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God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

October 6 - John 2-4: Jesus Tells the Whole Story

Today’s Reading: John 2-4

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

The two people with the most faith were not part of God's Chosen People.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

Jesus provided a glimpse into His Glory while attending a wedding.
Jesus forced bankers and merchants to stop transactions in the Temple and prophesied that He would rebuild it in three days.
Jesus told Nicodemus that only those reborn physically and spiritually could see God's Way.
God sent Jesus to save the world, not condemn it.
John the Baptizer said Jesus' success did not diminish his work. He would fade into the background.
Outside Sychar, Jesus had a conversation with a woman who then called her neighbors to listen. Many believed.
A Roman official begged Jesus to heal his son.

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

Not all of Jesus' acts were meant to call attention to Himself.

The feast at Cana was not a moment when Jesus called many people to follow Him. He helped a bridegroom and his family from embarrassment without even taking the credit. Later he healed the son of a Roman ruler without being in the same city. By the time the man knew Jesus had done it, Jesus was far away. An interesting thing happened, though. His disciples believed in Him at Cana. The Roman ruler and his entire household believed in Jesus in Capernaum. Neither followed Jesus because they wanted more miracles. When we set things right without calling attention to ourselves we may wind up setting more things right than if we had publicized our actions.

Jesus became angry that the Temple was used for something other than setting relationships right.

The Temple was built as a place to meet God and others. The Jews used it as a place to sell animals and loan money to the poor. Jesus wanted to retake the Temple and make it wholly for God again. Buildings wholly dedicated to God should stay wholly dedicated to helping people be wholly for God.
Church buildings can be a double-edged sword. They can be a great, holy meeting place. They can also be a temptation to house non-God-centered business. Treat a religious building with care—if it is wholly for God, make it holy. If you do not need a dedicated place to worship God, don't build a building.

Jesus did not trust His Life to just anyone.

Jesus knew the hearts of the people who came to Him. He knew some would profess faith but would not change their heart. Be careful who you trust your life to—they may not want to set things right.

Only those reborn physically and spiritually will see God because they are the only ones who will understand His Way.

So many people love John 3:16, and rightfully so. But it comes after Jesus has told Nicodemus what it takes to truly understand John 3:16: rebirth. We must be changed spiritually and physically to understand God's Way. And here is an important point: it's not a religious act. If it had been a religious act, Nicodemus would have understood it. It is much larger than a religious act. It is a complete transformation of body and spirit. That is the only way a person can understand what God is doing in the world. This is also the reason why a person who does not believe has already been under a death sentence—they refuse to look at the evidence and understand the Truth about God.
For this reason we should not be surprised when people who are not reborn cannot understand why we have faith or act the way we do (this includes "religious" people who are not reborn). They cannot understand because they lack the transformed eyes to see. Our goal is not to make them see, it is to help transform their body and spirit to see God at work.

Where we worship no longer matters because God cares for the heart of worship, not its location.

Jerusalem became the location of worship to God because the Temple in Honor of God resided there. Even with the Temple in Jerusalem, the location of worship did not determine whether a person was acceptable or not. The heart was the determining factor. When Israel cheated on God with foreign gods, their sacrifices at the Temple were not wanted. God wanted their wills to change. Where we worship is a moot point because now God rests among us (we'll read that later). What is still true is that God cares for our heart when we worship.

The Samaritan woman became the sower Jesus mentioned.

Jesus told the woman her life's story. She, in turn, told others to listen to Him. Her reward came when everyone told her, "We’re no longer taking this on your say-so. We’ve heard it for ourselves and know it for sure. He’s the Savior of the world!" (4:42, The Message). Think about it—a woman who was the wrong type of person, had a bad past, and a bad present was the first to bring an entire city to Jesus. Her city asked Jesus to stay, not because they wanted physical healing but because they wanted to know more from the Savior of the world. When you tell others what Jesus has done for you, they will see He is their Savior, too.

Are you fed by setting things right?


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