turns the focus on her and says “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more”.

Jesus then promises that if we follow, we’ll have life fully.  “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life”. Jesus is the source of life.  He reminds everyone that sin has a consequence.  “I told you that you would die in your sins, for  unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins”.  There is only one antidote to sin in our life – Jesus.  He goes on to describe what it means to believe and follow Him.  “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”.  We learn how to follow Jesus by knowing the Word.  We have to get into that Book and know Jesus.

Sin is a real problem.  It will destroy us eternally.  “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin”.  As long as we have sin in our life, we’ll be a slave to it.  Jesus makes it clear that there is a difference between the slave, and the Son.  “The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever”.  Jesus is the answer to our sin.  We have to confess, repent and believe.  It’s not rocket science.  It’s a matter of giving up on ourself as the source of victory, and receiving God’s gift of grace to set us free.  “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed”.  The promise has been given.  We merely need to receive it!

John 6

John 6 has Jesus beginning this chapter with a test.  He is in a remote area with thousands of people needing to eat.  “Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat”?  They are in the middle of nowhere, and Jesus knew there was no way they would be able to deal with the crowd.  They consider how much money they have, which was not enough, and how much food was available, also not enough.  Then Jesus does His thing the way only He could do it.  “Have the people sit down….So the men sat down, about five thousand in number”.

We aren’t talking a few hundred folks here.  There were five thousand men plus all the women and children who were there as well.  Jesus took what they had – some fish and bread – broke it and gave thanks and instructed the disciples to feed the people and gather up the extra.  “So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten”.  A miracle of unbelievable proportion.  Upwards of 15-20 thousand people in all likelihood, and Jesus feeds them all with a few loaves and fishes and has more left than when He started.

This sets the stage for Jesus to teach about what is to come.  “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst”.  It was a bit confusing to those in the crowd, and so Jesus goes on to try and explain the plan God has.  “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day”.  Jesus is the only way to eternal life.  There is no other path.  Of course, the religious leaders dispute it.  “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know”?

But that doesn’t change the truth of God’s plan for mankind’s redemption.  Jesus is the only way.  There is no other.  No plan B. “I am the living bread  that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh”.  Jesus reveals that He must die.  Some of His disciples can’t take that. In fact, He says “there are some of you who do not believe”.  Judas Iscariot was certainly one of those, but there were others.  “After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him”.  Being a Christ Follower is no easy thing.  But it is the only way to find eternal life.

John 5

John 5 has Jesus healing a man who has been laid up for decades.  Jesus comes along and asks him if he wants to be healed.  Of course, the man does, but does not know how to make that happen.  Jesus says “Get up, take up your bed, and walk”.  He speaks healing to this man who does exactly what Jesus says, even though it is the Sabbath day.  When he goes to the temple the religious leaders are not happy as this violates their law.  As a result, “this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath”.

It was one thing to be healing people, but entirely another for Jesus to violate the Sabbath laws no matter what He was doing.  “This was why the Jews  were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God”.  It’s all about power and Jesus disrupting the system that the scribes and Pharisees hd carefully crafted and controlled for so many centuries.  They aren’t about to let things slip away with this guy who calls Himself God’s Son.

Jesus wasn’t really all that focused on healing people.  He knew His task was to save people from their sin.  And He makes that clear when He says: “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life”.  In the simplest form, this is what salvation is all about.  As humans, we are guilty of sin.  Scripture is clear that all of us have sinned, and the wages of sin is death.  Thus Jesus says it plainly.  If we hear and believe, we are able to have our sin problem dealt with and we can move from death to life for eternity.  What a gift.  What a blessing from God through His love.

But people were unwilling to believe.  They were no different than many are today.  For any number of reasons, they struggle to accept the truth of sin in their lives and the eternal outcome it will carry.  “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life”.  Scripture is clear about our problem, and the solution.  It tells us that Jesus is the only way.  We have to come to Him and believe in order to receive the gift that God has given us.

John 4

John 4 begins with a bit of a positioning battle.  “Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John….he left Judea and departed  again for Galilee”.  There was some concern by John the Baptist’s followers that Jesus was baptizing more people than he was. Competition between groups goes way back – no wonder churches tend to compete for members today.  But Jesus leaves and avoids the controversy – He is not at all wrapped up in that discussion.

 

He goes to a well in Samaria and asks a Samaritan woman for a drink of water. She asks “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria”?  Jews didn’t associate with Samaritans at all, yet Jesus talks not only to this person of a different country, but a woman as well.  Both were not accepted practices in His day.  It was a simple conversation, that causes them to discuss ‘living water’.  “The water that I will give him will become  in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life”.  Jesus isn’t talking about water at all, but eternal life.  The woman asks “give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water”.

Jesus goes on to tell her about her life, and she perceives He is a prophet.  “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things”. She is beginning to put things together but Jesus tells here “I who speak to you am he”.  That was a life changing conversation.  She immediately goes into her town and tells everyone to “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ”?  It was, and Jesus opens the door to begin reaching others with the Good News.  He tells His disciples that “the fields are white for harvest”.

The harvest began as “Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of  the woman’s testimony….many more believed because of his word”.  His public ministry has begun.  Jesus returns to Galilee and an official there comes to ask Him to heal his son.  Jesus tells him: “Go; your son will live”.  We see the official demonstrate his faith in what Christ had said. “The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way”.  He didn’t continue and insist that Jesus go with him to his house.  He merely believed what Jesus said.

So what happens?  “As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering….The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed,  and all his household”.  His faith made the difference.  He went home believing, and at the very instant that he turned and believed, beginning his journey home, Jesus healed his son.  Not around the time – at that very hour.  Faith is a powerful thing.  Jesus wants to exhibit the outcome of faith in our lives!

%d bloggers like this: