Monday, August 23, 2010 John 6:60-71
What teachings of Jesus do his followers find so unacceptable (see John 6:54-56)? Perhaps they don’t think he’s the kind of powerful king they had expected and hoped for. He puts much more value on faith than deeds, which seems difficult to understand. Why do Peter and the other disciples stay, and how does verse 65 relate? Do you find Jesus’ teachings hard to understand, and even more difficult to live out? We, like the disciples, have the choice of rejecting Jesus or accepting him. How have you responded to Christ? Is he Lord of your life, or are you looking for a more powerful king? Jesus alone is our source of eternal life; there is no other way. This week, make a commitment to be in his Word and learn about his teachings and how they can be applied to your life.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 John 7:1-24
Jesus’ brothers urge Jesus to attend the feast. What is their rationale (2-5)? What rumors are going around about Jesus in Jerusalem (12- 13)? Why does Jesus decide to go secretly? The people are astonished at his teaching (14-15). What does Jesus’ response reveal about his authority (16-19)? What point in Jesus’ teaching do the leaders seem to be missing? Think about how Jesus reveals himself to you. Jesus asks each of us, “who do you say that I am?”
Wednesday, August 25, 2010 John 7:25-52
Take note of who is saying what about Jesus, and what is causing confusion. Why does the teaching of Jesus in 14-29 provoke the responses in 30-31? How do you account for the wide range of opinions about Jesus? In John 4:10, Jesus uses the term “living water” to refer to eternal life. Here it refers to the Holy Spirit. How are they related (see John 1:33, Acts 2, John 16:7)? How is the Holy Spirit received? The controversy over Jesus’ birthplace clouds the issue of his identity (41-42; see also Micah 5:2) What is the relationship in your life between believing the promises of Jesus and experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit? Are we, as individuals and as a church, sometimes just like the Jewish leaders, seeing ourselves as an elite group who think we have the truth, while those who disagree with us do not? God’s truth is available for everyone, everywhere! What does that say to us about our sometimes self-centered and narrow attitude towards others? Spend some time in prayer.
Thursday, August 26, 2010 John 8:1-30
Most early and reliable manuscripts do not include John 7:53 – 8:11. The Jewish leaders ignore the law by not bringing the man along with the woman. The law required both parties to adultery be stoned (see Leviticus 20:10, Deuteronomy 22:22). What will the Pharisees accuse Jesus of if he tells them to let her go? If he tells them to stone her? How does he save her from this situation (7)? What an amazing story this is of grace and forgiveness. Jesus does not fold to the pressure of the Pharisees but, in accepting her, encourages her to sin no more (11). What a great time for us to stop and take an honest look at our lives. When others sin and fall short, are you quick to judge and condemn? Do you act as if you have never sinned, at least not as “bad” as them? We are always called by God to seek out ways to be encouraging to others, not ways to hurt them. What can you learn from Jesus about helping a friend?
Friday, August 27, 2010 John 8:31-59
What does Jesus want to emphasize to the people who believe in him? What wrong assumptions confuse the issue of spiritual freedom for Abraham’s descendents? Which issues does Jesus force them to confront (34-41)? How does Jesus challenge their claim (41)? Read verses 42-47 again, looking for Jesus’ explanation of who belongs to God. Find Jesus’ four claims in this chapter: verse 12, 32, 51 and 58. Which means the most to you? Why? What has knowing the truth set you free to do?
Saturday, August 28, 2010 John 9
How do you answer the question concerning pain and suffering in our lives? In Jesus’ day, most people would have said it was a direct result of a sinful life. But Jesus uses this to teach about faith, and to glorify God. What is the disciples’ question in verse 2? What does Jesus’ response reveal about how he views the man’s suffering (3-5)? What is the “work of God” (3), the “night” that is coming (4), and the “Light of the world” (5)? Has there been a time when Jesus took a misfortune in your life and turned it into an opportunity to show his power? Are you asking the question, “what have I done wrong?” Pause and pray right now for strength and a clearer perspective. The people in this chapter are faced with the question, “who is Jesus”? That same question is here for each of us. Who is Jesus? Spend some time answering that question.
Sunday, August 29, 2010 Psalm 112
This is an awesome psalm about the security and advantages of having faith in God. This psalm reminds us that, if we expect God’s blessings, we must revere him and willingly obey him. Do any of the lines from this psalm fit you? Which ones do you wish fit you? Read this psalm slowly, like a prayer. Praise the Lord!