The Good Shepherd

In John 10:1-21 Jesus tells the story of the Good Shepherd and the sheep. He tells this story to offer the difference between a good shepherd and Israel’s false shepherds at that time. Jesus spoke of a good shepherd entering by the gate, of calling his sheep by their name and their knowing his voice. Jesus knows us and He knows that we belong to him. What do we know? As Christians, we must be able to distinguish the good Shepard’s voice from the impostors, the false shepherds, the hired hands.

References: NIV Study Bible, Zondervan

Jonh: LifeChange Series, NavPress

Advertisements

Gospel of John Lesson 10 “The Light of the World”

When a patron enters a theater once the show has begun, an usher shines a light on the ticket and then shines a light on the path where one is walking, so the patron can get seated safely.  Jesus tells us in John 8:12 “…I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” This light comes from God, illuminates, reflects and directs our path to everlasting life.  Oh what a light!

Jesus opened the eyes of one who was born blind in John 9:1-6; another miracle that tells us who Jesus is. He asked the healed man in V.35-41, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” When he recognized Jesus as the one who healed him, he believed and worshipped Jesus. He truly could see the light that Jesus shined; he gained spiritual sight.  On the other hand, the Pharisees believed they already had spiritual sight. They implied this with their sarcastic question to Jesus (John 9:40), “What?  Are we blind too?”.  Jesus replied (John 9:41) “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin, but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains”.

If they had admitted to their blindness, Jesus would have healed them by forgiving their sins.  But they instead insisted they could see and therefore remained in their sin.  They rejected Jesus, rejected his light and this kept them in sin. Jesus by his very nature and by coming into the world shining his light, divided people into two camps; 1-those who are blind, who accept Jesus and gain spiritual sight and 2-those who believe they are not blind, who reject the light, are spiritually blind and remain in sin.

Bowing before and worshiping Jesus, I acknowledge He is lord and master, and by faith I will walk towards the light. I was blind but now Hallelujah, I can see.

References:

1- NIV Study Bible – Zondervan 2011 by Biblica, Inc

2- Life Change Series-Book of John – NavPress 2010 by the Navigators

3- Commentary – https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-53-blind-see-seeing-are-blind-         john-935-41         Steven J. Cole 201

WHO IS JESUS?

In Lesson 9 of the Life Change Series of the Book of John 7:1-52, the question is raised, Who is Jesus? Despite the earlier signs and miracles performed by Jesus, there continued to be division and doubt as to Jesus being the Messiah. John states that even the brothers of Jesus did not believe in him (John 7:5). Jesus’ brothers advised him to show himself to the world; (John 7:4) No one who wants to be a  become public figure acts in secret. Jesus responded, (John 7:10) However after his brothers had left for the festival, he went also, not publicly, but in secret. Jesus stated earlier (John 7:6)My time is not yet here, for you any time will do Jesus statements and his subsequent actions were in accordance with the will of God, not the will of the Jewish people, and not the will of his brothers.   

One of miracles contested by the Jewish leaders was Jesus’ curing of the lame man on the Sabbath. Jesus responded in (John 7:21-24) that Jewish leaders circumcise on the Sabbath. He concluded in V.24 Stop judging by mere appearance, but instead judge correctly. Jesus asked them to look truthfully at his good and righteous act and not judge harshly because of their anger at him.

Who is Jesus? He is the son of God, teaching the word of God and doing the will of God, following what God wants him to do, in His plan and timing. .Jesus act of healing the lame man on th Sabbath was also the will of God allowable beacuse of its worth and merit to restore healing to a broken man.

References:

NIV Study Bible, Zondervan

Life Change Series, the Book of John,  NavPress

Bible Study Notes from The Gospel of John 2:1-25

The Ministry Begins 2:1-25

 

Jesus, who was at the start of his ministry, changed water into wine at a wedding feast in Galilee.  Jesus revealed through this first sign who He is.  He is loving, compassionate, a provider for the needs of those about to face disgrace and serious offense by running out of wine at this feast. He also illustrates through new wine coming last, the opposite order of what had been the custom, that Jesus is the new way of life. He shows himself to be the Son of God, doing the work of God.

Jesus continued to reveal who he is when he dispayed his anger and righteousness at His Father’s house being turned into a market by men selling animals and exchanging money in the outer courts of the temple. Jesus drove them all out. Jesus illustrated that all of the temple is sacred, even where Gentiles worshiped which was those outer courts. The temple was not just for Jews but for Gentiles too. Jesus acknowledged his authority given to him by God as the true temple here to replace the man-made one.

References:

  1. Life Change Series, JOHN, The Navigators, NavPress,1987,Lesson 4.
  2. Holy Bible: New International Version (NIV), Zondervan Corporation, 2002,Scripture & Footnotes.

Joanna – 10 Points for Bible Study on 5/14/2016

1. Joanna – her name means “T he Lord Gives Graciously” and in this story Joanna who experienced gracious healing at Jesus’ hands responded by giving herself totally, supporting his ministry and following him wherever he went. WOB p. 184

2. A woman of high rank in Herod’s court.  She was married to Cuza, the manager of Herod’s household.

a. In Clarke’s commentary steward is used instead of manager and signifies the overseer of Herod’s domestic affairs.   http://biblehub.com/commentaries/clarke/luke/8.htm

b. In Matthew Henry’s commentary it was debated whether Joanna was a widow and after her husband’s death was left with good financial means to support the ministry of Jesus Christ. Or if her husband Cuza had received the gospel and was wiling to have his wife be a “hearer of Christ and a contributor to him”.  http://biblehub.com/commentaries/mhcw/luke/8.htm

3. Joanna’s background was that of a wife of a high ranking staffer in the court of Herod, Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great, the tetrarch (govenor) of Galilee. In our W.O.B.studies of Herodias and Salome, we learned of this devious mother and shameless daughter who plotted along with Herod in the death of John the Baptist.                    Matthew 14:1-12

4. Luke 23:7-12  Scripture describes more background on Herod’s court and his treatment of Jesus Christ after the Last Supper and the subsequent arrest of our Lord. Jesus was interrogated by Herod after being sent to him by Pilate.  Pilate did not want to handle this case of Jesus and pushed him off onto Herod. Before sending Jesus back to Pilate, Herod attempted to humiliate and degrade him.

5. Accompanied by his disciples and the women who supported him, Jesus preached throughout every city and village of Galilee.  Matthew Henry (in the same commentary mentioned above) called Jesus an itinerant preacher,  a judge traveling his circuit, going through every city setting an example for his disciples. “They must traverse the nations of the earth, as he did the cities of Israel.      http://biblehub.com/commentaries/mhcw/luke/8.htm

6. Joanna, along with Mary Magdalene, Sisanna and other women who names are not mentioned here, ministered and supported Jesus and his ministry. These women had been healed by Jesus  of various illnesses, some with evil spirits and diseases. We know that Jesus freed Mary Magdalene of seven demons but scripture does not reveal what affliction was upon Joanna. We know that she was a patient of Jesus as others were that we have studied and that are offered in scripture (See W.O.B. pg 185). A patient offered grace who was healed by Jesus.

7. These women supported Jesus using their own means. After being healed they were possibly compelled by gratitude to serve him and his disciples. As we learned in the story of the Widow with Two Coins, we must give all we have willingly and lovingly to the Lord because what we give can never compare to what he gave and continues to give to us.These women knew this; they were the recipients of his grace and mercy and chose to support him financially and follow him wherever he went. Mark 12:43-44

Luke 24:1-11

8. Joanna and the other women who ministered to Jesus while alive, showed respect and homage to him by bringing prepared spices to his grave site.

9. On this 3rd day after Jesus’ death on the cross, the women were confronted at the grave site by 2 angels who reported that Jesus was risen from the dead.  They were reminded that Jesus had spoken these words, “The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.” Luke 24:7

10. Then they remembered his words. They were: Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James and the other women who had supported Jesus and his ministry.  They were the first to see the empty tomb, to hear that Jesus was not there and to be reminded of Jesus’ words that he would rise. When they came to tell the 11 Disciples, they were not believed as the disciples thought the words of the women  were nonsense. They too would come to believe as they too were reminded of Jesus’ own words, some from Jesus himself.

 

RESOURCES:

Women of the Bible: 52 Bible Studies for Individuals and Groups; Jean E. Syswerda; Zondervan, 2002

NIV Study  Bible; Zondervan

Clarke’s Commentary; http://biblehub.com/commentaries/clarke/luke/8.htm

Matthew Henry’s Commentary; http://biblehub.com/commentaries/mhcw/luke/8.htm

 

 

The Widow with Two Coins – 10 Points for Bible Study

  1. The Temple Treasury located in the court of women, contained 13 trumpet-shaped receptacles for contributions brought by worshipers. Key Scriptures & NIV Study Note- Mark 12:41
  2. The widow, though extremely poor is described as one of the most greathearted people in the Bible. She dropped two copper coins,  worth less than a penny. into the temple treasury. Key Scriptures & NIV Study Notes, W.O.B. pg 205
  3. Jesus had earlier cleansed the temple of money changers (those who changed other coins to Jewish shekels) as he opposed the buying and selling inside of the temple. Matthew 21:12-13. W.O.B. pg 206
  4. The teachings of Jesus is an emphasis in the book of Mark. Jesus models a lesson of giving  in this display by the widow for his disciples. Mark 12:43 “Calling his disciples to him…”; NIV Introduction to Mark
  5. The widow gave more than the rest and put in all she had willingly and lovingly.  Mark 12:43-44.  Willingness is advised by Peter to the elders of the church when he writes to them about being willing shepherds of God’s flock,  eager to serve and not greedy for money. 1 Peter 5:2, W.O.B. pg 206  
  6. The others gave out of their wealth but the widow gave out of her poverty. Her giving was a matter of attitude; it was not the amount that mattered but that she gave ALL she had to live on. Luke 21:4; Guidelines for Giving, BibleGateway
  7. When we are concerned about the amount we give to the Church, to the poor or to a cause; what we give pales in comparison to what our Lord Jesus Christ gave to and for us. 2 Cor 8:9; 10 Essential Truths about Christian Giving, Ligon Duncan III, Crosswalk
  8. Money is the root of all evil is the misquoted statement of Paul who wrote to Timothy. Paul correctly stated the love of money is the root of all evil.  Money is the root of no evil, nor is it an evil of any kind. Its the love of it that brings the concern.   1 Tim 6:9-10; Clarke’s Commentary on 1 Timothy 6:10 
  9. Giving to the needy is not something that requires announcements, trumpets and fanfare. Matthew 6:2
  10. The lure of money can be quite enticing to all including Christians. It can block us from an intimate relationship with our Lord & Savior but Jesus reminds us in        Luke 16:13 “…You can not serve both God and Money”.

 

Resources

Women of the Bible: 52 Bible Studies for Individuals and Groups; Jean E Syswerda; Zondervan, 2002

NIV Study Bible; Zondervan

http://www.biblegateway.com/…/commentaries/; Guidelines for Giving, BibleGateway, IVP New Testament Commentaries

www.biblestudytools.com/bible…/christian-…; 10 Essential Truths about Christian Giving, Crosswalk: Bible Study Tools; Dr. J. Ligon Duncan III

http://www.godvine.com › Online Bible › 1 Timothy › 1 Timothy 6; Clarke’s Commentary

IF gathering 2016

by Pat Riley-Sanderson

I gathered this weekend with women who crossed all boundaries of color, age, culture and even denomination to begin answering the question, what IF we lived, loved, prayed and served like Jesus.  It was called the IF gathering 2016 and we listened, prayed, worshiped and discussed through video presentation of an IF gathering of hundreds of women and our own assembly of Sisters in Christ at my own church, Pinellas Community Church. We began with praise and worship inviting Jesus into our space, lifting our voices in praise, love and awe of his power. We listened as the first speaker reminded us of who Jesus is.  In John 14:6 “Jesus answered I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  The note on this scripture from the NIV study Bible says Jesus is not one way among many, but the only way.  We Sisters in Christ discussed at our table answers to several questions including when did we first invite Jesus into our lives and what did we have to give up to be a child of God and a follower of Jesus. It was illuminated that we may have given up some but that Jesus gives us so much more than what we may have denied ourselves.

We listened to other speakers talk about the love of Jesus.  In John 15:12-13 Jesus says “My command is this: love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus’ love for us is not ordinary, it is exceptional, it is not condescending or obligatory.  And as we demonstrate our love for those who are marginalized – the poor, those in prison, those who are labeled or lost, we may be hated. Jesus says in John 15:18, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.”

And lastly we learned that all of his teachings, who Jesus is , how he loves and serves us, is to redeem and transform us so that we too can be disciples for him. He wants us to be Jesus followers.  In the Great Commission, Jesus tells his 11 disciples who have seen him many times since his death and resurrection, who have witnessed his miracles and heard his word in Matthew 28:19-20, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded…” What IF we as Sisters of Christ took up this mission to live like Jesus and because we know who he is and how he loves and how he hope for us, we are redeemed and transformed. We go then with the Holy Spirit guiding us and one by one we disciple to those who do not know Jesus. one person at a time affecting many nations.