17 The Father loves me because I give my life so that I can take it back again. 18 No one takes it away from me; I give my own life freely. I have the right to give my life, and I have the right to take it back. This is what my Father commanded me to do.” 19 Again the Jews did not agree with each other because of these words of Jesus. 20 Many of them said, “A demon has come into him and made him crazy. Why listen to him?” 21 But others said, “A man who is crazy with a demon does not say things like this. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?” —John 10:17-21 (NCV)
God is waiting to show you the Way.
The decision for Jesus to be the perfect Lamb sacrificed for our redemption was made long before the world was spoken into existence.
18 You know that in the past you were living in a worthless way, a way passed down from the people who lived before you. But you were saved from that useless life. You were bought, not with something that ruins like gold or silver, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, who was like a pure and perfect lamb. 20 Christ was chosen before the world was made, but he was shown to the world in these last times for your sake. —1 Peter 1:18-20 (NCV)
Jesus the human did not want to die on the cross any more than you or I would want to die such a cruel death. But Jesus as the second Person of the Trinity knew from time immemorial that He was going to do just that. Since Jesus was the Word and the Word was with God, Jesus was there when the decision was made and was in full agreement with the plan. So, He could truthfully say that He had the right to give His life and to take it back. Taking His life back was a reference to His resurrection that the Jews did not understand at that time. Being spiritually blind, they thought Jesus must be crazy or demon possessed. Before we accepted Jesus, we had no understanding of what Jesus was doing and why He was doing it. But, now that we know, it is our responsibility to carry the Good News to others. The New Year has begun, wouldn’t it be great if all of our friends and neighbors could begin a New Life by accepting Jesus? Let us freely give our time in spreading the Gospel so that others may have life eternal.
48 The people retorted, “You Samaritan devil! Didn’t we say all along that you were possessed by a demon?” 49 “No,” Jesus said, “I have no demon in me. For I honor my Father — and you dishonor me. 50 And though I have no wish to glorify myself, God wants to glorify me. Let him be the judge. 51 I assure you, anyone who obeys my teaching will never die!” 52 The 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?”—John 8: 48-53 (NLT)
God is waiting to show you the Way.
Now the people are really getting upset! They even tell Jesus that He is demon possessed. Jesus assures them that He is not demon possessed and that He is here to honor His Father. He also tells them that if anyone accepts His teachings as truth, they will never die. This gets the crowd in a bigger uproar! How can you say that those who obey you will never die? “Who do you think you are?” Who is this man Jesus? It is the same question that all of us must answer, “Who do you think Jesus is?” The answer to that question will determine where you spend eternity. Consider it carefully. My prayer is that you will come to know Jesus as your own personal Savior and Lord. If you do, it will be the best Christmas you have ever celebrated. Even the angels in heaven will join in and throw a party.
8-10 “Or imagine a woman who has ten coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and scour the house, looking in every nook and cranny until she finds it? And when she finds it you can be sure she’ll call her friends and neighbors: ‘Celebrate with me! I found my lost coin!’ Count on it—that’s the kind of party God’s angels throw every time one lost soul turns to God.”—Luke 15:8-10 (The Message)