Jesus Is Always The Truth (John 7)

Some people like to point to John 7:8 to try and accuse Jesus of lying.  Jesus told his brothers that He was not going up to the feast.  Later though, He did go.

I can understand how a non-Christian would think that this was lying.  But they’d be wrong.  And they have the responsibility to look deeper into the passage to see what the truth of the matter is.

When Jesus said he wasn’t yet “going”, he used this Greek word…

 anabainw Verb : 1st Person : Present : Active : Indicative : Singular 305 anabainw

“Going”, also transliterated “Anabaino”, is a present tense word, not future tense.  Jesus was waiting to go later, but was not going up at the time with His brothers.  This lines up just fine with what Christ said.

Please remember that Christ will never lead you astray.  He calls all men unto Himself.  He will not ever sin, nor will He call us to sin.

Psalm 3:5

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge Him,
and He will make your paths straight.

Beyond Our Imagination (John 6)

In John 6 we read that the disciples were rowing across the water at night when they saw Jesus walking towards them on the water.  And it frightened them.

It’s kinda like that with us and Jesus.  We get to doing something and then all of a sudden God shows Himself in a way that we’ve never seen Him before.  In a way we never thought possible.

Then we get scared.  We think “surely it can’t be Him.”  But God knows our fears, He knows our concerns.  He comforts us by assuring us that it is indeed Him working in our lives.  And then somehow we end up on the other side of the sea with the trouble behind us.

We should be careful not to wrongly attribute things to God.  But we also need to learn how to recognize when it is indeed God’s hand that’s sweeping through our lives.  We need to accept that there’s a lot more to God than we could ever know, that He is eternally capable of surprising us with new things about Himself. 

And when we recognize Him, if we have trusted our all in Him, we can know that we need not be afraid.

Praise Him for His greatness!

Consider it Pure Joy (John 6)

In John 6 we have the recording of Jesus feeding the 5,000.  Jesus, seeing the large crowd, took the opportunity to test Philip…

Therefore Jesus, lifting up His eyes and seeing that a large crowd was coming to Him, said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these may eat?”  This He was saying to test him, for He Himself knew what He was intending to do.

That’s a lot of pressure to just suddenly put on Philip.  Likely he hadn’t been told to prepare for this situation, and he didn’t exactly have the resource on hand to feed all these people… at least not in the way he was looking at things.  But we don’t read about Philip flipping out or getting angry.  Philip simply answers,

“Eight months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”

Philip was obviously a little bit worked up.  But he didn’t go into a self pity mode and talk about how life is to hard, or how God should make things easier on him.  He just states the situation.

I’m reminded of James 1:2

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

I think Philip could have done better with his attitude, but I also think that the average follower of Christ can do better.  We get so bent out of shape over the difficulties in life, and complain about it to anyone who will listen.  But God allows us to go through those things in a way that builds us up eternally.

I pray we all would consider it pure joy when we face trials, when we are called to the difficult tasks.  Certainly, loving others is something that can be… “trying”.  It sometimes requires that we die to our selves in order to love them.  But Jesus died for us.  It’s ok if we have to die too.

Instead of complaining about having to love people and about God’s “difficult” love for us, may we remember that love is a good thing…

Love Is A Good Thing

No stones? (John 2)

When you read the stories in the New Testament you don’t often get the picture that the Jews of Jesus’ time were people who sat by and took whatever was dealt to them.  Often times we see them trying to stone people to death, and once we saw them try to push Jesus off of a cliff!

I’m not posting this to say that the Jews were a violent people in general.  But when reading the second half of John 2, one should consider the tendencies that many of the people had when it came to deeds and services related to God.  In religious matters, one could not go about doing as he pleased if it was in opposition to the religious leaders.

One certainly couldn’t go around overturning the merchant tables at the temple, and threatening people with a whip.  But we see a unique event recorded in John 2.  Jesus turned the tables over, threatening violence.  And guess what…

They had nothing to say for themselves, and they did not threaten Christ.

There was something about Jesus, a presence, it seems, that people could not deny.  Here in this passage nobody attacks Jesus.  In fact, nobody even accuses Him of wrong doing.  Sure, they ask Him by what authority He did what He did.  But that’s all they did.  They never even defended their market.

We see Jesus’ presence come into play in other places too.  The main one that comes to my mind is when the soldiers first came to take Christ away to be crucified.  When they ask for Jesus He replies with “I am He”, and they all fall to the ground!  I don’t know what exactly happened, but it cannot be denied that Jesus had a special presence.

And I think that it may be good for us to remember that Christ has the right to be that way in the hearts of other Christians.  Sometimes we see a brother or sister struggling in sin, and we neglect our duty to tell them what Christ says.  Sure, we’re to do so in gentleness, but we are to approach them just the same.

So if you have let Christ be the Lord of your life, listen to Him and let others hear what He says.  Trust that Jesus is the only one who can truly help people.  And trust that if He be lifted up, He will draw all men unto Himself.

We destroyed His body, and He rose it up in three days.  We are God’s temple, and he can raise us up as well.  Nobody has grounds to deny His zeal. 

None have stones to throw when Jesus clears the temple.