Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mystery to men - Normal to God

    Throughout the Gospel of John lies the threads of Divine sovereignty and human responsibility - often in the same verse. Instead of trying to push these statements into boxes of our theology, accept them as truth from a God who is much greater than we.

Examples:
John 1.12-13   Ours is to receive Jesus as the Son of God from Heaven
                        New birth is not by human will, but be God's
John 5.24,25   Human responsibility is to 'hear and believe'
                       The only means for life now or later is by the Son choosing to 'speak' - His voice
John 6.37        The Father draws
                        The believer comes
John 10.16        The sheep He brings into His fold
                          The sheep follow Him
John 15.16        "I have chosen you"
                           " that you might bear fruit"
John 17.9         "those whom thou hast given Me" - a distinct gift from the Father to the Son!
            20        "them also which shall believe on Me through their word" - the personal responsibility to believe as well as the discipleship task of spreading His word!
John 19.11       Jesus informs Pilate that a greater authority (heavenly)   is involved, greater than Rome!
                        and in the same breath points to the greater sin (responsibility) of those who delivered Him up.

       Often in the miracles of the Lord, He calls for faith, and acknowledges their faith eg 'your faith has saved you, go in peace'. But on at least two occasions, John records a different order ( maybe just to stop us making up formulas!). John 5, the Lord chooses a sick man from the multitude and effects the healing. It is later that the Lord reveals His identity to this man.  Likewise with the blind man of chapter 9.

     John the apostle has no problem letting God be God in His sovereign working, and alongside the full responsibility of mankind to have faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God!  John's letters develop more of this.

    Compass point : let the Bible shape our thinking, rather than we shape it to our thinking !
Like two rails for a train line. The only thing joining the two is the locomotive and carriages.  So it is Christ and we in Him  that brings together grace and faith.

J. McKee

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Compass points in John's Record

        We have noticed previously the underlying themes of John's writings. I leave you to read and research the remaining ones. Today I would like to highlight the repeated blessing in the crescendo of revelation.
        Each time the Lord Jesus is presented in His varied glory, we ought to worship!  But in the midst of this, we are given great and precious promises.  These are not promises that are limited by a culture or context, but promises for all time. Some promises in the Old Testament  and also the New , are limited to a time or particular people e.g. Deuteronomy 18.1'If you faithfully obey the Lord God......  God will set you above the nations of the earth'  ( today faithfulness brings suffering and persecution ).
           John's writings are not focused on a people or a time, but on God in His Son, revealed for the world.

In chapter 1, the Word, the Son revealed brings with it the great promise of verse 12 ' to receive Him, is to become children of God' !

Chapter 3.14-16 This man to be uplifted (crucifixion), God's Son given for the world -has the promise of eternal life for all who will believe!

Chapter 5.24   This promise is couched in some of the most sublime teaching of  the Bible. i.e. perfect harmony between the Father and the Son, commitment of final judgement to the Son, the prospect of ultimate resurrection for all according  to the command of the Son. How fitting then to give the promise "  Whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life. He does not come into judgement, but has passed from death to life."

Chapter 6.47 After demonstrating that He was greater than Moses, the promise is again put forward - "whoever believes in Me has eternal life"

Chapter 10.9  This classic discourse of the Good Shepherd is full of promises eg "if anyone enters in, they will be saved" Jesus goes on to outline the motive for His impending death and the fact that He will gather other sheep beyond the fold if Israel and finalizes His words  with this promise - "they will never perish"

               There are many more promises for you to discover. See them in the context of His greatness and glory. The promises are within reach of sincere faith and lead to the ultimate fulfilment of knowing HIM. (17.3)

J. McKee

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Purpose writing in John

     John the Apostle,  in writing his  gospel, not only gives historical incidents, but each one is selected to counter a relevant problem.  In chapter one, he presents incidents that affirm the connection between Jesus and heaven.   In chapter two, John cites the wedding at Cana to deal with the spiritual distinction between Jesus and Mary. Then he refers to the temple encounter, where not only the money orientated rituals were exposed, but introduces the ongoing Jewish hate - that Jesus should be greater than the temple.
      Chapter 3 relates a closed door conversation with a significant Jewish leader. This reveals that sincere Jewish leaders recognised enough evidence to admit that Jesus was 'from God'. John picks up on this later , writing of the many priests who converted ( Ch 12 ) Jesus in straightforward fashion, tells Nicodemus He has no intention of putting new wine into old wine skins -"you must be born again". This chapter is important as it introduces to concept of God loving the world of people, not just Jews. It introduces accountability in final judgement, not for action or inaction (law) , but rather judgement based on faith or no faith in Jesus as Son of God.
   In the end of chapter 3, the greatest of prophets, John the Baptist (Moses was allotted his place in chapter 1) fades into insignificance  in the overwhelming light of Jesus the Son. The Son speaks Gods word's and the focus of Gods dealings with humanity is on Him.
    It almost seem too much, to now have John ( the apostle of pure Jewish blood), relate the story of the Lord Jesus conversing with a Samaritan woman.  Most Jews would have spat at the thought, but John deliberately  is showing the embrace of Divine grace..  The Lord from heaven is not seeking the best people, rather He wants to change the worst!

enough for one blog  -- John McKee
Read........meditate......and be blessed

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Who is this man ?

 The Word
       As the Word, He is the final and full revelation and communication of the Father. Moses mediated God's communication by "thus says the Lord".  Jesus is God's communication in the flesh. Something like Alpha and Omega of the alphabet. In Him dwells all the fullness of wisdom and knowledge.

The Son
      The Old Testament mentions 'sons of God'. The New Testament speaks much about 'sons of God'. This gospel of John along with the writing of Paul, identify Jesus as being unique and alone in His sonship.   He alone proceeded forth from the Father. In eternity He was with the Father, He came into the world and has now returned to the Father.
Jesus is never called a child of God - that would have implied a beginning.  As the Son, He is the vital expression of the character of God ( not by adoption as with us), but He by being Himself expressed the heart of God in purpose and compassion etc.
       His word's were God's words. His actions were God's actions.  Being the Son brings to the fore, a relationship with God unknown before.  This is the glory that convinced John the apostle of His Sonship. His link with the Father was unclouded, intimate, effective and  publicly declared.
  Sadly, those he came to, did not receive Him. But to those who did and do receive Him, He extends the relationship to include such in the family of God (John1.12)

This of course is the subject of John's Gospel
-----rejoice in Him as you read
Who is this man ?    well, I could continue for a long  time  -  call again for more!

John McKee      comments welcome

Sunday, January 13, 2013

John

The writings of John the apostle are most significant.
       It has been popular in recent times to promote the Gospel of Mark - short, concise, action packed story of God's servant Jesus. Then so many draw their own conclusions as to who Jesus really was.

The significance of John's writings are several:
1 He was an eye witness  of the life of Jesus.
2 He was a Jew with inside connections  ( giving rise to the conflict between the religion of the Jews and the more open-heartedness of Jesus ).
3 His writings come after years of consideration, years of testing if this is the true Messiah risen from the dead, years of study of the Old Testament and its correlation  with the voice and inspiration of the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven on the day of pentecost.

        John is not so much occupied with the historical  story  -  Matthew, Mark and Luke had  done that well.   John is convinced and would  convince his readers that  Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.     ----  so much convinced that he would die for it !!!

   To read this Gospel is not leaving us to form our  own ill informed assessment of Jesus, but it is an authoritative  statement from one so close to Jesus.  John being led by the Holy Spirit, teaches us who He really was and is.   In the 1st letter of John, he outlines the implications of knowing this truth   -   light.   life.   love.

        So as we begin to read, let us watch out, not  for history, but for the moral glories of the Son of God and the doctrinal implications of knowing who Jesus is.  I trust all my readers know Him as Thomas did  -  "My Lord and my God"

John McKee

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Faith working through Love

Faith may seem an inactive mental assent to facts or maybe go beyond fact, to believe the unprovable,  but in reality, real faith generates action.
              I worked with a man who had great faith in a new Prime Minister who had been elected to power in Australia. Previously he was known for laziness, but once  'his man was in', he rose up and worked harder than everyone else!

              So it is with the true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. Faith in Him motivates believers to 'be......' and to 'do........'  -  not on the demands of any law or system, but because of His love.  His love to us , begets  His love in us and His love is us is not cold or self centred. Just like God's love, it seeks the best and eternal good of others.
           The natural person ( flesh ), is self seeking and finds law keeping and rituals, self promoting.

Love gives, love sacrifices, love rejoices for and in others, love sees beyond the present to the future  etc...


John McKee   meditations from Galations

Monday, January 7, 2013

Liberty

How blessed are those who know the true Gospel.

'When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying "Abba Father"

              Let us rejoice to see God at work!
                    Observe, not the reinstatement of law!
                          God's objective is relationship - sons !
                                 Our acceptance is by virtue of His Son!
                                      New life springs forth by His Spirit to connect with God as Father !

As God has done for 6000 years, he gives a promise and the blessing comes to those who believe it, and live by it. Human nature wants to work it all out independent of God ( and then wonder why it all goes wrong ) .

Let me give an example of relevant promises:-

       John 1.12 'but to as many as received HIM, to them gave He power to become the children of God"
       Hebrews 13.5  " I will never leave you nor forsake you"
       2 Peter 3.13   "But according to His promise, we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells."
       Revelation 22.12  " Behold I am coming soon, bringing My recompense with Me... "

May God deliver us all from the slavery of law keeping, the deception of religious ritual, the falsity of human effort and the lie of denying who Jesus  really is - the Son of God revealed from heaven.

J.McKee

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Bible

The Bible does not equal religion

        Religion does not equal the Bible