The journey of a nerd who loves the Lord

Posts tagged ‘John’

Jesus Seventh Miracle

Note This is last of a series of articles I’m writing regarding the 7 miracles of Jesus as seen in the book of John.  This journey asks important questions about each of these events.  You can read the prior ones in Part 1Part 2 , Part 3Part 4Part 5, and Part 6

The seventh miracle shows us the largest miracle of all, found in John Chapter 11.

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Free Indeed

As I continue my trek through the book of John, knee deep in chapters 7 and 8, I found at least three topics to talk about.  Freedom from sin definitely stands out as the most important for myself.

31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”

34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Often, when I speak with people about God, I get a lot of resistance.  People bring up a number of challenges that they claim stand in the way of believing in Jesus as the one and only savior.  Yet, even as I address their concerns, my answers, no matter how grounded in fact, logic and evidence, get dismissed quickly.  It turns out that the real heart of the matter is a matter of the heart.

Many people live a life clinging to their favorite sins.  I rarely find people who will declare it, as many do not want to recognize their sin as wrong, much less try to obtain freedom from those chains binding them so tightly.

In other corners of the world, we have many examples of people who recognize that they are servants of sin, and they desire freedom.  However, they believe they can pay off their sins and earn their freedom through sheer force of will alone.  In the Middle East, men beat their bodies, sacrifice livestock in grisly displays and perform arduous rituals in an attempt to distance themselves from their sin and provide some sort of payment for the eternal debt it creates.

Yet, Jesus shows us that such efforts fail.  One cannot balance out the debt of sin through good works no more than one can convince a judge here that he should not receive the death sentence for murder because he did some good deeds.  Jesus not only pay the price for our sin, but gives us freedom from that sin, as well.  He covers both the need for freedom of sin and of the debt created by it.  Blessed be the name of the LORD!!

Jesus Fifth Miracle

Note This is fifth of a series of articles I’m writing regarding the 7 miracles of Jesus as seen in the book of John.  This journey asks important questions about each of these events.  You can read the prior ones in Part 1Part 2 , Part 3 and Part 4

While easy to miss, the fifth miracle of Jesus, walking on water, is no less significant than the others.  Found in John chapter 6, right after the fourth Miracle,

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Jesus Fourth Miracle

Note This is third of a series of articles I’m writing regarding the 7 miracles of Jesus as seen in the book of John.  You can read the prior ones in Part 1 and Part 2.

Perhaps one of the best known miracles, Jesus feeds thousands with just a few loaves and fish by the power of God.

John 6.1 Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), 2 and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick. 3 Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. 4 The Jewish Passover Festival was near.

5 When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” 6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.

7 Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages[a] to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”

8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, 9 “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”

10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). 11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.

12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.

14 After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” 15 Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.

1. What does this story say to you about people?
First, it shows that hey, we all get hungry.  🙂  Honestly, it shows that we all depend on God, each and every day, for our existence and sustenance.  Next, it shows we lack faith more times than not.  And, finally, in the last part, it touches how we always seek to put someone in charge, especially in religious matters.  We saw this same issue when Israelite wanted a king instead of the judge system God had set up.  Instead of taking personal responsibility for our spiritual matters, we find someone who excels in that area, and put them in charge of us.

2. What does this story say to you about Jesus?
Jesus loves us and has authority and power to sustain us.  Like the bread, Jesus overflowing love for us completely satisfied and strengthens us.

3. What does this story have to say about you?
I forget, many times, that God  ultimate takes care of all my needs, including the physical ones.  If the money gets a little tight, or something along those lines, I panic and immediately look to my own ways to resolve the issue.  I need to have more faith in Him, as he is more than sufficient to take care of me.  Furthermore, if I do experience a crisis in that area, it is his wisdom and for his glory that it happens.

4. Who needs to hear this story?
Everyone, of course 🙂

Jesus Third Miracle

Note This is third of a series of articles I’m writing regarding the 7 miracles of Jesus as seen in the book of John.  You can read the prior ones in Part 1 and Part 2.

The third miracle, the healing at the pool, shows us the mercy of God and the hypocrisy of man.

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Jesus Second Miracle

This is the second in a series of articles about the miracles Jesus performed recorded in the book of John.
As I mentioned earlier, I believe we can learn much by studying the seven miracles recorded in the book of John.  Jesus performed more than seven miracles, yet these are the 7 that John chose to record.  By asking some basic questions about each, we can learn much about God.

Jesus Heals an Official’s Son

John 4.43 After the two days he left for Galilee. 44 (Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country.) 45 When he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him. They had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, for they also had been there.

46 Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.

48 “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”

49 The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”

50 “Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.”

The man took Jesus at his word and departed. 51 While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. 52 When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him.”

53 Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and his whole household believed.

54 This was the second sign Jesus performed after coming from Judea to Galilee.

First, its worth noting Jesus’ comment about how people would not believe unless they see signs.  I know many Christians struggle with the fact their friends stubbornly refused to come to the faith.  We are not alone!  Jesus understands as he saw this firsthand, himself.

Next, I believe God is moved by our prayers.  Jesus could have revealed himself through any number of miracles, yet chose to heal a boy after his father pleaded on his behalf.

God’s sovereignty shines through, as Jesus simply says “Your son will live,” and it comes to pass.  This demonstrates again how Jesus, the Son, works with God, the Father.

Because of the above, this passage teaches me that Jesus loves us very much.  He listens to us, and advocates our needs to the Father.  His power and sovereignty reign supreme.  What do you learn about Jesus and God when you read about this miracle?

One of My Favorite Passages

As most of you know, I’m working my way through the book of John.  I love this passage from Chapter 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. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

It always surprises me how many people say they are Christian, but do not know this verse.  Now, I doubt I need to review with you just how it BLOWS my mind that the LORD of all creation gave His only Son for us.  And this one act, more than any other, defines love.  It amazes me how people look for love, or mess it up, when this one line shows us so well, exactly what it means.  John 15: 13 underscores John 3:16’s demonstration of love with the statement, “No greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

In a world full of tolerance and the idea that we will each reach heaven by our own way, John 3: 18 rebukes what our country pretty much accepts as truth.  There, in black and what, is intolerance from God Almighty.  “Whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”   You repeat this verse in most modern circles and you risk alienation.  John 14.6 reinforces this with Jesus statement, “I am the way, the truth and the life.  No man comes to the Father except through me.”

The final verses here just bring into focus something we all see everyday.  Angry atheists and people who hate the God of the Bible…the God of “Intolerance,” often fight so hard against His Holy Word for one reason.  They do not want to stand in the light, lest their deeds are exposed.  The vast majority of them do have not true, intellectual issue with God’s Word, but, rather, a spiritual desire to justify their selfish lifestyles to themselves.  We have all done it at one time or another.

There so much here, I could go on and on, but I will not bore you.  Ponder upon John today (and all through the month or so), as I do, and we shall grow in His Faith, together.