C2C Nov. 13-19

November 13 — The Jews — John 12-14.  Have you noticed that the Gospel of John mentions “the Jews” very often?  That expression is found in the other three Synoptic Gospels a total of 15 times but John uses it 60 times.  It is used both positively and negatively, depending on which group of people was being referred to.  John was not emphasizing or degrading race, since he was also a Jew, but simply revealing that his primary readers were somewhat uninformed Gentiles who lived decades after the events he describes.  We should be careful that some statements we make might be taken as evidence of racial prejudice.  It seems that some people are looking for opportunities to be offended.

November 14 — Obey to Abide — John 15-18.  The beginning of this reading session records Jesus’ final “I am” statement: “I am the true vine” (15:1).  It also begins an important passage about abiding in Christ.  There may be other factors involved in how to abide in Christ but Jesus mentions only one here: “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love” (15:10).  We can abide by obeying.  One of my former students wrote to me last week, saying that she was “too far from the Lord” and then asked, “Please pray for my obedience.”  She was not abiding and understood that it was connected to her disobedience.  I advised her to submit herself to a godly woman for daily, then weekly, accountability to help her back to a life of obedient abiding, which she has arranged to do.  All of us at times feel that we have grown cold in our relationship with God.  At those times, we should look for areas of disobedience in our lives.

November 15 — It is Finished! — John 19-21.  Jesus came, lived, and died in fulfillment of OT prophecy.  Just before dying He “said (to fulfill the Scripture), ‘I thirst’” (19:28), which was predicted by the psalmist David: “…for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink” (Ps. 69:21).  Then He said, “It is finished” (19:30), and died. The prophecies of His life, death, and salvific mission were fulfilled.  Even following His death, other prophecies were fulfilled about His bones not being broken (Ps. 34:20), being pierced (Zech. 12:10), and being buried in a rich man’s grave (Is. 53:9).  The finishing of His earthly life was the beginning of spiritual life for us.  Because of His substitutionary death, we are offered eternal life, and we have a mission to bring the message of salvation to those we encounter in life.

November 16 — Acts — Acts 1-2.  The book of Acts, although not stated, was certainly written by Luke, who also wrote his Gospel.  Both were written to “Theophilus,” which means “lover of God,” suggesting to some that it was a symbolic name representing all new believers who needed information.  Strangely, Luke’s name appears only three times in the NT, all in Paul’s letters written from prison.  Acts, probably written around 62 AD, presents a historical review of the early church, mixing long narrative descriptions of journeys and lengthy speeches or sermons (32 of them!).  

November 17 — Boldness — Acts 3-5.  Peter and John showed boldness when they told the lame man to look at them and then commanded him, “Rise up and walk!” (3:6).  The Sanhedrin men were astonished at the boldness (4:13) of these same two men who had declared that “there is salvation in no one else…” than Jesus (4:12).  Later, after all the apostles were beaten by the Jewish leaders, they prayed with the other believers for God to “grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness” (4:29), which God granted (4:31).  Boldness comes out of a genuine, divinely changed life.  Spiritual boldness for witnessing also comes out of confidence, knowing that Jesus is the only way to heaven.  And boldness comes from answered prayer.  Ask God today to give you boldness to declare His love and forgiveness to someone.

November 18 — Rejection History — Acts 6-8.  Stephen emphasized two major points in his chapter-long speech before the Sanhedrin court.  One was that God is not limited to a place (“houses made by hands”—7:48), as Stephen pointed out God’s meeting with Abraham in Mesopotamia (7:2), with Joseph in Egypt (7:9), and with Moses at Mount Sinai (7:30).  The second, and primary, point Stephen made was that Israel had a consistent history of rejecting God-sent people, like they did with Moses, saying, “Who made you a ruler and a judge over us?” (7:27) and they “refused to obey him” (7:39).  Stephen zeroed in on this rejection idea in his “killer conclusion,” saying that, like their fathers, the present “stiff-necked” Sanhedrin leaders also rejected God’s Messiah whom they “betrayed and murdered” (7:52).  Not surprisingly, it wasn’t well received!  And neither is our message by people who are bent on resisting God.  Some will listen and believe, however, so we need to continue to proclaim the Good News of Jesus.

Published by abibleread

This website honors the Bible as the inspired Word of God through which God speaks to us as we read and study it.

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