Daily D – John 11:47-48
So the chief priests and the Pharisees convened the Sanhedrin and were saying, “What are we going to do since this man is doing many signs? If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”
JOHN 11:47-48 (CSB)
Leftovers and remainders, unfinished business and final thoughts regarding this amazing chapter:
- True Religion is never a Me-First affair.
- True Faith always has more room to grow.
Consider how many times Jesus taught and lived the truth that whoever wants to be the greatest will be the servant of all. Remember how many followers turned away from him because they had more important commitments. (See Luke 9:51-62 for examples. Remember the multitudes in John 6.)
The religious leaders loved their place and their positions more than they loved God. They were so religious they could not see who Jesus was. Their religious rituals and rules prevented them from knowing and experiencing Jesus, God with Us, when he looked them in the eye, when he spoke words of truth and life, and when he performed miracle after miracle.
Please do not allow religion to prevent you from knowing and experiencing God.
Martha had a fundamental faith. She was well-instructed regarding who Jesus was and is and forevermore shall be. She knew him well. Her belief system was finely tuned. Notice what she says so easily that even today many faith leaders trip over:
- “Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died,” (verse 21). She knew Jesus as a healer.
- “Yet even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you,” (verse 22). She knew that nothing is impossible with Jesus.
- “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day,” (verse 24). She knew death was not the end of the story.
- “I believe you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who comes into the world,” (verse 27). She knew Jesus.
There are some religious professionals on Twitter I would like for Martha to talk to. Her theology is practically perfect in every way. Even so, it was about to enlarge and multiply and grow exponentially. Dead men who come to life again expand even the most well-founded faith.
Where do you see yourself in this chapter? Are you a Thomas? Are you a Martha or a Mary? Are you one of the sentimental crowd? Are you one of the accusing crowd members? Are you one of the religious leaders holding on with everything you’ve got against this interloper who wants to change everything for everyone?
The one person we will all identify with eventually is Lazarus. Unless Jesus should return before our time expires, we are going to die. I hope this does not spoil your day. Even so, if we know Jesus in a loving relationship like Lazarus and his sisters did, then one day Jesus will come and wake us up like he did Lazarus.
Here is what I want for you and me:
- I want each of us to know and experience Jesus for who he is.
- I want each of us to know him deeply and personally day by day and moment by moment.
- I want each of us to live with the certainty that not even death can separate us from his loving hold on our lives.
- I want our religious thoughts and practices to align with this reality and to attune to his heart for all people everywhere.
I will live confidently in who Jesus is and all that this makes possible.
Our Father, stretch our faith. Grow us in your grace. Empower us to live confidently since we know that nothing is impossible with you. Amen.
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Daily D – Psalm 143:8-10
Psalm 143:8-10 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I run to you to hide me. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.
Daily D – Psalm 142:5
Psalm 142:5 Then I pray to you, O Lord. I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.”
Daily D – Ezra 3:11-13
Ezra 3:11-13 With praise and thanks, they sang this song to the Lord: “He is so good! His faithful love for Israel endures forever!” Then all the people gave a great shout, praising the Lord because the foundation of the Lord’s Temple had been laid. But many of the older priests, Levites, and other leaders who had seen the first Temple wept aloud when they saw the new Temple’s foundation. The others, however, were shouting for joy. The joyful shouting and weeping mingled together in a loud noise that could be heard far in the distance.
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 35:22-25
2 Chronicles 35:22-25 After Josiah had finished restoring the Temple, King Neco of Egypt led his army up from Egypt to do battle at Carchemish on the Euphrates River, and Josiah and his army marched out to fight him. But King Neco sent messengers to Josiah with this message: “What do you want with me, king of Judah? I have no quarrel with you today! I am on my way to fight another nation, and God has told me to hurry! Do not interfere with God, who is with me, or he will destroy you.” But Josiah refused to listen to Neco, to whom God had indeed spoken, and he would not turn back. Instead, he disguised himself and led his army into battle on the plain of Megiddo. But the enemy archers hit King Josiah with their arrows and wounded him. He cried out to his men, “Take me from the battle, for I am badly wounded!”
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 32:31
2 Chronicles 32:31 However, when ambassadors arrived from Babylon to ask about the remarkable events that had taken place in the land, God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart.