Wednesday with John – Expectant

John 8:12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 13 So the Pharisees said to him, “You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true.” 14 Jesus answered, “Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. 17 In your Law it is written that the testimony of two people is true. 18 I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.” 19 They said to him therefore, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” 20 These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come. 21 So he said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” 22 So the Jews said, “Will he kill himself, since he says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” 23 He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.”ESV

What is the general theme of the passage?
This is a passage of contrasts: light/darkness, timing/location, testimony/witness, law/authority, and life/death.  Jesus purpose is to be the Light that reveals those contrasts are what make the difference between life and death. Jesus can rightly say “I judge no one” only because the Pharisees have already passed sentence on themselves.  Their human flaw was being willing to die by their own law rather than accept Jesus as the one God has sent to offer them life.

What does it say about God (or Jesus or the Holy Spirit?)
Jesus spoke openly of the truth that His obedience to His Father would explain all those contrasts.  He purposely has chosen this time and this specific place; “I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.”

What does it say about people?
The choice is simple.  If you let the Law be your judge, don’t blame Jesus if you feel judged.   An expectant heart will…

Is there truth here for me?
This passage is part of the continuing record of the  Feast of Tabernacles.  This week is filled with expectant hope that this very week may usher in the reality of the Messianic Kingdom. There is something interesting about Jesus’s choice to speak in the “treasury.”  The treasury was the same place he’d confronted the money changers previously. Neither the timing or that location was an accident.  It was still the place where people would come to deposit their offerings.  It was also one of the most public places in the Temple. Jesus would have access to a lot of people who had come with those expectant hearts.  It would also give Him the protection of crowd cover to speak truth in a place where there was an expectation of ceremonial respect.  It reminded me of Matthew 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Sunday with John – Purity

John 7:53 – 8:1-11
7:53 [[They went each to his own house,
1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5  Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”]]
[[The earliest manuscripts do not include 7:53–8:11.]

What is the general theme of the passage?
One guilty woman, a crowd of male accusers and Jesus — all facing the reality and consequence of sin!  Jesus must distill the broad brush of the situation into something personal for both the guilty woman and her accusers.  The woman caught in the act of adultery must see that disgrace and guilt are not what Jesus has in mind for her even though she is far from innocent.  Jesus with so few words and such an underwhelming physical display of His presence has reminded the accusers they are not innocent either.  Both the guilty woman and the guilty accusers must recognize the consequence of sin is lost innocence and once lost, innocence can never be recovered.  Whatever Jesus wrote on the ground, twice, has convinced the accusers of that. They go away with only their guilty memories never acknowledging what Jesus wants them to see. While the law cannot restore their innocence, the experience of the law through His grace offers something more lasting for those accused by their own sin…a pathway to purity, “go, and from now on sin no more.”

What does it say about God (or Jesus or the Holy Spirit?)
Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground… once more he bent down and wrote… Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before Him.  

What does it say about people?
Here are a couple ideas to consider about what Jesus might have written before those men.  Maybe Jesus wrote the scripturesa that spoke about adultery and guilt. “If a man is found lying with the wife of another man, both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman. So you shall purge the evil from Israel” and “If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” Were there guilty men there? Or maybe it was the names of the two required eyewitnesses needed to bring this charge.  The standard for bringing such a rare charge was extremely detailed; the witnesses must see the actual sexual act with their own eyes.  Were those men there? Jesus clearly identified “something” the accusers recognized with their own eyes in those words or marks He made on the ground …and “they went away one by one.”
a Deuteronomy 22:22 and Leviticus 20:10 ESV

Is there truth here for me?
Jesus was left alone with the woman, not to reveal her obvious guilt, but to offer her His guiltless righteousness to replace the condemnation of her lost innocence.  “Therefore there is now no condemnation at all for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh…” Ro 8:1-3 NASB

Wednesday with John – Truth Confirmed

John 7:45 The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why did you not bring him?” 46 The officers answered, “No one ever spoke like this man!” 47 The Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived? 48 Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him? 49 But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.” 50 Nicodemus, who had gone to him before, and who was one of them, said to them, 51 “Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?” 52 They replied, “Are you from Galilee too? Search and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”  ESV

What is the general theme of the passage?
Pharisee [separated ones] was not a title these pietistic men had chosen for themselves.  It was a somewhat disparaging name others outside their ranks had chosen for them.  The Pharisees motivation lay in their belief that what Moses had written could be adapted by reason and conscience to include unwritten oral law of current Jewish tradition. That’s what separated them.  It was one thing to debate those points with the Sadducees or the crowd BUT this man, Jesus, claimed He was speaking God’s own words!  They didn’t like the words He spoke AND even worse they saw there was power behind them. That was all the proof they needed that Jesus must be stopped!  Nothing reveals the Pharisee’s misuse of reason and conscience more clearly than calling the crowd they were dedicated to teach, “accursed.” 

What does it say about God (or Jesus or the Holy Spirit?)
Jesus spoke to confirm God’s own heart was to save people, not to give Pharisees a debate forum based on reason and conscience.

What does it say about people?
God uses even flawed reason and conscience.  He gave mankind those gifts and is still in charge of them!  The Pharisees unknowingly were speaking God’s own truth when they asked “Have you also been deceived? Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him?” OR said “No one ever spoke like this man!”…”search and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”

Is there truth here for me?
Truth has become like soap bubbles in the wind.  It catches our eye with it’s prism-like brilliance for a moment and then bursts and disappears. “Make up your own mind” is easier and takes less time than struggling to figure out how to deal with God’s list of moral truth, or Moses’ explanation of the ceremonial working out of that list, or our own mistrust that man is even capable of establishing judicial truth.  But beyond man’s reason and conscience there is God’s truth confirmed that even a Pharisee can reveal: No one ever spoke like Jesus…search and see…the truth of God is God Himself…revealed in Jesus!

Sunday with John – Access

John 7
32 The Pharisees heard the crowd whispering such things about him[Jesus]. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees sent temple guards to arrest him. 33 Jesus said, “I am with you for only a short time, and then I am going to the one who sent me. 34 You will look for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come.”35 The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we cannot find him? Will he go where our people live scattered among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks? 36 What did he mean when he said, ‘You will look for me, but you will not find me,’ and ‘Where I am, you cannot come’?”37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. 40 On hearing his words, some of the people said, “Surely this man is the Prophet.”41 Others said, “He is the Messiah.” Still others asked, “How can the Messiah come from Galilee? 42 Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David’s descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?” 43 Thus the people were divided because of Jesus. 44 Some wanted to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him.  ESV

What is the general theme of the passage?
Every day of this Festival there was a ritual water drawing that reminded people how important God’s provision of access to good water had been to their history with Him and that His provision for the survival of their ordinary daily lives still depended on that access.  The “hope” of this week was that God might choose this water offering as a means of access to the Messianic age.  The Festival water was drawn each day from the Pool of Siloam, known as the “well of salvation,” and poured into a bowl that drained onto the altar.a  “On the last and greatest day of the Festival Jesus compared Himself to that water…“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.”  That made Jesus a problem the Pharisees couldn’t ignore. Some remembered Isaiah’s promise when like water poured “…on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants [44:3]…and they were talking!  Some saw beyond the ritual of that poured water flowing through that bowl onto the altar of God for exactly what it was; Jesus was the bowl that promised access to the future Spirit of God.

What does it say about God (or Jesus or the Holy Spirit?)
Jesus’s time of physical accessibility to them is short.  God has sent Him and He is returning to that certain and exclusive place.  That place is a destination even thirsty and curious people will not be able to find without Jesus.

What does it say about people?
What thirsty people need is a willingness to accept the water…and drink! 

Is there truth here for me?
I think Jesus could add “I am the bowl” to His identity statements.  Jesus is the “bowl” that directs the living water drawn from God’s own heart to the Holy Spirit. “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.  I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” Ezekiel 36:25-27 NIV

a Water Libation Ceremony

 

Wednesday with John – More

John 7:25 Some of the people of Jerusalem therefore said, “Is not this the man whom they seek to kill?
26 And here he is, speaking openly, and they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Christ?
27 But we know where this man comes from, and when the Christ appears, no one will know where he comes from.”
28 So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I come from. But I have not come of my own accord. He who sent me is true, and him you do not know.
29 I know him, for I come from him, and he sent me.”
30 So they were seeking to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come.
31 Yet many of the people believed in him. They said, “When the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man has done?” ESV

What is the general theme of the passage?
Jesus speaks openly in the Temple to identify Himself. The people know about the hostility of the authorities toward Him.  Jesus’s openness in the presence of real danger to His life has caused people to wonder whether the fact that “no one laid a hand on him” is evidence that maybe “the authorities really know that this is the Christ.” Jesus is asking them to believe He is the link God has sent them to be visible proof of a relationship between themselves and the true God.

What does it say about God (or Jesus or the Holy Spirit?)
Jesus’s identity is widely known because of the miraculous signs He has done.  Jesus now identifies Himself as having come from, and being sent by God to teach them there is more to “He who sent me…and him you do not know.”  Jesus is in mortal danger  because of that.

What does it say about people?
People have questions.
“Is not this the man whom they seek to kill?
Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Christ?
When the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man has done?”

Is there truth here for me?
It’s easy to place my confidence in what I already know.  What I know is evidence I have seen what Jesus can do!  But what I already know can become a barrier that distracts me from recognizing Jesus when He shows up in unexpected places with unfamiliar truth.  The real “sign” of  faith is not how much I know but recognizing it’s His identity that’s the “more”  Jesus wants me to see.  That’s the my own personal miraculous sign!  

Sunday with John – The Eighth Day

John 7: 14 About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching. 15 The Jews therefore marveled, saying, “How is it that this man has learning,[this man knows his letters] when he has never studied?” 16 So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. 17 If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. 18 The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood. 19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why do you seek to kill me?” 20 The crowd answered, “You have a demon! Who is seeking to kill you?” 21 Jesus answered them, “I did one work, and you all marvel at it. 22 Moses gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. 23 If on the Sabbath a man receives circumcision, so that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because on the Sabbath I made a man’s whole body well? 24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”  ESV

What is the general theme of the passage?
The theme of the Feast of Tabernacles/Booths was expectation and restoration.  This could be the very week the Messianic Kingdom would be established!  It was an annual feast that required Jewish men to make the pilgrimage into Jerusalem. Jesus has chosen to wait until the middle of the feast to go.  He’s chosen to emphasize it’s His singular identity with God that is His authority to speak, not the size of his entourage. He’s chosen this Feast to give the people who are most conflicted about His purposes and His power a recognizable connection to the symbols of this week of ceremony.  Jesus has chosen to reveal a hard truth to people who’ve come expecting this very week they might become part of the Messianic Kingdom by telling them; “…none of you keeps the law.”

“I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the LORD Almighty.  Malachi 3:1 1  

What does it say about God (or Jesus or the Holy Spirit?)
God has given Jesus the authority to speak on His behalf.  Jesus’s presence is to affirm that His identity is the purpose of this feast.  He challenges their own purposes in attending the Feast.  “If anyone’s will is to do God’s will,” and then He challenges their response “he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.” Jesus has no illusions about the intent of these people “Why do you seek to kill me?” 

What does it say about people?
The nature of the human heart is to assume the best about their own behavior; “Who is seeking to kill you?” and the worst about authority that challenges it “You have a demon!”  Wisdom from a good pastor:  “we judge ourselves by our intent, and other’s by their behavior.”  But an even wiser Pastor says “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”  [This man knows his letters]…“and in him there is no falsehood!”

Is there truth here for me?
There are parts of this ceremonial Feast that sound very familiar to me:[a]
– At the appropriate time pilgrims would wave a palm branch [part of a lulav] before the Lord in a spirit of thankfulness. [Remember Palm Sunday?]
– Water drawn every day from the pool of Siloam.  [Remember where blind eyes were restored?]  A priest spoke these words as he drew that special water out “Therefore, with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.”  [Remember what Jesus said about water and thirst?] Then that water was mixed together with a a drink offering of wine. The mixture of the water and wine at the altar symbolized the life and joy associated with the Holy Spirit. [Remember this wine is my blood?]
– Each afternoon there was a ceremony of “light” to symbolize two realities; the Light of all Lights to fill the Temple with the presence of God, and the Great Light who would soon come and bring light to those who were spiritually dead and dwelling in darkness. [Remember I am the Light of the world?]
– The Eighth Day —“Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”  John 7:37-39.                                                                                 [Remember where all these promises are made real today?]

[a] https://israelmyglory.org/article/the-feast-of-tabernacles-in-the-days-of-jesus/

Wednesday with John – Yet

  • John 7:1 After this, Jesus went about in Galilee; he would not go about in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill him. 2 Now the Jews’ feast of Tabernacles was at hand. 3 So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples may see the works you are doing. 4 For no man works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” 5 For even his brothers did not believe in him. 6 Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify of it that its works are evil. 8 Go to the feast yourselves; I am not[other ancient authorities add yet here] going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come.” 9 So saying, he remained in Galilee. 10 But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private. 11 The Jews were looking for him at the feast, and saying, “Where is he?” 12 And there was much muttering about him among the people. While some said, “He is a good man,” others said, “No, he is leading the people astray.” 13 Yet for fear of the Jews no one spoke openly of him. RSV

What is the general theme of the passage?
The end is near.  Jesus is guarding His time and activity.  He’s under pressure from those that are closest to Him to be more aggressive about his ministry, probably because of mixed motives.  They want Him to be protected by recognition and they have their own doubts about why He continues to withhold Himself from that protection which seems so obvious to them.

What does it say about God (or Jesus or the Holy Spirit?)
Jesus knows the fallacy of the Feast is the fickle heart of people having decided the public display of worship is what pleases God. 

What does it say about people?
The fickle heart of people demands evidence and then decides what that evidence is supposed to be. 

Is there truth here for me?
Three words are the truth here — After this and yet are almost all that needs to be said about this passage: “After this,” is like “moving right along” and Yet,” is like “pause to take note.”  Chapter 6 ends with “After this.”  Moving right along, Jesus spoke hard words to what was left of His disciples, “Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?”  He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was to betray him.” 

Moving right along in Chapter 7 John writes  “For even his brothers did not believe in him.”   That’s a shocking statement. The brothers knew what Jesus had done and like everyone else they believed in that!  Still they wanted Jesus to give more evidence to validate His time…and theirs!  That would certainly be evidence of a fickle heart I could recognize…deciding how Jesus should use His time and what He should do to prove Himself.  

When Jesus says “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here” was He gently chiding them because they were trying to manage His time and not making use of theirs?  Was that somehow the subtle evidence John saw of their unbelief?  After all their intimate experiences with Jesus…after what they knew to be true from their own time walking, working and watching Jesus…After this…they still wanted Jesus to do more.  

The truth for believers to ponder about unbelief being subtle,
“Yet for fear of the Jews no one spoke openly of him.”  

Sunday with John — Flesh and Blood

John 6
60 When many of his disciples heard it [55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.], they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?”
61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this?
62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.)
65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”
66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 

What is the general theme of the passage?
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “flesh and blood? “Relatives and family, right?   That’s exactly what Jesus is aiming for — a family that will interact, hear, debate and accept His truth about walking through life in relationship with Him.  Jesus means to challenge all the faulty assumptions about what He has come to give them with this “hard saying.”

What does it say about God (or Jesus or the Holy Spirit?)
Jesus, knowing — some would “take offense at this” spoke this “hard saying.”   Jesus, knowing — “…no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” Jesus, knowing —”It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all,” was forcing them to identify themselves because Jesus knew — He was going to have to love them enough to tell them truth that would make many walk away. “(…from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him) and that even His own God-given flesh was not going to be enough to convince them in that moment that He was the true food and the true drink that would make God and their eternity inseparable.

What does it say about people?
They walked away from Jesus because the truth He spoke was not just “hard,” it was literally shocking. It was certainly a far cry from the miracles they’d hoped to receive.  The only reference they would have had to flesh and blood were the temple sacrifices and by the law, that process kept them completely separated from any personal experience. They were comfortable with that separation.

Is there truth here for me?
Have you ever balked at Jesus’s truth that’s hard to hear?  Here’s my Good News: I have and I’m here!  I was slow to give up my separation and accept that my choice had already been the Lord’s choice for my salvation; “…I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”  I’ve discovered I finally have “free will.” I am awestruck by the faith God must have had in me to give me the ability to think. It was Jesus’s faith, not mine, that I would finallly begin to understand the freedom to interact, hear, debate and accept His truth about walking through life in relationship with Him knowing separation is no longer an option.

Wednesday with John – 3R’s

John 6:53-58 But Jesus didn’t give an inch. “Only insofar as you eat and drink flesh and blood, the flesh and blood of the Son of Man, do you have life within you. The one who brings a hearty appetite to this eating and drinking has eternal life and will be fit and ready for the Final Day. My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. By eating my flesh and drinking my blood you enter into me and I into you. In the same way that the fully alive Father sent me here and I live because of him, so the one who makes a meal of me lives because of me. This is the Bread from heaven. Your ancestors ate bread and later died. Whoever eats this Bread will live always.”  MSG

What is the general theme of the passage? 
Jesus compares His own body to the bread the crowd sees as necessary nourishment to improve their  life.  His revelation to them is they need more than physical bread.  Their responsibility is to cho0se to believe Jesus when He says “the one who makes a meal of me lives because of me.”  It’s a relationship that requires  remembering only two things — “Bread from Heaven” nourishes life AND that blood of Life establishes a two-way relationship; “you enter into me and I into you” to regenerate life, now, so living beyond beyond life later is a reality.

What does it say about God (or Jesus or the Holy Spirit?)
Being in the presence of Jesus, God the man and God the Son, is the source of nourishment that will completely regenerate life.

What does it say about people?
“The one who brings a hearty appetite to this eating and drinking has eternal life and will be fit and ready for the Final Day.”

Is there truth here for me?
I would like to know what those people must have thought about what Jesus was teaching them.  Even a shadowy idea of living beyond the life they had would have some appeal right up to “My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.”  My logical reference point when I read those Words is Communion, so I share the treasure of my heart’s awareness of three things Jesus has given me to remember about the mystery of that truth.

3R’s of Communion
— Responsibility — Revelation — Regeneration—
Responsibility — Choice is my Responsibility. If I give Him the gift of my will and trust in this one small act that lasts just a few moments, He will live up to His responsibility, the promise to continue and complete His work in me.
Revelation — That’s the whole point of those two simple elements of communion. They are physical reminders of the body of Christ in my own body. That little bit of bread or wafer on the tongue is meant to remind me He will nourish His life in me. That small sip of wine or juice is how I remember it’s His life that lets me see my own need through His eyes.
Regeneration — The purpose of these few conscious moments is that Grace is being served with these elements. This is not just a beautiful ritual but a very real connection to the power of Christ to remind me of these things: I’ve chosen to give Him my gift, He will reveal Himself to me, and in me,
and these moments can nudge me one step closer
to what He has promised I will be.

3Rs of Communion 4_25_2022

 

Sunday – ABBA

John 6
28 They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?”
29 Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”
30 They answered, “Show us a miraculous sign if you want us to believe in you. What can you do?
31 After all, our ancestors ate manna while they journeyed through the wilderness! The Scriptures say, ‘Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
32 Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven.
33 The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
34 “Sir,” They said, “give us that bread every day.”

What is the general theme of the passage?
The crowd was fed but Jesus knows they still don’t understand the purpose of His miracles.  They’ve found Him and have come up with a plan: encourage Jesus to “give us that bread every day” like Moses did, because we want “to perform God’s works, too.”  “If you want us to believe in you” we need more! Jesus reminds them God is offering them a lifetime of more…because He is “the true bread from heaven.” 

What does it say about God (or Jesus or the Holy Spirit?)
Jesus understands what it is the people are committed to — getting more for themself!  Jesus is aware of their obvious needs.  What they intend as manipulation, Jesus turns into the opportunity to tell them the truth they need to know.

What does it say about people?
Sin’s intent has found a way to program people with a split personality of faith that desires to A) “perform God’s works” at the same B) it looks for the reward it thinks it deserves.

Is there truth here for me?
There are sincere moments when I want “to perform God’s works, too,” but there is also evidence that sinful split personality still exists in me.  The sting I experience when a really good deed I’ve done, in secret, is attributed to someone else is the reality of truth Jesus uses as opportunity to show me truth I need to know.  I am not immune to trying to manipulate God for more…even in the sincere goodness of a secret moment of grace extended to someone else!  The “True Bread of Heaven,” has seen the need of a heart locked in A) and B).  Jesus has transformed that heart’s desire and an undeserved reward into the Life God has promised for those who “believe in the one he has sent, ”…you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “ABBA! Father!”  Romans 8:15b