Category Archives: Wednesday–Knowing God’s Son

My Delight is the Lord, December 28

Transitions

December 28, Wednesday: Knowing God’s Son

Scripture Reading: Acts 1:1-11

What started at Bethlehem ended on Mount Olivet. Jesus entered the world in the presence of Mary and Joseph and left it in the viewing of 11 apostles. The Son of God taking on flesh and living among men marked a planned-for and necessary transition in God’s eternal plan. Jesus’ ascension was no less a transition. From this time on His followers’ existence would be lived in light of what He had accomplished and so should be dominated by two realities; one, communicating His message “to the end of the earth” (v. 8), and the other, to anticipate the next great transition–His return (v. 11)! As critical as it is to know and understand the Savior and His message, so also is it to be busy fulfilling the Master’s will in the time in which we live.

Questions to Ponder:

  • What did Jesus talk about between His resurrection and ascension? (v. 3)
  • What was the “promise of the Father”? (vv. 4-5)
  • About what were the disciples concerned? (v. 6)
  • What is associated with the Holy Spirit’s coming? (v. 8)

My Delight is the Lord, December 21

Do You Love Me?

December 21, Wednesday: Knowing God’s Son

Scripture Reading: John 21:15-24

Peter sounds a little exasperated after Jesus asks him for the third time–and he’s already responded in the affirmative twice–if the impetuous disciple loved Him. “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you” (v. 17). Peter was correct, wasn’t he? Jesus does know all things, including our love for Him. But wait, Jesus didn’t change His response. It wasn’t “You’re right. I already know.” It was,  “Feed my sheep” (v. 17). There is more to loving the Lord than what is in our heart. The confirmation of our love for the Lord doesn’t come from his all-knowing awareness of what we feel toward him. It comes from us and what we do (or don’t do). As Jesus said, “If you love me you will keep my commandments” (Jn. 14:15).

Questions to Ponder:

  • What did Jesus mean by, “more than these”? (v. 15)
  • How was Peter to feed/tend Jesus’ sheep/lambs? (vv. 15, 16, 17)
  • What would Peter do in his death? (v. 19)
  • What is our ultimate, individual responsibility (v. 22)

My Delight is the Lord, December 14

Like Peter

December 14, Wednesday: Knowing God’s Son

Scripture Reading: John 21:1-14

I am like Peter in many ways. Here’s one; he went fishing and caught nothing. I pray that I am like him in what followed next in this incident. After an unsuccessful night on the Tiberias Sea, Jesus appears on the shore the following morning and says to cast their nets “on the right side of the boat” (v. 6). Why should they? Their experience tells them that this would be a futile exercise. Their frustrated emotions (I know how it feels to fish a long time and catch nothing) were not inclined to taking fishing advice from a carpenter. Still, “they cast it [their net]” (v. 6). That, by itself, is powerful (the miraculous catch that follows notwithstanding). When all else appears to argue to the contrary, will I still do as Jesus says? Oh, how I long to be more like Peter.

Questions to Ponder:

  • What do Peter’s actions in v. 7 say about him?
  • Why did Jesus feed the disciples breakfast?
  • What are the “miracles” in this event?
  • What does John say is the point of all of this? (v. 14)

My Delight is the Lord, December 7

Anxiety Cure

December 7, Wednesday: Knowing God’s Son

Scripture Reading: John 20:19-29

The disciples were scared. They were hiding behind locked doors for fear of the Jews on the evening of the day that Jesus raised from the dead. Already they had heard some incredible stories from Mary Magdalene who reported not only an empty tomb (verified by Peter and John), but also having seen Jesus alive. Also, two disciples traveling to Emmaus reported seeing him alive as well (Lk. 24:33-35). It’s hardly a stretch to suggest these men were in an unsettled state of mind. Could it possibly be true? Suddenly, standing in their midst, He appeared. His first words to them are, “Peace be with you” (v. 19). His second words are a repeat of the first, “Peace be with you” (v. 21). All of their anxieties and fears and questions and worries are answered in His resurrection. Because He rose, peace is possible. It was true for them, it’s still true for us.

Questions to Ponder:

  • Why were the disciples behind locked doors?  (v. 19)
  • What verification did Jesus provide for His identity? (v. 20)
  • What do you think of Thomas’ reluctance? (v. 25)
  • What’s the significance of Thomas’ confession? (v. 28)

My Delight is the Lord, November 30

Guided by God’s Word

November 30, Wednesday: Knowing God’s Son

Scripture Reading: Luke 24:13-49

The two disciples on the Emmaus road were sad because of all the “things that had happened” (v. 14). Jesus’ crucifixion was not the outcome they had anticipated from the one “we had hoped…to redeem Israel” (v. 21). Think about this, they were sad because what Jesus said was going to happen surprised them when it did happen (see Matt. 16:21). Not only that, but it was the very things about which “Moses and the prophets” had spoken (v. 27). Jesus’ own words and the words of Scripture had not sufficiently shaped the ideas and thinking of these disciples so as to overcome their mistaken notions of the Messiah and what He would accomplish. What a sobering lesson to be learned about the great care needed to allow our own thoughts and ideas to be genuinely guided by God’s word.

Questions to Ponder:

  • On what day did these events happen? (v. 13)
  • How did Cleopas describe Jesus? (v. 19)
  • What was meant by “to redeem Israel”? (v. 21)
  • What is the significance of Jesus eating? (v. 43)

My Delight is the Lord, November 23

Why Mary?

November 23, Wednesday: Knowing God’s Son

Scripture Reading: John 20:1-18

Mary came  very early to Jesus’ tomb. She was not alone (see Mk. 16:1) but John focuses on her exclusively. She is the first to give the disturbing report of an empty tomb to the apostles.  She returns, distraught over Jesus’ missing body and becomes the first eye witness of the resurrected Jesus. She actually converses with Him not knowing who He is. Recognition of Him did not dawn until He spoke her name. Is there not something singularly beautiful in that? Quickly she obeyed the Master’s command to “go to my brothers” (v. 17) and thus hers stands as the first eye witness testimony to the single greatest event of human history. Why was she even there? Why did she care so much? Our first introduction to this woman identifies her as one from whom Jesus cast out seven demons (Lk. 8:2).  She’s there because she’s so grateful. She cares because He cared for her. What has my own caring gratitude led me to do?

Questions to Ponder:

  • Which of the disciples arrived at Jesus tomb first? Who entered first? (vv. 4-6)
  • Why did Mary say she was weeping? (vv. 13)
  • What did Mary call Jesus? (v. 16)
  • What did Jesu say had yet to happen? (v. 17)

My Delight is the Lord, November 16

Darkness

November 16, Wednesday: Knowing God’s Son

Scripture Reading: Matthew 27:45-66

To say that the day Jesus died was dark is stating the obvious. But it was so in ways we might not think about and is evidenced in several ways. Of course, physical darkness enveloped the land (v. 45). Emotional darkness prompted Jesus’ forlorn cry of abandonment by His Father (v. 46). Ignorance’s darkness was on full display throughout the process (see vv. 47-48). And what about the darkness of deep sadness felt by devoted women (vv. 55-56)? Oh, and how dark is it when supposed spiritual leaders work to thwart the very word of the Lord? (vv. 62-66). That is much darkness. Rather than be overcome by it, we must remember that from it brilliant light shines brightest. It’s the lamp shining in a dark place, the day dawning (2 Pet. 1:19) and the bright morning star rising (Rev. 22:16). Darkness has a place in this world, but not as the final outcome, but that from which we emerge “into his marvelous light” (1 Pet. 2:9).

Questions to Ponder:

  • What happened when Jesus died? (vv. 51-53)
  • What was the Roman soldiers’ conclusion about Jesus? (v. 54)
  • Who witnessed Jesus burial? (v. 61)
  • Why did the Chief Priests and Pharisees make their request of Pilate? (vv. 62-64)

My Delight is the Lord, November 9

Less Like Man

November 9, Wednesday: Knowing God’s Son

Scripture Reading: Luke 23:26-43

We will never witness a more vivid and stark demonstration of the contrast between God and man than Jesus on the cross. Man is angry, violent, hateful, spiteful, vindictive, cruel, and proud. God, in the face of all of that, shows love (enough to provide what man needs, and at great cost), submission (to the Father’s will), restraint (He could have ended all of this), forgiveness, humility, and compassion. Look at the scene. Listen to the words. Feel the emotions. God wants for us what is very best; nothing is more beautiful. Man wants what man wants; nothing is more hideous. So, Jesus calls us all to be more like God and less like man.

Questions to Ponder:

  • Did Jesus have supporters and sympathizers? (v. 27)
  • What does Jesus mean by green and dry wood? (v. 31)
  • What did the rulers call on Jesus to prove? And how? (v. 35)
  • What did Jesus mean by His promise to the thief? (v. 43)

My Delight is the Lord, November 2

What’s Next?

November 2, Wednesday: Knowing God’s Son

Scripture Reading: Matthew 27:3-10, 27-31

There is not a better confession that one can make (well, outside of a confession of faith in Jesus as God’s Son) than, “I have sinned.” Coming to that realization is a major milestone on the road to spiritual healing and forgiveness. It is also turns out to be a major crossroads as well. What a person does immediately after having come to that understanding is of supreme importance. There are, honestly, many options. Even Judas said, “I have sinned” (v. 4). He, of course, did not then choose the right option. Recognizing one has a problem (sin) is all well and good, but unless the correct course of action is taken that can actually remedy it, what, truly, has been accomplished? The path that leads to redemption involves repentance and obedience. Do you acknowledge your sin? If yes, then that’s good. Now, you have a critical decision to make next. Make that a good one too!

Questions to Ponder:

  • What prompted Judas’ change of mind? (v. 3)
  • What is revealed about the chief priests in v. 6?
  • Who was the governor? (v. 27)
  • What is your emotional response to vv. 28-31?

My Delight is the Lord, October 26

No Heaven on Earth

October 26, Wednesday: Knowing God’s Son

Scripture Reading: Luke 22:63-23:25

If nothing else, surely we learn from Jesus’ trial that in this world good does not always prevail, truth doesn’t always win out, and purely innocent people do suffer horribly. I would hope that leaves a knot in the pit of our stomachs (at the very least). This horribleness is as much a part of the world we occupy as anything. And, truly, if this can happen to, not just a supremely good person, but the perfectly sinless Son of God, then, yes, it could happen to anyone. What God wants from us is goodness, kindness, honor, and justice. But this world lies in the power of the evil one who steals, kills, and destroys (1 Jn. 5:19; John 10:10). This world can be a mean old place, and we’ll never make a heaven on earth. But whatever we might have to face here, don’t forget what God has in store, “praise and glory and honor” (1 Pet. 1:7).

Questions to Ponder:

  • What is the significance of “when day came”? (22:66)
  • Of what crime did they believe to be guilty? (22:70-71)
  • Why did they change the accusations? (23:2)
  • Why did Jesus say nothing to Herod? (23:9)