Attitude Doctrine Evangelism Ministry Textual Studies

We Would See Jesus

Over the last three years, Jesus had developed a reputation throughout Israel as a miracle worker and a prophet of God. It seems that his disciples had also come to be identified with the Master.

In John 12:20-22, as the Jews are gathering for the Passover, a group of worshippers find Philip, recognize him as Jesus; disciple, and ask to see Jesus. They weren’t there to see Philip, but they knew that Philip was connected to the Lord, so they sought him out.

In the same way, when we identify ourselves as Christians, those around us expect to see Jesus. They expect to see Him in our attitudes, our actions, our worship, and our teaching.

Ultimately, it is not about us. Our goal should be to help others to see the Savior. If they see things in our lives that are not consistent with followers of Christ it won’t go unnoticed.

At the same time, by living as Christians, we will find opportunities, like Philip, to bring others to Jesus. It all begins with a life that is lived by following the Master.

Perspectives of a Bondservant

Our Prayer for All

In 1 Timothy 2:1-4 we are encouraged to have a specific kind of prayer life. “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

When each of us looks at this verse what do we see? I think most of us see the need to pray. We daily try to include our friends, family, fellow Christians, and people in authority in our prayers because we know how important it is, but what are a few other lessons that we can learn from this text?

I want to draw our attention to the phrase, “all people”. There are people in this world that we have never met. Some live in other countries and some live just down the street. They are in need of our prayers. Then there are people that we have met but we do not get along with very well. Yes, even our enemies are in need of our prayers. Then there are the people that we thought were doing ok and we sometimes just forget. This list oftentimes includes our family, friends, and fellow Christians. Let us not make the assumption that just because we do not see something bad happening in somebody’s life that they do not need our prayers. If we look back at verse one, we are told to offer up “supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings for all people”. We see within this that we are to pray for specific things that are happening in the lives of people and that those prayers are to be for good and bad circumstances that people may be currently facing. With our prayers, we petition God for so many things: guidance, forgiveness, help, strength, wisdom, endurance, and so much more. But we also use our prayers to lift up praise and glory to the Father and thank Him for all that He has done, is doing, and continues to do every day of our lives. Our prayers not only benefit all lives here and now, but they also have an impact on our eternal destination. God wants “all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth”. Let us today offer up prayers for all people, no matter the circumstances, and let us pray that all people will come to the knowledge of God and His Word, be obedient to Him, and remain faithful all the days of their lives. This is our prayer for all.


Derek Broome

Textual Studies

You Always Have The Poor

In John chapter twelve Jesus began His last week on earth before the cross, a week commonly called the Passion Week. It was on the first day of this week that Mary anointed Jesus’ feet. This was a very emotionally charged scene, but as it often is, criticism was quick in coming.

Judas pointed out that this ointment could have been sold for what amounted to the average annual income of most Jews! We know because John tells us, that Judas was interested in stealing this money. But we also know from the high cost of this act that this wasn’t something that Mary did lightly.

It seems that Mary understood something about the sacrifice that Jesus was soon going to make for all of us. This was a truth that was lost on Judas. Every time that we use our resources to do one good thing, that means there is another good thing that we cannot do. It is up to each of us to choose the best thing to do with what we have.

There are always opportunities around us to show our love for Jesus, and to show His love to others around us. Rather than criticizing the good that others are doing, we should look for the good that we can do.


I Know That You Always Hear Me

As Jesus prepared to raise Lazarus from the dead, He thanked God that He had been heard, even though He had not yet done anything (v. 41)! This is similar to what we see in many of the Psalms. The Psalmist will often thank God for answering the very prayer that he is praying before he finishes the Psalm. That is the confidence that the prayer will be heard, and so a prayer prayed is as good as a prayer answered.

In verse forty-two, Jesus goes on to say that He knows that God always hears Him. We certainly have no reason to doubt that God always hears His Son. Where is Jesus now? He is on the right hand of God making intercession for us (Romans 8:34). When we pray to God “in Jesus’ name” we are praying by His authority. In Heaven, that name carries some weight!

There are, of course, qualifications for that. We must ask in accordance with God’s will, knowing that His will is best, and we must ask with the proper attitude (James 4:3). Knowing that God always hears Jesus means that our prayers, through Him are always heard, too.


What Shall We Do?

After Jesus healed Lazarus the Pharisees and chief priests could not deny that Jesus was working miracles. They came together to decide what to do about Jesus.

Their concern waS not with whether they should place their faith in Him, but rather with what He would cost them. They were afraid that Rome would “take away both our place and nation” (John 11:48).

Jesus never promised that accepting His truth would come without cost or sacrifice. Sometimes it requires us to give up our place. That place may be decades or even generations of religious tradition. It might be income. It might be relationships. Whatever the sacrifice, nobody is going to reach Heaven and think the cost was too high.


Jesus Wept

Those are the words of the shortest verse in the English Bible, John 11:35. That verse is full of love and compassion. We see Jesus’ love for Martha and Mary. His heart is broken for the pain they are suffering. His heart is broken for Lazarus, who is resting in eternity, having finished a faithful life, but is about to be pulled back into this vail of sorrow. His heart is broken because He feels the pain of loss that the death of His friend brings.

Our Savior truly understands our suffering. He has walked through those fires, and shed those bitter tears before us, and for us. Martha had greeted Jesus by saying, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died” (v. 21). Then when Mary came, she repeated that same thought (v. 32). He wept because He saw their pain, and He knew that they didn’t understand why He had allowed that to happen. He knew that they didn’t know what He was about to do.

When suffering comes into our lives, sometimes we feel as though our Lord has abandoned us; left us to deal with pain alone. Yet, He is there. He sees our pain, and he cares. he also knows what lies beyond, and He knows what is best.


I Am The Resurrection

In John 11:25 we find the sixth of eight “I AM” statements of Jesus recorded by John. This one is full of hope! “I am the resurrection, and the life.”

Jesus gave us all life as the creator and continues to do so as our sustainer (Colossians 1:16-17). Beyond that, He is the one that offers us hope after this life in the resurrection.

Here He promises that those who believe in Him, even if they are dead, will live again. This takes us back to John 5:25-28. He is speaking of those who are spiritually dead because of sin. No matter what you have done, how bad it was, or how many times you have done it. Through faith in Christ, you can find renewed life.

Beyond that, He says that after receiving that life you need not ever die again.


I Am The Good Shepherd

John 10:11 contains the fourth “I AM” of the Gospel of John. “I am the good shepherd.” Jesus paints a stark contrast between the good shepherd, who is the owner of the sheep, and a hireling who has no attachment to or investment in the sheep but is only there for personal gain.

As the good shepherd, Jesus has done and continues to do whatever is necessary to keep His people safe and secure. This is because He loves us! Because of His love, He laid down His life that we might live. In John 15:13, we learn that this is the greatest love that a person can show for another.

As the good shepherd, Jesus sacrificed for us, but not only that, He knows us. He knows our needs, our struggles, our fears, our desires, even the things that we cannot put into words. He knows. And He cares!

The other side of this is that Jesus’ sheep know Him. They learn to listen for His voice and follow at His command. We follow, not because we have to, but because we want to; because we love Him, too. Do you know the good shepherd?


I Am The Door

In John 10:7 we find a third of the seven “I AM’s” of the book of John. Jesus is the door of the sheep. He is the only authorized path for us to enter in. He is also the one who serves to keep us safe and secure. Jesus mentions that there had been other teachers, but that they were thieves, trying to lead God’s people away from the truth. No doubt, there have been many more since.

When we come to Jesus as the only true path to God, He makes us three promises. First, we will be saved (v. 9). Outside the safety of Jesus’ protection, there as a lion seeking our souls (1 Peter 5:8). He saves us from that destruction and then keeps us safe.

Second, we will find pasture (v. 9). This reference calls to mind the words of Psalm 23. Jesus promises to provide for our needs. While this certainly has some physical implications, more importantly, He provides all of our spiritual needs.

Finally, He will find abundant life (v. 10). He doesn’t just promise life. He promises that it will be abundant. This speaks both to the eternal nature of it, but also to the rich fullness of a life lived in Christ!


Are We Blind Also?

In the closing verses of John 9 Jesus says that He had come into the world that those who do not see might see, and so that those who do see might be made blind. That sounds a little confusing without stopping to think through it, which might be part of the reason why the Pharisees asked him if they were blind, too (v. 40).
Jesus replies by saying “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains” (v. 41). What is the point He is driving at here?

The Pharisees thought that they had everything figured out and that there wasn’t much that anybody could teach them. The blind man, on the other hand, knew that he had a lot to learn, and spiritually speaking, he was blind.

If we, like the Pharisees, think that we know it all, them we too will be blind to the spiritual truths God sets before us in Scripture. But if we come to God like the blind man, with an open heart and mind, ready to learn, then we will be able to see God’s truth more clearly.

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