“You Will Weep and Mourn”

20 I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy. – John 16:20 NLT

John 16:20-24 NLT

From desperation to delight, a part of the journey that most, if not all, of us must go through on our way to heaven. It’s that part of the journey we would like to skip, but God doesn’t allow any shortcuts. It is in those times that we learn where our true allegiance is. The disciples had been on a mountain top experience while they were walking with Jesus, but now they were in the valley. But as the McKameys sing’ “the God on the mountain is still God in the valley”. At this point in time, the disciples didn’t have the luxury of looking at the cross from the resurrection side. Those three days would seem like a lifetime to them. Jesus knew this and encouraged them to be faithful. Ask the Father in my name and He will fill you with joy, the fullest possible joy.

13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.–Romans 15:13 (NASB)

“You Are the Branches”

5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. – John 15:5 NLT

Branches

Jesus is the true vine. He has fulfilled the law and now we are branches grown from a new and different vine. We are in Christ Jesus once we accept the words Jesus has spoken. Jesus has removed all the old fruit from us and has made us clean. But we still need something more if we are going to produce good fruit. The flesh cannot of itself produce love, joy, kindness, long-suffering, or any of the other fruits listed in Galatians. There is no goodness in our flesh. For us to produce Holy Spirit fruit, we must have that Holy Spirit flowing through us just as a branch must have the sap from the tree flowing through it to be productive. When Jesus was here in the flesh, He could not physically be inside us, but the Holy Spirit can and does abide in us. That is why Jesus said that He must go to the Father so God could send His Spirit. As we meditate on the word, the more fruit we produce and the fruit that we produce will be more like the vine.

The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“But Why Can’t I Come Now, Lord?”

37 “But why can’t I come now, Lord?” he asked. “I’m ready to die for you.” – John 13:37 NLT

John 13:36-38 NLT

Jesus knew Peter’s weakness, just as He knows each of ours. He knew that Peter would deny Him even though Peter was so sure that He would not. It is easy to criticize Peter. But we seem to forget that the other disciples left as well. How many times have we failed Jesus?

42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’–Matt. 25:4​​2-4​3​​ NIV

​But the great thing is that He always forgives us when we fail, just as He forgave Peter. When the women went to the tomb where Jesus had been, the angel sitting there told them this:

6 but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth,​ ​who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. 7 Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.”–Mark 16:6-7 (NLT)

Jesus made sure that Peter was specifically included in the invitation. Jesus will always be waiting with open arms to receive us no matter how many times we fail.

God’s Love

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“satan Entered Into Him”

even-smaller-bug-light1

 27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. – John 13:27 NIV

Darkness

Jesus had just told them that one of the 12 would betray Him. It is only natural that they would wonder which one it would be. Jesus told them it would be the one to whom He gave the bread. Even when Jesus dipped the bread and handed it to Judas and said to Judas, “Do it quickly”, they still did not understand. When Judas took the bread, he immediately left. He walked out into the darkness of the night. Judas had spent years with the Light of the world, yet it seemingly had not penetrated the utter darkness of his lost soul. Judas was still more concerned about his own well being than he was about the Good News of Jesus Christ. It is possible to sit in the light without seeing the light when you are blind. Judas was spiritually blind and unwilling to see the Light. Jesus knocks at the door, but it is up to each of us to open the door and let the Light into our hearts and lives. We can hear the Word daily, just as Judas did, and still not be redeemed. We must not only repent from our sins and empty ourselves of all impurities, but we must fill that void with the Light of the Word.

9 But you are a chosen people,(S) a royal priesthood,(T) a holy nation,(U)God’s special possession,(V) that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light – 1 Peter 2:9 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“I Have Given You An Example To Follow”

15 I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. – John 13:15 NLT

John 13:10-15 NLT

Jesus was referring to their custom of bathing in the nearest stream and then walking home on a dusty road. The physical body was still clean except for the feet, The rich of that day kept jars of water inside the home that were used only by the servants to wash the master’s feet after the walk home. That is why Jesus said, you are clean except for your feet and you need only to wash them to be totally clean on the outside. But, as usual, I believe that Jesus was using a well-known custom to convey a deeper message. Notice that Jesus said, “”And you men are clean, but not all of you” referring to Judas who He knew would turn against Him and betray Him to the religious leaders. I believe that Jesus was telling the disciples that once they were washed by the blood of Jesus that they were completely clean on the inside. Since we still have to live in the flesh in this world, there are times that we will need to come back to the stream of living waters, not to be saved again, but to repent of the times we fail and come up short of the mark.

8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. –1 John 1:8-9 (NCV)

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“You Won’t Belong To Me”

8 “No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!”  Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.” – John 13:8 NLT

Not Just My Feet

Jesus showed us example after example of His humbleness. From the time He laid aside His glory in heaven to come to earth clothed in the flesh of a lowly human. Jesus was the perfect example of supreme power under control. He could have lashed out at any time and wiped out village after village. But He chose to be a servant to the people. Serving them by teaching and healing every disease. Now, Jesus was preparing to perform an act that in that time and place was performed only by servants. To wash another person’s feet showed complete meekness and humbleness. The disciples knew that and that is why Peter said “No, you will never wash my feet”. Peter could not imagine Jesus, His Lord and Master, stooping so low as to do that. But when Jesus explained to Peter that He could not be one of His disciples if Peter didn’t allow Him to wash his feet, Peter said “”Lord, then wash not only my feet, but wash my hands and my head, too!” Peter would later understand that Jesus was doing this as an example of how humble we, as Christians, must be. Maybe we all need to participate in a good old fashioned foot washing ceremony. Would we be willing to do that for our brothers and sisters? 

6 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.​ – 1 Peter 5:6 NLT​

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“Many Went Out to See Him”

18 That was the reason so many went out to meet him—because they had heard about this miraculous sign. – John 12:18 NLT


John 12:17-22 NLT

The people were still spreading the word about what Jesus had done for Lazarus. This caused a lot of curiosity in the villages and caused others to want to meet Jesus. Even people who were not Jews had become interested in who this man was. They were there to celebrate the Passover Feast. They went to Philip and said “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.” There are lost people in our world today who want to see Jesus. they may not realize that is who they are looking for, so we have to be the ones to tell them. They are empty and they need someone to love them enough to tell them about Jesus.​ Does our lifestyle and the way we act toward them cause the lost to be attracted to Christ? Would a person who knew you feel comfortable asking you about Jesus? Are we letting our light shine? 

​2 ​The people who walk in darkness will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine. ​ 
– Isaiah 9:2 NLT​

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“One Man Should Die For the People”

50 You don’t realize that it’s better for you that one man should die for the people than for the whole nation to be destroyed.” – John 11:50 NLT

Prophecy

After seeing Lazarus come out of the tomb, some of the people believed and others went to tell what they had seen. When they told the Pharisees and the leading priests, this group called a meeting of the whole Jewish council. The council was afraid that if Jesus kept doing miracles, He and His followers might become too powerful and upset the Romans. Then the Romans would remove them from the Temple and take away the authority they had been allowed to exercise over the Jewish people. Without realizing what he was saying, Caiaphas, the high priest for that year, prophesied that Jesus would die for the redemption of the Jews and other nations to make them into one body, the Church. But, since they could not sentence anyone to death, they needed the Romans to do that for them. God uses people to fulfill His plans and He has a purpose for every life. Some are willing agents. Isaiah, Moses, Daniel, David and the apostles are good examples. Others are used by God, even if it is unwillingly and unwittingly, to accomplish His purpose. Pharaoh, Caiaphas, Judas and Pilate are examples of this type of agent.

Col. 1:15-20 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“No One Had the Courage to Speak”

13 But no one had the courage to speak favorably about him in public, for they were afraid of getting in trouble with the Jewish leaders. – John 7:13 NLT

John 7:10-13 NLT

Jesus did the things He did and He did them the way He did because of His complete obedience to God the Father. He could have chosen to do otherwise, but then He would not have been the sinless sacrifice.

19 So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. ​-John 5:19​

When we are faced with non-believers and those who would ridicule and persecute us, what do we say about Jesus? Is Jesus just some “good man” or is He the Savior and Lord of our life? Is he just a historical figure or was He the Messiah? Is He our “strong tower” to run into for shelter or do we live “in the shadow of His wings”? God is not in a contest with other “gods”, He is the only God! In each of our lives, we must decide if He is “Lord of all” or not “Lord at all”. There is a war going on for the control of our minds and there are only two choices, there is no neutral ground.

31 So what should we say about this? If God is for us, no one can defeat us.–Romans 8:31 (NCV)

The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“It Comes From God Who Sent Me”

16 So Jesus told them, “My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me. – John 7:16 NLT

Truth

It doesn’t seem to matter how many miracles Jesus had performed or how many times He had spoken, the people were always surprised when they heard Him. Jesus told them that the message He was giving them was not His own but it came from God the Father who had sent Him. Jesus reminded them that they had Moses’ law which said “Thou shalt not kill” but the leaders were determined to have Him killed, thus disobeying the law handed down by Moses. In today’s world, we must follow the example Jesus set. We must deliver a message based on truth as given to us by the Holy Scriptures. Our message should not glorify us, but it should glorify our Father, who is in heaven. As John the Baptist said:

30 He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.–John 3:30 (NLT)

When we speak the truth as it is given to us by the Holy Spirit to speak and that message is rejected, it is not us that is being rejected, but, rather, it is Jesus that is being rejected. So, don’t be concerned about being offended, just speak the truth in love and God will take care of the results.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous