Gospels in 40 Days – April 6
Welcome to our study of the gospels during the Lenten season. Lent is the Christian tradition of preparing for the resurrection of Jesus by taking intentional steps to grow closer to God during the 40 days before Easter. The tradition mirrors Jesus going into the wilderness to fast and pray for 40 days, where he was tempted by Satan but was able to resist, strengthen, and grow his ministry for the days ahead (Matthew 4). Typical Lenten observances include fasting, repentance, moderation, self-denial, and spiritual discipline.
To join the study, pick a reading plan to follow, journal on the day’s reading using the SOAP method of Bible study (see “What’s SOAP?” on our website for details), and check in for daily posts from our study leaders. We hope you will join us this season, intentionally stepping toward God!
John was one of Jesus’ closest apostles. He often referred to himself in his gospel as the disciple Jesus loved. He was also pretty young when he walked with Jesus and watched him die on the cross, and he later played a large role in the expansion of Christianity, penning 1, 2, and 3 John and Revelation as well as his gospel and pastoring a church in Ephesus. His gospel is the most relational of the four gospels as it best describes who Jesus is and helps us to know him better.
Clicking on the following links will take you to the Bible Gateway website where you can read the NIV version of today’s reading:
ALL OF IT: John 7-8
MOST OF IT: John 8:1-20
HIGHLIGHT REEL: none
What do you seek?
The Stage | Becky Newman
John 7:18 – “Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the One who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.”
Jesus is talking to a group of seasoned entitled Jewish know-it-alls. He is trying over and over again in Chapters 7-8 to tell them who he is, but they just don’t hear. They hurl sarcasm and insults at him every time he answers their questions with truth. This response in verse 18 is in answer to how did Jesus get such learning without being taught. If Jesus were after personal gains in his ministry, he would be acting very differently. He would be seeking a stage (or a mega-church) rather than teaching the crowds God gathered around him. He would be seeking fame and celebrity for his healings, telling those healed to go tell everyone how awesome he is. He would be seeking the audience of political leaders, trying to start a coup to take over and become king, rather than eating with prostitutes and tax collectors. His ministry looks the way it does because he is constantly pointing it to His Father God, giving glory where it belongs.
I want to be a woman of truth, and I want my children to embrace truth and integrity too. But I also like to be on the stage. Trying to figure out what to do for the Womens Retreat talent show this weekend has been grueling for my soul. You’ve been trying Your best to direct my thoughts on it all week, and the places in my heart that want to seek personal gains — to be known as funny, smart, talented — are holding on stubbornly. I just need to be seen as Yours, and I need to see every chance I get to stand on a stage as a chance to point others to You.
Lord, continue to show me how I can point others to You, from the stage this week and from wherever You have me next. I seek for You to be glorified, for others to know it all comes from You in my life and theirs. Help me and my kids to continue to strive for truth and integrity.
The Discover One Thing main website follows a reading plan that goes through the entire Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.