Tuesday, October 29, 2013


John 14:6        Jesus answered Thomas saying, “I AM the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”    

I love the disciples and the way they are openly portrayed in Scripture. Thomas seems to speaking for the group in asking a logical question of Jesus. Jesus speaks of his Father’s house and that he is going there to prepare a place for you. Ok, fine; but then Jesus says that you know the way to the place. Huh? How can I? I don’t know where your Father lives. How can I know the way to your Father’s house?

Smartphones are great. There is an app that acts like a GPS system for your car. All you need to do is type in the street number and name to find directions to that home. Road by road and turn by turn the system lays out the shortest way to the home. It is great help when we travel. But without one piece of information, the GPS system is useless. You have to know where the place is with the street address, what town, or state or country. Thomas’ question is logical and merited. How can we know the way with the information he had to that point?

Jesus gives us the missing information. He is the way. He is the destination and he is the route. In Jesus we find the road to travel to get to the place where he is today. In Jesus we find our destination, now and in the future. In Jesus is all the truth and the life we are seeking in this world. It is in Jesus that we journey through life. Along this journey to Jesus we find personal meaning, self-worth, purpose and a future.  

Monday, October 28, 2013


John 11:25-26    Jesus said to Martha, “I AM the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”  

In this section of the Bible we come to a new hope unveiled. Job and David expressed desire for a life after death, a desire without  assurance that such a hope could exist. Here, for the first time, a resurrection of all believers is clearly stated. We also learn of the power behind the resurrection this of believers and the source of that power.

Martha, the sister of Mary, was the one busy with cooking and preparation the earlier time Jesus visited them. While Mary sat at Jesus’ feet listening to him speak, Martha was busy with all the needs of hosting the visitors and complained to Jesus that Mary wasn’t helping her. Jesus lovingly spoke of the greater things people like Mary want for their life and opened the door for her to join them.

Martha reminds me of a certain type of believer. They do not distrust Jesus, but neither do they believe with a fully assured confidence that allows him or her to lay aside their care, and rest in His promised provision. They believe but they are continually asking: How, Why, or What If questions. They miss Jesus’ blessings of a full life because they do not believe for simply, more in a childlike manner.

This kind of faith seems to limit God or limit his promises. Martha reflects this in her words: “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Jesus delayed his visit intentionally. Her words were a rebuke of Jesus, knowing she had sent word to him in enough time for Jesus to have come and healed Lazarus.  Secondly, faith like Martha’s treats the words of Jesus impersonally. When Jesus says to her that her brother will rise again, Martha pushes this promise into the distant, unknown future. She says that Jesus’ words had no meaning or relationship to her or the current situation.

Jesus Christ’s promises are all inclusive. There is a promise of spiritual life and physical life, a promise of life now and also a life to come. Most urgently important is the clearly stated fact that this life is only for those who believe in Jesus Christ and are members of his covenant family. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013


John 10:14-15             I AM the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me (just as the Father knows me and I know the Father) and I lay down my life for the sheep.

The Good Shepherd has three qualities that false shepherds do not. First, Jesus says that only the true shepherd will give his life for the sheep. The hired hand takes no ownership interest in the sheep. He is someone who receives benefit on terms that make him only concerned about his pay, his welfare in the relationship. When trouble comes or severe weather strikes, the hired man will run for safety, his safety. Abandoning position as a hire man reveals the shallow level of interest and care for the lives of the sheep. If the sheep are stolen by threatening robbers or die in natural disaster, the hired man has only lost his wage. He has lost nothing, they’re not his sheep.

Second, the Good Shepherd is recognized, known by his sheep and they listen to his voice. The implication of knowing and hearing the Good Shepherd is that his sheep will follow him. They will gather with other flocks of his sheep. Many people hear the message of Christ yet only a small number follow and believe. As the early church expanded the message they took was the voice of Christ Jesus beckoning his sheep to follow. To this day, many have heard the voice of Christ in the message of the good news and from the pages of Scripture. And to this day only a few know him and listen to him.

Lastly, the Good Shepherd has the authority himself to lay down his life for his sheep and to take it up again. The laying down and the taking up of his life points directly to his crucifixion and resurrection. The Son of God, has the power to obey the command of the Father. 

How is your heart responding to these teachings? Are you saying, “What nonsense! Who could ever believe this raving mad-man? Why should I listen to him?” Or are you thinking that these words make sense. Are you saying to yourself, “Jesus must have known what He was saying. Can a mand-man open the eyes of the blind or heal the crippled?” If you are saying the later, then don’t you believe you should listen to more he says in Scripture? Do you know that you must trust him and follow him?

Saturday, October 26, 2013


John 10:9        I AM the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.

Sheep are a unique animal. They are very skittish, loyal to only one shepherd, unaware of their surroundings and easily lost. Sounds a lot like humans, doesn’t it? When pasturing sheep in Jesus’ time, pens were constructed of low stone walls or wooden corrals. There was one entrance and exit for the shepherd and sheep to pass through. In verses 1- 5 we hear Jesus explain how a thief or a robber could enter the pen and manipulate the sheep and steal them from the owner, the gatekeeper. These verses were not understood by his listeners and people today.

Jesus then explains clearly his meaning to them. He explains this story with two examples: The Gate and the Good Shepherd. People, the children of God, are the vulnerable sheep. Some of his listeners had been gathered into the pen which is Israel, the family of God. They were being led by shepherds. But they were not shepherds the gatekeeper let into the pen. They had climbed over the walls into the pen. You see, Jesus is the gate. If the shepherd got into the pen some other way, he was really a thief or a robber. He wanted the sheep for some other purpose than the gatekeeper’s.

To be a sheep of a particular flock required that you enter the pen through the gate. There was no other way in for a sheep. So for us to enter into the flock, the children of God, it requires that we enter through the gate intended by the gatekeeper. Jesus is the gate. He is the entry point intended by God, the gatekeeper. Entering by way of Jesus ensures us they we “may have life, and have it to the full.”

There are many paths we can take in life. But there is only one path that leads us to the gate. It is this one path which the gatekeeper intended his sheep to pass through. If you do not pass through the correct gate, you will never be among the flock owned by the gatekeeper.

Friday, October 25, 2013


John 8:12        When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I AM the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

It is no accident that Jesus’ statement to be the “light of the world” follows the story of a woman caught in adultery. The story of this woman and of her accusers is a greater revelation of the dark nature of sin than anything yet told to us in John’s gospel. In his statement, the purity and brightness of Jesus shine through in abundant clarity.

John’s opening chapter of the gospel speaks of the light six times. “In him was life, and that life was the light of men” reveals Christ Jesus as the source for true understanding in life, true light to live our lives by. Those living in the darkness of this world, living by the falsehoods of the world are they who do not understand the truth of Jesus. In fact, those who remain in the world’s darkness do not receive the truth about him and do not place their faith and trust in him. They live by the letter of the law and know no forgiveness for sin. They live by their own standard of law and justice.

Remember the Israelites when they were led out of Egypt and into the desert by God. There they followed the presence of God in the pillar of cloud that moved ahead of them. Remember when they camped at the foot of Mt. Sinai which was covered with a thick cloud. Remember the people could not see God nor did Moses who hid himself in the cleft of the rock. God was present in a form that did not reflect his full nature. Moses received the Ten Commandments which would be God’s written standard for his people.

John sees in Christ Jesus the coming of a new standard grounded in justice and forgiveness, obedience and mercy, truth and grace, hope and love. The light of Jesus is the perfect reflection of God in human form. His death makes clear the forgiveness of sin forever, a forgiveness that the Ten Commandments only could allude to. He brings light to our understanding and life to our sin-tortured souls. The darkness that had been our world is dissolved in forgiveness and mercy. He is God’s presence, protection and purpose for each of our lives. He is the light of life.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


John 6:35, 37  The Jesus declared, “I AM the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty… All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.”

“I AM”, is the name God gives himself in Exodus 3:14. It is by this name that God would be known and worshiped by the Israelites. This name expressed the character of God; his dependably and his faithfulness. God desired that his people would place their full trust in Him. Jesus applied this phrase from Exodus to himself; in doing so he claimed to be God and risked being stoned for blasphemy in John 8:58-59. Seven times he draws attention to himself in this manner by saying of himself, “I AM”.

I AM the Bread of Life. In this passage Jesus declares the fulfilling and unchanging power that he has. He is able to feeds us in a manner that brings emotional and spiritual fulfillment to us. When many people seek him for the material blessings, like food, they miss the fact that his mission is to feed us by meeting the spiritual needs we have. The emptiness in people’s hearts is caused by the absence of God and the consequences of  sin. Like the woman at the well, we have needs that we can never fulfill ourselves or with the help of others. This need can only be met and relieved by Christ. He is able to meet all our needs.

The other point to note in this passage is that Jesus has power beyond meeting that need. You and I must continually eat, each day, every week, our entire lives. When Jesus feeds a person’s soul, he feeds it once and forever. Once healed by His touch, the healing remains. Once saved by the power of the Holy Spirit you remain saved. “Whoever comes to me I will never drive away” says Jesus. If we come to him he feed us and we will never go hungry again. If we believe in him we will never be thirsty again. Coming to him and believing in Him is a salvation moment. If God gives us to Jesus, then we go to him and we then believe in him. He will not lose us and we will have eternal life with him. 

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