John 6:22-59

day 14
On the next day … the 5000 crowd saw that there had only been one boat! Like the magician who plucked a quarter from behind your ear, that observation must have had them in a buzz. The disciples had left alone, Jesus couldn’t be found, no one saw Him leave, they scoured the area…what the heck? So they jump in their own boats to follow the only lead they have…

Bingo! There He was – and their first question was “Rabbi (teacher), how did you get here?” They must have thought themselves clever but it strikes me Jesus is always ready to be found by anyone who is seeking Him. But I digress… ask a question of Jesus and very likely He will teach you something. To the seekers He explains, “It’s not the signs that brought you, it’s that you were hungry and were fed”. Umph! I thought it was the signs. They probably thought it was the signs but He redirects us. “Think about it…you were hungry and you ate your fill. You had a temporary need and I met it. Now consider your bigger need…the food for eternal life. That’s what I can really give you!”

What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Boy, isn’t this typical? I guess God wants me to do something to get His favor and earn this imperishable food. No, this is the only work…”believe IN HIM WHO HE SENT.” (It’s not just belief but belief in a certain thing, a certain person – the One who has been sent.)

Seekers: Believe? Show us a sign. We get the bread thing…it’s like the manna Moses gave, right? (Brother, didn’t He just say this was not about signs?) They haven’t quite got it.

Jesus: Well, first of all, the manna didn’t come from Moses and second of all My Father gives you the true bread from heaven – the bread that gives life. Let me spell it out: I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE. You have seen me but don’t believe. I’ve come from heaven to do My Father’s will and this is it: those who come to me will not be lost and I will raise them up on the last day. (A little reference to resurrection?)

So the Jews grumbled…nothing new here. This guy is Joseph’s son…we know him. Jesus restates the whole story for their benefit with an added feature: “No one can come to me unless the father draws him.” Faith is a two way street. I’ve heard that God even gives us the faith to believe to start with. Since He also, doesn’t want anyone to be lost (2 Peter 3:9), maybe the faith to believe is there for the asking.

So the Jews dispute…wrangle, wrangle, try to figure it out… (well, at least they are considering). This is what they did at the Synagogue I think. It was an intellectual pursuit. They were open but only at the brain level. I’m reminded of a quote I wrote in Bob’s first Bible: “Do not seek to understand in order that you may believe, but rather, believe in order that you may understand.”

About God?
He is always ready to be found if anyone is seeking.

About Me?
I like to think and figure it out. I would have made a good “Pharisee” but real truth is minded by faith not brain power.

About the World?
It is a mystery how we must believe but God must draw us to belief; how faith comes before truth; how to feed on the Bread of Life. Fortunately God is willing to reveal the mystery to anyone who simply asks.

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John 6:16-21

day 13
I remember when the story paused the 5000 who came to lunch wanted to make Jesus the king and so he slipped away by himself.

[Aside: I know the four Gospels often tell the same story and most of the time I would do that cross referencing just to get all the angles. I have been sticking to just what John wrote during this project and was perfectly fine with that. Sometimes it can be tricky to match up different accounts of the same story because they can seem contradictory. Each writer puts in what is important to him and leaves out other things – it’s like the six blind men describing an elephant – each has his own perspective and you have to put them all together to get the best picture!]

So with this twist thrown in –

When it was evening, Jesus told the boys to go on home – he would come later. Google tells me it was 8 miles across the lake so it might take a while. I don’t know how they thought Jesus was going to get back but maybe this wasn’t a big issue.

Some of the disciples were fishermen and they were from around this area. They probably felt pretty confident about crossing the lake. They may have even been aware that it could be stormy. But they were now smack in the middle of the lake and it was getting darker and… I mean, can you even see where you’re going? And then they see this figure coming at them…walking on top of the water? What is that? A ghost? They were frightened is a little mild– I like Matthew’s version here: “They were terrified!” It must have been chaos!

Then Jesus speaks, “It is I; do not be afraid.” John says, “They were glad to take him into the boat.” Glad? I’ll bet. How about exultant, elated, euphoric or ecstatic? How about relieved? So relieved they were instantly across and on the other side.

John skips this other little tidbit but Matthew was there too and he remembers. There must have plenty of stories about Peter – he was just that kind of guy. So Peter says, “Lord, if it is you…” I mean really, if you weren’t sure would you finish the sentence? To be fair this is exactly me. Jesus says “It’s me. I’m in this” and I say “are you sure?”

Peter is thinking out of the box here. Who in their right mind would even contemplate walking on the water? I get that God can do it but surely not me. “Command me to come” is interesting. Peter had a clue this only had a chance if it was Jesus’ doing.

Now here is what wild abandon looks like – the guys seems nuts. But Jesus says, “You’re on!” And Peter steps out of the boat and does it! Get out of Dodge! Can you imagine? Yeah, I know. It’s a short trip and he needs a rescue – he falters; he gets distracted; he’s human. But can you imagine the reality of the success part? My heart is beating fast just thinking about it. What would it feel like to step out in the middle of the night, in the middle of the sea, in the middle of a storm and just “walk on water with Jesus?” Oh and did I mention it is possible? Extreme sports look like knitting by comparison!

It is no wonder the disciples worshiped Him by saying “Truly You are the Son of God.” That’s worship pure and simple just acknowledging Jesus is who He claims to be.

About God?
He is the cure for all fear, the solution to every dilemma, the “yes you can” to every question for the one who is willing to come to Him.

About Me?
I want to believe anything is possible if Jesus calls me (big or little) and even if it is crazy. Lord, help my unbelief.

About the world?
When someone steps out on Jesus’ command, God gets the glory. The return could be someone saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

John 6:1-15

Day 12
There it is again…”after this…” I wonder if this is just John’s style. I like his storytelling. It is almost like an excited child reporting on a special outing…”we did this and after that we did this and after that…” ♥  I’m hooked waiting see what he might possibly do next.

It’s about 60 miles (3 days walk) from Jerusalem to the Sea of Galilee which means he headed back to the Cana area and then he crossed to the other side. Obviously he wasn’t in stealth mode when he got there because a large crowd begins to form and follow him. They had seen “the signs” he was doing on the sick so maybe He was doing some healing along the way.

Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. (This makes me curious – why tell this?)

Jesus and his men are sitting up on the mountain when Jesus asks Phillip, “Where are we going to buy bread to feed all these people?” And Phillip quips, “200 hundred denarii worth of bread wouldn’t be near enough!’ There were 5000 men out there and who knows how many women and kids. The disciples must have been trying to figure it out because Andrew reported he had found a kid with 5 loaves and 2 fish.

My first second question is: why did they feel like it was their job to feed these people? Seems like that was rescuing them from their own folly if they had come to follow him with no packed lunch. Was he that magnetic? They just forgot they were supposed to take care of themselves to follow him? And you know what – maybe Jesus loved that! He knew he was going to feed them and He loved they had overlooked their need to be self-sufficient.

Maybe they had not even realized they were stranded but Jesus planned a demonstration of His sufficiency for them and His disciples. He took what the boy had – 5 loaves and 2 fish. He “gave thanks”…(He was keenly aware of His partnership with the Father and His own gratefulness.) And then they passed out the food.

Now this is kinda cool. Jesus told the disciples to collect all the leftovers. There were 12 baskets full – one for each of them to carry. He knew He was going to do this and I can’t help imagining Him smiling at what was coming for them. Of course the people were blown away. “This is indeed the prophet who is come into the world.” What did he tell the Jewish leaders…there will be greater works that you may marvel? 🙂

Don’t know who they really thought He was but at this moment He was THE prophet and they were thinking they should make him King. Sorry, not in the plan…Jesus slips away by himself.

About God:
He has a sense of humor and delights in wowing His children. He wants us to know He is more than sufficient to meet our every need.

About Me:
The person of Jesus and knowing Him – could I be so focused as to simply lose track of trying to be self-sufficient?

About the world:
The world is always looking for a sign. When I was looking, someone told me what Jesus had provided for them. I thought, they really believe this…can it be true? It was.

John 5:16-47

Day 11

The Jews were ticked at Jesus for breaking the law and stepping on their polished boots but now…He’s claiming to be equal with God. Who does this guy think he is? Okay then – so glad you asked!

From where I stand His actions seem to back him up. He’s doing miracles, people are being rescued. It’s the kind of thing that might make a religious leader take pause and consider. I mean they were waiting for a Messiah, right? To be fair, there were some individuals who were trying to get their heads around it – Nicodemus maybe? But as a group – they are blind! (Of course they don’t know it or they’d be down at the pool.)

So, maybe it is out of compassion that Jesus decides to just have a sit down to illuminate the connection between Himself and His Father:

• The Father and I are linked – I’m only copying what the Father is doing.
• The Father loves me – that’s why He is showing me everything.
• The Father is going to show me a bunch more because He wants you to see it “that you may marvel.”
• The Father raises the dead and gives them life – I give life.
• The Father no longer judges but has given me this place of honor so you will see the need to honor me like you honor Him. You can’t honor Him without honoring me – we go together. It’s a package deal.
• If you hear my word and believe My Father – ‘cause we are partners in this – you will bypass judgment and receive eternal life. Look, this is the simple message you can share with your people! Make it your next sermon.
• Really, here’s the deal that’s happening right now – through Me: People are spiritually dead but if they listen and receive what I’m saying they will live.
• Let me reiterate: I’m not doing this stuff on my own…I’m doing what the Father wants. You want witnesses? There was JTB and the work itself but even better is “the one who sent me” – God.
• You can’t see God or hear Him but you’ve got His words written down. You study them and pat each other on the back at your “understanding” and think you’re set but you have totally missed the message. You have God’s words so you will know and recognize Me.
• I don’t have to judge you guys, Moses will do that – he was writing about me. If you didn’t get that, how will you believe my words?

About God:
He has a plan working that will make me marvel. I love the sound of that word.

About Me:
Not being the touchy- feel-ly type, it’s easy for me to look at God’s word as an exercise in gaining wisdom or knowledge but how often am I looking to deepen my relationship with Jesus as a person?

About the world:
There is a resurrection to life and a resurrection to judgment. Gives me pause. Is my life a book about me or about Him?

John 5:1-15

Day 10

After this – (there sure are a lot of time references in John: after this, now, the next day, … I keep having to look back. He’s still in Cana so it must mean after his encounter with the official.) So what’s next? Another party. These guys have more feasts than the French have vacation! So He’s off to Jerusalem.

Jerusalem had all these entrances into the city called “gates”. The sheep gate maybe was the Sheep Entrance and I imagine it had some not too pleasant traffic- noisy? smelly? Watch your step?

Near the gate is what appears to be a very nice pool area, roofed for shade and places to relax around this “magic” water. But on closer inspection the loungers are all “invalids” – the blind, lame and paralyzed. Uncomfortable company to be around maybe? …probably avoided by many. Of course Jesus would come in this way, right?

In this vast multitude of invalids Jesus spots this one long-timer who has been here at the magic pool forever hoping to win the “get healed” lottery. Sounds like the daily winner is whoever jumps in first when the water starts swirling.

Can’t help but think of this contrast: you’ve got this “magic”, still, retention pond that stirs so you might think it’s not stagnant and it offers healing to one lucky winner per day. Then you’ve got Jesus, Mr. Living Water, who just told the Samaritan women that “whoever” had a drink of this would never be thirsty again! No brainer!
Jesus asks the guy if he wants to be healed. The paralytic tells him why things had not worked for him. Jesus tells him “get up, take your bed, and walk.” AT ONCE the guy was healed and did just that!

Oops! It was the Sabbath. The Sunday School police were out in force. Now you’d think these were the guys looking out for your best interest, right? So they go ballistic and jump for joy that the guy is healed  …. Not so much! They are concerned with the ordinance 9.8.1 of the penal code against bed carrying on Saturdays. And just who was this guy who had acted like he could give the paralyzed man permission to trash the law? Somebody’s toes are hurting. When the man couldn’t tell him who had done it and Jesus had slipped out the back, they were left polishing their badges and hoping it didn’t happen again.

Interesting that Jesus caught up with the guy later at the temple and gave him some encouragement on how to use his new found health – “sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” What could be worse than being an invalid for 38 years? Answer: missing the point about who he had encountered.

The healed man goes back to tell the Jews it was Jesus that healed him. Hummm? Wonder what he was thinking? Giving praise to his healer or getting off the hook with the SS Police? Either way God’s agenda is moving forward.

About God?
The God of the Universe is so interested in one person He comes right in to the mess, unveils the cheap imitation and hands out the genuine article for FREE.

About Me?
Where am I still laying by the magic pool waiting when I could be drinking from the living water? Or when am I more concerned being seen as “large and in charge” than seeing the amazing work of Jesus right in front of me?

About the World?
I think of that verse that says God makes it rain on the just and the unjust. Blessing can happen whether one believes or not. But there will be unique meetings where a choice is offered – a blessing for this life can be an opportunity to see the greater gift of eternal life.

John 4:43-54

Day 9
After the two days (those would be the 2 days He spent with the Samaritans) he’s on the move again. This time to Galilee. Now Galilee was his home town and he knew he would not get any honor there even if they did think him a prophet.

But it seems so far the people are glad to see him ‘cause they had gone to the feast in Jerusalem and seen what He had done. Hum, now what feast was that? Oh yeah, that would be the Passover where he threw all the sellers out of the temple. Well they would remember that!

So next stop Cana – where he had helped out with the wedding wine. “An official” down in Capernaum hears Jesus is close by and he comes to find Jesus because he wants Jesus to come and heal his son who is dying. (Now I wonder how far that was: Capernaum to Cana? Let me just google that: (www.gobible.org/study/278.php ) tells me it’s a day’s walk (20-25 miles) uphill!)
Now I’m guessing Jesus knew the guy had been walking all day- uphill. And if Jesus was going to go it was going to take a day (downhill) and it was a change in His schedule… even so He makes what seems like a kind of harsh statement to the guy: “unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.”

The guy counters with another plea: “sir, come down before my child dies”. He is pretty desperate and trying to convince Jesus how serious things are. (Maybe this guy didn’t know that Jesus knew everything but I know that. I spend a good deal of time trying to explain to Jesus why things are so bad and how He just might not get it that I need HELP and NOW!)

Boy, now the challenge: “Go; your son will live.” Now I’m thinking at this point the guy has 2 choices. He can keep begging because obviously Jesus doesn’t get it OR he can obey the command and believe. (I can pretty much guess what I would do – most times I would keep begging. I’d probably have to take a few more laps around Mt. Sinai before I was desperate enough for faith to set in.) I love it that this official believed His word. (Don’t I preach that at every turn – His word is truth, whatever He says – you can bet your life on it? But sometimes, “hello!”)

It was uphill coming to Jesus but now, once he believed that word, everything was downhill from there! He couldn’t even get home before people were coming to find him. And when “an official” had put it all together “he himself believed, and all his household”. I guess there is a belief that is for a situation but then there is believing that changes your whole life. This was the second sign that Jesus did in this time frame “when he had come from Judea to Galilee.)

About God?
He knows all about us and our needs -just like He told the Samaritan woman but He still invites us to tell him. He listens. And sometimes He challenges us to faith – to believe Him. And believing will change us for ever.

About Me?
Don’t be slow to believe no matter how impossible His answer may seem.

About the World?
One person’s believing can impact a whole household, a whole community, the whole world.

John 4:1-42

Day 8

It seems like Jesus is moving around to avoid big clashes with the powers that be. Instead he is out among the people in a kind of Hit and Run mode. No secret his disciples were baptizing and He was there and lots of people were showing up. But then He moves. He is definitely not concerned about man made boundaries crossing right through Samarian territory and stopping for lunch.

We all know the 6th hour, when the woman came to the well, was not the usual time for respectable women to handle this chore. After Jesus speaks to her about her life, you find out she has some socially unacceptable laundry. Jesus is not concerned about this but He does make it known to her that He knows all about it. You just can’t hide from God though we might hope keeping our dirty secrets might make us more acceptable. Jesus knocked that wall down right away. That was not going to be some kind of excuse.

Jesus was just striking up a conversation with a person He was interested in. (I mean “how hard is that?” to see another as someone who is interesting and worth my time.)

This lady was not uninformed in spite of her sketchy life style. She knew Jews avoided Samaritans; she knew the history of the well; she knew there was a dispute about where people should worship God; she believed a Messiah was coming. They bounced from topic to topic with her questions/comments and His answers until He just tells her – “I am the one who is telling you all things. By your own definition I am the Messiah.”

This must have been pretty startling since she left her water jar and headed back to town. Funny she didn’t go home to her so called husband or to some safe friend to think this over. She headed for town to tell whoever was there. There was this definition of the Christ in her culture and this guy nailed it! So much for propriety – this was way too big! She was on a mission.

Now while the woman is having this miracle moment, the disciples return. They “marvel” at the fact Jesus is talking to “that kind of person” but they probably know Jesus is a little “out there” at times so they hang back. When the woman is gone they saunter up to fulfill their immediate task – let’s have lunch! They are totally uninterested in the woman and oblivious to what has happened to and for her.

So, Jesus declares a “teaching moment”. Guys I’m not even hungry anymore. Do you have any idea how rewarding, exciting and filling it is to do the work of My Father? Look around! The fruit is practically falling off the trees. You hardly have to work to reap it… you still get to enter into the reward of the labor. This is some glorious day, huh?!

And it was. Lots of Samaritans in the town believed in Jesus because of the woman’s personal testimony which was basically, “he told me all that I ever did.” They invited Jesus to stay a few days, which he did and a bunch more people believed because of “his word.” These declared, “…this is indeed the Savior of the world.”

About God?
He is not offended that I am a mess, unworthy; don’t fit in or anything like that. He is instead interested in me – personally interested in just sitting down on the side of the well and talking with me. I have value to Him. He is going to listen and answer and accept. He is like that to everyone, without exception.

About Me?
Do I have any idea how rewarding, exciting and filling it is to do the work of My Father? To be in on the sowing or the reaping? Do I realize it is as easy as telling my story?

About the World?
There are many, many people who are hungry to hear the Gospel. They have a picture of what it might look like to them. My story might just fit their picture. Maybe God has sown the “pictures” and then he sends out the “right stories” to connect the dots back to Him. That’s way cool!

John 3:22-36

Day 7

after this…after Jesus’ night time meeting with Nicodemus — Jesus goes out baptizing with his disciples. And JTB (John the Baptist) is out there nearby baptizing too. Some of John’s followers and a Jew …I mean, weren’t they all Jews? So why the distinction? Maybe to show that the Jew was not really a follower of JTB. He was an outsider who was talking to them about purification and stirring up questions they couldn’t answer or maybe planting thoughts of jealousy in their minds. It says plainly that people were coming and being baptized by John but these guys are telling that Jesus is over there baptizing and ALL are going to Him. A little exaggeration there? A little like a tattletale? A little winey? Sounds like they were worried for their jobs or maybe they were afraid they were following the wrong guy. When we get worried about losing something our first flesh-reaction is to grab for it, clench our fist around it and try to hold on.

JTB is Jamaican cool: Don’t worry Mon, be happy. This is the plan, buddy! It’s working just fine. You can’t get something unless it comes to you from heaven. We all know I am not the Christ. I’m the bridegroom. I’m the one rejoicing when I hear him coming. This is the pinnacle of my job, dudes. He comes closer into view and I recede. (What a picture of calm clarity comes to us when we know exactly who we are and exactly our purpose. It’s good for me to remember I’m not supposed to be the center of attention. I’m just the front man for Jesus!)

Don’t be lagging guys. The one I witnessed about is above all. He belongs to heaven not earth. God has sent Him. He speaks God’s words and has the Spirit without measure! He has been given all things. He is the One you should believe in because He has eternal life to offer. It’s okay to follow Him, in fact it is a matter of life and death.

Maybe JTB’s guys were a little confused and a bit fearful because they had been following the warm-up act but I think JTB was telling them, they too had a purpose. They were the support team but now they are moving up. Rejoice dudes, the real guy has arrived!

About God?
He has a plan that is unfolding right before our eyes.

About Me?
I have a choice of Life or Death. Choose Life and get in on God’s plan.
I have a purpose in God’s plan. I may get moved around from one job to another but it’s good to keep my head clear about who I am.
(You know that joke about the difference between God and me? God never thinks He is me! :))

About the World?
Every person has a choice to make. Nicodemus, JTB, JTB’s guys, the Jew, everybody – choose Life.

John 3:1-21

day 6
Following Jesus having tossed the money changers out of the temple and His perplexing answer to the Jews about “destroying this temple” people had begun to take notice of him. They believed when they saw the signs he was doing. It was beginning to cause a stir.

Nicodemus seems to be a reasonable man who is trying to figure out what all this means. He comes to see Jesus at night. Some would say he was afraid of being seen with Jesus. That’s probably true but I also think, in Nicodemus’ position maybe he thinks he can orchestrate something between the Jews and Jesus…you know, just get everybody on the same page.

Nicodemus really doesn’t come as a learner. Rather he claims to know that Jesus is a teacher from God. He’s probably more accustomed to giving out the answers than getting them. (It doesn’t work well for me either when I come to Jesus telling Him I’ve already got most of my issues figured out…just need a few finishing touches from Him. Nope – it’s usually a bust.)

Nicodemus is about to get more answers than he was expecting. What follows is the famous conversation about being “born again.” If you want to enter God’s kingdom you must be born into that kingdom. Nicodemus – stuck in his practical knowledge of human birth is puzzled to be sure. Jesus exposes and then unravels Nic’s self-confidence and then just tells him plainly:

The Son of Man [will] be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. This is how one is born again, born a second time, born from above.

Know this – condemnation already exists – believing is the way out.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

And this is how you measure believing: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

About God?
God loves. He has come to be a Savior not a condemner.

About Me?
Coming into the light is not about knowing everything already. It is about believing that the answers are found in a God who loves me.

About the World?
Anyone who seeks Jesus out will have their ignorance exposed but will find the truth about God’s love for them.

John 2:13-25

day 5

After the wedding, Jesus and his guys go to spend a few days with His Mom in Capernaum. Passover is coming so Jesus goes up to Jerusalem. It really is “up” because Jerusalem is on a hill. When Jesus gets to the outer court of the Temple He is livid at what He finds.

…he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.”

How did this “house of trade” get started in the first place and why did it upset Him? First, the Jews would not accept Roman money at the Temple so the money changers set up benches to exchange currencies. These early bankers would have served a practical purpose if they weren’t so corrupt – charging high fees to swap whatever came along to shekels and then charging the priests to swap them back to Roman money. Along with the banking “convenience” came the vendors who sold “sacrifice suitable” animals! All of them were making a greedy profit off those who came to worship at the Temple. (I think Jesus was furious all this was being done “in the name of worshiping God”!)

His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me” (Ps 69:9). The disciples were well read in the Jewish Scriptures and even early on in Jesus’ ministry they are seeing the connections between Him and what has been written of Him.

The Jews think He should explain Himself by way of a sign. Seems like they just had a sign of something but that’s how these guys roll. Jesus is happy to oblige: “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” They don’t get it. “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” It is striking to me that when they ask Him for a sign they expect it to be some run of the mill thing that just anyone could manage. Jesus just made wine out of water with no dirt, growing time or even grapes. Forty-six years is nothing – including not the point!

But he was speaking about the temple of his body. When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken. Another point for the disciples! (God will use Scripture in my life and confirm His plans and His person through it. I want to be so familiar with it that God can remind me of the connections.)

Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. Many believed when they saw the signs. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man. Jesus knew how fickle people can be. We like the show and the drama and the glamour. I think some of these people probably made it past the cut but Jesus was wise in not betting the bank on all of them. (Here is a cautionary tale – don’t trust the quality of “believing” that comes from a purely emotional response. Time will tell.)

About God?
God is zealous about His name and how He is to be worshipped.

About Me?
God speaks through His words – they are life and understanding to the one who believes.

About the World?
Don’t consider it wise to try to make money off of God’s people. You’re looking for a world of hurt.