Tag Archives: John

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 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, October 28

By What Power?

October 28, Friday: God’s Story (1)

Scripture Reading: Acts 4

Peter makes a critical connection for us. Having been asked by the religious authorities following the healing of a man 40-years-old and lame since birth, “By what power or by what name did you do this?”, he said it was by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth (vv. 7, 10). He then proceeded to say, for there is salvation in no one else, “for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (v. 12). The power/name that heals the lame is the same power/name that saves the lost. The power that can do the former can certainly do the latter. And so, indeed, this is this name upon which we call to be saved (Acts 2:21). And this miracle (among others) proves it.

Questions to Ponder:

  • What annoyed the Sadducees? (v. 2)
  • What did the rulers perceive about Peter and John? (v. 13)
  • What did the rulers confess about what had happened? (v. 16)
  • For what did the apostles pray in response to being threatened? (v. 29)

My Delight is the Lord, October 22

Attention to Jesus

October 22, Saturday: God’s Story (2)

Scripture Reading: Acts 3

Peter wanted to know why the multitude was staring at him and John (v. 12). Well, an amazing thing had just been done and everyone knew it. This well known, ever-present, congenitally lame man was remarkably doing what no one had ever seen him do–walking, leaping, and praising God (v. 8). What is more, it all happened as a result of what Peter and John had said. These witnesses were “utterly astounded” (v. 11). Don’t miss what happened next. The apostles had what everyone seems to want–the people’s attention. Think of it; advertisers, hucksters, celebrities, politicians, retailers, power brokers, etc., etc. all want the same thing–the attention of the masses. Peter and John had it and here’s what they did with it; diverted it from themselves and directed it toward Jesus, His death and resurrection (vv. 11-16). Given our self-idolizing culture, that seems nearly as miraculous as the miracle. But really, that’s what we should all be about always–directing attention to Jesus.

Questions to Ponder:

  • Why did Peter and John go to the temple? (v. 1)
  • What filled the people who saw the lame man walk? (v. 10)
  • How is Jesus described in vv. 14-15?
  • What did Peter say these people must do? (v. 19)

My Delight is the Lord, October 19

Move Forward

October 19, Wednesday: Knowing God’s Son

Scripture Reading: John 18:1-11

I’m sure Jesus’ actions caught Judas’s mob off guard. They came after him en masse, a “great crowd” armed with “swords and clubs” along with torches and lanterns (Matt. 26:47; John 18:3). What were they expecting? a fight? a search and capture mission? But Jesus “came forward” and asked whom they were looking for. This wasn’t a move made in ignorance or naivete, but He did it “knowing all that would happen to him” (v. 4). The very things that in the garden produced exceeding anxiety and stress for Jesus did not prevent Him from moving forward. The will of the Father propelled Him. His anxieties did not hinder Him.

Questions to Ponder:

  • Why do you suppose John skips recording Jesus’ prayers in Gethsemane?
  • How did Judas know where to find Jesus? (v. 2)
  • How did the mob respond to Jesus identifying Himself? (v. 6)
  • Was Peter aiming for Malchus’s ear? (v. 10)

My Delight is the Lord, August 24

Powerful and Caring

August 24, Wednesday: Knowing God’s Son

Scripture Reading: John 11:1-53

The account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead is remarkable to the extreme. That Jesus could speak to the dead and the dead respond just defies our understanding. It’s been observed that it’s a good thing Jesus called him by name or the whole cemetery would have come out of their graves. Is there any greater evidence to the divinity of the Nazarene than this? But wait. Of no less wonderment is that one of such exalted and lofty place has such care and tender compassion on the pain and sorrow of lowly man. Yes, I thrill at believing in a Savior who possesses authority over death, but no less than that I know He cares deeply for me.

Questions to Ponder:

  • How did Lazarus’ illness “not lead to death”? (v. 4)
  • What prompted the disciples’ hesitation? (v. 8)
  • Did Martha anticipate what Jesus would do? (vv. 21-22)
  • To what does Martha confess? (v. 27)

My Delight is the Lord, June 8

Confused About Jesus

June 8, Wednesday: Knowing God’s Son

Scripture Reading: John 7:1-52

Does the fact that there are very differing ideas about Jesus and how He is to be served and followed disturb you? It does me. Where we would make a monumental mistake is to then conclude that we cannot have any certainty about what we should know and believe about Him. How can such a claim be made? Because the Bible itself–in the midst of its presentation of Jesus–shows us people with differing, conflicting, and uncertain ideas about Him. Scripture not only shows us Jesus, it shows us that people come to incorrect and misguided conclusions about Him and why they do so. If anything, this multitude of ideas about Jesus should motivate us to an even more diligent effort to see Him as He is revealed in Scripture–not as we’ve been told He is or even as we’ve always seen Him before. The only absolutely reliable approach is the divine revelation itself.

Questions to Ponder:

  • Why was Jesus remaining in Galilee? (v. 1)
  • What did Jesus’ brothers think about Him? (v. 5)
  • Why did some think Jesus could not be the Christ? (v. 27)
  • Why did others think He must be? (v. 31)

My Delight is the Lord, June 1

Who Has My Attention?

June 1, Wednesday: Knowing God’s Son

Scripture Reading: Matthew 17:1-13

What is the most critical asset in your possession? Think about it. We could readily, and accurately answer that it is our soul. That would be hard to refute. But what about your attention? To whom have you given it? That is, to whom do you listen? Who has your ear? Whose voice holds the greatest sway in the course of your life? What or who is it that is being allowed to shape your thinking and therefore impact your actions? God speaks directly to this point when He identifies Jesus as His beloved Son in whom His pleasure resides, and says, “Listen to him” (v. 5). Be sure your attention is given to Him. Determine that He has your ear, that He above all others and all else shapes how you think and what you do. What better way to preserve our soul than this? Your attention is your most critical asset. Place it well.

Questions to Ponder:

  • What is the point of the transfiguration?
  • Assess Peter’s recommendation in v. 4.
  • Why would Jesus set the restriction He does in v. 9?
  • Who was the Elijah that has already come? (v. 12)