This is going to be a place where I process my Bible reading.
|Welcome to my Bible reading journey. I find that I process information better when I write/respond to it. This blog is simply a place where I can write down my thoughts about God's word. If you are reading I hope you get something out of it. Feel free to comment your take on the verses. Enjoy!|
|Today's verse John 10
So Jesus is still basically trying to defend HImself and tell the world who He is. In these verse He calls HImself the door into the sheepfold. In other words the good shepherd. Those who go through Him shall be saved and allowed to enter into the pasture. He mentions the fact that the thief comes to steal , kill and destroy. He also warns against hirelling. People who play the part of a good shepherd, but when trouble hits, they run and leave the sheep to suffer. He mentions that there are other sheep not of this fold, that He will listen to as well. And that one day we will all be one fold. He talks about the fact that no one can take His life. He has the power to give it away/lay it down, and then to pick it back up. Once again there was division amongst the people. Some thought He was had a devil, was crazy, and others thought His words and actions proved the opposite. Finally a group asks HIm point blank. What was the deal? Who was He? He told them He had been trying to tell them and show them, but they didn't believe because they were not one of His sheep. He came so they could have eternal life, but they had to have a relationship with Jesus. Once again the Jews prepared to stone Jesus. He asked them what did He do to deserve stoning. They said it wasn't HIs actions, but His blasphemy. He of course explained to them that it wasn't blasphemy but it was true. He once again escaped before they could capture Him. Many became followers and believers.
I am really feeling the beginning of this chapter. We have all heard Jesus referred to as the Good Shepherd I'm sure. I know I have taught Psalms 23 in Sunday school, and heard many a sermons about it. Each time I get/learn something new. I have likewise read and studied about Him being a door to be knocked on and answered. However today I am really loving the idea of Him being door of the sheep. These verses are really putting the two together. Pasture is a place of sustenance for the sheep. When they are here (with a good shepherd) they find peace, comfort, safety, fellowship and etc in the pasture. And we (as believers) can have that as well as long as we knock on Jesus door. And the thing is this isn't a one time deal. We don't just knock the first time that we accept Jesus into our hearts, and then it is done. That is not how it works. We can come back over and over and over. From my limited understanding of farming, you don't let your animals stay in the same pasture forever. It would deplete the resources. You have to move them. That means there is a time of transit. Maybe a time when we aren't in a totally secure place. A time when we have to step out of our comfort zones. Or times when we wonder out of the fold. But the door is always there. Jesus is always there. When we need that pasture again, all we have to do is knock. I find this extremely comforting because yesterday was a rough, bittersweet day. If was my first mother's day since the passing of my Mom in February. Death and grief are hard things to swallow. Even when we have that assurance that it is a temporary separation and not forever. I am so thanking that I can call out to Jesus and He will let me into that pasture of comfort and peace when I am at my weakness.I can not imagine going through this process with Jesus and His arms.
|Today's verses John 9
Jesus continues on His journey and He sees a blind man. His disciples ask HIm who was the sinner (the blind man or His parents) to cause Him to be blind. Jesus tells them that neither's sins resulted in the man being blind. Jesus had a work to do while He could. He then spat on the ground and used it to anoint the man's eye. The He told HIm to go wash it off in the pool of Siloam. Once the man did, he was able to see. Now once His neighbor's saw they questioned the man. He told them exactly what happened. They wanted to know where this man was, but the now not blind man didn't know. They brought him before the Pharisees and told them the story. This all happened on the sabbath day. Once again this caused disagreement. Some people thought (Jesus) couldn't be a man of God, because He broke the laws of Moses. Some couldn't see how a sinner could perform such miracles. When the blind man (who is no longer blind) was asked He called Jesus a prophet. Some of the Jews thought that this whole ordeal was a hoax. They brought the former blind man's parents forward and asked them if He was truly born blind. The agreed and further told the questioners to ask the son for detail of His healing. So they call the former blind man back and He tells them He doesn't know who the person was but he did know He was blind and know He sees. They ended up calling him as disciple and basically kicking Him out of the temple. Jesus went to Him after he had been cast out. Jesus asked if the man believed. The man simply said He did not know who the Son of God was. Jesus then tells him His identity and the man believes. Now the Pharisees overheard Jesus telling the man that He came in the world that the blind may see and so that the seeing shall be blind. Of course the Pharisees were frustrated and asked if He was calling them blind. Jesus told them if they were blind, they would be sinless but because they can see, their sins remain.
I like how this chapter starts. The disciples see someone who is less than in their mines. They immediately come to the conclusion that this must be a punishment. Someone (whether the man or his parents), must have sinned and the blindness was a result. I feel like this can be a viewpoint in the world. Illnesses, disabilities, hard times, and etc are the person's fault. Or they are happening because God is punishing someone. Now I will be the first to admit God doesn't play. We read over and over in the old testament especially some of the severe results of disobeying God. However, ultimately God is love. He is forgiveness. He is mercy and grace. He is not just sitting on His throne handing out punishments. Jesus refuted the disciples thoughts. He told them it was nobody's fault, but that this man was about to be used to fulfill God's work. The thing about it is this man did not know Jesus. When asked he told the people that He didn't know what Jesus' deal was, but that someone who could perform miracles couldn't be all that bad. In other words He was defending Jesus. It was at this point, once He was kicked out of the temple that Jesus came to the man. And even when Jesus approached He didn't start by talking about HImself. No He let the man come to His own conclusions, He just asked a question first do you believe? And you know what, the man had questions. He asked, Jesus answered.
I feel like this is a lesson we need to continue to remind ourselves. Certain circumstances are not our fault, but God can still use us even if we are considered broken. Because God can heal all (physical, emotional, spiritual, etc) we just have to be willing to follow His directions.
|Today's verses John 8: 21-59
So Jesus is continuing to talk to the Jews (specifically the Pharisees). He said He was going to go His way but because of their sins they could not join him. Now the Jews were afraid that He might possibly kill Himself because they didn't understand His true meaning. He goes on to say that He comes from above (Heaven) but they are from below (earth). Basically that He was not of this world, and if they didn't believe on Him then they would die in sin. They once again question His identity. He tells them (like He has told them before) that He was sent to earth by The Father to speak the truth. He cautioned them about lifting up the Son when all things are possible due to the Father. Many listened and believed. His next message was for those new believers specifically: He told them they were not His disciples and that the truth shall set them free. Of course there were more questions. The Jews didn't understand what they needed to be "free" of. Jesus tells them they are servants to sin. Only those who believe in Jesus can be truly free. He even tell them He knows they seek to kill Him because of His words. They are kinda confused because Jesus is referring to God when He mentions the Father, but they think He is referencing Abraham. He shoots down this idea by saying even if that was true Abraham didn't seek to kill Him for speaking the truth. They then try to act like Jesus' words are false because they only have one Father, God. Jesus is quick to mention that they were not following after God. God sent Him here to do work, and they are trying to kill them which is against God's plan. He goes as far as to say that the devil is their father. They try to snap back and call Him a samaritan who has the devil. Jesus says He honors His Father, but they dishonor Him. They try to justify why He has the devil : Jesus isn't old enough to have the knowledge of Abraham that He claims to have. Jesus once again reminds them that He is not seeking recognition, He wanted God to have the recognition and that He is not a liar (unlike them). They began to try to stone Jesus, but He hid himself away and left.
My take on these verses: The Jews continued and continued and continued to try to disprove Jesus. The trip Him up, but they couldn't. Furthermore in the midst of them trying to make a fool of Him, some Jews believed Jesus. Now Jesus could have been spiteful, but He wasn't. He immediately welcomed the new believers and called them a disciple. He gave them a purpose. Purpose is a powerful thing. Many lives have been turned around because they were given a purpose. Each and every Christian has a purpose: Jesus has called us to be disciples. We are to honor God just like Jesus did, not so we can get the glory for God. And the fact is in the midst of this journey, there are going to be some rough times. People are going to question. People are going to try and prove us wrong. People are going to twist our words around to make us look foolish. Even is the midst of all this WE HAVE A PURPOSE.
Ps. Apparently I didn't save yesterday's entry....I will have to redo it eventually.
|Today's verses: John 8:1-11
In today's verses, Jesus goes to the mount of Olives. He went to the temple to teach. The scribes and Pharisees basically wanted to tempt Jesus. They brought Him a woman who was found to be adulterous. They asked Him what to do with her. Know according to the outdated law, she was to be stoned. Jesus bent down and began writing in the sand. He told them that anyone who was without sin should cast the first stone. They were all convicted and eventually left. He then asked her if anyone had stayed to condemn her, When she responded no, He told her that He didn't either.
Picture this. Jesus is teaching (probably to a crowd). The scribes and Pharisees come busting up into the meeting looking haughty and self-satisfied (at least this is the picture in my mind). They already have an outcome in mind. They just know they are going to be triumphant in tripping up Jesus in front of all these people. It is like a show down between rivals.
Now in today's time this situation would clearly blow up. I know I have seen this on social media. One group puts out information. An opposing group begins to immediately throw shade, cast doubt etc. Then the original group gets heated right back and tempers flare and chaos resumes. This happens in regards to politics, race, religion, parenting, and etc. But that is not what Jesus did. He didn't get into anyone's face and throw His truth at them. In fact to took a minute to draw in the sand. He took a moment to take a break (maybe talk to God) and get Himself together.
When we immediately react in an angry, defensive way we are not reacting out of love. God is Love. That is the WHOLE point. Jesus didn't tell them off because if He had of it would have resulted in exactly what the scribes and Pharisees wanted. They would have gained ammunition against HIm. Instead he paused. I feel like, more than every today, we need to always be willing to take a break. Once we speak hurtful words or make a vengeful post, that can not be taken back. Its not our enemies who it will hurt, but the people who are watching our lives. It can ruin our testimony.
Don't get me wrong. We know the story when Jesus got angry in the temple. He has also shown in previous verses that He wasn't afraid to call people out. But there is a time for everything. We need to really be willing to "draw in the sand" and make sure that we are reacting in a way that builds our testimony not crushes it.
I also really appreciate the fact that Jesus didn't need to try hard to defend His beliefs. He asked a simple question, and the people were moved to examine themselves. At the end He even asked the woman where were the ones who condemned her. She answered they were gone: they didn't condemn Her. I feel like sometimes the hardest one to convince or forgiveness is ourselves. We think we have done too much or are too bad. People couldn't and wouldn't forgive us. It doesn't matter how many times we are told that we are forgiven, we might not believe. That is why I think it is important for the woman to utter those words. Then Jesus could tell her that He forgave her as well. Forgiveness is a powerful thing.
|Today we will be reading through John 7
In these verses Jesus is headed to Galilee for the Feast of Tabernacles (weeklong celebration for God's faithfulness during the wilderness). He wanted to avoid Judea because the Jews wanted to kill Him. His brothers' wanted him to go into Judea and basically show HImself in a big way to prove Himself, if He was who He truly said He was. Jesus tells them to go (because the world doesn't hate them), but that it was not HIs time yet. While HIs brothers went openly, Jesus came in secret. He heard people discussing him and there was division. He goes to the temple and began to teach, but the leaders where doubting is education knowledge. Jesus told them HIs knowledge came from His father. They continue to throw shade at Jesus (crazy, has a demon etc.). Jesus told them not to judge by appearance, but by righteous judgement. Then they (Jews) doubt Jesus's words because they knew where He came from and it wasn't what they were expecting. The officers were ready to arrest HIm, but no one would lay a hand on Jesus. Jesus offers up a invitation that if anyone thirsts they can come to Him. There was still division amongst the crowd.
They first thing I want to point out is the fact that Jesus' own brothers were trying to throw shade. They were basically calling Jesus out. He did not raise to the bait. I feel like family can be the hardest to reach. They have seen it all: the good times and the bad times. They know how to push our buttons like no other. Jesus simply told them to go and that it wasn't His time. The encouraging thing is while they might be unbelievers at this point, we know in later chapters at least some choose to follow the example of Jesus
Another thing I am noticing is just how much division there was. I feel like in these verses people are always murmuring, doubting, and questioning job. Some people believed and others didn't. If this isn't a perfect representation of our world right now I don't know what is. People are fighting about opening the country/state back up, politics, religious believes and so much more. It can be overwhelming and confusing for people who are not in the know. I am following the whole tik-tok phase. I follow a lot of people who release Christian content which is very refreshing. But almost all of them have posted a video about how the world is telling them they will lose viewers if they continue to use tiktok as a platform for God. Why? Because for every positive uplifting comment, there are other negative and hateful comments. It can make a person feel like they are causing arguments and confusion. But Jesus caused division when He challenged the world's views a well. But He wasn't doing anything wrong. I feel like He explained it well when He told them they were judging based on the appearance. They were looking at a set of outdated rules (which had their purpose at back in the day) . But Jesus was speaking based on spiritual righteousness. His was coming out of a place of love for our spiritual well-being. Yes He might have healed people on the sabbath (a big no-no according to the law) but He was about HIs father's business. He was doing what God told HIm to do.
We all have a purpose. We need to carry out that purpose, no matter what our family and friends say. Also no matter what the world, enemies say. And we need to accept that we might cause some dissention. Afterall the reason His brother could go is because the weren't doing anything that went against the norm. Jesus was the one doing the heavy lifting. So if we are in some uncomfortable places, well that means we are doing something right. As long as we are coming from a place of love and not from "holiness" or "superiority"
|Our verse for today come from John 6:60-71
These verses occur right after Jesus has laid down some pretty hard truths.The told people how it was. Some of the followers were not happy about this. They confronted Him. Jesus to asked if His words offended them but went on to say that His words were spirit and life. He even straight up told them that many would not believe. After these words some of the followers departed from following Jesus. Apparently the 12 disciples staid, because He asked them if they were going to go as well. Simon speaks up and tells Jesus that why would they leave when Jesus spoke the words of life, and is exactly who He says He is. Jesus then brought up the fact that one of them would betray Him
I feel like this is when it gets real. Up until this point Jesus has began His ministry. He is performing miracles. Crowds of people are gathering to Him, but not because of what He is saying, or who He is, but because of what He can do for them. When Jesus is telling hard truths, they become offended. It is not fun anymore so they leave. I fell like this happens A LOT. When people hear about the work a church is doing, they want to flock to it. Miracles are happening, fun events have been planned, you are able to really help and minister to a group/person. But inevitably, the moment of truth has to happen. We have to tell people the truth and the truth hurts. No one really wants to know that we have ALL sinned and need a savoir. No one wants to be aware of their own sins. So they left.
I am a firm believer in doing what you got to do to get people to enter into churches. Retreats, BBQs, fun days what ever. But I am equally a firm believer in using every opportunity to share the gospel with the audience. Jesus knows how people are. He could have went around just teaching and preaching. I'm sure that would have been enough for a select few, but He wanted everyone to accept salvation. He knew that He needed to perform miracles to get them to pay attention and sadly to prove Himself. He had to tell parables to get His point across on their level.
He knew that some of them were coming to Him for the wrong reason. He knew some would leave. He still shared the gospel and told the truth. I also loved Peter's words: where else could I go. We should always turn to Jesus in each and every circumstance.
|Today's verses are John 6:22-59
In these verses the people realize that Jesus and His disciples have left by boat (although Jesus didn't enter the boat with the disciples) so they followed them. When they caught up to Jesus, they asked when did you come. He responded that they were only seeking Him for the physical food He provided. They need to be more worried about the spiritual food. They ask Him how they can do the work of God and Jesus tells them believing in Jesus is a work of God. They ask Him for signs. For example Moses provided manna from above. Jesus is quick to tell them that Moses didn't provide the manna, God did. They ask about the bread of life. And Jesus says that He is the bread of life and that just like the manna was sent down from the sky, God sent Jesus down. The people are a little confused because they know Mary and Joseph. Jesus tells them to stop murmuring and explain How God sent Him down to earth to fulfil a purpose. Anyone that eats of the living bread of life, they shall live forever. Once again they wonder how they are to eat Jesus or his flesh. He continues to explain and goes a step further by mentioning the fact that those who ate the manna are now dead.
I almost feel like Jesus and the people were having two different conversations here. The people were being literal. These were some of the same people who just the day before were able to be full of some scraps of bread and fish. I'm sure these people were thinking this man has the power to make a little food fed the many. As church members, we know that nothing brings more people in than food. Or is that just a southern thing? These people got on a boat because Jesus had something they want. Jesus knows our hearts, whether we utter a word or not, and he knew what they were really searching for. He called them out, and told them not to worry about food that they eat but to worry about the bread of life.
I'm sure this was tough because food is a necessity. Now we might can splurge. Some of us are able to eat finer more expensive foods, but we all need food. In our minds, food is a priority. But Jesus was talking of something more important. Our souls are more important. By Jesus performing the miracle, He proved that He could take care of our physical needs with no problem. Today He is trying to tell them that more importantly He can take care of our spiritual needs. He can provide us with everlasting life through salvation. The thing is, we have to be seeking the right things. We also have to be seeking from the right place. I love when He tells them to stop murmuring amongst themselves. They did not have the answers. All they did was work up more doubt. Jesus has the answers. His answers ALWAYS led back to God.
|Today's verses come from John 6: 16-24
In these verses the disciples are leaving by ship to Capernaum. A storm started brewing and the winds rose. Jesus was not with them. After they had traveled 24-30 furlongs (2.5-3.75 miles), they see Jesus walking on the sea. At first they are afraid but He calls out to them. They allow Him on board, and immediately the storm stops. The next day people noticed that there wasn't another boat, only the one the disciples used, but Jesus didn't enter the boat with them. They nevertheless followed (by boat) Jesus and His disciples to Capernaum.
Now you have to realize this event happened right after Jesus has fed the multitude with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish with plenty of leftovers. So everyone is pumped from this event. Can you imagine being the disciples? They go out to sea rowing (not on a big fancy boat or even a small electric one). It is night time, they are minding their own business and all of a sudden a storm comes. The waves I'm sure are rough. It is pretty dark. I'm sure they had been on boats before, but I would imagine there was still some fear. Then here comes a figure walking on the sea. I would be SCARED out of my mind. Then you hear a voice. Over the rushing waves, over the rough whistling wind, over the commotion on the boat. You hear a voice and not just any voice. Its Jesus. You let Him on the boat and all of a sudden the storm stops. How AMAZING. Lets talk about the fact that once Jesus was on board not only did the storm stop, but they make it to their destination.
I asked if you could imagine being the disciples throughout this. The answer is yes we can. Jesus shows up and calms our storms all the time. I know I can remember several times: death of mom. a bus ride up a mountain on a mission trip to Nicaragua, etc. Times when my world was turning upside down. When I was scared, sad, and didn't know what was going to happen or how I was going to make it through. Each and every time I heard a voice. Now understand it was not a physical voice, but a spiritual voice. And I knew I was going to be alright. All we have to do is to listen for the voice of Jesus and let him on our boat.
|Today's verses come from John 6:1-16
In today's verses Jesus went to the sea of Galilee. At this point people had heard about His miracles, so a multitude of people followed Him around. He went up into a mountain and was sitting with His disciples. After awhile He asked His disciples to buy some food so everyone could eat. The disciples told Him that they didn't have enough money to buy food for everyone. Andrew mentioned a kid had 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Jesus told the to have everyone sit down (5,000 men not including women and children). Jesus gave thanks for the food and then gave it back to the disciples to distribute. Once everyone was full He told the disciples to collect leftovers (which there were). The people were amazed and called Jesus a true prophet. Jesus then made a hasty escape because the people wanted to make Him a king.
This is a very well known story. It is recorded in all the gospels. One thing that stuck out with me today is the fact that Jesus took the food and gave thanks. Now let's face it, the disciples were probably looking at the offerings and thinking what is this. It is not the finest of meals and it is no where near enough to feed all these people. But even though they had a little, Jesus gave thanks for the little He had. And I believe because of that, a little was turned into a lot.
|Today's verses: John: 5:16-47
These verses pick up from yesterday. The Jews are upset with Jesus because he healed a man on the sabbath. Jesus basically responded my Father is working so am I. This made the Jews even angrier because now He was claiming God as His Father. They pretty much wanted Him dead. Jesus new this and spent the next 25-30 verses responding. He points out the fact that everything He does is only possible because of His Father. Belief in the Son will do away with condemnation and bring everlasting life. The then talks about the day when those in the grave will rise up into resurrections of life or resurrections of damnation. He then uses John as an example. John was telling them about Jesus but they didn't listen to him. The continues to tell them that He comes in God's name.
Jesus pretty much laid out his personally point blank in these verses. One thing I notice is how the Jews took a moment which should have brought rejoicing and turned it into a negative. Jesus had healed a man and all they were concerned with was "How dare he heal on the sabbath." Really there should have been a celebration going on. How many times does that happen to us today. Especially with social media, the news, and the Covid epidemic. I can not count how many touching stories I read on face. They are heartwarming and bring a smile to my face. But it never fails, once I read through the comments there are always negative people focusing on something. This then creates a whole argue which completely derails from the positivity of the post. I think this is why Jesus had to lay out His identity here. The people were focusing on the wrong things. He was trying to bring their attention back to God first and then to His own purpose.
The verses that stand out the most to me during reading this are 25-29. My mom passed away a little over two months ago. I have spent a lot of time today just thinking about her. It has been bittersweet. The memories are good but its still a reminder that she is not here on earth anymore. I appreciated the reminder that one day she will hear His voice and leave the grave. I am so blessed with God's peace that I will see her again and that she is in a better place. I love how God sends us what we need when we need it.