John 13:36-38

day 35

Three verses, eh? Simple – Ha!

Still in the upper room, Jesus has just explained He was going where they could not follow and given the disciples the new commandment “to love one another.”

Peter wants clarification. “Lord, where are you going?”

Jesus replies, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.”

Peter says, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”

Jesus answers, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times.

On the heels of the topic of love Peter, always the “action guy”, is ready to demonstrate his love for Jesus. “But you will follow afterward” is Jesus telling Peter he still has work to do – but there is an order to things. There is God’s timing.

In his zeal and self-confidence Peter blows right past Jesus – “Why not now?” “Look what I can do for you!” (I have learned the hard way to check the little voice in my head that screams “now”. It’s the “tyranny of the urgent” and Jesus is almost never in it.)

But Peter and I want to plow off into the “doing.” Don’t worry Jesus, we’ve got this! Whatever it takes! We go blundering off in our own strength, with our puffed up courage and delusions of grandeur. Completely unarmed we are doomed to fail because “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Prov. 16:18.

Maybe I should derive some comfort that Jesus knows when I am going to crash and burn. Like for Peter, He warns me to watch out – not to trust in my own plans. (Here’s a shout out to all those OCC’ers who have chosen Proverbs 3:5-6 for their name tag verse: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”)

There is mercy in Jesus’ words to Peter – there is a time frame for his truancy – one night. There are specifics – 3 times. Peter will find himself doing exactly what Jesus has warned. Peter will experience his own weakness and I must experience my own. Peter is a beacon – my sacrifice is not enough, even if I think I am willing – it never was. It is Jesus who must lay down His life for me.

About God?
God is merciful in all His ways.

About Me?
Avoid the potholes, stop and ask for directions – Jesus already has a plan.

About the World?
Great blessings belong to those who know they are spiritually in need. God’s kingdom belongs to them. (Matt 5:3 ERV)

John 13:31-35

day 34

“When he had gone out” is a sad reference to Judas having left them. Of course he left the room but Jesus knew that Judas had left a lot more than that…

Yesterday’s passage ended on the poignant note “And it was night.” That’s where humans go to do dirty deeds. That’s where humans fool themselves thinking they are invisible and undetectable; that their actions only apply to them and no one will know their depravity. That’s where humans go to escape scrutiny and the accountability of their peers. That’s where humans withdraw to make choices they somehow know, might damage their souls. The dark is enemy territory and I’m scaring myself with these descriptions because I know I am vulnerable.

Wow…I wasn’t planning on going there.

But Jesus …whew!

But Jesus is talking GLORY! Glory – the polar opposite of night if you ask me. Think radiance – you know not just sunglasses bright but warm, shiny golden stuff, brilliance… well, LIGHT. I feel a lot safer here!

Jesus is laying out  this circle of glory. “Now is the son of man glorified” – that would be Jesus and “God is glorified in him” – that would be God the Father. “If God (the Father) is glorified in him (Jesus) then God (the Father) will also glorify him (Jesus) in himself (God the Father).” Pronouns! That last line I’m kind of guessing but I get this part “and glorify him (Jesus) at once.”

The real meaning of this word “glorified” is to make renowned, render illustrious, i.e. to cause the dignity and worth of some person or thing to become manifest and acknowledged. It’s a version of the word not found in secular writings (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon).

What is happening, Jesus is telling them, is His mission is on track, in motion and headed for victory. He is the Light and if there was any confusion about God or what He’s about – well, it’s out in the open now!

“Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’” Jesus speaks tenderly when He calls the disciples “little children”. He knows this is going to be hard to hear – He is going where they cannot follow. They might be wondering “What, you’re putting us in the same group as the Jews?”

Jesus quickly dispels that thought by giving them new orders. He is still their master and they are still His chosen This is how they will remember and how everyone else will know: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” It’s curious to me Jesus didn’t tell them to love all the people in the world – He told them to love one another. That would be the distinction – how they lived in community. No Lone Rangers out to save the world. He’s building the church…body life and all that.

About God?
“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God” Rev. 19:1

About Me?
Living in community keeps me in the Light and out of the dark.

About the World?
Church, if we’re going to turn on the Light, we’ll need to turn up the love one another.

John 13:21-30

day 33

“After saying these things,” – after washing the disciples’ feet and telling them to wash one another’s feet; after telling them they would be blessed if they did these things; after He knows them and they are His chosen; after telling them they would be His messengers like He was the Father’s messenger. After all this – He is “troubled in his spirit” and speaks out clearly that one of them will betray Him. (I cannot imagine the disappointment of pouring your life into someone only to come to the realization they are going to betray all of it!)

Though all the disciples heard, it is of course, Peter who springs into action. “Hey John, ask Him who it is.” That’s Peter, always wanting to be in on the action. But I don’t think he had a clue the depth of betrayal to come.

John, the disciple Jesus loved, asks. (Here is the place to be – next to Jesus and in full assurance of His love. Makes you wonder if John knew that right then or if came to this realization at some point. Regardless he came to claim this as his moniker. I often marvel at the whole concept of what it is to be loved by God but John got it. Later he tells the world, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” 1 John 3:1)

I do love that Peter tells John to ask. They’re tight. John probably knows Peter is impulsive, sticks his neck out and his foot in his mouth but he trusts Peter’s daring for Jesus and he goes with it. (I’m grateful for the people God has put in my life who say “go for it” or I can say “go for it” to them. You know who you are!)

Jesus’ answer seems pretty straightforward, “’It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.’ So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.”

[Pause for a bit of research: In Bible times everybody didn’t have their own plate of food nor did they have utensils. There was usually one common bowl that contained the main dish and everybody dipped their bread in it and scooped up their bite. If the host wanted to honor a special guest he would dip a piece of bread (“the sop”) and hand it or feed it to the guest. It seems that is what Jesus was doing when He gave “the sop” to Judas – it was an act of friendship and respect.]

Jesus clearly saw Judas with pity and not with contempt. It was His last opportunity to reach out to Judas. Having experienced this I can understand why later Judas would be full of remorse at his actions. But in this moment he rejected Jesus and opened himself to Satan’s will. “What you are going to do, do quickly.” (I once believed Jesus said this to hurry the process along but now I wonder if it wasn’t for Judas’ benefit as well. Jesus’ words come to mind: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matt. 5:43-44.)

Peter and John are asking the question but miss the answer. Everybody missed it. They just thought Jesus was giving Judas some instructions. No one really understood what the betrayal would be or what it would mean. (Maybe it was God’s grace to spare them for a bit longer. I know there are times God, in His mercy, spares me from too much information.)

Judas “immediately went out.” Knowing what we know, it’s hard to miss the power of this announcement – “and it was night.”

About God?
Man’s betrayal did not and will never stop God from loving us.

About Me?
Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. That’s the lesson for today.

About the World?
Darkness or Light…choose Light.

John 13:1-20

day 32
It’s before the Passover feast and Jesus and the disciples are gathered for a meal. Jesus’ mind is filled with lots of things. He knows His hour has come to return to the Father. This might have been some comfort but surely He knew the path He must take to get there too. He knew the Father had given Him all things – including these men He dearly loved. And I believe He dearly loved Judas even though He knew the Devil had won him over and he would be the betrayer.

Jesus, fully aware of all these things, out of love, begins to teach His disciples the God way of living. One must first be a Servant.

In Bible times people wore sandals and walked everywhere and the roads were dirt so their feet got dirty. It was the job of a slave or servant to wash the feet of any guests who entered the home. They probably did not sit in chairs around a table like in Da Vinci’s Last Supper where they are seated at an Italian 15th Century table. More likely they “reclined” or around a low table – think Mulan. The feet being clean would have been important and otherwise maybe offensive.

So Jesus gets up and takes on this lowly task. The disciples are stunned but they all let Him do it – that is until He comes to Peter. The others may have thought it but Peter says what he is thinking – “no way are you washing my feet.” Peter is observing the game rules – if you’re the Master you can’t act like the slave – sorry. But Jesus is changing the rules and I love Peter is a fast learner. With a little new information he goes from all out to all in. He’s a zealot :)

Jesus is the consummate teacher: “I appreciate your heart in this Peter but here’s how it works. There is big cleaning and little cleaning. You only need little cleaning. There is one who is not clean but it’s not you.”
(I’ve been washed in the blood of the Lamb but there is the road dirt of my human failings that are best washed daily.)

After Jesus returns to his place He explains His illustration. “You call me your teacher and you are right. So I want you to live like I have lived. If I am the Master and have acted like a servant to you, I want you to act like servants to each other.” This might have been a little revolutionary considering the other rabbis at the time were not likely to lower themselves this way. Jesus was definitely different and all that comes to me is LOVE. He acts out of love – always out of love. “You will be blessed if you do them.” (Blessed – being in the enviable position of having God’s favor. That’s something I would be foolish to turn down!)

It is love too that prompts His mention of a betrayer so they won’t be shaken later when it happens. Instead He wants them to see all that happens as confirmation “that I am He.” (This is a mind expanding idea – can I embrace the yucky stuff, trusting God has a plan? Oh, I can quote the verse: Romans 8:28, right? But Lord help me lean into that verse and put my full weight on it when things look shaky.)

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.” This seems like a clue to the disciples’ future. They will be sent out just like Jesus was sent. And here is the power of it…if anyone receives you they will receive me. Just like all the times Jesus has said “you must receive me to receive the Father who sent me” now they will become the messengers. And what kind of messengers is He asking for…those who will serve out of love. (Lord, there is a big difference between serving because there is a job to do and serving because l love. I am not Mother Theresa by a long shot. Yeah, but You know that. You made me a certain way for certain works you have already prepared for me. Help me to love You well and I think the rest will follow.)

About God?
Everything God does is motivated by His love for us.

About Me?
If I live the way Jesus leads then Jesus goes where I go.

About the World?
For God so loved the world…

John 12:44-50

day 31

“And Jesus cried out and said,” is a bit unexpected. He had removed Himself from the previous hearers – some who believed but kept it hidden and some who out right rejected Him – but now, standing somewhere else, maybe in a crowd, He makes His message known to whoever will hear.

Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me…” Dear People who are seeking the One True God, believing in me means you believe in Him. Seeing me means you are seeing Him.

“I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.” Dear Chosen People, you have been looking but have been kept in the dark. I am the light so that you might see God’s way.

“If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.” Dear Hearers, I did not come to judge you, so don’t be defensive and close Me out. I came to open the door and lead you to freedom. If you are unwilling to come you are choosing a judgment I never wished for you.

“For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.” Dear Ones, you have been following God’s commands as best you could. Listen because I am bringing you God’s command now. His commandment is eternal life – life in union with God.

Okay, I feel like I cheated when I glanced ahead at the rest of John. These verses were Jesus’ last public invitation to believe in Him. No wonder He just shouts. People may reject Him, people may think He’s nuts. He does not care about any of that. He shouts because one more person might hear and believe.

Sometimes I think I hear Jesus shouting to me…”believe…believe my words…forget what the world tells you, forget the voices in your head…step out of the dark and believe Me!”

And another thing…am I judging? It is so clear to me here that judgment comes because of a person’s choice.  That’s down the road – the consequence of unbelief.  That is not my call – ever!  How freeing is that? Really, it is! I do not have to tell anyone that their way of doing life is right or wrong.  My job is to love like Jesus loved – without conditions – and to simply offer His free gift.  I feel like the butler in the tux, holding out a silver platter and saying “Help yourself…it’s FREE!”

About God?
He is not above shouting if that might get someone’s attention.

About Me?
I want to be standing in the “no judgment zone” and shouting “Good News!”

About the World?
Jesus did not come to judge you or what you might be doing. He came to offer you a free gift – eternal life with Him.

John 12:36b-43

day 30.jpg

Jesus had finished speaking and then left this crowd standing there. He knew some would never hear His message even though He had done “many signs before them.” This unbelief was already noted in the words of Isaiah spoken a thousand years before. “Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” (Is. 53:1) It’s not like He gave up, he just knew this was the outcome and so He stopped preaching.

“Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said, “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them” (Is 6:9-10). Isaiah “saw the Lord” – a terrible and awesome thing which I can’t even imagine. Then he was given this as his message for the people: “ruin is at hand – I have reached out to my people for so long but they have rejected me – closed their eyes and hardened their hearts – I would have saved them but this season has passed.”

And here we are again…Jesus having reached out to his people…offering visible signs – healing and even resurrection but there were those who would not hear.

On the other hand,  there were the others who did believe… “many even of the authorities” it says. There is a comment on this particular group: the authorities who did believe. They were afraid of what man could do to them. And their specific fear – that they would be put out of the synagogue. Their motivation: they loved the glory of men more than the glory of God.

This first thing that gets me is my motives are not hidden from God. He knows my heart. He knows if it is hard or if it is believing. He knows if I am afraid. He knows if I am seeking man’s approval instead of His approval. He knows. I’m not fooling Him even though there are times I am fooling myself.

Those believers “would not confess” – now this is critical to my life in Christ. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9). This primary directive hinges on my willingness to confess: IF and when, I confess my confusion and fear and failings and entrapment in this world, He does the clean-up. This is mercy and grace ever available to me because I am totally unable to fix my own life or to find my own joy. It is not unlike Jesus’ words about believing – here before you is a choice – to believe I AM the One who is faithful and just and forgiving or remain stuck where you are.

And so I confess: Lord Jesus, I feel the undercurrent of anxiety and fear in the circumstances surrounding my family. Lord you know all things and I want to believe You are the Resurrection and the Life. I need Your joy and Your assurance…I just need You. “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

About God?
God has provided more than a way OUT; He has provided a way IN.

About Me?
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Ps 71:26

About the World?
There is nothing hidden from God and He loves anyway.

John 12:27-36a

day 29
Jesus continues speaking: “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour”? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.”

On days when I’m not the one being crucified “Thy will be done and to God be the glory” are easy words. But the days when I have felt like Jesus does here – troubled beyond comprehension, terrified, struggling to keep it together – not so much. In this state of complete desperation all I can even think is “O God, save me!” It takes a good while before surrendering my life to Him even enters my mind. Even then, “God, You be glorified and that’s all that matters.” is beyond me. I’m definitely too chicken to ask for His glory if it doesn’t include my rescue. Now that’s just being honest.

Then a voice speaks from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” We know the people around Jesus heard the voice because Jesus tells them it was for their benefit not His.

One group decided it must be thunder. Drum up some practical explanation and you can slam the door on a miracle just like that!  Of course you are now safely locked inside your own head. I think it might be dull and dark when there is no room for mystery or wonder.

The other group decided it was an angel. At least these guys have imagination! They are willing to venture beyond their own senses. We need this because the spiritual world is beyond us. “Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” These are mysterious words that defy my puny thinking… Jesus is over throwing the current world ruler by dying and when He is lifted up (exalted) everyone will follow Him? Amazing stuff.

They did get the dying part. They knew the Christ would live forever so how did that square with the fate of the Son of Man? Definitely no thoughts about a resurrection. And oh, by the way who is the Son of Man? I believe He just said “And I, when I am lifted up” – that’s I twice…You’ve got to be kidding…

Jesus is so straightforward: “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”

“For this purpose I have come”…to be the Light. God knows we had no chance of getting out of the dark without a living, breathing light to guide us. It hurts my heart He had to die but, there is no way this chicken could have ever saved herself. Moreover, it is only His grace that drew me into the Light…only His grace.

About God?
He is able and will glorify His own name.

About Me?
I am a weak, broken clay pot carrying around the Spirit of the Living God. You will have no trouble telling us apart.

About the World?
Believe the Light!

John 12:20-26

day 28.jpg
Jesus is in Jerusalem for the Passover. I can imagine there is a lot of excitement in the air after his grand entrance. Some Greeks have come to worship at the feast. I’m going to guess these were Greeks who had converted to Judaism because I doubt they would have been welcomed otherwise.

They didn’t approach Jesus directly. Instead they went to “Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee.” This made me curious so I did a little digging. Turns out Philip is a Greek name and since he was a fisherman he probably spoke Greek (it was the international language for trade and fishermen would have needed to know it.) So maybe these Greeks approach Philip because he seemed to be more like one of them. And maybe they thought this connection could get them in. (I love the idea that God might use me to open a door just because I might have something in common with someone who is seeking. Could be anything…PTA, computers, grandchildren or picking out wine at Publix!)

Philip goes to tell Andrew. Andrew started out as a disciple of JTB and he and Philip were both from Bethsaida. Maybe Philip saw him is a kind of senior disciple who could give him some advice about this request from the Greeks. Whatever the reason, they go together to tell Jesus. (I’m personally fond of the buddy system – “iron sharpens iron” and all that.)

And Jesus answers them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.”

Okay, now that’s a lot! I’m not sure this is what the Greeks or the disciples were expecting. Jesus is just not wasting any time. It’s the end fellows and this is what it takes to get in the game. If you want to join me, then do what I do. Stay here and you’ll be alone. Hold on and you will lose anyway. Join me and honor and glory are the other side.

Truthfully this does not give me warm fuzzy feelings but it does put things in perspective. This life, as I know it, is a sinking ship. The way off is to let go and follow Jesus over the edge. The Father has a lifeboat waiting.

About God?
Way too much for me to understand.

About Me?
Some choices are scary and I will just have to trust.

About the World?
1…2…3…JUMP!

John 12:12-19

day 27.jpg

The next day…after the dinner in Bethany with Martha, Mary and Lazarus…the large crowd in Jerusalem hears that Jesus is coming. And when they hear this they begin to prepare to meet Him.

Now we know the Pharisees are ready to arrest Jesus on sight if He shows up. And we know that the “victims” of Jesus’ healing are under scrutiny as well. And we know that the Pharisees are willing to ex-communicate or even kill anyone who might draw positive attention to Jesus. So everyone is going out to see Him come into town so they can get a view of the take down, right?

No, that’s the odd thing… and dangerous thing. It is just the opposite. The crowd is going out to welcome Him as “he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” Holy smoke! Where did they get such boldness? I mean this was a spectacle. They were waving palm branches and lining the streets like the Macy’s Day parade. Surely they knew they would be seen.

You know what? Maybe they just didn’t care. Having heard that Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead? Come on! Jesus, the miracle man, was here and they would not miss it! (Jesus is here – right this second and today, I feel blessed that I came out to meet Him. Not with a palm frond but with my cup of coffee and this amazing story. “Because I said I would” join this online study I have waited to see just what will happen when I come out to meet Jesus. I have not been disappointed. I’m not so disciplined without this accountability so God provided it. He invited me to be part of the crowd and we could all go together and pull each other along. I do live in Florida…I know there is a palm frond around here somewhere!)

“Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it” These little quirky things happen and they end up being a big deal. Here He fulfills a prophecy from Zechariah 9:9: “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!” There have been countless debates in the Temple about who Jesus is or who He isn’t and so here you go, another confirmation…He is the king.

I love that the first words are “Fear not.” Do not be afraid to come out and see. Do not be afraid to acknowledge Him. This is your king. (Daughter -Do not fear anything…He is here.)

Often things come together after the fact and so it’s not too surprising that the disciples didn’t connect all the dots at this point. When it was all over they had time to reflect. Most of the time I don’t really see God’s hand at work when I am caught up in the drama of my life…my attention is on the minutia. It takes some quiet time to pull back and ponder –  to see there was a God-plan – there IS a God-plan for the details of my life.

The ones who have encountered the miracles of Jesus just cannot stop talking. This talking – this testimony of what God has done – it matters. In fact, the Pharisees feel like “the world has gone after him.” That’s the God-plan – that the whole world would come. Me? Tell!

About God?
He’s got a big plan to get world’s attention.

About Me?
The ones who have encountered the miracles of Jesus should not stop talking.

About the World?
Check out the Palm Frond Parade and encounter the King.

John 11:55-12:11

day 26
Like the spring break exodus to the beach, it’s Passover time again and the Jews are heading to Jerusalem. They are gathering early to prepare themselves and wonder a bit if Jesus is going to show up. He is a growing topic of conversation – especially in J-Town where He once tossed the money-changers out of the Temple! Of course it is practically on the 6 o’clock news that if the Pharisees find him there will be an arrest. Drama is in the air!

Meanwhile “Jesus and Co.” are in Ephraim near the wilderness. He’s been on the down-low for a while but now He’s on the move. Bethany is a good stopping place on the way to Jerusalem. While He is there His best friends have a dinner party for him. I imagine the intent is an intimate gathering.

Martha is serving – that is her gift…meeting the practical needs of hungry men on a journey. Taking care of all the details so her guests and her family can be relaxed and comfortable. I’m sure she knows her brother Lazarus wants some time with Jesus.

I can’t quite fathom that relationship – Jesus and Lazarus. To be a person used to bring God glory…not to just see a miracle but to be a miracle. He was just a regular guy who got sick and now he is a living-breathing-walking miracle! Resurrected by Jesus… (Isn’t that what we all are? …all of us who believe in Jesus… resurrected miracles? Why does that seem so frightening to me this morning? To be honest I guess I fear the journey – succumbing to the illness, the dying, the darkness of oblivion behind that rock, the waiting, the unknowing. And those who will be touched by my circumstances – what about them – can I spare them their own dying?)

And here sits Jesus, knowing this is a stop on the way to His own death. He does not seem to be fearful. All I can think is “for the JOY set before Him…” It’s Hebrew 12:2-3: “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him …, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” And that is the prescription for my fear… “Consider Him”…for fearing eyes need to focus on the One who is able when I am so painfully aware that I am not.

Mary worships. That’s her gift. She is sensitive to spiritual things – tender things. Mary is a worship leader. She expresses her own gratitude in her own way but the aroma fills the house. She is extravagant and tactile and open and unaware of anyone except the object of her praise. Mary’s heart is focused. She is my gentle reminder to point my fearful heart toward Him.

There is an interesting contrast here between Martha, the ever practical, and Judas, the deceiver who is trying to act practical. Judas is offended by Mary’s worship. Martha is not. There is community when our gifts are displayed in the service of Jesus…different ways but the same goal. “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” (I Cor.12:4-6)

Jesus knows Judas is the betrayer. He knows Judas is a faker but He doesn’t send him away. He just corrects him and gently warns, “you will not always have me with you.” As if to say there is time…there is still time for you Judas…don’t let it slip away.

Now here is the fallout of being a walking miracle associated with Jesus. Lazarus gets put on the hit list. A lot of people are coming to see Jesus and Lazarus too and they were “believing in Jesus.” The threat to the “powers that be” is getting out of hand. It needs to be nipped in the bud. (I love that Lazarus’ did not fall into the celebrity trap. That’s something worth remembering.)

About God?
He is worthy of my trust in Him.

About Me?
When I am afraid …“consider Him”.

About the World?
Life in this world is treacherous – don’t go it alone.