Claim Ownership


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Read John 7:53-8:11 Here's a story inserted in the middle of the Tabernacle of Feasts that is controversial for at least two reasons: 1) it's not found in the earliest authorized transcripts and 2) Jesus forgives the unforgivable. I'm not likely to satisfy the debate in this brief discussion, but I hope you'll be encouraged to think about the event and draw your own conclusions. The one thing I would encourage you is not to avoid difficulties in Bible translation issues or conversation. With or without this passage, there is no difference in the truth of the gospel message or the theology we hold onto as truth. Blog post: --- Support this podcast:
John 7:45-52 The closing section of chapter 7 includes no words from Jesus. Instead, it's a very brief debate between religious leaders as they try to figure out what to do with Jesus.  As if their decision. When we zoom out a bit we see this is a midpoint of the discussion during the Feast of Tabernacles. Chapters 7 and 8 are one story with an aside thrown in the middle that we'll discuss next time. The characters in this section are quite interesting. There are three groups to consider: the guards, the people, and the Pharisees, that is, the religious leaders. Blog post: --- Support this podcast:
John 7:25-44 Who is this man? What is he teaching? There were dozens of questions in the minds of those present at the Feast of Tabernacles, the huge celebration for all Jews: sons and daughters, male and female servants that ran for an entire week. John points out the highlights in his narrative description of key events. In this third section of chapter 7, Jesus somehow hears dissension among the people and has to speak out loudly, cry out, and shout to get their attention. This isn't the scene of someone hiding or trembling in fear of the authorities. Jesus is right there in front of them. The result: some believe while others firm up their disbelief. It's interesting to see how people can watch the same event and walk away with completely divergent interpretations. Of course, this would never happen in our modern world, right? Blog post: --- Support this podcast:
Read John 7:14-24 It looks like Jesus couldn't stay away from the Festival of Tabernacles any longer. Halfway through the week-long celebration, He made an appearance. When He did, He didn't find some side tent or hidden area, He went straight to the temple courts. Blog post: --- Support this podcast:
Read John 7:1-13 If we were Jewish or celebrated with our Jewish brothers, this would be the time of year when the Feast of Tabernacles would kick into high gear. John uses the backdrop of this festival to highlight some significant lessons for us to consider. The first vignette is a look at the interaction between Jesus and His brothers. We read words about the growing separation between those who follow Jesus and those who are convinced He is dangerous. In effect, He certainly is dangerous, but not for the reasons anyone is proposing. Blog post: --- Support this podcast:
Read John 6:60-71 The last section in this chapter challenges us all to accept that which is hard to understand. Those of us that have worn the Christian badge for many years might have a hard time understanding the challenge here, but I want to strongly encourage you (exhort) to read this chapter from the eyes of one who does not yet believe. If His closest disciples found this concept difficult, we need to check our own hearts as well. Blog post: --- Support this podcast:
Read John 6:25-59 John dedicates the third section in chapter six to answer some questions and raise even more. Some of the crowd finally track Jesus down after His water-walking escape. They're confused. Their motivation is for signs and wonders more than understanding the message. John records the highlights of the conversation which ends with a section that radically alters the view of religion. Take a deep breath. This is a heavy section. Blog post: --- Support this podcast:
Read John 6:16-24 John's version of Jesus walking on water is concise. We have to look around for some more details, but we shouldn't miss the point that Jesus is Lord of all and wants us to know that we should not be afraid as we fight the battles in this life. Blog post: --- Support this podcast:
The commentators recommend reading the entire chapter to get the complete understanding of John’s perspective. The essence of the chapter is being fed by God, both physically and spiritually. We start with physical nourishment, but Jesus uses this miracle as a huge teaching point that most, including those closest to Him, cannot understand. Just thinking about it in these terms causes me to pause and wonder. Link to blog post: --- Support this podcast:
Read John 5:31-47 John records some incredibly striking words in the continuation of Jesus’s response to the religious leaders who were so upset that they literally couldn’t think straight. The passage begins with a discussion about who is testifying for whom. Then we read some very convicting words like, “nor does his word dwell in you” and “I know you do not have the love of God in your hearts.” Ouch! These words had to sting or at the very least provoke some kind of response. Jesus concludes with a very compelling and convicting argument that they don’t even believe the words that Moses wrote. Blog post: --- Support this podcast:
Read John 5:19-30 The bookends of this passage reveal the role of Jesus as Son and His part in the complexity of the Holy Trinity. The Son can do nothing alone, but He is never alone. There is no “if” in this passage, so don’t get confused. Jesus explained His relationship to the Father for our benefit, not to raise questions! Blog post: --- Support this podcast:
Read: John 5:16-18 Following the outline from yesterday’s post, we’ll take a brief look at just three verses today. While this post is brief, I hope it allows you to focus on the few words and put yourself in the place of those present at the time. Blog post: --- Support this podcast:
Read John 5 As we head into chapter 5, I found it interesting that the NIV Application Commentary suggests the purpose of chapter 5 is to begin building the case against Jesus (cite below this post). This outline is helpful to give us some context for discussion: The Crime (5:1–15), The Decision to Prosecute (5:16–18), Jesus Goes to Trial (5:19–47) In contrast to the request in the previous post where the principal character begs Jesus to heal his son, we now read a story where Jesus initiates the conversation. Instead of appealing to Jesus for help, Jesus sees the man and reaches out to him. While the man is not named in John’s gospel account, he would have been well known by the people from that area. After decades of inability to walk, people would certainly know him and his family. Blog post: --- Support this podcast:
Take Jesus at His Word

Take Jesus at His Word


Read: John 4:43-54 Are you willing to take Jesus at His word and believe? The central character in this story is an officer in Herod’s regime, “a certain royal official,” who begs Jesus to heal his son. The passionate plea was met with a sharp response, but Jesus healed the son anyway. The official had faith while the Jews kept their distance and watched. Read post: --- Support this podcast:
Read: John 4:27-42 There are actually two distinct parts to this section: the disciples and the woman. Both are significant, but I chose the title to reflect the part that I really hadn’t focused on very much. I’ll try to cover both parts here briefly. It’s up to you to dive into that which speaks to your heart at this time. Read post: --- Support this podcast:
Read: John 4:16-26 In the first part of this story, the woman at the well was enjoying the debate with Jesus about living water. The unheard of conversation between a well-known Rabbi (Jesus) and a woman that has to draw water at noon to avoid other people went from bad to worse. I’m suggesting “bad” because no self-respecting single Jew would be caught alone with a woman such as this and “worse” because Jesus is about to talk about marital issues! This is crazy talk and the disciples are poised to set Jesus straight! Read post: --- Support this podcast:
Read: John 4:1-15 Imagine Billy Graham sitting at a bus stop in downtown Atlanta engaged in conversation with a well-known prostitute. Don’t get me wrong, the woman at the well is not a prostitute, though her moral character is questionable, I am trying to set the stage for a conversation that is completely out of step with anything the disciples could have imagined. It made perfect sense for Jesus to stay up all night talking with a Pharisee named Nicodemus, but to sit and chat with an unnamed Samaritan woman was unheard of. Be shocked and amazed, then listen to the voice of the Spirit as we dive into chapter 4. Read post: --- Support this podcast:
Read John 3:22-36 The episode with Nicodemus comes to a close in the first part of chapter 3. It’s as if John says, “next slide,” and continues his presentation with a completely different thought that builds his case for Christ. In some respects, this is the challenge of reading one excerpt at a time, at least for me. I have to keep reminding myself of the previous events. That’s one reason I really appreciate The Bible Project’s image that portrays the entire Gospel of John on one page. While it’s a bit overwhelming to look at all at once, it does help remind me of where we are in the story. Blog post: --- Support this podcast:
Read John 3:16-21 I know we just discussed this here, but there is much more to say before moving on. As I read the NIV Application Commentary over and over again, I’m struck by the need to explain John’s statements further. The phrase that leaps off the page is the title of this post: God did not send Jesus to do His dirty work. Blog post: --- Support this podcast:
Read John 3:16-21 John presses pause after recounting the story of Nicodemus. In one concise and elegant statement, John captures the essence of Jesus Christ’s primary mission on earth. I’m sure there are stats somewhere, but this has to be one of the most well-known verses in the Bible; probably among any book. The verse introduces a short discourse that needs to be read together in light of the Nicodemus discussion. Blog post: --- Support this podcast:
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