Monday, September 6, 2010 John 16
What do the disciples’ heavy hearts keep them from understanding (17)? What is the tone of the voices heard in 17-18? If you were there, would you be encouraged or confused by Jesus’ answer? What event is Jesus talking about in 20-22? Jesus tells the disciples to pray in his name. Do you think the disciples can even grasp what Jesus tells them in 28? Can you? As Christians, we live in a world that is way out of alignment with Christ, yet we can expect our relationship with Christ to produce peace and comfort. Spend time praising God for his wonderful care and love.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010 John 17
This chapter reveals the close relationship between the Father and the Son. In this chapter Jesus prays for himself, for his disciples, and for all believers. What event is approaching (1, 12:23-24)? Think about what it means to glorify someone (4-5, 12, 22, 24)? What is Jesus concerned about in 11 and 15? What does Jesus mean by “the name you gave me” (11; see also Exodus 3:14)? What is the focus of Jesus’ prayer in 20-26? What about the unity between God and Jesus are we to copy? Imagine the enormous love that Jesus has for us (24). Who have you glorified this week by the way you live? How so? How are your prayers for others like or unlike Jesus’ prayer? Let this chapter speak to you about your prayer skills and habits. How is your relationship with Jesus affecting the way you live?
Wednesday, September 8, 2010 John 18
Jesus completes his mission: he is betrayed and arrested. What do you learn about Jesus when you see how he deals with the soldiers (4, 8) compared to how Peter deals with them (11)? Peter doesn’t seem to get what is going on. Would you have been overzealous like Peter, or would you have remained quietly in the background? What would you have done on Jesus’ behalf? How do you account for the difference between Peter here (17) and the Peter in verse 10? What must Peter have felt after the cock crowed three times (27; see also 13:37-38)? How does the story of Peter encourage you and humble you? How do you explain the ups and downs in your own spiritual journey? It seems like both Peter and Pilate caved in under pressure. Why, then, do we honor Peter and scorn Pilate? Do you see any of Pilate’s character traits in yourself? It is easy for us to blame the high council for their injustice, but we must also remember that Peter and the disciples added to the pain by deserting and denying Jesus.When have we deserted and denied the Savior? Spend some time in prayer.
Thursday, September 9, 2010 John 19
After you read chapter 19, read Matthew 27, Mark 15 and Luke 23. This will help you get a full picture of the sentencing and crucifixion of Jesus. Pay attention to details, how each author presents the events. The message is the same from all three accounts. If Jesus were here today, preaching the same gospel, who would be the chief priests, the Peters and the Pilates? Who would you be? How is Jesus’ death real to you? How has the blood and water of Jesus touched your life? What would your life have been like without them? How will you show your love for and commitment to Jesus this week?
Friday, September 10, 2010 John 20
Mary Magdalene visits the tomb. What do you think she is feeling? Why didn’t she recognize Jesus? How does Jesus respond to her? How does Jesus refer to the disciples (17)? What is new in their relationship from now on (see 15:15)? Reflect on times of grief when Jesus has spoken to you? Did you recognize his voice? How did it affect you? How does Jesus deal with Thomas’ doubt (29)? What is significant about how Thomas responds? Think about the doubts and questions you struggle with now. This is a great time to bring them to the foot of the cross, and accept the healing and forgiving power of the Holy Spirit. Let Jesus erase all your doubts.
Saturday, September 11, 2010 John 21
Here we see Peter and six other disciples after the resurrection. Imagine what they discussed on their 90-mile journey to Galilee. Are they going back to work, fishing for fun, or trying to return to normal? Why does Peter jump into the lake? The disciples fished all night and caught nothing, but after following Jesus’ instructions they had so many fish that they were unable to lift the nets. Why does Jesus ask Peter three times, “do you truly love me?” What does he tell Peter, and you and I today, to do to prove our love and loyalty to him (15)? Have you ever felt that you’ve blown it so badly that God would surely never speak to you again? Will you share God’s forgiveness and love with someone this week?
Sunday, September 12, 2010 Psalm 130
Despair can make us feel isolated from God. This psalm reminds us that times of despair are precisely the times that we need God the most. Crying out to God turns our attention away from the problem to the only one who can really help. When we pray, the lines of communication are completely open. Spend time lifting up your life to God. Embrace God’s love and forgiveness.