KJ Mar. 12-18

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March 12, Sunday

An audio recording of the following reading is available below.

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Truly, Truly — Jesus’ double expression of “truly, truly” appears 25 times in the Gospel of John.  It is an emphatic combination, bringing across the importance and truth of what is about to be declared.  Jesus used it three times in this nighttime interview with Nicodemus.  The first truth is that there is a second kind of life that follows the first (“…unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God”—v. 3).  That certainly raised questions in Nicodemus’ mind, so he responded with, “How …?” (v. 4).  We are surrounded today with people who have experienced only the first kind of life—the physical one—and we need to let them know that there is a better kind of life available to them.  The second “truly, truly” statement identified the source and quality of the second kind of life.  It is spiritual, rather than physical, and it comes from the Spirit of God (vv. 5, 6, 8).  Nicodemus’ next how-question (v. 9) was not really answered by Jesus.  Why not?  Probably because spiritual rebirth was not available until the Day of Pentecost, about three years later.  Until then, people would be challenged to “repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15).  After Pentecost, that would result in being born again by the Spirit.  Jesus’ third “truly, truly” statement contrasted the inadequate intellectual level of the Pharisees against those who would be “born of the Spirit.”  Nicodemus should have known about the OT prophecy in which God said, “I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezek. 36:26).  Jesus included us born-again believers when He said, “we speak of what we know and bear witness of what we have seen, and you do not accept our witness” (John 3:11).  It is true that many will not accept our witness, but we still need to tell them about the second-level life that will bring them into “the kingdom of God” (v. 3).

This is a rap-type song that connects with our reading and has some good words.
Born Again – YouTube

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March 13, Monday

An audio recording of the following reading is available below.

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Son, Savior, Light — Probably the most famous verse in the Bible shows the first of three titles, or characteristics, of Jesus — the “only begotten Son” (v. 16).  The LSB footnote on the word translated “only begotten” (“or unique, only one of His kind”) is very important.  The Greek word is used nine times in the NT, five of them about Jesus.  Its key use for our understanding of it is in Hebrews 11:17, where it says that Abraham, in his willingness to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, was “offering up his only son.”  There, the same word is translated “only,” although Abraham had a previous son, Ishmael.  Isaac was his “unique” son, one of a kind, because he was the son that God had promised, not the one Sarah had arranged through a substitute wife, Hagar.  So, the Son of God was not “born” of God the Father as we think of procreation; He was unique.  The second title of Jesus is the suggested word, Savior, which indicates the purpose for His coming to earth: He came “that the world might be saved through Him” (v. 17).  The Father sent the Son so that we might be saved.  The name Jesus, itself, means “Yahweh saves.”  The third title, Light, speaks of the character of the Son: “the Light has come into the world” (v. 19a).  The Light exposes in two ways.  Negatively, it exposes the evil deeds of humans (v. 19b), so that many of them flee from the Light.  Positively, it exposes the fact that the good deeds of believers are those “having been done by God” (v. 21).  We walk in the Light.

Jesus, the Light of the World – YouTube

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March 14, Tuesday

An audio recording of the following reading is available below.

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He is Above All — The final paragraph in this chapter is filled with information about Jesus.  Twice in the same verse, it mentions that He is “from above … [or] from heaven” and “is above all” (v. 31).  That speaks of both His source and His standing — His divinity and His dominion.  He is part of the Trinity, all three of which we see in this passage: God the Father sent the Son, loves the Son, and gave the Holy Spirit to the Son (vv. 34-35).  What the Son gives to us is “His witness” (v. 33), which is “the words of God” (v. 34), and to those who believe in Him, He gives, “eternal life” (v. 36).  As Paul summarized later, “Christ is all and in all” (Col. 3:11).  What a wonderful privilege we have, that the Creator and Ruler of the universe dwells within our hearts because we have believed in Him!  We are blessed to begin to share in this life, a foretaste of the “eternal life” that will last forever.

Blessed Assurance – YouTube

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March 15, Wednesday

An audio recording of the following reading is available below.

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“I Am He” — Many characteristics of Jesus are revealed in this passage.  First, He was led by the Father: He “had to pass through Samaria” (v. 4).  It was more than a geographical necessity.  Next, He was fully human: He was “wearied from His journey” (v. 6).  Being also divine did not remove the weakness of His flesh.  He was also socially daring by speaking to a Samaritan woman (v. 9), breaking racial, religious, and gender boundaries to communicate truth to an open, needy heart.  He was not governed by the manmade rules of culture.  Then, we see that He was omniscient, knowing that this woman “had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband” (v. 18).  He was prophetic, as she acknowledged (“I see that You are a prophet”—vs. 19), and as He demonstrated in His two statements introduced by “an hour is coming…” (vv. 21, 23).  Finally, He was revealing, identifying Himself as the Messiah (“I who speak to you am He”—v. 26).  This was a rare, direct acknowledgement from Jesus, probably always avoiding the strong Jewish expectation of the Messiah coming as a political and military leader.  Later, He even “warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ” (Matt. 16:20).  All of that changed after Jesus’ resurrection, when He charged His disciples to “make disciples of all the nations … teaching them to keep all that I commanded you…” (Matt. 28:19-20).  That is our commission as well; we are commanded to be a part of sharing Jesus with others, even supporting those who take the message to other areas in our world where people do not know about Jesus.

Christ for the World We Sing – YouTube

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March 16, Thursday

An audio recording of the following reading is available below.

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The Satisfied Master — Two characteristics of Jesus stood out to me as I read this passage.  One was His commanding presence.  He was so far above His disciples that it seems they were a little afraid of Him.  Although they had questions about Jesus’ actions, “yet no one said…” (v. 27).  Later, when Jesus refused the food they had brought, they avoided asking Him their questions, and instead, they “were saying to one another…” (v. 33).  Jesus was their friend, but He was also their Master.  They respected Him and were hesitant to question Him.  Part of their caution was probably that He sometimes answered their questions in a way that they didn’t quite understand.  He often talked about something physical that carried a spiritual meaning, which is the second characteristic of Jesus that I saw here.  The disciples were speaking of physical food, but Jesus was talking about the spiritual food of doing “the will of Him who sent Me” (v. 34).  His encounter with the Samaritan woman and His knowledge that others were coming to Him because of her testimony was providing a deep satisfaction that temporarily took away His desire for physical food.  Is doing the will of God as satisfying to us as eating a regular meal?

Master, Speak! Thy Servant Heareth – YouTube

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March 17, Friday

An audio recording of the following reading is available below.

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The Savior of the World — The Samaritans were the left-over Jews of the northern kingdom of Israel, who had mixed in marriage with the foreign people brought in after they were defeated by the Assyrians.  They were not only mixed racially, but they were also mixed up religiously.  They only accepted the five books of Moses, the Torah, as their Bible, and even it had been modified.  Jews considered the Samaritans to be religiously unclean, and many would not even travel through their land.  Jesus didn’t avoid them, however.  He evangelized them.  It was the first step in His ministry of showing the universal scope of what He was sent to earth to accomplish.  The Samaritans who came to Jacob’s well to see Jesus asked Him to stay with them, which He did for two days.  As a result, their faith grew and spread: The “many … Samaritans” (v. 39) who believed became, “many more” (v. 41) who believed as they listened to Jesus.  Wouldn’t you love to have a record of what Jesus said to them during those two days?  Their conclusion was that Jesus was “truly the Savior of the world” (v. 42).  While the pure Jews of Judah and Galilee were viewing Jesus as a military Messiah who would conquer the Romans, the “unclean” Samaritans saw Him as “the Savior of the world.”  He would be both King and Savior, but the Samaritans recognized Him as Savior, which was the purpose of His first coming.  Later, He will return as King.

Savior of the World – YouTube

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March 18, Saturday

An audio recording of the following reading is available below.

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Empowered Ministry — Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritans happened on His way back to His home territory in Galilee.  He came “in the power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:14) to do two things as mentioned in these verses.  The first was His power “for teaching in the synagogues” (v. 15), and His message was received as being unusual and effective; He was “being glorified by all.”  It was like the officers’ response who were later sent by the Pharisees to arrest Jesus; they said, “Never has a man spoken like this!” (John 7:46).  No wonder!  He was divine and He spoke powerful words of God.  We should remember this when we share our faith with others: Use the Word of God!  It is powerful.  Jesus also came “in the power of the Spirit” to do miraculous things.  John wrote that the Galileans gladly received Him because they had “seen all the things that He did in Jerusalem” (John 4:45).  What things?  The only thing we know about was His cleansing of the temple, which was powerful, but didn’t seem to be miraculous.  This is a reminder that much of the ministry of Jesus was not recorded for us.  What Jesus said and what He did was very unusual—it commanded attention.  This prophet in Galilee was God!

Way Maker – YouTube

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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