When Gough Whitlam won the election in 1973, the slogan “It’s time!” became well-known all over this land. When some Greeks one day asked some of the disciples if they could see Jesus, it became clear from the things that Jesus said in John 12:20-36, that the hour had come for him to die….and so “It’s time” took on a whole new meaning.
Guest speaker Len preaches from John 4:1-42. Jesus has an appointment to pass through Samaria, but the woman he meets needs that meeting. This passage about the Woman of Samaria is all about Jesus and his character – he did not see people as others did. How do we see people? Do we offer hope? Jesus asks the women for a drink from the well but offers her living water (compare with John 7). This living water is his Holy Spirit, that Jesus’ saving work at the cross might be applied to our lives. As the passage goes on, we learn more about who Jesus is. The woman – of low standing and bad reputation – realises that Jesus is the Christ, she has received forgiveness and forgets her task at the well to tell the whole town. Be sure that you have met Jesus. Like Jesus, be no respecter of persons (looking up or down on anyone). Drink deeply of that living water that you cannot help but speak of it!
There have been a lot of words written and spoken about the central meaning of Christmas. The Apostle John, in his prologue to his gospel (John 1:1-18), hits the nail on the head in just 4 words from verse 14. These words are so deep and profound that we need to get our heads around them…and it will take 5 words for us to do just that!
There are a few lies that you may hear at Christmas, but none of them rank with the lie of King Herod. More than that, his attitude meant that he missed out on everything Jesus came to bring – a sad scenario!
Though it is right to remember those who fell in times of war, especially at the time of the ANZAC Centenary, it is even better to remember that Psalm 46 reminds us that the security of the nations depends not upon man and his machine, but upon the Lord of Hosts. Further to this, though Jesus’ words about ‘greater love has no man’, are often used to highlight the cost of freedom won by the sacrifice of many, they really refer to how we ought to understand His sacrifice on the cross for our sin. Then also, the Bible describes a war that we are all involved in and declares those who have faith in Jesus as the ones who are on the winning side.
After Jesus had fed 5,000 in the desert, many followed him for another free feed. To this crowd, Jesus made the claim that he was ‘the bread of life’ and that he offered food that would really satisfy. By this claim, found in John 6:22-71, Jesus offered to those who would believe in and follow him, security, an eternal destiny and a true sense of identity. When crowds starting leaving Jesus because his words were hard to take, Peter said on behalf of his disciples that Jesus alone has ‘the words of eternal life’. We would be foolish not to follow him!
John 21 concerns the appearance of the risen Jesus to seven of his disciples while out fishing and then on the beach. When they disciples saw him from their boat while out fishing they saw him as a stranger. When Jesus enabled them to bring in a great catch of fish, they saw him as their Lord. When Jesus carefully and gently reinstated Peter, they saw him as their friend. When Jesus then commissioned them to ‘follow him’, he made it clear they should serve him as their Lord
When Jesus appeared to the disciples after the resurrection, Thomas had not been with them and refused to believe their testimony. However, when Jesus appeared to Thomas and proved that he was alive, Thomas’ doubts soon evaporated and he freely confessed his faith. John’s purpose in writing what he did about Jesus was for this very purpose; that we too may believe God’s testimony concerning His Son.
When the disciples of Jesus had all but given up hope, because they had seen Jesus die and be buried, God changed everything by raising Jesus from the dead. Their perception of death, their perspective of Jesus and their purpose in life were all radically altered – and all for the better! The same change can come to all who believe God’s testimony concerning His Son Jesus who conquered sin and death.
Jesus spoke seven times from the cross. The sixth of His sayings was the short and plain, ‘I thirst’. These woulds could be taken in a very simple sense and quickly passed over. Of course he was thirsty! Dying is hard work. But there’s a whole lot more to it than that! What did jesus mean when He said what He said?