Sunday, February 24, 2013

Coming to the end

         John chapter 12 is about the end of the public ministry of the Lord Jesus. John records the words of Jehovah's servant as a summary of the work of three years among the people.

       In the Jewish history, various warriors had risen up, seeking to throw off the Roman occupation of the land. John the apostle makes it clear that Jesus of Nazareth is both different and distinguished from such. This distinction reaches crisis  point when the crowd, including the Jewish leaders are asked - 'Barnabas or Jesus?  - they chose Barnabas who represented insurrection against the Romans, even though he had robbed and murdered in his efforts. Jesus by contrast was not against the system, but against sin and evil in every person and system! (7.7)
   These concluding verses -  12:44-50 summarize the purpose, person and claims of this Jesus. It is full, and to human minds, astounding.

    Verse 44 - Believing in Jesus equates with believing in God !
      Verse 45 - To see Jesus is to see God the Father who is invisible !
         Verse 46 He claims His mission to be 'light-bearing'. Not as John the Baptist who was a burning out lamp, but Jesus is the Lord  and Light from heaven.
     Verse 47  The ambition of His light-bearing was not so much to expose sin, although that is inevitable,  rather to lead people by light to God ( to be saved ).
       Verse 48  In confirmation of John 3, the light that can bring so much blessing, if refused becomes the point of judgement. John 5 reveals who the judge will be on the last day.
          Verse 49  Ultimate authority is now claimed for the words and sayings of the Lord. Moses could relay God's words ('thus says the Lord').  Jesus speaks Gods words!
      Verse 50   Receiving or rejecting His words brings life or death. The intention of God revealed in His Son is to impart life, eternal life  -  'this life is in His Son!'

I must ask you the reader - do you have the real thing - life eternal?
   or may I put it this way -  Do you have the Son?

Your eternity depends on it !

John McKee      Enquiries welcome

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sadness turned into joy

       John the apostle records a most important story in the life of the Lord Jesus. The story of Martha, Lazarus and Mary. As usual my comments will be brief, but I hope to inspire you to read again and be blessed by this chapter(11).
   The intrusion of death into a family can either crush faith of strengthen it. The world in which we live usually sees death as the end :- end of existence, end of relationships, end of hope.

    Faith in God paints a different picture. Faith says our loss is heavens gain.
Faith in God proclaims our accountability to God and rewards by God.
Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ looks ahead, beyond the grave to a moment when the dead in Christ will rise, and together we will be forever with the Lord.

      In our chapter, I would like to draw upon three verses linked to Martha. Chapter 11.3 the message comes to the Lord - " he whom you love is ill" . This is not God's general love for all humanity  but a more focused love upon responsive individuals who received Jesus into their hearts and home. They accepted His love and like John the writer, found identity in it.
       In verse 23, the Lord speaks to Martha words of hope beyond her understanding :- "your brother will rise again".  This unqualified statement rests upon the authority of the speaker and His ability to carry it into action - no one else can! It is by accepting HIS word that the hopelessness of humanism is removed and shows that this life is a preparation for the next life. - 'training for reigning'
         Verse27, Martha is challenged to believe His word, His power.  This is a pivotal moment, and still is today - will we believe HIM as to His claims, believe in HIM as to our hope for salvation  and  all things?? Martha reply's  "Yes Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God who is coming into the world". This answer  is not abstract faith, but living faith in a living person.  This faith opens the door for God to work. And so He does - Lazarus is called out of the grave and shortly afterward, Martha puts on a banquet to celebrate (ch 12)

    We rejoice in the faith of Martha and Mary, but sadly this greatest of signs was not received in faith by the jealous leaders of the nation. Instead, as John exposes their motives, they  chose to plan His death to save their own skin. We  must ask ourselves - where are we in this picture.
        Responses      ;   Faith in Jesus as the Son of God
                                  Indifferent to the Him
                                  Rejection of His claims
 Our response will determine our eternal destiny!

John McKee

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The blind man sees

     None are so blind as those who do not want to see!!
This saying is so true today and so true 2000 years ago. As I visit the markets to spread the word of God to the general public, I perceive that the ignorance of God is largely by choice.

       The Lord from heaven found the same problem among the studious and strict Jews of His day. He gave eyes to the man born blind ( John 9 ). The people couldn't believe it. Then, because He healed the man on the Sabbath, they would not believe it!
        The sad,sad part of the story is that by rejecting the Lord, they in fact were more blind than the man without eyes. The blind man had come to believe Jesus to be the Son of God and thus received sight twice - natural sight and spiritual sight.  The intelligent and educated Pharisees were left blinded, in the darkness of not knowing the true Messiah.

Read John 9 carefully and note  the moral of the story at the end. Ours today is the free choice to receive the Lord Jesus and be blessed  with spiritual sight, or we may choose to reject Him, choosing darkness in life and eternity.


Sunday, February 3, 2013

The evangelism of the Lord from heaven

       One might have thought that the master evangelist would have used some highly researched method to save the world. Well, yes He did, but not by our standards.  He reached out to people - all sorts of people in all sorts of places, usually as individuals. ( not counting numbers, but reaching hearts ).

       In John 1, it is a referral from John the Baptist that effects a following. Chapter 2 miraculous signs are having an impact. In chapter 3, He is available for consultation all hours. Chapter 4 He breaks cultural boundaries to reach a stranger.   Chapter 5 He meets a man in his felt need  (physical sickness).    The crowd of chapter 6 seem promising, but as usual their interest turns fickle and He is left with twelve.
     John 9 highlights His desire to help the disabled, not only removing the disability but rather the revealing of Himself to faith.  Chapter 10, He opens the door to the sheep to come in and in beautiful symbolic language presents himself as the Good Shepherd  as the answer to all the needs of the sheep that follow Him. note that John repeatedly indicates that the blessing of grace goes beyond the Jewish fold.

   By human estimates, His three years of service were a failure.  Yet 2000 years later He and His ministry are impacting millions. Does God know what He is doing??  --  sure does!

" It is not by might nor by power, but by my spirit say the Lord"