Doesn’t it seem like there’s never anything good to watch on TV these days? The shows you grew up with were probably much more enjoyable than what you see on TV today. Andy Griffith…Happy Days…I Love Lucille… Well, when I was a kid, we had the best TV shows. On Saturdays, it was Fishin’ with Red and Continental Championship Wrestling. But during the week I lived for shows like: Tour of Duty…Knight Rider…Dukes of Hazard…Air Wolf. One of my all-time favorites though has to be The A-Team. They were the best! Especially Mr. T. He wasn’t scared of anything or anybody, unless it involved getting on a plane. Here’s a little bit of a sample…
A few years ago my wife and I went to New York City on a vacation with a couple of friends of ours. The ladies bucket list consisted of an afternoon in Chinatown to shop. After a somewhat frightening shopping excursion in a Dodge Tradesman Santana van, my wife and her friend had some new loot. Their shopping bag – a 13 gallon trash bag. At this point I notice that every woman in Chinatown is carrying a 13 gallon trash bag full of loot. They were clearly marked. It was unmistakable.
One of my favorite verses in the Bible is 1 Peter 5:7. It reads, “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” I like it because it tells us that God is concerned about us. Our problems, no matter how large or how small do not go unnoticed by God’s sovereign hand. It gives me comfort. It gives me hope.
All of us have different problems. Some things that really bother one person may not be a concern for another. Some people seem to sail through life trial-free, while others seem to always draw the short straw. Difficulties come in a rainbow of colors with great variance in severity.
However, there is one problem that we all face. It is our biggest problem. Death. 1 Cor. 15:26 describes death as our enemy – An enemy defeated by Christ.
“The victorious Christ is the greatest disruption, the striking off of shackles from a fettered world. He liberates us from the cruel facts of our existence in this present world. He is the end of death itself.” – Joshua John Mackin. www.firstthings.com. “Death, Our Enemy”.
John 11 gives us a picture of Jesus’ power over the enemy of death.
A few years ago my wife and I went on a cruise with some friends and one of our stops was in Cozumel, Mexico, where my wife and her pal had planned to stock up on new diamonds for their wedding rings. In one of the shops we visited, my wife’s friend found a beautiful, large diamond, it came with a price tag of about $5,000! The salesman immediately discounted the ring for his new customer, to the tune of, let’s say, $1000. Our friend immediately became excited, but I looked at her husband and said, “That thing is a pile of junk.” Why? Things that are valuable cost something, because they’re worth something.
I write the following statement knowing that it is overly general and could and should be said about the entirety of scripture…but…
John 10 provides rich theological and devotional thought concerning the nature and mission of Jesus Christ. These verses provide deep water for us as we swim in the implications and the personal application of these verses.
John 10 contains some of the most well known self-references of Jesus. The door of the sheep. The good shepherd. I and the Father are one.
Let’s dive in.
JESUS HEALS A MAN BORN BLIND
Unlike many chapters in the gospels, which may include a variety of events, John 9 centers upon one event, where Jesus heals a man born blind. Throughout the chapter, we see a number of “blind spots” if you will from those who respond to this miracle.
This is the sixth sign in the gospel of John.
Bruce Milne, says that this chapter is one of the most unified in the entire gospel because it revolves around one miracle and it maintains a continued focus on light throughout the entire pericope (Milne, The Message of John. 136, 137).
In summary (yes, before we even begin!), we see two results of Jesus being the light of the world (John 9.39):
- He brings salvation to “those who do not see.”
- He brings judgment to those who believe they see, but are really blind.
I. (7.53-8.11) The Woman Caught In Adultery
Then they all went home, 1 Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They 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. 7 When 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.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 At 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. 10 Jesus 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.”
Of interesting note, your Bible probably has some sort of editorial note concerning this pericope. The oldest manuscripts of John we have discovered do not contain these verses. So, what do we do with this narrative?
Should we consider it as valid, authoritative and applicable to our lives?
Jesus at the Feast of Tabernacles (7.1-52)
In large part, chapter 7 seeks to investigate the questions, Who is Jesus and how should I respond? It takes place during one of Israels 3 major feasts.
- Passover – the beginning of the grain harvest in spring
- Pentecost – 7 weeks later, at the end of the spring grain harvest
- Tabernacles – an autumn harvest celebrating the tree and vine harvest
Since the Feast of Tabernacles sets our context for us, let’s briefly look at the importance of this celebration before we jump into chapter 7.
In describing salvation, it has been said:
- I am saved. (Past)
- I am being saved. (Present)
- I will be saved. (Future)*
The above statement reminds us that salvation is a process that God begins within the individual through soteriological concepts like regeneration, conversion, and justification. We have spoken about these concepts in some of our recent discussions. For those who have trusted Christ for redemption, these are past events.
Today, we want to turn our attention to the latter two. The present and future aspects of salvation.
We live in a “fast food” world where we have been conditioned to have things in quick and easy fashion. We pull through a drive through at our local fast food restaurant and expect our food to be ready in the time it takes us to drive around the building after placing our order. Information is at the tip of our finger tips now. Rarely do we need to take a trip to the library to investigate a matter now. We simply ask Siri.
If I’ve come to know anything about salvation and the way God works in the lives of people, It is rarely as quick as pulling through our local Chick fil A or as easy as speaking a question into our phones. God’s timing is not our timing and we all probably wish that God would work a bit quicker in our lives than he often does.
With that being said, there are some things that happen instantly when a person turns to trust Christ as their Savior. That’s what we want to focus on below.