An Explanation of Lessons from Lent
In the next 40 days (27 now because you have already accomplished thirteen), the weeks leading up to Easter, the posts on Glimpsed Glory will be different. I am reading through the New Testament during this time and I am hoping the Holy Spirit will lead me to a fresh revelation each and every day. I’m going into it with a prayerful heart and an expectant spirit but I will fully confess to you that my soul feels sluggish.
I have been in a place of exhaustion over these last months. My mind has been clouded, my body has ached and insomnia has been my companion since late December. The enemy has been and is still whispering in my ear that my Jesus has forgotten me . . . that He has finally tired of my imperfections and left me behind.
I’m not giving in to it! I am going to fight the good fight of faith and follow the example of my Nehemiah Man. I am going to stand firm in my faith because if I do not, I will not stand at all. I’m praising God for bringing me to a place of emptiness so that I can look to Him to fill my cup.
I’m coming before the Lord and I’m asking Him to do a new thing in me. To rouse my heart to His side and to draw me near in real and tangible ways. To plow through the fog that has settled over me in the form of health issues, physical stress, and emotional upheaval and lay a level path before me. I’m entering the throne room and I’m humbly reminding Him that He has invited me to come in my time of need. O Lord – be near to me. Love me where I am. Take me where I need to be.
That’s the cry of my heart Sweet Sister and I’m thinking that if I am in this place that perhaps you are too. It might be that different life situations have brought us here but here we are. If that’s the case, I want you to know that you are not alone and that you have a faith sister to walk through it with. We can do this together – you and I. It’s why God gave us to one another. We can join our hearts and we can offer up the next 40 days to the Beautiful One and trust Him to do the beautiful thing in us.
So here’s what I’ll do. I’ll post the daily reading on the blog (except for Sundays) and if you read the Scriptures not only will you have read through the entire New Testament by Easter but God promises that He’ll show you deep and unsearchable things you do not know. He promises that His word is alive and active and will transform your heart. I could use some transformation. What about you?
At the end of the daily passage, I’m going to share my “Lesson from Lent” – nothing long or drawn out just something that God uses to speak straight to my heart from the Scripture that day. I’m putting it at the end because if your time runs short on a particular day – I want you to skip reading my words, not His.
I’m hoping that you’ll start your own running record of what God is showing you. Maybe you’ll even be moved to leave a comment so your Sisters can glean from what you’re learning. No matter how you choose to keep track of all He shares with you . . . treasure it up in your heart Sweet One, meditate on it, mull it over, consider the whisper of the Lover of your soul. The God of the Universe is the only Voice we need to revive our tired souls. So, let’s you and I lean in close, pray for ears to hear and hearts to respond. Let’s dig in to the riches He has given us and prepare to be amazed by what He will reveal to our expectant hearts. O Sister, let’s boldly ask Him for a lesson from Lent and then brace ourselves for a glimpse of Glory!
March 5, 2015 ~~ John 1-5
Footnotes: I’ve left the footnotes in place if you would like to track down sources in word study and language. Please follow the link to each chapter and scroll to the bottom of the passage.
3 All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him was not even one thing made that has come into being.
4 In Him was Life, and the Life was the Light of men. 5 And the Light shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has never overpowered it [put it out or absorbed it or appropriated it, and is unreceptive to it].
6 There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came to witness, that he might testify of the Light, that all men might believe in it [adhere to it, trust it, and rely upon it] through him. 8 He was not the Light himself, but came that he might bear witness regarding the Light. 9 There it was—the true Light [was then] coming into the world [the genuine, perfect, steadfast Light] that illumines every person. 10 He came into the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him [did not know Him]. 11 He came to that which belonged to Him [to His own—His domain, creation, things, world], and they who were His own did not receive Him and did not welcome Him.
12 But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name—13 Who owe their birth neither to [c]bloods nor to the will of the flesh [that of physical impulse] nor to the will of man [that of a natural father], but to God. [They are born of God!]
14 And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled (fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us; and we [actually] saw His glory (His honor, His majesty), such glory as an only begotten son receives from his father, full of grace (favor, loving-kindness) and truth.
15 John testified about Him and cried out, This was He of Whom I said, He Who comes after me has priority over me, for He was before me. [He takes rank above me, for He existed before I did. He has advanced before me, because He is my Chief.] 16 For out of His fullness (abundance) we have all received [all had a share and we were all supplied with] one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift [heaped] upon gift.
17 For while the Law was given through Moses, grace ([d]unearned, undeserved favor and spiritual blessing) and truth came through Jesus Christ.
18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only [e]unique Son, or [f]the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].
19 And this is the testimony of John when the Jews sent priests and Levites to him from Jerusalem to ask him, Who are you? 20 He confessed (admitted the truth) and did not try to conceal it, but acknowledged, I am not the Christ! 21 They asked him, What then? Are you Elijah? And he said, I am not! Are you the Prophet? And he answered, No! 22 Then they said to him, Who are you? Tell us, so that we may give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself? 23 He said, I am the voice of one crying aloud in the wilderness [the voice of one shouting in the desert], Prepare the way of the Lord [level, straighten out, the path of the Lord], as the prophet Isaiah said.
24 The messengers had been sent from the Pharisees. 25 And they asked him, Why then are you baptizing if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet? 26 John answered them, I [only] baptize [g]in (with) water. Among you there stands One Whom you do not recognize and with Whom you are not acquainted and of Whom you know nothing. 27 It is He Who, coming after me, is preferred before me, the string of Whose sandal I am not worthy to unloose. 28 These things occurred in Bethany (Bethabara) across the Jordan [[h]at the Jordan crossing], where John was then baptizing.
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming to him and said, Look! There is the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is He of Whom I said, After me comes a Man Who has priority over me [Who takes rank above me] because He was before me and existed before I did. 31 And I did not know Him and did not recognize Him [myself]; but it is in order that He should be made manifest and be revealed to Israel [be brought out where we can see Him] that I came baptizing [i]in (with) water.
32 John gave further evidence, saying, I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and it dwelt on Him [never to depart]. 33 And I did not know Him nor recognize Him, but He Who sent me to baptize [j]in (with) water said to me, Upon Him Whom you shall see the Spirit descend and remain, that One is He Who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. 34 And I have seen [that happen—I actually did see it] and my testimony is that this is the Son of God!
35 Again the next day John was standing with two of his disciples, 36 And he looked at Jesus as He walked along, and said, Look! There is the Lamb of God! 37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Him. 38 But Jesus turned, and as He saw them following Him, He said to them, What are you looking for? [And what is it you wish?] And they answered Him, Rabbi—which translated is Teacher—where are You staying? 39 He said to them, Come and see. So they went and saw where He was staying, and they remained with Him [k] that day. It was then about the tenth hour (about four o’clock in the afternoon).
40 One of the two who heard what John said and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first sought out and found his own brother Simon and said to him, We have found (discovered) the Messiah!—which translated is the Christ (the Anointed One). 42 Andrew then led (brought) Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, You are Simon son of John. You shall be called Cephas—which translated is Peter [Stone].
43 The next day Jesus desired and decided to go into Galilee; and He found Philip and said to him, Join Me as My attendant and follow Me. 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, of the same city as Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip sought and found Nathanael and told him, We have found (discovered) the One Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote about—Jesus from Nazareth, the [legal] son of Joseph! 46 Nathanael answered him, [Nazareth!] Can anything good come out of Nazareth? Philip replied, Come and see!
47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him and said concerning him, See! Here is an Israelite indeed [a true descendant of Jacob], in whom there is no guile nor deceit nor falsehood nor duplicity! 48 Nathanael said to Jesus, How do You know me? [How is it that You know these things about me?] Jesus answered him, Before [ever] Philip called you, when you were still under the fig tree, I saw you. 49 Nathanael answered, Teacher, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel! 50 Jesus replied, Because I said to you, I saw you beneath the fig tree, do you believe in and rely on and trust in Me? You shall see greater things than this! 51 Then He said to him, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you all, you shall see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man!
On the third day there was a wedding at Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus also was invited with His disciples to the wedding. 3 And when the wine was all gone, the mother of Jesus said to Him, They have no more wine! 4 Jesus said to her, [[a]Dear] woman, what is that to you and to Me? [What do we have in common? Leave it to Me.] My time (hour to act) has not yet come. 5 His mother said to the servants, Whatever He says to you, do it.
6 Now there were six waterpots of stone standing there, as the Jewish custom of purification (ceremonial washing) demanded, holding twenty to thirty gallons apiece. 7 Jesus said to them, Fill the waterpots with water. So they filled them up to the brim. 8 Then He said to them, Draw some out now and take it to the manager of the feast [to the one presiding, the superintendent of the banquet]. So they took him some. 9 And when the manager tasted the water just now turned into wine, not knowing where it came from—though the servants who had drawn the water knew—he called the bridegroom 10 And said to him, Everyone else serves his best wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then he serves that which is not so good; but you have kept back the good wine until now!
11 This, the first of His signs (miracles, wonderworks), Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory [by it He displayed His greatness and His power openly], and His disciples believed in Him [adhered to, trusted in, and relied on Him].
12 After that He went down to Capernaum with His mother and brothers and disciples, and they stayed there only a few days.
13 Now the Passover of the Jews was approaching, so Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 There He found in the temple [[b]enclosure] those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers sitting there [also at their stands]. 15 And having made a lash (a whip) of cords, He drove them all out of the temple [[c]enclosure]—both the sheep and the oxen—spilling and scattering the brokers’ money and upsetting and tossing around their trays (their stands). 16 Then to those who sold the doves He said, Take these things away (out of here)! Make not My Father’s house a house of merchandise (a marketplace, a sales shop)!
17 And His disciples remembered that it is written [in the Holy Scriptures], Zeal (the fervor of love) for Your house will eat Me up. [I will be consumed with jealousy for the honor of Your house.]
18 Then the Jews retorted, What sign can [d]You show us, seeing You do these things? [What sign, miracle, token, indication can You give us as evidence that You have authority and are commissioned to act in this way?] 19 Jesus answered them, Destroy (undo) this temple, and in three days I will raise it up again. 20 Then the Jews replied, It took forty-six years to build this temple (sanctuary), and will You raise it up in three days? 21 But He had spoken of the temple which was His body. 22 When therefore He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this. And so they believed and trusted and relied on the Scripture and the word (message) Jesus had spoken.
23 But when He was in Jerusalem during the Passover Feast, many believed in His name [identified themselves with His party] after seeing His signs (wonders, miracles) which He was doing.
24 But Jesus [for His part] did not trust Himself to them, because He knew all [men]; 25 And He did not need anyone to bear witness concerning man [needed no evidence from anyone about men], for He Himself knew what was in human nature. [He could read men’s hearts.]
Now there was a certain man among the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler (a leader, an authority) among the Jews, 2 Who came to Jesus at night and said to Him, Rabbi, we know and are certain that You have come from God [as] a Teacher; for no one can do these signs (these wonderworks, these miracles—and produce the proofs) that You do unless God is with him. 3 Jesus answered him, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that unless a person is born again (anew, from above), he cannot ever see (know, be acquainted with, and experience) the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus said to Him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter his mother’s womb again and be born? 5 Jesus answered, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, unless a man is born of water and [[a]even] the Spirit, he cannot [ever] enter the kingdom of God. 6 What is born of [from] the flesh is flesh [of the physical is physical]; and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not [do not be surprised, astonished] at My telling you, You must all be born anew (from above). 8 The wind blows (breathes) where it wills; and though you hear its sound, yet you neither know where it comes from nor where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.
9 Nicodemus answered by asking, How can all this be possible? 10 Jesus replied, Are you the teacher of Israel, and yet do not know nor understand these things? [Are they strange to you?] 11 I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, We speak only of what we know [we know absolutely what we are talking about]; we have actually seen what we are testifying to [we were eyewitnesses of it]. And still you do not receive our testimony [you reject and refuse our evidence—that of Myself and of all those who are born of the Spirit]. 12 If I have told you of things that happen right here on the earth and yet none of you believes Me, how can you believe (trust Me, adhere to Me, rely on Me) if I tell you of heavenly things?
13 And yet no one has ever gone up to heaven, but there is One Who has come down from heaven—the Son of Man [Himself], [b]Who is (dwells, has His home) in heaven. 14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert [on a pole], so must [so it is necessary that] the Son of Man be lifted up [on the cross], 15 In order that everyone who believes in Him [who cleaves to Him, trusts Him, and relies on Him] may [c]not perish, but have eternal life and [actually] live forever!
16 For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten ([d]unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.
18 He who believes in Him [who clings to, trusts in, relies on Him] is not judged [he who trusts in Him never comes up for judgment; for him there is no rejection, no condemnation—he incurs no damnation]; but he who does not believe (cleave to, rely on, trust in Him) is judged already [he has already been convicted and has already received his sentence] because he has not believed in and trusted in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [He is condemned for refusing to let his trust rest in Christ’s name.]
19 The [basis of the] judgment (indictment, the test by which men are judged, the ground for the sentence) lies in this: the Light has come into the world, and people have loved the darkness rather than and more than the Light, for their works (deeds) were evil. 20 For every wrongdoer hates (loathes, detests) the Light, and will not come out into the Light but shrinks from it, lest his works (his deeds, his activities, his conduct) be exposed and reproved.
21 But he who practices truth [who does what is right] comes out into the Light; so that his works may be plainly shown to be what they are—wrought with God [divinely prompted, done with God’s help, in dependence upon Him].
22 After this, Jesus and His disciples went into the land (the countryside) of Judea, where He remained with them, and baptized. 23 But John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, for there was an abundance of water there, and the people kept coming and being baptized. 24 For John had not yet been thrown into prison.
25 Therefore there arose a controversy between some of John’s disciples and a Jew in regard to purification. 26 So they came to John and reported to him, Rabbi, the Man Who was with you on the other side of the Jordan [[e]at the Jordan crossing]—and to Whom you yourself have borne testimony—notice, here He is baptizing too, and everybody is flocking to Him! 27 John answered, A man can receive nothing [he can claim nothing, he can [f]take unto himself nothing] except as it has been granted to him from heaven. [A man must be content to receive the gift which is given him from heaven; there is no other source.] 28 You yourselves are my witnesses [you personally bear me out] that I stated, I am not the Christ (the Anointed One, the Messiah), but I have [only] been sent before Him [in advance of Him, to be His appointed forerunner, His messenger, His announcer]. 29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the groomsman who stands by and listens to him rejoices greatly and heartily on account of the bridegroom’s voice. This then is my pleasure and joy, and it is now complete.
30 He must increase, but I must decrease. [He must grow more prominent; I must grow less so.] 31 He Who comes from above (heaven) is [far] above all [others]; he who comes from the earth belongs to the earth, and talks the language of earth [his words are from an earthly standpoint]. He Who comes from heaven is [far] above all others [far superior to all others in prominence and in excellence]. 32 It is to what He has [actually] seen and heard that He bears testimony, and yet no one accepts His testimony [no one receives His evidence as true]. 33 Whoever receives His testimony has set his seal of approval to this: God is true. [That man has definitely certified, acknowledged, declared once and for all, and is himself assured that it is divine truth that God cannot lie]. 34 For since He Whom God has sent speaks the words of God [proclaims God’s own message], God does not give Him His Spirit sparingly or by measure, but boundless is the gift God makes of His Spirit!
35 The Father loves the Son and has given (entrusted, committed) everything into His hand. 36 And he who believes in (has faith in, clings to, relies on) the Son has (now possesses) eternal life. But whoever disobeys (is unbelieving toward, refuses to trust in, disregards, is not subject to) the Son will never see (experience) life, but [instead] the wrath of God abides on him. [God’s displeasure remains on him; His indignation hangs over him continually.]
Now when the Lord knew (learned, became aware) that the Pharisees had been told that Jesus was winning and baptizing more disciples than John—2 Though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples—3 He left Judea and returned to Galilee.
4 It was necessary for Him to go through Samaria. 5 And in doing so, He arrived at a Samaritan town called Sychar, near the tract of land that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 And Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, tired as He was from His journey, sat down [to rest] by the well. It was then about the sixth hour (about noon).
7 Presently, when a woman of Samaria came along to draw water, Jesus said to her, Give Me a drink—8 For His disciples had gone off into the town to buy food—9 The Samaritan woman said to Him, How is it that [a]You, being a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan [and a] woman, for a drink?—For the Jews have nothing to do with the Samaritans—
10 Jesus answered her, If you had only known and had recognized God’s gift and Who this is that is saying to you, Give Me a drink, you would have asked Him [instead] and He would have given you living water. 11 She said to Him, Sir, You have nothing to draw with [no drawing bucket] and the well is deep; how then can You provide living water? [Where do You get Your living water?] 12 Are You greater than and superior to our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well and who used to drink from it himself, and his sons and his cattle also? 13 Jesus answered her, All who drink of this water will be thirsty again.
14 But whoever takes a drink of the water that I will give him shall never, no never, be thirsty any more. But the water that I will give him shall become a spring of water welling up (flowing, bubbling) [continually] within him unto (into, for) eternal life. 15 The woman said to Him, Sir, give me this water, so that I may never get thirsty nor have to come [continually all the way] here to draw.
16 At this, Jesus said to her, Go, call your husband and come back here. 17 The woman answered, I have no husband. Jesus said to her, You have spoken truly in saying, I have no husband. 18 For you have had five husbands, and the man you are now living with is not your husband. In this you have spoken truly. 19 The woman said to Him, Sir, I see and understand that You are a prophet. 20 Our forefathers worshiped on this mountain, but you [Jews] say that Jerusalem is the place where it is necessary and proper to worship. 21 Jesus said to her, Woman, believe Me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither [merely] in this mountain nor [merely] in Jerusalem. 22 You [Samaritans] do not know what you are worshiping [you worship what you do not comprehend]. We do know what we are worshiping [we worship what we have knowledge of and understand], for [after all] salvation comes from [among] the Jews.
23 A time will come, however, indeed it is already here, when the true (genuine) worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth (reality); for the Father is seeking just such people as these as His worshipers. 24 God is a Spirit (a spiritual Being) and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (reality).
25 The woman said to Him, I know that Messiah is coming, He Who is called the Christ (the Anointed One); and when He arrives, He will tell us everything we need to know and make it clear to us. 26 Jesus said to her, I Who now speak with you am He.
27 Just then His disciples came and they wondered (were surprised, astonished) to find Him talking with a woman [a married woman]. However, not one of them asked Him, What are You inquiring about? or What do You want? or, Why do You speak with her? 28 Then the woman left her water jar and went away to the town. And she began telling the people,
29 Come, see a Man Who has told me everything that I ever did! Can this be [is not this] the Christ? [Must not this be the Messiah, the Anointed One?] 30 So the people left the town and set out to go to Him.
31 Meanwhile, the disciples urged Him saying, Rabbi, eat something. 32 But He assured them, I have food (nourishment) to eat of which you know nothing and have no idea. 33 So the disciples said one to another, Has someone brought Him something to eat? 34 Jesus said to them, My food (nourishment) is to do the will (pleasure) of Him Who sent Me and to accomplish and completely finish His work.
35 Do you not say, It is still four months until harvest time comes? Look! I tell you, raise your eyes and observe the fields and see how they are already white for harvesting. 36 Already the reaper is getting his wages [he who does the cutting now has his reward], for he is gathering fruit (crop) unto life eternal, so that he who does the planting and he who does the reaping may rejoice together.
37 For in this the saying holds true, One sows and another reaps. 38 I sent you to reap a crop for which you have not toiled. Other men have labored and you have stepped in to reap the results of their work.
39 Now numerous Samaritans from that town believed in and trusted in Him because of what the woman said when she declared and testified, He told me everything that I ever did. 40 So when the Samaritans arrived, they asked Him to remain with them, and He did stay there two days.
41 Then many more believed in and adhered to and relied on Him because of His personal message [what He Himself said]. 42 And they told the woman, Now we no longer believe (trust, have faith) just because of what you said; for we have heard Him ourselves [personally], and we know that He truly is the Savior of the world, the Christ.
43 But after these two days Jesus went on from there into Galilee—44 Although He Himself declared that a prophet has no honor in his own country.
45 However, when He came into Galilee, the Galileans also welcomed Him and took Him to their hearts eagerly, for they had seen everything that He did in Jerusalem during the Feast; for they too had attended the Feast.
46 So Jesus came again to Cana of Galilee, where He had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son was lying ill in Capernaum. 47 Having heard that Jesus had come back from Judea into Galilee, he went away to meet Him and began to beg Him to come down and cure his son, for he was lying at the point of death. 48 Then Jesus said to him, Unless you see signs and miracles happen, you [people] never will believe (trust, have faith) at all.
49 The king’s officer pleaded with Him, Sir, do come down at once before my little child is dead! 50 Jesus answered him, Go in peace; your son will live! And the man put his trust in what Jesus said and started home. 51 But even as he was on the road going down, his servants met him and reported, saying, Your son lives! 52 So he asked them at what time he had begun to get better. They said, Yesterday during the seventh hour (about one o’clock in the afternoon) the fever left him. 53 Then the father knew that it was at that very hour when Jesus had said to him, Your son will live. And he and his entire household believed (adhered to, trusted in, and relied on Jesus). 54 This is the second sign (wonderwork, miracle) that Jesus performed after He had come out of Judea into Galilee.
Later on there was a Jewish festival (feast) for which Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem a pool near the Sheep Gate. This pool in the Hebrew is called Bethesda, having five porches (alcoves, colonnades, doorways). 3 In these lay a great number of sick folk—some blind, some crippled, and some paralyzed (shriveled up)—[a]waiting for the bubbling up of the water. 4 For an angel of the Lord went down at appointed seasons into the pool and moved and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was cured of whatever disease with which he was afflicted.
5 There was a certain man there who had suffered with a deep-seated and lingering disorder for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus noticed him lying there [helpless], knowing that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, Do you want to become well? [Are you really in earnest about getting well?] 7 The invalid answered, Sir, I have nobody when the water is moving to put me into the pool; but while I am trying to come [into it] myself, somebody else steps down ahead of me. 8 Jesus said to him, Get up! Pick up your bed (sleeping pad) and walk! 9 Instantly the man became well and recovered his strength and picked up his bed and walked. But that happened on the Sabbath.
10 So the Jews kept saying to the man who had been healed, It is the Sabbath, and you have no right to pick up your bed [it is not lawful]. 11 He answered them, The [b]Man Who healed me and gave me back my strength, He Himself said to me, Pick up your bed and walk! 12 They asked him, Who is the Man Who told you, Pick up your bed and walk? 13 Now the invalid who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had quietly gone away [had passed on unnoticed], since there was a crowd in the place.
14 Afterward, when Jesus found him in the temple, He said to him, See, you are well! Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you. 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus Who had made him well. 16 For this reason the Jews began to persecute (annoy, torment) Jesus [c]and sought to kill Him, because He was doing these things on the Sabbath.
17 But Jesus answered them, My Father has worked [even] until now, [He has never ceased working; He is still working] and I, too, must be at [divine] work. 18 This made the Jews more determined than ever to kill Him [to do away with Him]; because He not only was breaking (weakening, violating) the Sabbath, but He actually was speaking of God as being [in a special sense] His own Father, making Himself equal [putting Himself on a level] with God.
19 So Jesus answered them by saying, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, the Son is able to do nothing of Himself (of His own accord); but He is able to do only what He sees the Father doing, for whatever the Father does is what the Son does in the same way [in His turn]. 20 The Father dearly loves the Son and discloses to (shows) Him everything that He Himself does. And He will disclose to Him (let Him see) greater things yet than these, so that you may marvel and be full of wonder and astonishment. 21 Just as the Father raises up the dead and gives them life [makes them live on], even so the Son also gives life to whomever He wills and is pleased to give it.
22 Even the Father judges no one, for He has given all judgment (the last judgment and the whole business of judging) entirely into the hands of the Son, 23 So that all men may give honor (reverence, homage) to the Son just as they give honor to the Father. [In fact] whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, Who has sent Him. 24 I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, the person whose ears are open to My words [who listens to My message] and believes and trusts in and clings to and relies on Him Who sent Me has (possesses now) eternal life. And he does not come into judgment [does not incur sentence of judgment, will not come under condemnation], but he has already passed over out of death into life.
25 Believe Me when I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, the time is coming and is here now when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear it shall live. 26 For even as the Father has life in Himself and is self-existent, so He has given to the Son to have life in Himself and be self-existent. 27 And He has given Him authority and granted Him power to execute (exercise, practice) judgment because He is [d]a Son of man [very man].
28 Do not be surprised and wonder at this, for the time is coming when all those who are in the tombs shall hear His voice, 29 And they shall come out—those who have practiced doing good [will come out] to the resurrection of [new] life, and those who have done evil will be raised for judgment [raised to meet their sentence].
30 I am able to do nothing from Myself [independently, of My own accord—but only as I am taught by God and as I get His orders]. Even as I hear, I judge [I decide as I am bidden to decide. As the voice comes to Me, so I give a decision], and My judgment is right (just, righteous), because I do not seek or consult My own will [I have no desire to do what is pleasing to Myself, My own aim, My own purpose] but only the will and pleasure of the Father Who sent Me.
31 If I alone testify in My behalf, My testimony is not valid and cannot be worth anything. 32 There is Another Who testifies concerning Me, and I know and am certain that His evidence on My behalf is true and valid. 33 You yourselves have sent [an inquiry] to John and he has been a witness to the truth. 34 But I do not receive [a mere] human witness [the evidence which I accept on My behalf is not from man]; but I simply mention all these things in order that you may be saved (made and kept safe and sound).
35 John was the lamp that kept on burning and shining [to show you the way], and you were willing for a while to delight (sun) yourselves in his light. 36 But I have as My witness something greater (weightier, higher, better) than that of John; for the works that the Father has appointed Me to accomplish and finish, the very same works that I am now doing, are a witness and proof that the Father has sent Me.
37 And the Father Who sent Me has Himself testified concerning Me. Not one of you has ever given ear to His voice or seen His form (His face—what He is like). [You have always been deaf to His voice and blind to the vision of Him.] 38 And you have not His word (His thought) living in your hearts, because you do not believe and adhere to and trust in and rely on Him Whom He has sent. [That is why you do not keep His message living in you, because you do not believe in the Messenger Whom He has sent.]
39 You search and investigate and pore over the Scriptures diligently, because you suppose and trust that you have eternal life through them. And these [very Scriptures] testify about Me! 40 And still you are not willing [but refuse] to come to Me, so that you might have life.
41 I receive not glory from men [I crave no human honor, I look for no mortal fame], 42 But I know you and recognize and understand that you have not the love of God in you. 43 I have come in My Father’s name and with His power, and you do not receive Me [your hearts are not open to Me, you give Me no welcome]; but if another comes in his own name and his own power and with no other authority but himself, you will receive him and give him your approval.
44 How is it possible for you to believe [how can you learn to believe], you who [are content to seek and] receive praise and honor and glory from one another, and yet do not seek the praise and honor and glory which come from Him Who alone is God?
45 Put out of your minds the thought and do not suppose [as some of you are supposing] that I will accuse you before the Father. There is one who accuses you—it is Moses, the very one on whom you have built your hopes [in whom you trust]. 46 For if you believed and relied on Moses, you would believe and rely on Me, for he wrote about Me [personally]. 47 But if you do not believe and trust his writings, how then will you believe and trust My teachings? [How shall you cleave to and rely on My words?]
Amen to the reading of God’s Word
I dived into the Scriptures this morning looking for a word from Jesus and I got one: water. I’d love to tell you that God completed the whole connection for me but I can’t. I came away from these passages with more questions than answers. I had never noticed the central element of the first five chapters of John being water. Water in the Jordan. Water at the wedding. Water with Nicodemus. Water in Samaria. Water at Bethesda.
What’s the link between them? I spent most of the morning trying to discern that very thing. The deeper I waded in the more I was flooded with questions. So here’s fair warning: The blog post that follows is messy. I dragged you along for the whole adventure as I rolled up the cuffs of my pants and kept walking out deeper and deeper. I didn’t pretty up any of the language or frame any of my thoughts, I just wrote them down as they came. So if you’re a very brave woman, throw off your shoes and cuff up your pants . . . there’s deep water ahead.
Water at the Jordan . . .many scholars say it’s the place the Israelites crossed into the Promised Land. John baptized Jesus, which Chapter One makes clear is the Word made flesh, in the same river the Israelite priests stepped with the Ark of the Covenant (which held the word of God engraved on stone) and stopped the water’s flow so the Israelites could cross on dry ground. The priests of the Old Covenant had stood, with water to their left and water to their right, in the same place Jesus was immersed in it. What lesson is there in that for us?
Water at the wedding. . . Jesus reveals His power for the very first time at the expression of Mary’s faith that He will do whatever is necessary to provide for the master of the wedding feast. Christ chooses the ceremonial jars of water (the ones the priests and scribes would have used to make a production about scrubbing their outsides clean) to demonstrate the change He has come to produce. Christ is all about transforming the inside – changing the water to wine. The water from the jars, the water used to cleanse the hands, elbows, and face of the Pharisees couldn’t touch the inside, but the wine drawn out would make its way to the inside of everyone who drank it. But before it was offered to the guests, it was tested and approved by the master of the banquet who declared that the best wine had been saved until last. Is this first wine the Old Covenant and the best wine the New Covenant? I think so and I find it beautiful that right there in the middle, speaking the word of transformation, is the One who would raise the cup and declare “This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.”
Water with Nicodemus. . . Is the water birth Christ is talking about our physical birth – everyone enters the world that way? Or is it the baptism of repentance? Right now I think it’s our physical entrance into the world because of Nicodemus’s question about returning to his mother’s womb. And Christ doesn’t treat Nicodemus like he’s dull for not understanding. You have to believe the Messiah knew how foreign being born of spirit and depending on the Spirit of God for regeneration and transformation would be to this elder of the Law who had relied on his own good works. So is the water symbolizing the necessity of the first covenant as a forerunner pointing the way to the New Covenant by emphasizing that it doesn’t have the power to bring us into true life? For that, we need to be born again and pass from the Old Covenant of the Law into the New Covenant – water to Spirit?
Water in Samaria . . . I could go on about this one all day long but I’m going to narrow it and fight the urge to look at every part. Think where the encounter takes place and where the water the woman at the well is going to draw comes from. The well of their father Jacob—Jacob is renamed Israel after he wrestles in the desert. It’s from the line of Jacob that the Israelites get their name and from that line sprung the priesthood through Levi. That’s the way the well was identified but I don’t think we should lose sight of the fact that Jacob was also the last one to receive the promise to Abraham (The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob). The unconditional promise of rescue to the children of God. And here at the top of the well sat the One who would be the Great High Priest that lives forever and the fulfillment of that Promise. Here’s another thing – this is the first place I find in Scripture that Christ directly reveals Himself as the Messiah – “I am He” – Christ is the fulfillment of the Law, the Great High Priest, and the Promise – “I am He.” He is the Living Water.
Water at Bethesda . . . The healing pool. Jesus heals on the Sabbath and then follows it up with all manner of confirmation that He does nothing apart from the Father. Boldly saying that He is always about the Father’s business and only does the will of the Father. It might be that in our day and age this statement loses some of its impact because of the casual attitude we often hold toward the Sabbath rest but then there would have been no mistake in interpretation by the Pharisees. Christ was clearly saying that God had created the Sabbath and only God was Sovereign in choosing what would be allowed on that day. Christ healing on the Sabbath revealed Christ’s authority, straight from the Father, to do so. So Christ Himself is the Lord of the Sabbath. He was removing the authority the Pharisees had usurped from God when they decided to regulate/judge Sabbath activities (a super simplistic statement is to say that God said rest and the Pharisees decided to tell the Israelites how)– and putting it firmly back in the Hands of the Father. God is Sovereign over all – not just our physical surroundings—Christ was announcing who He was.
See I wasn’t kidding when I talked about diving into these Scriptures! To me, the depth of it all, is one of my greatest joys in life. For all of our peering into these waters, strain our eyes and minds as we might, we can’t come to the end of it. The more we drink it in the more we desire. It’s an odd combination of being satisfied and at the same time so totally anticipating and wanting the next refreshing drink.
With all of our questions and all of our trying to look at the connections, there is one question we need not walk with unanswered: When we desire to be immersed, when we look to be transformed, when we search to be filled with the Spirit, we find the answer at the top of the well and healing in His Hand. The Living Water—He who is our Great High Priest, The Word become flesh, the fulfilment of the Promise—will never run dry.
The Living Water never runs dry. . . #lessonsfromlent