An Explanation of Lessons from Lent
In the next 40 days (25 now because you have already accomplished fifteen), 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 7, 2015 ~~ John 10-14
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.
I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, he who does not enter by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way (elsewhere, from some other quarter) is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The watchman opens the door for this man, and the sheep listen to his voice and heed it; and he calls his own sheep by name and brings (leads) them out. 4 When he has brought his own sheep outside, he walks on before them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 They will never [on any account] follow a stranger, but will run away from him because they do not know the voice of strangers or recognize their call. 6 Jesus used this parable (illustration) with them, but they did not understand what He was talking about.
7 So Jesus said again, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that I Myself am the Door [a]for the sheep. 8 All others who came [as such] before Me are thieves and robbers, but the [true] sheep did not listen to and obey them. 9 I am the Door; anyone who enters in through Me will be saved (will live). He will come in and he will go out [freely], and will find pasture. 10 The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it [b]overflows).
11 I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd risks and lays down His [own] life for the sheep. 12 But the hired servant (he who merely serves for wages) who is neither the shepherd nor the owner of the sheep, when he sees the wolf coming, deserts the flock and runs away. And the wolf chases and snatches them and scatters [the flock]. 13 Now the hireling flees because he merely serves for wages and is not himself concerned about the sheep [cares nothing for them]. 14 I am the Good Shepherd; and I know and recognize My own, and My own know and recognize Me—
15 Even as [truly as] the Father knows Me and I also know the Father—and I am giving My [very own] life and laying it down on behalf of the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep [beside these] that are not of this fold. I must bring and [c]impel those also; and they will listen to My voice and heed My call, and so there will be [they will become] one flock under one Shepherd.
17 For this [reason] the Father loves Me, because I lay down My [own] life—to take it back again. 18 No one takes it away from Me. On the contrary, I lay it down voluntarily. [I put it from Myself.] I am authorized and have power to lay it down (to resign it) and I am authorized and have power to take it back again. These are the instructions (orders) which I have received [as My charge] from My Father.
19 Then a fresh division of opinion arose among the Jews because of His saying these things. 20 And many of them said, He has a demon and He is mad (insane—He raves, He rambles). Why do you listen to Him? 21 Others argued, These are not the thoughts and the language of one possessed. Can a demon-possessed person open blind eyes?
22 After this the Feast of Dedication [of the reconsecration of the temple] was taking place at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 And Jesus was walking in Solomon’s Porch in the temple area. 24 So the Jews surrounded Him and began asking Him, How long are You going to keep us in doubt and suspense? If You are really the Christ (the Messiah), tell us so plainly and openly. 25 Jesus answered them, I have told you so, yet you do not believe Me [you do not trust Me and rely on Me]. The very works that I do by the power of My Father and in My Father’s name bear witness concerning Me [they are My credentials and evidence in support of Me]. 26 But you do not believe and trust and rely on Me because you do not belong to My fold [you are no sheep of Mine]. 27 The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow Me.
28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never lose it or perish throughout the ages. [To all eternity they shall never by any means be destroyed.] And no one is able to snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, Who has given them to Me, is greater and mightier than all [else]; and no one is able to snatch [them] out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are One.
31 Again the Jews [d]brought up stones to stone Him. 32 Jesus said to them, My Father has enabled Me to do many good deeds. [I have shown many acts of mercy in your presence.] For which of these do you mean to stone Me? 33 The Jews replied, We are not going to stone You for a good act, but for blasphemy, because You, a mere [e]Man, make Yourself [out to be] God. 34 Jesus answered, Is it not written in your Law, I said, You are gods? 35 So men are called gods [by the Law], men to whom God’s message came—and the Scripture cannot be set aside or cancelled or broken or annulled— 36 [If that is true] do you say of the One Whom the Father consecrated and dedicated and set apart for Himself and sent into the world, You are blaspheming, because I said, I am the Son of God? 37 If I am not doing the works [performing the deeds] of My Father, then do not believe Me [do not adhere to Me and trust Me and rely on Me]. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe Me or have faith in Me, [at least] believe the works and have faith in what I do, in order that you may know and understand [clearly] that the Father is in Me, and I am in the Father [One with Him].
39 They sought again to arrest Him, but He escaped from their hands. 40 He went back again across the Jordan to the locality where John was when he first baptized, and there He remained. 41 And many came to Him, and they kept saying, John did not perform a [single] sign or miracle, but everything John said about this Man was true. 42 And many [people] there became believers in Him. [They adhered to and trusted in and relied on Him.]
Now a certain man named Lazarus was ill. He was of Bethany, the village where Mary and her sister Martha lived. 2 This Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped His feet with her hair. It was her brother Lazarus who was [now] sick. 3 So the sisters sent to Him, saying, Lord, he whom You love [so well] is sick. 4 When Jesus received the message, He said, This sickness is not to end in death; but [on the contrary] it is to honor God and to promote His glory, that the Son of God may be glorified through (by) it. 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. [They were His dear friends, and He held them in loving esteem.] 6 Therefore [even] when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He still stayed two days longer in the same place where He was. 7 Then after that interval He said to His disciples, Let us go back again to Judea. 8 The disciples said to Him, Rabbi, the Jews only recently were intending and trying to stone You, and are You [thinking of] going back there again? 9 Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? Anyone who walks about in the daytime does not stumble, because he sees [by] the light of this world. 10 But if anyone walks about in the night, he does stumble, because there is no light in him [the light is lacking to him].
11 He said these things, and then added, Our friend Lazarus is at rest and sleeping; but I am going there that I may awaken him out of his sleep. 12 The disciples answered, Lord, if he is sleeping, he will recover. 13 However, Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that He referred to falling into a refreshing and natural sleep. 14 So then Jesus told them plainly, Lazarus is dead,
15 And for your sake I am glad that I was not there; it will help you to believe (to trust and rely on Me). However, let us go to him. 16 Then Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, Let us go too, that we may die [be killed] along with Him. 17 So when Jesus arrived, He found that he [Lazarus] had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Bethany was near Jerusalem, only about two miles away,
19 And a considerable number of the Jews had gone out to see Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet Him, while Mary remained sitting in the house. 21 Martha then said to Jesus, Master, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 And even now I know that whatever You ask from God, He will grant it to You. 23 Jesus said to her, Your brother shall rise again. 24 Martha replied, I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day. 25 Jesus said to her, I am [Myself] the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on) Me, although he may die, yet he shall live; 26 And whoever continues to live and believes in (has faith in, cleaves to, and relies on) Me shall never [actually] die at all. Do you believe this? 27 She said to Him, Yes, Lord, I have believed [I do believe] that You are the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One), the Son of God, [even He] Who was to come into the world. [It is for Your coming that the world has waited.] 28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, privately whispering to her, The Teacher is close at hand and is asking for you. 29 When she heard this, she sprang up quickly and went to Him.
30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the same spot where Martha had met Him. 31 When the Jews who were sitting with her in the house and consoling her saw how hastily Mary had arisen and gone out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to pour out her grief there. 32 When Mary came to the place where Jesus was and saw Him, she dropped down at His feet, saying to Him, Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 33 When Jesus saw her sobbing, and the Jews who came with her [also] sobbing, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. [He chafed in spirit and sighed and was disturbed.]
34 And He said, Where have you laid him? They said to Him, Lord, come and see. 35 Jesus wept. 36 The Jews said, See how [tenderly] He loved him! 37 But some of them said, Could not He Who opened a blind man’s eyes have prevented this man from dying? 38 Now Jesus, again sighing repeatedly and deeply disquieted, approached the tomb. It was a cave (a hole in the rock), and a boulder lay against [the entrance to close] it. 39 Jesus said, Take away the stone. Martha, the sister of the dead man, exclaimed, But Lord, by this time he [is decaying and] throws off an offensive odor, for he has been dead four days!
40 Jesus said to her, Did I not tell you and [a]promise you that if you would believe and rely on Me, you would see the glory of God? 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 Yes, I know You always hear and listen to Me, but I have said this on account of and for the benefit of the people standing around, so that they may believe that You did send Me [that You have made Me Your Messenger].
43 When He had said this, He shouted with a loud voice, Lazarus, come out! 44 And out walked the man who had been dead, his hands and feet wrapped in burial cloths (linen strips), and with a [burial] napkin bound around his face. Jesus said to them, Free him of the burial wrappings and let him go.
45 Upon seeing what Jesus had done, many of the Jews who had come with Mary believed in Him. [They trusted in Him and adhered to Him and relied on Him.] 46 But some of them went back to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 So the chief priests and Pharisees called a meeting of the council (the Sanhedrin) and said, What are we to do? For this Man performs many signs (evidences, miracles). 48 If we let Him alone to go on like this, everyone will believe in Him and adhere to Him, and the Romans will come and suppress and destroy and take away our [holy] place and our nation [[b]our temple and city and our civil organization].
49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was the high priest that year, declared, You know nothing at all! 50 Nor do you understand or reason out that it is expedient and better for your own welfare that one man should die on behalf of the people than that the whole nation should perish (be destroyed, ruined). 51 Now he did not say this simply of his own accord [he was not self-moved]; but being the high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was to die for the nation, 52 And not only for the nation but also for the purpose of uniting into one body the children of God who have been scattered far and wide.
53 So from that day on they took counsel and plotted together how they might put Him to death. 54 For that reason Jesus no longer appeared publicly among the Jews, but left there and retired to the district that borders on the wilderness (the desert), to a village called Ephraim, and there He stayed with the disciples.
55 Now the Jewish Passover was at hand, and many from the country went up to Jerusalem in order that they might purify and consecrate themselves before the Passover. 56 So they kept looking for Jesus and questioned among themselves as they were standing about in the temple [[c]area], What do you think? Will He not come to the Feast at all? 57 Now the chief priests and Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where He was, he should report it to them, so that they might arrest Him.
So six days before the Passover Feast, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, who had died and whom He had raised from the dead. 2 So they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those at the table with Him. 3 Mary took a pound of ointment of pure liquid nard [a rare perfume] that was very expensive, and she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair. And the whole house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
4 But Judas Iscariot, the one of His disciples who was about to betray Him, said, 5 Why was this perfume not sold for 300 denarii [a year’s wages for an ordinary workman] and that [money] given to the poor (the destitute)? 6 Now he did not say this because he cared for the poor but because he was a thief; and having the bag (the money box, the purse of the Twelve), he took for himself what was put into it [pilfering the collections].
7 But Jesus said, Let her alone. It was [intended] that she should keep it for the time of My preparation for burial. [She has kept it that she might have it for the time of My [a]embalming.] 8 You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me.
9 Now a great crowd of the Jews heard that He was at Bethany, and they came there, not only because of Jesus but that they also might see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death also, 11 Because on account of him many of the Jews were going away [were withdrawing from and leaving the Judeans] and believing in and adhering to Jesus.
12 The next day a vast crowd of those who had come to the Passover Feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him. And as they went, they kept shouting, Hosanna! Blessed is He and praise to Him Who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!
14 And Jesus, having found a young donkey, rode upon it, [just] as it is written in the Scriptures, 15 Do not fear, O Daughter of Zion! Look! Your King is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!
16 His disciples did not understand and could not comprehend the meaning of these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified and exalted, they remembered that these things had been written about Him and had been done to Him.
17 The group that had been with Jesus when He called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from among the dead kept telling it [bearing witness] to others. 18 It was for this reason that the crowd went out to meet Him, because they had heard that He had performed this sign (proof, miracle). 19 Then the Pharisees said among themselves, You see how futile your efforts are and how you accomplish nothing. See! The whole world is running after Him!
20 Now among those who went up to worship at the Feast were some Greeks. 21 These came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and they made this request, Sir, we desire to see Jesus. 22 Philip came and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip together [went] and told Jesus. 23 And Jesus answered them, The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified and exalted. 24 I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains [just one grain; it never becomes more but lives] by itself alone. But if it dies, it produces many others and yields a rich harvest. 25 Anyone who loves his life loses it, but anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. [Whoever has no love for, no concern for, no regard for his life here on earth, but despises it, preserves his life forever and ever.]
26 If anyone serves Me, he must continue to follow Me [[b]to cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying] and wherever I am, there will My servant be also. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. 27 Now My soul is troubled and distressed, and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour [of trial and agony]? But it was for this very purpose that I have come to this hour [that I might undergo it]. 28 [Rather, I will say,] Father, glorify (honor and extol) Your [own] name! Then there came a voice out of heaven saying, I have already glorified it, and I will glorify it again.
29 The crowd of bystanders heard the sound and said that it had thundered; others said, An angel has spoken to Him! 30 Jesus answered, This voice has not come for My sake, but for your sake.
31 Now the judgment (crisis) of this world is coming on [sentence is now being passed on this world]. Now the ruler (evil genius, prince) of this world shall be cast out (expelled). 32 And I, if and when I am lifted up from the earth [on the cross], will draw and attract all men [Gentiles as well as Jews] to Myself. 33 He said this to signify in what manner He would die.
34 At this the people answered Him, We have learned from the Law that the Christ is to remain forever; how then can You say, The Son of Man must be lifted up [on the cross]? Who is this Son of Man? 35 So Jesus said to them, You will have the Light only a little while longer. Walk while you have the Light [keep on living by it], so that darkness may not overtake and overcome you. He who walks about in the dark does not know where he goes [he is drifting]. 36 While you have the Light, believe in the Light [have faith in it, hold to it, rely on it], that you may become sons of the Light and be filled with Light. Jesus said these things, and then He went away and hid Himself from them [was lost to their view].
37 Even though He had done so many miracles before them (right before their eyes), yet they still did not trust in Him and failed to believe in Him— 38 So that what Isaiah the prophet said was fulfilled: Lord, who has believed our report and our message? And to whom has the arm (the power) of the Lord been shown (unveiled and revealed)? 39 Therefore they could not believe [they were unable to believe]. For Isaiah has also said, 40 He has blinded their eyes and hardened and benumbed their [callous, degenerated] hearts [He has made their minds dull], to keep them from seeing with their eyes and understanding with their hearts and minds and repenting and turning to Me to heal them. 41 Isaiah said this because he saw His glory and spoke of Him.
42 And yet [in spite of all this] many even of the leading men (the authorities and the nobles) believed and trusted in Him. But because of the Pharisees they did not confess it, for fear that [if they should acknowledge Him] they would be expelled from the synagogue; 43 For they loved the approval and the praise and the glory that come from men [instead of and] more than the glory that comes from God. [They valued their credit with men more than their credit with God.]
44 But Jesus loudly declared, The one who believes in Me does not [only] believe in and trust in and rely on Me, but [in believing in Me he believes] in Him Who sent Me. 45 And whoever sees Me sees Him Who sent Me.
46 I have come as a Light into the world, so that whoever believes in Me [whoever cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] may not continue to live in darkness. 47 If anyone hears My teachings and fails to observe them [does not keep them, but disregards them], it is not I who judges him. For I have not come to judge and to condemn and to pass sentence and to inflict penalty on the world, but to save the world. 48 Anyone who rejects Me and persistently sets Me at naught, refusing to accept My teachings, has his judge [however]; for the [very] message that I have spoken will itself judge and convict him at the last day.
49 This is because I have never spoken on My own authority or of My own accord or as self-appointed, but the Father Who sent Me has Himself given Me orders [concerning] what to say and what to tell. 50 And I know that His commandment is (means) eternal life. So whatever I speak, I am saying [exactly] what My Father has told Me to say and in accordance with His instructions.
[Now] before the Passover Feast began, Jesus knew (was fully aware) that the time had come for Him to leave this world and return to the Father. And as He had loved those who were His own in the world, He loved them to the last and [a]to the highest degree. 2 So [it was] during supper, Satan having already put the thought of betraying Jesus in the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son,
3 [That] Jesus, knowing (fully aware) that the Father had put everything into His hands, and that He had come from God and was [now] returning to God, 4 Got up from supper, took off His garments, and taking a [servant’s] towel, He fastened it around His waist. 5 Then He poured water into the washbasin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the [servant’s] towel with which He was girded.
6 When He came to Simon Peter, [Peter] said to Him, Lord, are my feet to be washed by You? [Is it for You to wash my feet?] 7 Jesus said to him, You do not understand now what I am doing, but you will understand later on. 8 Peter said to Him, You shall never wash my feet! Jesus answered him, Unless I wash you, you have no part with ([b]in) Me [you have no share in companionship with Me]. 9 Simon Peter said to Him, Lord, [wash] not only my feet, but my hands and my head too!
10 Jesus said to him, Anyone who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is clean all over. And you [My disciples] are clean, but not all of you. 11 For He knew who was going to betray Him; that was the reason He said, Not all of you are clean.
12 So when He had finished washing their feet and had put on His garments and had sat down again, He said to them, Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call Me the Teacher (Master) and the Lord, and you are right in doing so, for that is what I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher (Master), have washed your feet, you ought [it is your duty, you are under obligation, you owe it] to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you this as an example, so that you should do [in your turn] what I have done to you. 16 I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, A servant is not greater than his master, and no one who is sent is superior to the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed and happy and [c]to be envied are you if you practice them [if you act accordingly and really do them].
18 I am not speaking of and I do not mean all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, He who eats [d]My bread with Me has raised up his heel against Me. 19 I tell you this now before it occurs, so that when it does take place you may be persuaded and believe that I am He [Who I say I am—the Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah]. 20 I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, he who receives and welcomes and takes into his heart any messenger of Mine receives Me [in just that way]; and he who receives and welcomes and takes Me into his heart receives Him Who sent Me [in that same way].
21 After Jesus had said these things, He was troubled (disturbed, agitated) in spirit and said, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, one of you will deliver Me up [one of you will be false to Me and betray Me]! 22 The disciples kept looking at one another, puzzled as to whom He could mean.
23 One of His disciples, whom Jesus loved [whom He esteemed and delighted in], was reclining [next to Him] on Jesus’ bosom. 24 So Simon Peter motioned to him to ask of whom He was speaking. 25 Then leaning back against Jesus’ breast, he asked Him, Lord, who is it? 26 Jesus answered, It is the one to whom I am going to give this morsel (bit) of food after I have dipped it. So when He had dipped the morsel of bread [into the dish], He gave it to Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son.
27 Then after [he had taken] the bit of food, Satan entered into and took possession of [Judas]. Jesus said to him, What you are going to do, do [e]more swiftly than you seem to intend and [f]make quick work of it. 28 But nobody reclining at the table knew why He spoke to him or what He meant by telling him this. 29 Some thought that, since Judas had the money box (the purse), Jesus was telling him, Buy what we need for the Festival, or that he should give something to the poor.
30 So after receiving the bit of bread, he went out immediately. And it was night.
31 When he had left, Jesus said, Now is the Son of Man glorified! [Now He has achieved His glory, His honor, His exaltation!] And God has been glorified through and in Him. 32 And if God is glorified through and in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and He will glorify Him at once and not delay.
33 [Dear] little children, I am to be with you only a little longer. You will look for Me and, as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: you are not able to come where I am going. 34 I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another. 35 By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves].
36 Simon Peter said to Him, Lord, where are You going? Jesus answered, You are not able to follow Me now where I am going, but you shall follow Me afterwards. 37 Peter said to Him, Lord, why cannot I follow You now? I will lay down my life for You. 38 Jesus answered, Will you [really] lay down your life for Me? I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me [completely disown Me] three times.
Do not let your hearts be troubled (distressed, agitated). You believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely on God; believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely also on Me.
2 In My Father’s house there are many dwelling places (homes). If it were not so, I would have told you; for I am going away to prepare a place for you. 3 And when (if) I go and make ready a place for you, I will come back again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And [to the place] where I am going, you know the way.
5 Thomas said to Him, Lord, we do not know where You are going, so how can we know the way? 6 Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me.
7 If you had known Me [had learned to recognize Me], you would also have known My Father. From now on, you know Him and have seen Him. 8 Philip said to Him, Lord, show us the Father [cause us to see the Father—that is all we ask]; then we shall be satisfied. 9 Jesus replied, Have I been with all of you for so long a time, and do you not recognize and know Me yet, Philip? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say then, Show us the Father? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in Me? What I am telling you I do not say on My own authority and of My own accord; but the Father Who lives continually in Me does the ([a]His) works (His own miracles, deeds of power).
11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me; or else believe Me for the sake of the [very] works themselves. [If you cannot trust Me, at least let these works that I do in My Father’s name convince you.] 12 I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, if anyone steadfastly believes in Me, he will himself be able to do the things that I do; and he will do even greater things than these, because I go to the Father. 13 And I will do [I Myself will grant] whatever you ask in My Name [as [b]presenting all that I Am], so that the Father may be glorified and extolled in (through) the Son. 14 [Yes] I will grant [I Myself will do for you] whatever you shall ask in My Name [as [c]presenting all that I Am].
15 If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever— 17 The Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive (welcome, take to its heart), because it does not see Him or know and recognize Him. But you know and recognize Him, for He lives with you [constantly] and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans [comfortless, desolate, bereaved, forlorn, helpless]; I will come [back] to you.
19 Just a little while now, and the world will not see Me any more, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. 20 At that time [when that day comes] you will know [for yourselves] that I am in My Father, and you [are] in Me, and I [am] in you. 21 The person who has My commands and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I [too] will love him and will show (reveal, manifest) Myself to him. [I will let Myself be clearly seen by him and make Myself real to him.]
22 Judas, not Iscariot, asked Him, Lord, how is it that You will reveal Yourself [make Yourself real] to us and not to the world? 23 Jesus answered, If a person [really] loves Me, he will keep My word [obey My teaching]; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him. 24 Anyone who does not [really] love Me does not observe and obey My teaching. And the teaching which you hear and heed is not Mine, but [comes] from the Father Who sent Me. 25 I have told you these things while I am still with you.
26 But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.
27 Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]
28 You heard Me tell you, I am going away and I am coming [back] to you. If you [really] loved Me, you would have been glad, because I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater and mightier than I am. 29 And now I have told you [this] before it occurs, so that when it does take place you may believe and have faith in and rely on Me.
30 I will not talk with you much more, for the prince (evil genius, ruler) of the world is coming. And he has no claim on Me. [He has nothing in common with Me; there is nothing in Me that belongs to him, and he has no power over Me.] 31 But [[d]Satan is coming and] I do as the Father has commanded Me, so that the world may know (be convinced) that I love the Father and that I do only what the Father has instructed Me to do. [I act in full agreement with His orders.] Rise, let us go away from here.
And with a mighty voice the people of God say “Amen”
Jesus spends much time telling us that the sheep know and recognize the voice of the Good Shepherd and He emphasizes the safety, the protection, and the no-holds-barred love the flock receives so strongly that we instinctively lean in close to hear His Voice. And that Voice does indeed ring across the page to call His sheep by name despite Martha’s warning that the smell of death will be strong.
The Good Shepherd Himself stands at the tomb and beckons Lazarus to rise. Lazarus, recognizing the Voice of Life emerges dressed in burial clothes—wearing death from head-to-toe. But death linen has no place for one who has been summoned forth by the Messiah and Jesus says to those who are at His side, “Free him of the burial wrappings and let him go.”
Now think of this for a moment. Jesus has just exerted the power to bring Lazarus to life and yet He allows those who are standing nearby to participate in freeing him from the last remnants of death. Doesn’t that speak to the responsibility we have toward one another?
The women of God do not let their sisters, those who have been called forth from the tomb, run around in death clothes—they smell bad! They bind our hands so we can’t reach unencumbered for Jesus. They tangle around our feet so we can’t run the good race. Burial clothes have to be stripped away and Beloved, we are called to help in the process.
Isn’t it ironic that the next time we join Lazarus and Jesus, Mary is anointing Christ with sweet perfume to prepare His body for burial? She is trying in all her humanity to keep the odor of death from settling on the One she believes to be life. And Christ, who believes the Father will not let His Holy One see decay, allows her to anoint Him for the battle He has been called to fight. Mary’s efforts were not necessary for the Messiah to emerge victoriously but how sweet was the fragrance of tangible love as He prepared for the war ahead.
Oh Sisters, can we not come alongside and encourage one another in that same sweet way? Can we not use our resources to extravagantly bless one another with an outpouring of love every bit as lavish as the perfume Mary poured out? Life on this planet is difficult but the battles are easier when we fight them side-by-side. Christ has made certain that we are more than victors but He gives us one another to join hands, to love lavishly, and vanquish the enemy of our souls.
Do we not see in all of this that death smells! Sin decays and eats away at our souls and if Christ was afraid of the stench that rolled from the tomb every time He called someone by name, you and I would have been left to waste away. But that’s not our Jesus. Death does not scare Him . . . He stared the finality of it in the face and rose in victory. The odor of sin is overcome by He who is the Fragrant Offering to the Father. The Holy One, the Good Shepherd, did not see decay and at His Side the sheep are safe, protected, and Sweet One, they live!
We are raised to life and Jesus sends His people to set our hands and our feet free from the burial strips. Our death clothes have been peeled away and we can we reach for Him unencumbered. We are free to love one other with extravagance and pour ourselves out in tangible expressions of sisterhood, standing side by side in the fight. Knowing, believing, and being convinced that all the while, even as the war rages, The Good Shepherd is watching over us. He will not let one sheep be snatched from His holy hand.
Praise Him that just as He summoned Lazarus by name He has called to you and I. And we who have been summoned, fear not for as we stand at the side of the Voice of Life we know The Good Shepherd and He has spoken love over us.
The Good Shepherd speaks love . . . #lessonsfromlent