Category Archives: John

John17:14 – 19:42

I make it a point not to watch movies that are too real about murder, mayhem, and gore. I confess that the Agatha Christie mysteries, Sherlock Holmes, or Midsomer Murders are among my favorites for a dose of psychological thrillers, and I do like a great war or historical movie now and again. But when I saw the heading for John 18, my heart sank: “Betrayal and Arrest in Gethsemane.” Always, my throat tightens and my stomach churns when I read the devilry that superseded Christ’s death.

And Jesus knew what was coming. Still, we who live would like to know how to stop this train heading towards a broken track spanning the gap between this life and the next. I am more aware of my thoughts about death now that I’ve lived long enough to have mourned the passing of my grandparents, stepfather, mother in-law and father in-law, and even my precious daughter. Friends younger than I have already left this life, and now I must acknowledge that my mother is ‘slipping’ in her vigor and ‘letting go’ of what used to be of importance to her happiness. No, the train is unstoppable.

Yet Jesus did not just accept the inevitable. I’m not so foolish as to think that He was joyful about His prophetic death but knowing…really knowing that the end was near inspired the most tender love letter we have from Christ. “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world…and [I desire] that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” Excerpt from John 17:24, 25.

I recently hit a deer while driving to work in the early hours of morning. I thought about the poor creature that had no clue, as he crashed into the side of my car, that he could not race across this lonely stretch of interstate. I cried miserably. But I had to keep up my wits as I drove on, not wanting to stop where there truly was no source of help and willing myself to pay attention to the sounds and feeling of the car for damage. It was not until later, in the brightness of the morning sun, that I began thinking about an outcome in which I, too, went crashing out of this life.

Being held tightly by my husband, hearing the catch in my granddaughter’s throat as she asked worriedly about any injuries, seeing the startled gazes of co-workers, reminded me that living in this time and space is a fragile existence, at best. How then can each moment, each day, and if so ordained by God, each year of life be meaningful? The ‘looking back’ at my life or the ‘what would you do if you only had one day to live’ exercises are not so interesting to me, especially since I do not have power or control over the past or the future. Yet, it was in the moment I glanced at the poor creature hurling himself toward my car that the one thought, the most meaningful thought, I had was “Jesus!”

There was no time to ask for anything from my Lord. Only time to say His name. And I could feel my heart slow down. Whatever happened next was unknown, yet inevitable and accepted. That is what death is like for we who love God and are called His children. One last breath here and the next in His presence. I still do not want to experience any means of dying, but I am at peace with knowing that the name of Christ Jesus will be on my lips at the very end. And what a comfort this is to me.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for You knew not only what awaited You in Your suffering, but that glorious peace to come in Your resurrection. You have given us those same promises of resurrection and peace. I am awestruck tasting the evidence of Your promises. Whatever we suffer on earth will not compare to being in Your presence. What joy there is in being loved by You!



Filed under 66 Books, John, New Testament, Uncategorized

John 10:19-12:11 

Again the Jews picked up rocks to throw at him. Jesus said, “I have made a present to you from the Father of a great many good actions. For which of these acts do you stone me?”

The Jews said, “We’re not stoning you for anything good you did, but for what you said—this blasphemy of calling yourself God.”

Jesus said, “I’m only quoting your inspired Scriptures, where God said, ‘I tell you—you are gods.’ If God called your ancestors ‘gods’—and Scripture doesn’t lie—why do you yell, ‘Blasphemer! Blasphemer!’ at the unique One the Father consecrated and sent into the world, just because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I don’t do the things my Father does, well and good; don’t believe me. But if I am doing them, put aside for a moment what you hear me say about myself and just take the evidence of the actions that are right before your eyes. Then perhaps things will come together for you, and you’ll see that not only are we doing the same thing, we are the same—Father and Son. He is in me; I am in him.”

They tried yet again to arrest him, but he slipped through their fingers. – John 10:31-39 MSG

Fascinating reflection on Jesus engaged in a challenge/riposte situation. Jesus calls on His works as the evidence of His status as God’s Son and thereby sharing the same honour as the Father. The basic premise is that if they cannot accept what He is saying, they might think about accepting Him because of the works He was doing. While I like that premise I have to be careful for the anti-christs that come along and fake doing well to obtain followers.

Jesus was really contending against a fake zeal for the law, that is how He kept His cool when rocks and stones were in the people’s hands. Their fake concern for the honour of God was more of a religious horror, or even an imagined one.

Just look at Jesus – I imagine Him dressed in a fashion that would describe Him as poor, down and out, despicable – how could such a one like this profess Himself to be the Messiah and entitle Himself to such honours as declaring Himself to be the Son of God?

I know the multiple times the Father has honoured His Son already – He sanctified Him and sent Him into the world. While I have read stories of people to whom received the word of God, Jesus Himself was the Word.

What a dishonour for the Jews to be found in this situation. If Jesus was only honouring Himself, His honour was nothing. The same thing goes for me – it is Jesus’ honour I want, my own honour has no value whatsoever.

Father, I need the Holy Spirit and I need the Word to communicate so effectively in my world. Give freely as I step out in faith.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)


Filed under 66 Books, 7-day reading pln, Bible in a year reading plan, Cover to cover, John, New Testament, reading plan

John 2:12-4:38

“God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.” John 3:1921 NLT

Jesus brought the Samaritan women’s sins into the light. Not to expose her and make her feel shame, but to restore her and break her free from her bondage…

“Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?” Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” John 4:7-10 NLT

Jesus initiated the conversation with the Samaritan woman. He was more concerned with her healing than how she would respond. He saw into her heart and spoke identity and love over her. She was so moved by his compassion towards her that she wanted to tell everyone.

The woman left her water jar beside the well, and ran back to the village, telling everyone, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” John 4:28&29 NLT

Dear Father, Thank you that you see me. That you pursue me. Thank you for your mercy and for calling me your Beloved. Forgive me for the times that I’ve let fear hold me back from telling others about you. I praise you for who you are. Amen.

He must become greater, and I must become less and less.” John 3:30 NLT


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Luke 24:24-53; John 1:1-2:11

Perspective altering faith.

25 And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

Luke 24:25-27 ESV

Even the disciples that lived with Jesus for three solid years weren’t sure what they were witnessing at the resurrection.

Even the two on the road to Emmaus could not interpret the burning in their hearts when Jesus, in veiled form, spoke to them.

The disciples were terrified when they saw Jesus, returned in the flesh, and they disbelieved at first.

Even when the all powerful Word became flesh, the “world did not know him” (John 1:10 ESV).

When Nathanael’s faith so quickly accepted Jesus as the Messiah, Jesus pointed out the strength of his faith.

And, when the servants dipped into the water jars and gave the sample to the master of the feast, they knew they were not in the presence of an ordinary man.

Faith must transcend sight. At times what we see might reinforce our faith, but faith must premeditate our interpretation of events. I can easily look back on my life, or evaluate a current circumstance through the lens of science, coincidence, or even human logic. These filters will at times have pieces of the truth.

In order for the disciples to finally put together all the puzzle pieces, for the crowd to bow in worship, for me to act against conventional wisdom, faith must first enter the picture. Some seem to pick it up naturally. Nathanael jumped there quickly when he recognized Christ’s prophetic perspective.

The servants that carried the water turned wine might have just acted without regard for the outcome of their actions, simply obeying the people in charge over them. And yet, I wonder the spark of marvel that exploded as they saw that water become the best wine. It reminds me of the time I saw a magician working a crowd gathered round a counter as he very obviously tucked two foam balls in a young person’s hand and closed it into a fist. A wave of the wand, and the audience’s contribution of the magic words, and the hand opened to reveal the balls had now doubled to four. The young person looked as if their hand had betrayed them. The fact that this miracle could happen while he had full control of the objects seemed impossible. And that was just slight of hand. Jesus altered the chemical makeup of the water without so much as a word or wand. The servants fully understood the magnitude of this transformation. That act had manifested the glory of Jesus, it stirred belief in his followers.

Whether faith erupts naturally, grows through years of fertilization, or blooms instantly from God’s direct intervention, faith remains an essential for following Christ.

Sovereign God, thank you for transforming my heart and perspective. Thank you for patiently leading and revealing yourself. Thank you for even going a step further when it should already be painfully obvious, and spelling out the truth of a situation or passage of Scripture. You meet me where I am and bring me to where I never thought possible. Thank you for your patience in love that creates me anew time and again. In Jesus name, amen.

Erin (6intow)

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Ezekiel 40-42; John 14

I admit that I am one of those who are quite definitive that the Great Commission is about going out and making disciples. I also believe that others are endowed with the gift of evangelism. Reading Ezekiel today reminds me of the importance that all of us have a part to play in sharing the good news and that in a sense, we are all called to evangelize. I still have a problem with the manner of teaching and manipulation that attends this topic, however, the one thing I can identify in myself is that I love people who do not know Jesus and the love of Jesus causes me to reach out to them. I cannot say that I do not have love for them and I anxiously walk alongside when I can. I constantly see that a relationship goes well when the love of their soul is there.

John talks about the temple in the same way.

In My Father’s house are many dwelling places;[b] if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. – John 14:2 HCSB

Love prepares a welcome. With love, I prepare a room for my baby. With love, I prepare for my guests. Jesus is preparing a place for those who have decided to follow Him because He loves them and is confidently awaiting their arrival.

The whole secret in both Old and New Testament readings is the desire for God to have us united with Jesus.

 I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you.

“In a little while the world will see Me no longer, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live too. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, you are in Me, and I am in you. The one who has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me. And the one who loves Me will be loved by My Father. I also will love him and will reveal Myself to him.”

Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it You’re going to reveal Yourself to us and not to the world?”

Jesus answered, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. The one who doesn’t love Me will not keep My words. The word that you hear is not Mine but is from the Father who sent Me.

“I have spoken these things to you while I remain with you. – John 14:18-25 HCSB

The Holy Spirit enables me to experience a deep, inner unity with God and with Jesus, His Son. Jesus deeply desires me to share in this unity with Him, for this is the very reason He gave His life on the cross for my redemption. When I experience unity with Jesus, I find my true self and am made complete in Him.

Thank you God for being so passionately in love with me.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Filed under 5 day reading plan, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Ezekiel, John, New Testament, Old Testament, reading plan, Uncategorized