January 15 – Chronological Life of Jesus Day 11
Today’s reading covers A LOT, and I can’t get to it all. Please share what God’s telling you through today’s reading! Just put a blurb in the Comments section below today’s post on our website. Also, we are looking for guest posts. If you’re interested, please let me know!
READ: John 2-4
John 2:1 starts, “On the third day…” From the events in John 1, I assume this to mean that Jesus and his disciples went to a wedding in Cana three days after Jesus was baptized, or three days after his ministry began. And this is where he chose to perform his first miracle, the purpose of which was to reveal his glory to his disciples (John 2:11). With their growing faith, his disciples continued to follow him to Capernaum and then to Jerusalem for the Passover (John 2:12-25). And that’s where Jesus started rocking the boat. Seeing Jesus’ zeal for the house of God, how do you think he would react if he walked into your church?
John 3:1-31 tells about an interesting encounter between Jesus and Nicodemus, a man whom Jesus calls “Israel’s teacher” in vs. 10 and who came to Jesus in the middle of the night so no one would see him. Nicodemus has some good questions, and Jesus has some cryptic answers. A hardened heart gets confused by spiritual answers because they require faith to understand, exactly what is lacking in a hardened heart. Nicodemus’ heart seems to be hardened in this encounter with Jesus. But there’s hope, especially when Jesus gives him the whole gospel in a nutshell, the Good News wrapped up in a bow and freely given to him as a present, summed up in one sentence from John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Remember Nicodemus! He’s mentioned in John’s gospel two more times, and each time we learn more about his walk with Jesus.
Do you know a Nicodemus? Maybe you were a Nicodemus once? Maybe ashamed for anyone to see you talking with Jesus? There’s hope for all of the Nicodemus’ out there, no matter how much they’ve fought belief in God and His Son, because God loves ALL of us! John 3:17 says, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” God does not want us to wallow in the self-pity of our sinful nature; He has more for us. He is saving us from our sinful nature! Also, if God’s intent is not to condemn the world in our sins, then we should not be doing that either. The judgmental stereotype that we as Christians have earned in the world is not what God wants; it doesn’t glorify Him, and it contradicts the very words of Jesus in this verse. All of us in this world are lumped into the same category—sinners—no matter the sin. Thus, our focus in sharing the Good News should be on God’s love and salvation for US as sinners.
John 3:22-36 looks more into the type of man John the Baptist was. He continued his baptism of repentance throughout the first part of Jesus’ ministry. Earlier this week, we reflected on the humility of John the Baptist, summarized so perfectly in his own words in John 3:30: “He must become greater; I must become less.” For a more thorough covering of John 3:19-36, check out my archived post from October 6 from the John study.
John 4:1:-42 follows a beautiful encounter between Jesus and a woman at the well. Summarizing it here would not do it justice, so I hope you read it and let God speak to you through it. For more discussion on this, see my archived posts from October 7 and 8 from the John study.
You love me and every human, ever, so much that You gave us Your Son Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins, and to rise from the dead, so whoever believes this will get to be with You in heaven forever. Your love and salvation are amazing!
There’s You, our perfect God, and there’s us—sinners, every last one of us. There’s no reason we should be together, we are opposites, except for love. You are love, and Your love for us overcomes our imperfection! Thank You for the incredibly amazing gift of love! Thank You for summing up the Good News in one sentence in Your Word for my simple mind! Help me not to puff up in righteousness because You have protected me from sins that my imperfect human mind ranks as worse, but to just know that I am a sinner, just like everyone else in this world, and leave it at that. It’s not about the specific sins committed; it’s about the salvation You offer us! Thank You for salvation through Your Son Jesus!