Friday, February 28, 2014

3/1/14- Jesus' Testimony True

13The Pharisees challenged him, “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.”
14Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going. 15You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. 16But if I do judge, my decisions are true, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. 17In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true. 18I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.”
19Then they asked him, “Where is your father?”
“You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” 20He spoke these words while teaching in the temple courts near the place where the offerings were put. Yet no one seized him, because his hour had not yet come. (John 8:13-20)

Thoughts: For the third time in the Gospel of John so far, Jesus is accused of not having authority to make his own testimony true.  But there is no greater testimony that God Himself or His dwelling place from which Jesus came.  The Father was His testimony- not only in the voice at Jesus' baptism and transfiguration, but through His answered prayers, miracles, and ultimately raising Christ from the dead as a sure sign that He is at work confirming Jesus' testimony about Himself.  The Maker of the Universe is the highest power, knowledge, and truth there is to swear by.
     There are several times in John when Jesus says if one knows the Father, one knows the Son and vice versa.  Jesus did not judge (as we saw in 8:1-11).  Yet He is being judged by his limited and twisted opponents. Jesus is able to be the judge because the Father enabled him to do so.  In the end, when people accuse us of not knowing what we talk about, or not having a valid argument, we must stand close to the Father and rely on His testimony.  

Prayer:  Let me rely on you, Lord.  You bear witness that your Gospel is at work in me and true.  

Thursday, February 27, 2014

2/28/14- Light of the World

12When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

Thoughts: Jesus said he is the light of the world.  He says it later that "While I am in the world, I am the light of the world" (9:5).  While Jesus walked on this earth He did great and amazing things.  He was making a difference healing and helping.  Jesus changes the world from hopelessness to hope; from indifference to love; from skeptical criticism to faith; from legalism to gracious-law-keeping. As light allows us to see our way- Jesus is a guide.  As light warms us and keeps us from freezing- Jesus is our life.  As light gives us hope at the end of the tunnel- Jesus is our hope.  As light brings understanding and enlightenment- Jesus is our wisdom.  As light brings truth- Jesus is our truth.  He is the way, the truth, the life- our Light.

Prayer: Light of the world, shine on me.  Let me reflect your light in my life.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

2/27/14- Jesus and Sin

9At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,”Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:9-11)

Thoughts: Jesus had said, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone."  Those who were about to be stoners lost their nerve and felt their guilt.  No one is without sin.  Only Jesus, the One  really without sin, was left and He did not condemn her.
     Jesus did not say that there is no such thing as adultery, or that it did not apply.  Jesus called adultery here "a life of sin."  Jesus gave her a second chance, but He also asked her to repent.  Grace does not stop the need for repentance.  Grace gives us a chance to repent- to turn around- and the time, energy, life, and power to do so if we will.  Jesus also told the lame man to "stop sinning or something worse will happen to you" (5:14).  When Jesus heals or forgives, He gives us a second chance to live life the way it should be lived.  Jesus still hated the sin but loved the sinner.  

Prayer: Help me Lord, to walk with you..  Thank you for the many chances you have given me.  Keep me from condemning others, but also keep me from giving into sin.  

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

2/26/14- Jesus and Adulterous Woman Jn 8

1but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
2At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.5In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women.Now what do you say?” 6They were using this question as a trap,in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”8Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.(John 8:1-8)

Thoughts: Jesus kept putting himself on center stage, despite those who were trying to kill him.  He came once more to the Temple.  The Pharisees and religious teachers were setting a trap for Jesus.  Moses said someone caught in adultery is worthy of death.  The Roman Law said that the Jews had no authority to kill anyone.  By the end of this conversation, the Jews were trying to stone Jesus for his divine claims- no matter what Roman Law said. Jesus did not answer them directly, and took some time to answer.  He wrote in the sand, and while he did tempers and emotions diffused.  What did he write?  We really don't know.  Theories abound.  Maybe he wrote, "He who is without sin let them cast the first stone."  Maybe he wrote the commandment of Moses found in Deuteronomy 22:22-24.  Some say it was a reference or contrast to God's finger writing the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments.  After he said his peace, he went back to writing.  
But his peace is a reminder that we are all worthy of stoning.  We all break the Law and are worthy of death.  The one without sin could throw the first stone.  No one there was without sin.  Jesus was without sin, but he did not condemn her but gave her a second chance saying, "Go and sin no more."  We should all be slow to condemn and quick to listen.  

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your wisdom.  Help me to have more wisdom like you.  Help me to be slow to speak, slow to wrath and quick to listen.  

Monday, February 24, 2014

2/25/14- Unjust Trial

45Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and the Pharisees, who asked them, “Why didn’t you bring him in?”
46“No one ever spoke the way this man does,” the guards replied.
47“You mean he has deceived you also?” the Pharisees retorted. 48“Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him? 49No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law—there is a curse on them.”
50Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, 51“Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing?”
52They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.” (John 7:45-52)

Thoughts: The Temple guards even recognized Jesus' great teaching.  But the Temple priests did not want to hear.  Nicodemus tried to stand up for at least a fair trial.  Ironically the leaders were acting by mob rule and calling the crowd a "mob."
     There have always been people who persecute believers for their stand for truth.  

Prayer: Lord, help us to live by your rule, and not by our own.  

Sunday, February 23, 2014

2/24/14- Living Waters

37On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
40On hearing his words, some of the people said, “Surely this man is the Prophet.”
41Others said, “He is the Messiah.”
Still others asked, “How can the Messiah come from Galilee? 42Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David’s descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?” 43Thus the people were divided because of Jesus. 44Some wanted to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him. (John 7:37-44)

Thoughts: This is similar to Jesus claim to the woman at the well that he offered "Living Water" (4:10,13).  The Living water was the Spirit.  Living water, is bubbling, fresh, clean, and refreshing- so is the Spirit.  The Spirit quenches our thirst.  Jesus was offering peace and satisfaction.  Because He offered what others have not offered, the people of Judea revered Him as the Prophet spoken of Deut. 18:15 (the people of Galilee called him this after the feeding of the 5,000- 6:14).  Others thought he was the Messiah, and others thought he needed to be arrested.
     There is an interesting dialogue about the credentials of the Messiah going on in John 7.  It was about  where Jesus was from.  This is John's nod to the birth narratives of Jesus' birth in Bethlehem.  John began his story with the theological explanation rather than the shepherds and angels.  But it is a hint that Jesus was born in the town of David as Matthew and Luke recorded.  

Prayer: Lord, your home is in the heavens.  You are Lord over all.  You are worthy of our worship and time.  Help us to believe that your Spirit, the Living Water may flow in and through me.  

(Whitewater Falls, SC)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

2/23/14- Setting Our Hearts on Eternity

33Jesus said, “I am with you for only a short time, and then I am going to the one who sent me. 34You will look for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come.”
35The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we cannot find him? Will he go where our people live scattered among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks? 36What did he mean when he said, ‘You will look for me, but you will not find me,’ and ‘Where I am, you cannot come’?” (John 7:33-36)

Thoughts: Jesus was teaching that he would go on, but not on this earth.  He was continually trying to get them to think beyond the temporary to the eternal.  They would still look for Jesus down on earth, but they would never be able to come to Him unless they started living for eternity.  Once again, the people were only thinking about this life.  If he was going where they could not come, then it must be Greece or maybe Africa or India?  But he was talking about going to heaven after being with them only three years in ministry.  Yet, to all who believe in Him, and set their hearts on God and eternity, holding onto the forgiveness and grace of Jesus seen on the cross, there is a way provided to go to Jesus.  Let us set our hearts on where Christ is, that we may go to Him.  

Prayer: Lord, lift up my heads to you.  Strengthen my heart that I might set my heart on eternity.  

(Ascension of Christ John Singleton Copley 1775)

Friday, February 21, 2014

2/22/14- Jesus Faces His Enemies

25At that point some of the people of Jerusalem began to ask, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill?26Here he is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to him. Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Messiah? 27But we know where this man is from; when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.”
28Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own authority, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, 29but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.”
30At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. 31Still, many in the crowd believed in him. They said, “When the Messiah comes, will he perform more signs than this man?”
32The Pharisees heard the crowd whispering such things about him. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees sent temple guards to arrest him. (John 7:25-32)

Thoughts: Jesus knew that the leaders in Jerusalem would quickly be jealous of his ability.  The people were amazed at Jesus' courage in light of the authorities who they all knew (including Jesus) that they were trying to kill him.  There were all kinds of questions about where Jesus was from.  In the south it is one of the most important questions: "Where are you from?"  Many said he was from Galilee since that is where he grew up.  Others noted the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem.  Others were saying the Messiah would just show up mysteriously- and no one would know where he was from.  Jesus said he was sent from heaven and many tried to seize him.  He did not back down from his claim.  Some believed him, and this caused the Pharisees to want to arrest him even more.  Jesus did not back down from his claim even in the face of opposition.  Christians who back down, and cower, giving up their morals and spiritual identity in order to conform to the world around them are chameleons rather than lights.  We are called to be lights to the world, reflecting the great light of Christ to the world. 

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your courageous example.  Help me to be strong for you.  

Thursday, February 20, 2014

2/21/14- Healing and Circumcision

21Jesus said to them, “I did one miracle, and you are all amazed. 22Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a boy on the Sabbath. 23Now if a boy can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing a man’s whole body on the Sabbath? 24Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.” (John 7:21-24)

Thoughts: For many of us this passage seems foreign.  Jesus did not blow them off about the Sabbath.  He wrestled with the idea of Sabbath, and we should not blow the idea of Sabbath off either.  God wants us to rest, and to not be slaves to work or to entertainment/play.  The ancients used to speak of Sabbath as "re-creation."  We are re-created when we take time off to rest.  But Jesus fine tuned the definition of the Sabbath to allow for helping and healing people.  Emergencies, exceptions, helping others and grace was allowed.
    Jesus compared his healing on the Sabbath to circumcision- which also involved some effort.  Circumcision was a cleansing, a rolling back of reproach, a physical permanent signing of our covenant with God.  Circumcision represented a restoring of a right relationship with God.  Healing represented a restoring of health and strength.  Circumcision (today baptism) and healing are both signs of God's love and grace.  All are appropriate, even important for the Sabbath. 

Prayer: Lord, on your day, Lord, heal me and draw me closer to you.  Re-create me with rest, peace, and worship as I renew my covenant with you. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

2/20/14- Honor to Death

14Not until halfway through the festival did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach. 15The Jews there were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having been taught?”
16Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. 17Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. 18Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him. 19Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?”
20“You are demon-possessed,” the crowd answered. “Who is trying to kill you?”
25At that point some of the people of Jerusalem began to ask, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? 26Here he is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to him. Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Messiah? 27But we know where this man is from; when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.” (John 7:14-20, 25-27)

Thoughts: How did this man get such teaching?  Jesus' answer was that it was from God, and we would know it was from God if we sought to follow God.  Jesus sought to honor God, and those who seek to do the same- and not honor themselves, can see the beauty of His teachings.  People who see only their own earthly fame and selfish popularity have a hard time hearing Jesus' teaching of love and grace.
     So the Pharisees, who focused on only obeying the Law more than glorifying God, had a hard time with Jesus' teaching.  In fact, it was to the point that they definitely wanted to arrest Him, and wished to kill him.  When he confronted them, they said, "Who... us?" Of course later (as recorded in this chapter), the leaders rebuked the Temple guards for not arresting him because of his amazing teaching (vs. 45,46).  Later the people recognized, "Isn't this the man the authorities are trying to kill?" (vs. 25).  Of course, Jesus knew he came to die (Mt. 10:45).  He knew his purpose was to honor God- whether his time be short or now.  We too should seek to honor God no matter the cost. Jesus was honorable because He honored His Father.  

Prayer: Lord, your honor is my purpose.  Help me not to lose sight of that, and to give myself fully to you.  

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

2/19/14- The Time to Face Enemies

Therefore Jesus told them, “My time is not yet here; for you any time will do. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil. You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.” After he had said this, he stayed in Galilee.
10 However, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went also, not publicly, but in secret. 11 Now at the festival the Jewish leaders were watching for Jesus and asking, “Where is he?”
12 Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, “He is a good man.”
Others replied, “No, he deceives the people.” 13 But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the leaders. (John 7:6-13)

Thoughts: Jesus reply to his brothers ("My time is not yet here") is reminiscent of what Jesus said to Mary when she wanted him to turn the water into wine "My time has not yet come."  Jesus' brothers wanted him to hurry up and be popular- and make himself a political figure.  Jesus knew his kingdom was not of this world.  He also knew that when he showed himself, it would lead quickly to his death.  When he faced up to the enemies of God, they would oppose Him to death.  He did go to the festival for show, but came to the festival.  He was not afraid of his enemies.  Jesus showed great courage as an example for us.  We do not need to shrink back, but to stand up against those who oppose the good news.

Prayer: Lord, your timing and way is perfect.  You are never afraid or surprised. Thank you for your courage in facing your future and your enemies- for your future is my future- your enemies are mine.

Monday, February 17, 2014

2/18/14 - Jesus and His brothers.

1After this, Jesus went around in Galilee. He did not want to go about in Judea because the Jewish leaders there were looking for a way to kill him. 2But when the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles was near, 3Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. 4No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” 5For even his own brothers did not believe in him. (John 7:1-5)

Thoughts: Matthew 13:55 records four brothers of Jesus: James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas.  When Mary tried to force Jesus' hand he said his time had not yet come.  He also said this to his brothers.  Some have thought these were just relatives, but the word "brother" is found both in Matthew and here.  All Jesus' brothers thought was that he should be a public figure.  They wanted to help make him famous.  They wanted to be his publicity agents.  But Jesus knew that going to Jerusalem was going into the teeth of his eventual killers.  His brothers wanted him to be a politician.  They would have been very happy if he accepted the crown offered after he fed the 5,000 (John 6).   The brothers were looking at Jesus as solely w worldly figure who was popular.  Too many look at the church as simply a worldly institution.  But it is more- as Jesus is more.  

Prayer:  Help me to see you, Lord, as you wish to be seen.  Help me to see you not as a politician, but as the Savior of the world. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

2/17/14- Many Turn Away

60On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”
61Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? 62Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. 64Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him.65He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”
66From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
67“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.
68Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
70Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!” 71(He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.) (John 6:60-70)

Thoughts: It is a hard saying that Jesus is the Bread of Life- and that He is the One who gives eternal life.  He speaks of eating His flesh and drinking His blood- which is also a hard saying if you think it is gnawing Jesus' skin or sipping His blood through a straw.  Just as when Jesus said he was the Living Water- He wasn't talking of H2O, or when He spoke of being born again He wasn't talking of going back into the womb as an adult- He was speaking of spiritual feeding.  He hinted at this in vs. 63- when He said the Spirit gives life and the fleshly things count for nothing.
      From this point on many left.  Jesus also was very conscious that He would be betrayed (vs. 64, 70).  Jesus gave up being a popular hero when he refused to just keep providing physical bread, and refused a crown.  Perhaps it was because Jesus refused to be a popular political ruler who would stand against the Roman Empire that people left Him and Judas began to think of betrayal.  But the crowd's leaving and Jesus' talk of a betrayer solidified the eleven who remained with Him.  Peter's words are also our words.  In a skeptical world in which people are leaving Christ left and right in the West over some (often false) criticism of Christ or His followers, there is still no one else who offers life.  There is no other religious leader who offers real hope beyond the grave- thus giving meaning to this life.

Prayer: Lord, help me to cling to you, even if I do not fully understand.  Help me to believe in order to understand. Help me to believe in order to find eternal life.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

2/16/14- Jesus the Bread of Life

48I am the bread of life. 49Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
52Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
53Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. 57Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum. (John 6:48-59)

Thoughts: Jesus made one of seven "I am" extraordinary claims here (in John) that point to His divinity.  He had inferred one earlier in John when Jesus told the woman at the well that he was the living water and the Messiah.  Just as He was Living Water earlier, so He is Living Bread now.  The woman at the well wanted to get a bucket of this "Living Water" and the Jews freaked out about eating Jesus' skin.  But they were focused to much on this world.  Jesus' kingdom is not of this world, neither is His water or His bread of this world alone.  The early Romans likewise accused Christians of "cannibalism" for talking of eating His flesh.  It is a feeding done by faith not by teeth on bones.  Partaking in Jesus- ingesting His way into our lives gives us eternal life.  Even the strictest literalist would hardly say that taking the Lord's Supper means we go to heaven.  We are given eternal life by believing, not by eating.  But believing is symbolized by eating.  It is having the Christ become a part of who you are.  It is disseminating Christ into every cell just as cells are nourished by what we eat.  

Prayer: Lord, I partake in you.  I believe in you.  Let me live my eternal life beginning now- not just after I die.  

Friday, February 14, 2014

2/15/14- Father and Son

 44“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. 45It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. 46No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. (John 6:44-47)

Thoughts: Jesus is speaking of His intimate relationship with God the Father.  No one can come to Jesus unless the Father draws them.  The Father sent Jesus to us, and sends us to Jesus.  He is the matchmaker- the one who draws us to Christ.  He is the or guy who brings the bride (the Church) to the bridegroom (Jesus).  We cannot come on our own.  The invitation comes to us in various ways- but it comes.  Jesus goes on to say if we know the Father's will, we will understand the Son.  The Son alone knows the Father intimately, and can reveal Him to us. Therefore we should trust Him. In human relationships too- if you know the son, you have an inside road to know the father and vice versa.  

Prayer:  Lord, let me understand your love and your relationship..  Help me to trust in you, Lord, that I might see the Father. 

(ChristianMingle logo- The Father arranges our getting close to the Son).  

Thursday, February 13, 2014

2/14/14- Jesus the Bread

36But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
41At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”
43“Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. (John 6:36-43)

Thoughts: In John 6 Jesus uses the "bread" metaphor in many different ways.  He had just fed the 5,000 with bread- but wanted them to seek spiritual bread.  He said he was the bread of life.  Then he also compared himself to the manna from heaven (vs. 41)- coming down to feed the children of God.  Here he subtly refers himself to the Manna that came down from heaven.  He has come down from heaven to accomplish His Father's will (vs. 36).  Part of which is that he will be devoured by his enemies, but broken for his friends.
     The Jews tried to convince themselves that he was just an ordinary man with ordinary parents (vs. 42).  So often we try to tell ourselves that the supernatural was just natural.  We say the answered prayer was just a coincidence.  We say that our getting that wonderful job we asked God about was just because we had so much talent.  We say that the food we eat is not miraculous- and perhaps we don't need to thank God for it.  We are taught that it is all up to us and that God doesn't interfere- how dare He?   Yet, God is the hand that moves the movers.  God is the one who gives us everything- time, talent, ability, and more- directs us with purpose, angels, counsel, scripture, and Spirit.  If you have ordinary eyes- you only see Jesus the man.  But if you put on the eyes of faith- you are able to celebrate the Love of God found in Jesus the Bread Come down from heaven.
     On this Valentine's day- we ought to remember no human love or spouse can ultimately satisfy.  Yet Jesus, the bread of life- provides love for us in the right time and place.  

Prayer:  Lord, you were no ordinary person, and feed us with no ordinary nourishment.  Nourish my soul this day with your love.