Monday, October 22, 2012

October 22, 2012 … Killing THE Truth

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 296

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: John, Chapters 7-8 To study these chapters, go to this link

Highlight Passages: John 7: 1-5 : [NLT] … { So much was going on just prior to Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection. And it was of interested to note that even Jesus’ brothers, including James, who would later become the leader of the Church in Jerusalem, could not see their brother as The Messiah at this time.} 1 After this, Jesus stayed in Galilee, going from village to village. He wanted to stay out of Judea where the Jewish leaders were plotting his death. 2 But soon it was time for the Festival of Shelters, 3 and Jesus’ brothers urged him to go to Judea for the celebration. “Go where your followers can see your miracles!” they scoffed. 4 “You can’t become a public figure if you hide like this! If you can do such wonderful things, prove it to the world!” 5 For even his brothers didn’t believe in him.  
{Here again Jesus speaks to a crowd about His life being the fulfillment of Scripture – this time from Isaiah 58: 11.} 37 On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “If you are thirsty, come to me! 38 If you believe in me, come and drink! For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water will flow out from within.”  
{Note, after quoting Jesus, John adds his own explanation of how Jesus was revealing Himself to be the fulfillment of scripture as the The Messiah.} 39 (When He said “living water,” He was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in Him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into His glory.)  
Highlight Passages: John 8: 1-11; : [NLT] … {Take some time, using the above links to read all John 8, especially verses 1-11, the story of the prostitute who was brought to Jesus, accused of adultery. Note how the religious leaders accusing the women had ignored God’s Law by not bringing the man involved as well. And then we see how Jesus quietly, with the protective hand of God’s Spirit dispersed the crowd who were there to trap Jesus and arrest or stone Him. Then Jesus becomes even more vulnerable about revealing Himself and His eternal relationship with His Heavenly Father. But God protects His Son, whose time had not yet come to become the Lamb of God.}  
52The people said, “Now we know you are possessed by a demon. Even Abraham and the prophets died, but you say that those who obey your teaching will never die! 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? Are you greater than the prophets, who died? Who do you think you are?” 54 Jesus answered, “If I am merely boasting about myself, it doesn’t count. But it is my Father who says these glorious things about me. You say, ‘He is our God,’ 55 but you do not even know him. I know him. If I said otherwise, I would be as great a liar as you! But it is true—I know him and obey him. 56 Your ancestor Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to my coming. He saw it and was glad.” 57The people said, “You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus answered, “The truth is, I existed before Abraham was even born!” 59 At that point they picked up stones to kill him. But Jesus hid himself from them and left the Temple.
Special Reference Passage: John 8: 31-32 : [NLT] …{One special section of John 8 reveals the power of believing in Jesus, especially for those who live by His word and follow Him as the living Truth.} 31 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you keep obeying my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 

My Journal for Today: My chronological reading assignment takes me this morning to John’s Gospel account, Chapters 7-8, where John chronicles Jesus in various scrapes with the religious leaders and the people as He went about teaching and preaching the truth to the people, some who believed Him and others, following the Pharisees, who were hostile to Jesus and wanted him killed. And there is one revealing interaction during this time when Jesus encounters the hostile crowd who are trying to trap Jesus.

In these chapters is that familiar passage in John 8: 1-11, where the religious leaders brought a prostitute accused of adultery and sentenced to stoning to Jesus to see what He would say to the woman and to them about her. Of course, they were trying to trap Jesus; and we know how He embarrassed the religious leaders, who had falsely convicted the woman without even bringing out witnesses against her. Some speculate that Jesus even knew that the men accusing this woman of wrong-doing had been involved with her sexually; and that is why they KNEW that she was prostituting herself. But Jesus, once again, as He did so many times, showed mercy and love to the woman, forgiving her of her sins, … yet charging her … “to go and sin no more.” And the question, in reading this story is where we put ourselves in this story and how does it apply to our lives.

And above I singled out one Special Reference Passage, copied above from John 8: 32, where Jesus is addressing those who actually did believe in Him as The Messiah; and he says to them – and to us as Christians – “You are truly my disciples if you keep obeying my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

If you’re reading along with me, what is Jesus saying to His disciples here? What is He saying to you and me?

To me He’s saying clearly that His real, true disciples will get to know Him intimately, because HE IS THE TRUTH, the living Truth. Later Jesus declares this to His inner Disciples (in John 14: 6), saying … “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” And so, the passage from John 8: 32 is saying to me that if I truly know Him as my LORD, I will follow what He says and believe Him as the Living Truth; and if I do, I will be set free from my slavery to sin and be able to use the grace He gives me to walk in freedom from my sin choices; and that's a pretty powerful personal application ... for me.    

I’ll let you read through these two chapters and see how they are speaking to you beyond the historical account of Jesus ministering to the people as He marched to the cross. These two chapters certainly spoke to me.

My Prayer Today: … LORD, You are THE TRUTH. You are my life. You are my way. Amen

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