Ruth 1… Consider His Veritable Version

I gave it my best shot; I truly attempted to imagine I was reading this story of Ruth, introduced by Naomi’s story, for the first time. But I couldn’t erase from my mind the facts already ascertained.

Of course Naomi had no idea what the LORD was up to; that He was writing His story in which she would be forever commemorated as an integral part of preserving the lineage of His Chosen One Who would one day be born of woman.

Naomi’s temporal perspective tainted her own version of the hopeless events of her seemingly tragic life.

And temporal perspectives will do that… unless we take into consideration the eternal, the perspective, the reality revealed in His Veritable Version.

Consider His Veritable Version

  • Veritable: true, real
  • Version: a particular account of some matter, as from one person or source, contrasted with some other account
  • Naomi’s version: a famine caused her family to relocate
    • Now it came about in the days when the judges governed, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the land of Moab with his wife and his two sons. [1:1]
  • His Veritable Version: He is Sovereign in heaven and earth
    • For I know that the Lord is great
      And that our Lord is above all gods.
      Whatever the Lord pleases, He does,
      In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps
      . [Psalm 135:5-6]
  • Naomi’s version: the LORD had visited others; not her
    • Then she arose with her daughters-in-law that she might return from the land of Moab, for she had heard in the land of Moab that the Lord had visited His people in giving them food. [1:7]
  • His Veritable Version: He will never fail or forsake us
    • Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. [Deuteronomy 31:6]
  • Naomi’s version: the LORD’s hand was against her
    • “…for the hand of the Lord has gone forth against me.” [1:13]
  • His Veritable Version: He extends His hand in lovingkindness and truth
    • You have a strong arm;
      Your hand is mighty, Your right hand is exalted.
      14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne;
      Lovingkindness and truth go before You.
      [Psalm 89:13-14]
    • With a strong hand and an outstretched arm,
      For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
      [Psalm 136:12]
  • Naomi’s version: the LORD had afflicted her with bitter emptiness
    • “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. 21 I went out full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has witnessed against me and the Almighty has afflicted me?” [1:20-21]
  • His Veritable Version: Even in our afflictions He is righteous and faithful, that we may learn of Him
    • It is good for me that I was afflicted,
      That I may learn Your statutes.
      [Psalm 119:71]
    • I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are righteous,
      And that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.
      [Psalm 119:75]
  • Naomi’s version: life’s events had constructed the timing of her plans
    • So Naomi returned, and with her Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, who returned from the land of Moab. And they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest. [1:22]
  • His Veritable Version: The LORD directs our steps in His perfect time.
    • The mind of man plans his way,
      But the Lord directs his steps.
      [Proverbs 16:9]

How do we respond to His Veritable Version?

The first chapter in the book of Ruth corresponds perfectly with today’s reading in Oswald Chamber’s, My Utmost for His Highest. (I just love it when God does that!)

“Faith by its very nature must be tested and tried. And the real trial of faith is not that we find it difficult to trust God, but that God’s character must be proven as trustworthy in our own minds.” https://utmost.org/

Naomi had no idea what the LORD was up to, and so she translated it apart from His Veritable Version. Rather than understanding the truthful reality of God’s sovereignty and faithfulness in her life’s circumstances, she formed her own version, one skewed and misinterpreting God and His purposes.

May we seek Him daily in His Word to understand Who He is and His purposes, as He has revealed in Scripture.

As we go through trials, and there will be trials in this life, may we grow in our knowledge and trust of His righteous faithfulness. May we trust His Veritable Version in whatsoever state we find ourselves. We must ever defend the truth of His character, in spite of what events may scream out in opposition.

Below are some verses to consider as we seek to know Him and His purposes in our lives. As we meditate on His Word, let us pray He will strengthen and grow us in our understanding and trust of His Veritable Version throughout our temporary existence in this lifetime.

For the word of the Lord is upright,
And all His work is done in faithfulness.
He loves righteousness and justice;
The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord. [Psalm 33:5-6]

You have dealt well with Your servant,
O Lord, according to Your word.
66 Teach me good discernment and knowledge,
For I believe in Your commandments.
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray,
But now I keep Your word.
68 You are good and do good;
Teach me Your statutes.
[Psalm 119:65-68]

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose… 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? [Romans 8:28, 31-32]

Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. [Philippians 4:11-13]

Let’s Grow Together!

John 7… Consider His Gift of Living Water

I am in the throes of planning a baby shower next month for my daughter who is expecting twins in February. And with all the newly incurred and substantial needs, my hope is there will be a lot of gifts for the babies and parents.

But imagine the absurdity if my home was filled with both guests and gifts; and upon entering, my sweet daughter and son-in-law see the guests and gifts, then turn on their heels and refuse to take what was freely offered… a completely implausible scene, right? After all, a gift offered is a gift to be received.

Consider His Gift of Living Water

Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. [7:37-39]

His Gift of Living Water is available to all who recognize their need.

If anyone is thirsty…

His Gift of Living Water is given to all who come to Him to drink by faith, to all who will believe in order to receive.

…let him come to Me and drink… 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive.

And somehow, as implausible as it seems, so many turned their heels and refused His Gift of Living Water; choosing instead to engage in religious debate.

Some of the people therefore, when they heard these words, were saying, “This certainly is the Prophet.” 41 Others were saying, “This is the Christ.” Still others were saying, “Surely the Christ is not going to come from Galilee, is He? 42 Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the descendants of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” 43 So a division occurred in the crowd because of Him. [7:40-43]

The greatest gift ever offered…His Gift of Living Water, and they declined to imbibe.

How do we respond to His Gift of Living Water?

If anyone is thirsty…

We begin by recognizing we need what only Jesus has to give and it is not found in religion. It is found in His Gift of Living Water.

We receive His Gift of Living Water, His Holy Spirit given, when we believe and place our faith in Jesus Christ for our eternal salvation.

And His Gift of Living Water promises our thirst will be forever satisfied in Him.

  • When we thirst for truth, let us come to Him and drink.
    • Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. [John 14:6]
  • When we thirst for love, let us come to Him and drink.
    • …the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. [Romans 5:5]
  • When we thirst for peace, let us come to Him and drink.
    • For He Himself is our peace, [Ephesians 2:14]
    • Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. [Colossians 3:15]
  • When we thirst for security, let us come to Him and drink.
    • …for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” [Hebrews 13:5]
  • When we thirst for wisdom, let us come to Him and drink.
    • But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. [James 1:5]
  • When we thirst for encouragement, let us come to Him and drink.
    • Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. [Colossians 3:17]

May we continually come to Him to drink of His Gift of Living Water, and may He so grow our faith that we may be filled to all the fullness of God.

…so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. [Ephesians 3:17-19]

Let’s Grow Together!

John 6… Consider His Difficult Statement

Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?” [6:60]

When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?”[6:60 ESV]

On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”[6:60 NIV]

Something of eternity hit me this morning. How much we need eternity to begin to behold a glimpse of His glory. We shall never tire of seeing and learning of Him. This chapter of John could perhaps be studied and pondered for all of eternity, and there would yet be more to uncover.

So many facets of Him displayed in John 6: Him, the Living Bread; Him, Who came down from Heaven; Him, given by invitation of the Father; Him, Who feeds all who come; Him, Who satisfies; Him, Who gives eternal life; Him, Who will never cast any out; Him, Who raises up His own on the last day; Him, Who was spurned; Him, Who would be betrayed; Him, Who must be believed.

But there’s the rub. His many facets are not palatable to our natural senses. All He asks us to believe of Himself is demanding; the Jewish listeners found it harsh and difficult to accept.

But He doesn’t appeal to our human senses; our flesh profits nothing. His teaching is impossible to accept in our human understanding. His teaching is spirit and life, and only become acceptable by believing His Difficult Statement.

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” [6:63-64]

Consider His Difficult Statement

  • His Statement is Difficult… do not work for eternal life, receive it
    • Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.” [6:27]
  • His Statement is Difficult… receive eternal life by believing
    • Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” [6:28-29]
  • His Statement is Difficult… believe He is the Bread of Life
    • Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. [6:35]
  • His Statement is Difficult… believe His flesh and blood are true food and true drink which came down from heaven to bring eternal life
    • So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. 54 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. 58 This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.” [6:53-58]
  • His Statement is Difficult… and many will not believe
    • As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. [6:66]

How do we respond to His Difficult Statement?

But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, “Does this cause you to stumble? 62 What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before?  [6:61-62]

Living by faith is often difficult, but then would it truly be faith if it were easy, palatable? However, there is coming a day when faith will become sight, when we will see Him in all His glory. Until that day we are to feed on and believe His truth, His Difficult Statement, for our eternity and spiritual life.

 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. [6:63]

How will we respond to His Difficult Statement? The choice is ours. In a manner of speaking, He does not force Himself down our throats.

But there are some of you who do not believe. [6:64]

We must accept and understand His gift of life, sustenance and our true fulfillment are found in His Difficult Statement. By faith, His Difficult Statement becomes our salvation and eternal life.

May we grow in faith as we daily feast on Him and His truth; for though His Statement is Difficult He alone has the words of eternal life.

So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” 68 Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. [6:67-68]

Let’s Grow Together!

John 5… Consider His Question

A man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, “Do you wish to get well?” [5:5-6]

His claims are staggering: His equality with God the Father, His ability to raise the dead, give life and be life in Himself, and His authority to execute judgment; acts the Jewish people rightly attributed to God alone. His astounding and Divine assertions were corroborated by the testimonies of John the Baptist, His own works, the Father and Holy Scripture.

It was all too much to fathom as I attempted to grasp His magnitude and imagine what it must have been like to hear the human voice of God Incarnate state His case.

And as I sought to hear Him, one question repeatedly emerged in the midst of His authoritative claim to Divinity. His Question, “Do you wish to get well?”

Consider His Question

“Do you wish to get well?”

Does this appear to be somewhat of an absurd proposition to a man who has been paralyzed for thirty-eight years? Given the condition, who wouldn’t want to get well? But still Jesus asked, “Do you wish to get well?”

And His Question seemed to be prompted by His knowledge.

When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition…

Is it possible that being a long time in his condition had simply become this man’s norm?

Is it possible this man not only suffered from physical paralysis but also from a paralysis that incapacitated his ability to mentally, emotionally and spiritually move forward?

Is it possible before the healing comes, there must be an acknowledgment of need and desire?

The Pharisees had all the evidence they needed. Yet it was their norm that had come to rule their hearts and their wills. In their self-sufficient, prideful norm they rejected the Son of Man, the Healer, the Judge, the Savior… God.

With every witness, by way of John the Baptist, His own works, the Father and the Holy Scriptures, came opportunity to address His Question; yet His Question was ignored, refused, unanswered; and their paralysis prevailed.

They had already been a long time in that condition and now they continued in their smug paralyzed state rather than desire the eternal healing He alone offered. The Pharisees answered His Question with a resounding, willful “No.”

How do we respond to His Question?

May today be a time of self-examination and reflection as we consider our response to His Question.

“Do you wish to get well?”

True and eternal health is only found in God’s way of salvation.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. [John 14:6]

We must first answer, “Yes” to Jesus as the only way we can be saved. Salvation is not granted through our own our self-proclaimed norms.

When we come to the Father through Jesus Christ, we come in faith trusting what only He can do. Unfortunately, we can also come with some life-long habits; and as the saying goes, old habits die hard.

Is it possible that being a long time in our condition has become our norm?

Is it possible we are suffering from a paralysis incapacitating our ability to mentally, emotionally and spiritually move forward?

Is it possible we need healing, but must first acknowledge our need and desire?

Time for personal reflection: Is there an emotional, mental or spiritual condition that has me in a state of paralysis, keeping me from moving forward in love and obedience?

If so, can you hear His Question? “Do you wish to get well?”

If your answer is “Yes” consider the following:

Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. [James 4:7-10}

Answering, “Yes” must involve submitting to God in repentance and humility, a desire for holiness and purity as we turn away from sin in mourning, and trust in what only He can do.

Sin isn’t always rebelliously overt. Sometimes it may be an attitude or motive; a prevailing sense of pride or self-loathing; a habit such as gossip or negativity; a propensity to disregard His prompting to step out in faith and obedience. Sin is sin, whether obvious to all or covertly hidden.

But sin must never be the overriding factor to determine the course of our condition.

When we desire His healing and humbly come to Jesus in faith, He is able.

  • No matter our condition, He is able.
    • and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. [Romans 4:21]
  • No matter how long we have been in our condition, He is able.
    • Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short
      That it cannot save;
      Nor is His ear so dull
      That it cannot hear.
      [Isaiah 59:1]
  • No matter the hopelessness of our condition, He is able.
    •  Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! [Romans 7:24-25]

“Do you wish to get well?”

May we answer “Yes!” today and every day as we come to Him in humility, seeking the healing only Jesus Christ offers; may we acknowledge our desire to be set free from any condition that keeps us from moving forward in love and obedience.

Let’s Grow Together!

John 4… Consider His Inexplicable Itinerary

Itinerary: a detailed plan for a journey, especially a list of places to visit; plan of travel; a line of travel; route; an account of a journey; record of travel; a book describing a route or routes of travel with information helpful to travelers; guidebook for travelers.

And He had to pass through Samaria. [4:4]

John 4 is an especially meaningful chapter to me. It is the first sermon I remember, although I had spent many a Sunday in church (as well as weekdays as a private school attendee); and it was months before I came to know Christ as my Savior.

This Samaritan woman, so immoral, so discarded, yet so important to Jesus that He had to pass through Samaria. Passing through Samaria was in fact the expedient route to get from Judea to Galilee, but in reality the Jews would do anything to avoid Samaria. The Jews, who considered Samaritans to be ceremonially unclean, went to great lengths to avoid a defiled Samaritan.

But not so with Jesus… He had to pass through Samaria.

The Gospels are filled with accounts of people seeking Jesus out, coming to Him for healing and provision. But here, it is Jesus Who seeks out one woman, one immoral woman, one low in status and virtue, one so despicably desperate. One who had most assuredly been shunned by her community, to the point she came, alone, in the hottest part of the day to draw her water. One so disregarded, and yet, she so mattered to Jesus. It is Inexplicable.

Jesus sought out and spoke with a Samaritan woman, so against tradition and so completely unworthy of His holy attention. Why? It is Inexplicable.

I honestly don’t know why she mattered so to Him. But she did. And I honestly don’t know why I mattered, why He sought me out and spoke with me in January 1984, but I have never recovered. I remain undone by His grace and mercy.

Today, I pray His grace and mercy knocks us off our feet as we consider His Inexplicable Itinerary and wonder why.

Consider His Inexplicable Itinerary

  • His Inexplicable Itinerary… He left Heaven for us
    • For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” [John 6:38-40]
  • His Inexplicable Itinerary… He went ahead to prepare a place for us
    • “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. [John 14:1-2]
  • His Inexplicable Itinerary… He went to the cross for us
    • They took Jesus, therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. 18 There they crucified Him, [John 19:17-18]
  • His Inexplicable Itinerary… He left the grave and rose from the dead for us
    • He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification. [Romans 4:25]
  • His Inexplicable Itinerary… He is coming again for us
    • And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. 31 And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. [Matthew 24:30-31]
    • If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. [John 14:3]

How do we respond to His Inexplicable Itinerary?

We are so very privileged to see the detailed plan of His journey in His Word, our guidebook for our own journey through this life.

What He left, for us. Where He went, for us. What He did and continues to do, for us. It is Inexplicable. We cannot explain why; but oh may we believe and receive His gift of eternal life to become His true worshipers in spirit and in truth.

Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water… 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life… 23 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” [4:10, 14, 23-24]

If you feel unworthy of His grace and love, you are not alone. We all are so completely unworthy. And yet we matter to Him, so much so He died for us.

It is only His sacrifice and His love, independent of our efforts or worth that accomplishes our salvation. It is Inexplicable.

  •  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. [Romans 5:8]
  • We love, because He first loved us. [1 John 4:19]

May we humbly learn from one woman, one immoral, unworthy outcast. Although we cannot explain Him, may we remain undone, knocked off our feet to bow before Him in worship.

May we too, like the Samaritan woman, be willing to forego reputation and pride to unashamedly run and tell, to bring others to Him, that they too would believe and follow His Inexplicable Itinerary.

So the woman left her waterpot, and went into the city and said to the men, 29 “Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?” 30 They went out of the city, and were coming to Him… 39 From that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all the things that I have done.” [4:28-29, 29]

Let’s Grow Together!

John 3… Consider Him Who Must Be Believed

There is much debate about Who the Man Jesus Christ was. Many assert He was a prophet and others say He was merely a good teacher. But upon examining the things He said, both these options are unrealistic, for He said some pretty unbelievable things! What prophet or good teacher could say the things He said and expect His listeners to believe Him, let alone believe in Him?

In this chapter some form of the word believe is repeated eight times.

What is not up for debate in this chapter is this necessity, requirement, yes even demand, to believe.

Consider Him Who Must Be Believed

  • He Must Be Believed… we must be born again; we must be born of the Spirit
    • Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” …Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” [3:3, 5-8]
  • He Must Be Believed… He must be lifted up that we might have eternal life
    • If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man. 14 As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15 so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. [3:12-15]
  • He Must Be Believed… He is the only begotten Son given for our salvation
    • “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. [3:16-17]
  • He Must Be Believed… unbelief in Him results in God’s judgment
    • He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [3:18]
  • He Must Be Believed… He is the Light of the world
    • This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, [3:19]
  • He Must Be Believed… loving the darkness is tantamount to hating Him, the Light
    • …and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” [3:19-21]
  • He Must Be Believed… the Son gives eternal life to all who believe
    • The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand. 36 He who believes in the Son has eternal life; [3:35
  • He Must Be Believed… God’s wrath is the unbeliever’s reality
    • …but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

How do we respond to Him Who Must Be Believed?

Believe!

He was the true Light, given by the Father, lifted up on the cross for the sins of the world that we might be saved. Each of us must decide for ourselves if we will believe Him and place our faith in Him for salvation, eternity and all of life.

When we know and believe we cannot save ourselves, when we cast off our love of the darkness of sin to place our faith in Him and believe His death and resurrection is our only hope, we are born again, born of the Spirit to become children of God.

There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. [John 1:9-13]

I pray today, you will prayerfully study and take to heart all He disclosed in John 3 and bow before Him in faith;  for He is the Only Begotten Son, given that we might receive eternal life in Him Who Must Be Believed.

Let’s Believe and Grow Together!

John 2… Consider Him Who Manifested His Glory

This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him. [2:11]

The full significance of this word, glory, is a bit difficult to ascertain from our English definition alone.

Glory: very great praise, honor, or distinction bestowed by common consent; renown; something that is a source of honor, fame, or admiration; a distinguished ornament or an object of pride; adoring praise or worshipful thanksgiving; resplendent beauty or magnificence; a state of great splendor, magnificence, or prosperity

And while all of this is included in the meaning of glory, it does not fully comprise its true essence as intended in John 2:11. So let’s put on our thinking caps and dig into the Greek definition to shed light on this phrase, He manifested His glory.

  • From Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance:
    • Manifest: 5319. φανερόω phaneróō; contracted phanerṓ, fut. phanerṓsō, from phanerós (5318), manifest, visible, conspicuous. To make apparent, manifest, known, show openly.
    • Glory: 1391. δόξα dóxa; gen. dóxēs, fem. noun from dokéō (1380), to think, recognize. Glory.
      • A look at the root word of dóxa, i.e., dokéō (1380), to think or suppose, is necessary. Etymologically, the word primarily means thought or opinion, especially favorable human opinion, and thus in a secondary sense reputation, praise, honor (true and false), splendor, light, perfection, rewards (temporal and eternal). Thus the dóxa of man is human opinion and is shifty, uncertain, often based on error, and its pursuit for its own safety is unworthy. But there is a glory of God which must be absolutely true and changeless. God’s opinion marks the true value of things as they appear to the eternal mind, and God’s favorable opinion is true glory. This contrast is well seen in John 5:44 as the Lord speaks of the glory that the people were receiving among themselves and the only glory that comes from God (see John 12:43). Glory, therefore, is the true apprehension of God or things. The glory of God must mean His unchanging essence. Giving glory to God is ascribing to Him His full recognition… The glory of God is what He is essentially;

So to paraphrase this in our English language we might say, when Jesus Manifested His Glory, He made apparent, openly showed and made known His very essence as the true and unchanging God, worthy of His full recognition and reputation of the One Who is worthy of praise and honor, Who is in essence splendor, light and perfection.

Consider Him Who Manifested His Glory

  • He Manifested His Glory as He openly made known His ability to turn water into wine. In His very essence He is Creator.
    • Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each. Jesus *said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” So they filled them up to the brim. And He *said to them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.” So they took it to him. When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom, 10 and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.” [2:6-10]
  • He Manifested His Glory as His disciples witnessed His zeal for the house of God. In His very essence He is Holy.
    • The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. 15 And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables; 16 and to those who were selling the doves He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business.” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house will consume me.” [2:13-17]
  • He Manifested His Glory as He predicted His death and resurrection. In His very essence He is Omnipotent.
    • The Jews then said to Him, “What sign do You show us as your authority for doing these things?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” 21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. [2:18-21]
  • He Manifested His Glory when, just as He said, He was raised from the dead. In His very essence He is Faithful and True.
    • So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken. [2:22]
  • He Manifested His Glory as He knew what was in the very heart of man. In His very essence He is Omniscient.
    • Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, observing His signs which He was doing. 24 But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, 25 and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man. [2:23-25]

Jesus Manifested His Glory. In His very essence He is God.

How do we respond to Him Who Manifested His Glory?

Have you ever wondered why He began to Manifest His Glory at a wedding? Scripture does not expound on the why, but I often wonder… was it His anticipation of another wedding, the wedding He so longed for in the coming future?

Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” [Revelation19:7]

We really don’t know why He performed His first miracle at a wedding, but we do know we are to look forward in faith to another wedding, the great marriage of the Lamb.

He Manifested His Glory so that all mankind would know and make themselves ready. Let us make ourselves ready in faith, joy and gratitude, giving all Glory to Him alone.

  • Let us give Jesus all the Glory; He is Creator.
    • All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. [John 1:3]
    • For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. [Colossians 1:16]
  • Let us give Jesus all the Glory; He is Holy.
    • He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. [2 Corinthians 5:21]
    • Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. [Hebrews 4:14-15]
  • Let us give Jesus all the Glory; He is Omnipotent.
    • He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. [Colossians 1:17]
    • God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. [Hebrews 1:1-3]
  • Let us give Jesus all the Glory; He is Faithful and True.
    • And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. 13 He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” [Revelation 19:11-16]
  • Let us give Jesus all the Glory; He is Omniscient.
    • All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. [Matthew 11:27]
    • Now we know that You know all things, and have no need for anyone to question You; by this we believe that You came from God.” [John 16:30]

He has told us the day is coming when we will have the joyous privilege of proclaiming His Glory as we worship Him at the marriage supper of the Lamb. But let us not wait; let us make ourselves ready now as we live each day in thanksgiving and worship of Him Who Manifested His Glory, for He alone is worthy.

Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.” 10 Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” [Revelation 19:9-10]

Let’s Be Ready and Grow Together!