John, Day 56

Day 56.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, please take away all other voices so that we can only hear the voice of Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

John 18: 1- 40, trial under Annas, Caiphas, and Pilate.

VV 1-4, 1 When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side, there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it. 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns, and weapons. 4 Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?”

Jesus and the eleven disciples crossed the Brook Kidron and entered the Garden of Gethsemane. Gethsemane means olive press, a place of crushing the olive fruits to extract the oil. After Gethsemane, Jesus will be crushed and His blood will be shed to atone for the sin of mankind.

VV 5-9, 5 “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) 6 When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7 Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?” “Jesus of Nazareth,” they said. 8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” 9 This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”

Greek for “I AM’ is “eigo eimi” and Hebrew for “I AM” is YHVH. God covental name is YHWH. The voice in burning bush in Exodus 3:16 is the voice of Jesus, before His incarnatiion. He revealed His name to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM” or YHWH. In theology this is called a Christophany. On hearing “I AM”, the soldiers and Jewish rulers who came to arrest Him fell backward to the ground. Verse 9 is a fulfillment of John 17:12, “While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled”.

VV 10-14, 10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 11 Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” 12 Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him 13 and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jewish leaders that it would be good if one man died for the people.

‘Peter sliced off the right ear of the high priest’s servant, Malchus. Peter and John were there but the other nine had fled. According to Luke, Jesus attached back the ear of Malchus, His last healing miracle. Luke 22:51, “But Jesus answered and said, “Permit even this.” And He touched his ear and healed him”. The soldiers and the Jewish rulers arrested Jesus and brought Him to Annas, the high priest’s father in law.

VV 15-18, 15 Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard, 16 but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the servant girl on duty there and brought Peter in. 17 “You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you?” 18 Now the servants and officers who had made a fire of coals stood there, for it was cold, and they warmed themselves. And Peter stood with them and warmed himself.

Peter and John followed behind Jesus. A unnamed servant girl identified Peter as one of Jesus’ disciple but Peter denied it. Other servants and officers also identified Peter but he again denied it.

VV 19-24, 19 Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. 20 “I have spoken openly to the world,” Jesus replied. “I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret. 21 Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said.” 22 When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby slapped him in the face. “Is this the way you answer the high priest?” he demanded.23 “If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?”24 Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

The first trial was under Annas, the high priest’s father in law. He questioned Jesus but Jesus refused to cooperate, one of the officials slapped Jesus. The second trial was under Caiaphas, the high priest.

VV 25-27, 25 Now Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. Therefore they said to him, “You are not also one of His disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not!” 26 One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of him whose ear Peter cut off, said, “Did I not see you in the garden with Him?” 27 Peter then denied again, and immediately a rooster crowed.’’

When Peter was warming himself at the fire, another of the high priest’s servants identified Peter as one of Jesus’ disciple. Peter denied Jesus the third time and immediately a rooster crowed.

VV 28-29, 28 Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, and it was early morning. But they themselves did not go into the Praetorium, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover. 29 Pilate then went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this Man?”

The third trial was under Pontius Pilate, the Roman procurator of Judea, in the Praetorium. Not wanting to defile themselves, the priests did not enter the Praetorium.

VV 30-32, 30 “If he were not a criminal,” they replied, “we would not have handed him over to you.” 31 Pilate said, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” “But we have no right to execute anyone,” they objected. 32 This took place to fulfill what Jesus had said about the kind of death he was going to die.

Romans laws forbid Jews to carry out capital punishment by stoning. They sent Jesus to be tried under Roman laws whose capital punishment was by crucifixion. This fulfilled scripture that Jesus would die by crucifixion and not by stoning. Psalm 22:16, “My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs; an evil gang closes in on me. They have pierced my hands and feet.”

VV 33-37, 33 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” 34 “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?” 35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?” 36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” 37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me”.

Jesus told Pontius Pilate that He was a spiritual king and not a military king. “the reason I was born and came into this world”, speaks of His incarnation and pre-existence.

VV 38- 40, 38 “What is truth?” retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him. 39 But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Jews’?” 40 Then they all cried again, saying, “Not this Man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.

It was customary for the Pilate to release one Jewish prisoner on Passover. Pontius Pilate asked the Jews whether he should release Barabbas, a Jewish freedom fighter, or Jesus Christ. According the the first-century theologian Origen, Batabbas’ name was Jesus Barabbas, which means Jesus, son of a father. The Jews chose Jesus Barabbas, the son of a father, instead of Jesus Christ, the Son of The Father. Even today, people still chose to believe in the “son of a father” instead of Jesus Christ, the “Son of The Father”. Who do you believe?

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Your Son Jesus Christ into the world to die for our sin. We ask that You reign in our lives as King of our hearts, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Golan Height, Bethsaia Julius
Golan Height, Bethsaia Julius
Golan Height, Bethsaia Julius
Golan Height, Bethsaia Julius
Golan Height, Bethsaia Julius
Golan Height, Bethsaia Julius

Streams in the Desert for Kids

Duration: 365 days

WE COULD MAKE BEAUTIFUL MUSIC

2 Corinthians 11:2

A young man carefully held his kora harp in his hands. “If I were marooned on a desert island, the one thing I’d want with me is this harp,” he said.

The kora harp is a West African instrument and has twenty-one strings. Each string is attached to a tuning peg on a long neck of the harp. The young man held the instrument between his knees and, with his hands on two handholds on either side of the neck, plucked the strings to make a beautiful sound. As he plucked the strings, he often stopped to tighten or loosen one of those twenty-one tuning pegs. He knew exactly which string was out of tune. Most who listened had no idea there was anything wrong with the string, but the young man who knows his instrument well, and who is a master at playing this instrument, knew the sound it made could be better than it was. He loved his harp. He understood it and he wanted its music to be perfect.

That’s the way God is with us. He loves us so much, just like the kora harpist loves his instrument. He knows all about us. He knows when we are living a true life and when we are faking it. He knows what our lives can be if we let him correct us and tune us so we make music that is harmonious with his will for our lives. And he will never leave us. He’ll be close by to help us, always.

Dear Lord, Help me to let you change me into who you want me to be. I want to make beautiful music with my life. Let my life be like a love song to you. Tune me up so no ugly or unkind words come from my mouth. Thank you, Father, for loving me so much. Amen.

Grace for the Moment

Duration: 365 days

A HOLY TASK

Obey the Lord with great fear. Psalm 2:11

mary and Mary [Magdalene] knew a task had to be done—Jesus’ body had to be prepared for burial. Peter didn’t offer to do it. Andrew didn’t volunteer … So the two Marys decide to do it …

I wonder if halfway to the tomb they had sat down and reconsidered. What if they’d looked at each other and shrugged, “What’s the use?” What if they had given up? What if one had thrown up her arms in frustration and bemoaned, “I’m tired of being the only one who cares. Let Andrew do something for a change. Let Nathanael show some leadership.”

Whether or not they were tempted to, I’m glad they didn’t quit. That would have been tragic. You see, we know something they didn’t. We know the Father was watching. Mary and Mary thought they were alone. They weren’t. They thought their journey was unnoticed. They were wrong. God knew.

from He Still Moves Stones

GENESIS 5-6

Adam’s Family History

This is the family history of Adam. When God created human beings, he made them in his own likeness. He created them male and female, and on that day he blessed them and named them human beings.

When Adam was 130 years old, he became the father of another son in his likeness and image, and Adam named him Seth. After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. So Adam lived a total of 930 years, and then he died.

When Seth was 105 years old, he had a son named Enosh. After Enosh was born, Seth lived 807 years and had other sons and daughters. So Seth lived a total of 912 years, and then he died.

When Enosh was 90 years old, he had a son named Kenan. 10 After Kenan was born, Enosh lived 815 years and had other sons and daughters. 11 So Enosh lived a total of 905 years, and then he died.

12 When Kenan was 70 years old, he had a son named Mahalalel. 13 After Mahalalel was born, Kenan lived 840 years and had other sons and daughters. 14 So Kenan lived a total of 910 years, and then he died.

15 When Mahalalel was 65 years old, he had a son named Jared. 16 After Jared was born, Mahalalel lived 830 years and had other sons and daughters. 17 So Mahalalel lived a total of 895 years, and then he died.

18 When Jared was 162 years old, he had a son named Enoch. 19 After Enoch was born, Jared lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 20 So Jared lived a total of 962 years, and then he died.

21 When Enoch was 65 years old, he had a son named Methuselah. 22 After Methuselah was born, Enoch walked with God 300 years more and had other sons and daughters. 23 So Enoch lived a total of 365 years. 24 Enoch walked with God; one day Enoch could not be found, because God took him.

25 When Methuselah was 187 years old, he had a son named Lamech. 26 After Lamech was born, Methuselah lived 782 years and had other sons and daughters. 27 So Methuselah lived a total of 969 years, and then he died.

28 When Lamech was 182, he had a son. 29 Lamech named his son Noah[a] and said, “He will comfort us in our work, which comes from the ground the Lord has cursed.” 30 After Noah was born, Lamech lived 595 years and had other sons and daughters. 31 So Lamech lived a total of 777 years, and then he died.

32 After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

The Human Race Becomes Evil

The number of people on earth began to grow, and daughters were born to them. When the sons of God saw that these girls were beautiful, they married any of them they chose. The Lord said, “My Spirit will not remain in human beings forever, because they are flesh. They will live only 120 years.”

The Nephilim were on the earth in those days and also later. That was when the sons of God had sexual relations with the daughters of human beings. These women gave birth to children, who became famous and were the mighty warriors of long ago.

The Lord saw that the human beings on the earth were very wicked and that everything they thought about was evil. He was sorry he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the Lord said, “I will destroy all human beings that I made on the earth. And I will destroy every animal and everything that crawls on the earth and the birds of the air, because I am sorry I have made them.” But Noah pleased the Lord.

Noah and the Great Flood

This is the family history of Noah. Noah was a good man, the most innocent man of his time, and he walked with God. 10 He had three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

11 People on earth did what God said was evil, and violence was everywhere. 12 When God saw that everyone on the earth did only evil, 13 he said to Noah, “Because people have made the earth full of violence, I will destroy all of them from the earth. 14 Build a boat of cypress wood for yourself. Make rooms in it and cover it inside and outside with tar. 15 This is how big I want you to build the boat: four hundred fifty feet long, seventy-five feet wide, and forty-five feet high. 16 Make an opening around the top of the boat that is eighteen inches high from the edge of the roof down. Put a door in the side of the boat. Make an upper, middle, and lower deck in it. 17 I will bring a flood of water on the earth to destroy all living things that live under the sky, including everything that has the breath of life. Everything on the earth will die. 18 But I will make an agreement with you—you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives will all go into the boat. 19 Also, you must bring into the boat two of every living thing, male and female. Keep them alive with you. 20 Two of every kind of bird, animal, and crawling thing will come to you to be kept alive. 21 Also gather some of every kind of food and store it on the boat as food for you and the animals.”

22 Noah did everything that God commanded him.

Footnotes:

  1. 5:29 Noah This name sounds like the Hebrew word for “rest.”

New Century Version (NCV)

The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

PSALM 2:7-12

Now I will tell you what the Lord has declared:
He said to me, “You are my son.
    Today I have become your father.
If you ask me, I will give you the nations;
    all the people on earth will be yours.
You will rule over them with an iron rod.
    You will break them into pieces like pottery.”

10 So, kings, be wise;
    rulers, learn this lesson.
11 Obey the Lord with great fear.
    Be happy, but tremble.
12 Show that you are loyal to his son,
    or you will be destroyed by his anger,
because he can quickly become angry.
    But happy are those who trust him for protection.New Century Version (NCV)

The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

PROVERBS 1:10-19

10 My child, if sinners try to lead you into sin,
    do not follow them.
11 They will say, “Come with us.
    Let’s ambush and kill someone;
    let’s attack some innocent people just for fun.
12 Let’s swallow them alive, as death does;
    let’s swallow them whole, as the grave does.
13 We will take all kinds of valuable things
    and fill our houses with stolen goods.
14 Come join us,
    and we will share with you stolen goods.”
15 My child, do not go along with them;
    do not do what they do.
16 They are eager to do evil
    and are quick to kill.
17 It is useless to spread out a net
    right where the birds can see it.
18 But sinners will fall into their own traps;
    they will only catch themselves!
19 All greedy people end up this way;
    greed kills selfish people.New Century Version (NCV)

The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

MATTHEW 3

The Work of John the Baptist

About that time John the Baptist began preaching in the desert area of Judea. John said, “Change your hearts and lives because the kingdom of heaven is near.” John the Baptist is the one Isaiah the prophet was talking about when he said:

“This is a voice of one
    who calls out in the desert:
‘Prepare the way for the Lord.
    Make the road straight for him.’” Isaiah 40:3

John’s clothes were made from camel’s hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food, he ate locusts and wild honey. Many people came from Jerusalem and Judea and all the area around the Jordan River to hear John. They confessed their sins, and he baptized them in the Jordan River.

Many of the Pharisees and Sadducees came to the place where John was baptizing people. When John saw them, he said, “You are snakes! Who warned you to run away from God’s coming punishment? Do the things that show you really have changed your hearts and lives. And don’t think you can say to yourselves, ‘Abraham is our father.’ I tell you that God could make children for Abraham from these rocks. 10 The ax is now ready to cut down the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.[a]

11 “I baptize you with water to show that your hearts and lives have changed. But there is one coming after me who is greater than I am, whose sandals I am not good enough to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 He will come ready to clean the grain, separating the good grain from the chaff. He will put the good part of the grain into his barn, but he will burn the chaff with a fire that cannot be put out.”[b]

Jesus Is Baptized by John

13 At that time Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan River and wanted John to baptize him. 14 But John tried to stop him, saying, “Why do you come to me to be baptized? I need to be baptized by you!”

15 Jesus answered, “Let it be this way for now. We should do all things that are God’s will.” So John agreed to baptize Jesus.

16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he came up out of the water. Then heaven opened, and he saw God’s Spirit coming down on him like a dove. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love, and I am very pleased with him.”

Footnotes:

  1. 3:10 The ax . . . fire. This means that God is ready to punish his people who do not obey him.
  2. 3:12 He will . . . out. This means that Jesus will come to separate good people from bad people, saving the good and punishing the bad.

New Century Version (NCV)

The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.Copyright © 2006 by Max Lucado.

Living His Word

Duration: 365 days

II Chronicles 20:22-23 (ERV): As they began to sing and to praise God, the LORD set an ambush for the army from Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir who had come to attack Judah. The enemy was defeated! The Ammonites and the Moabites started to fight the men from Mount Seir. After they killed them, the Ammonites and Moabites turned on themselves and killed each other.

King Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah were invaded by a large army of Moabites, Ammonites, and Meunites. Deeply worried, the King led the people in fasting and prayer before the LORD. At the meeting, Jahaziel prophesied that the LORD himself would fight the battle for them. When the Judeans went out to meet the invading army, Jehoshaphat put the Temple singers in front of his forces. They sang, “Give thanks to the LORD! His faithful love will last forever.” At the very moment they began to sing and praise the LORD the events of our verses for today came to pass.

One of the many interesting details of this story is that Jehoshaphat put the Temple singers at the head of the Judeans and the invading armies started to destroy themselves when they began their songs of praise. The apparent point of this detail is that it was the priority the Judeans placed on praise which moved God to fight on their behalf.

This detail reminds us of another story on the priority of praise. Acts 16 tells the story of Paul and Silas in prison. Although they had been beaten severely, they prayed and sang songs to God. At that very moment an earthquake shook the prison. The doors of the prison opened up and the chains on all the prisoners fell off. Praise moved God to act once again.

So, have we finally discovered the religious ritual that will move the heavens on our behalf? Get some singers, crank up the band, and watch the trouble melt away! God, of course, cannot be controlled or manipulated–even with praise. He is the sovereign LORD over all. You can’t force Him to do anything.

Nevertheless, the point of these stories is that praise and worship should have a place of priority in the midst of our troubles. Before we do anything else, we should give praise and worship to the LORD. God is pleased with those who turn to Him first.

There is great power in praise and worship. They are not mere formalities.

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