Israel 2016

Israel 2016
Roman architectural influence in Bet Sean, Israel

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for Nov 10, Jn 14-17

Today's readings are Jn 14-17. Tomorrow's are Mt 27, Mk 15.

These chapters in John serve to define exactly who Jesus is and what His role in the Trinity is.

Jn 14 begins with language that describes betrothal the way the Jews practice it. It is a deep commitment, much the same as marriage, not a "dating" arrangement or an engagement. In Jesus's time, breaking a betrothal required a legal divorce. Jesus promises that He will go prepare a place for His bride then return to take her there. The bride is the church. Jesus is committed to the church in a holy, irrevocable union.

Then we hear that Jesus is not only the sole means of salvation, but He and God are one. Furthermore, Jn14:12-31 tells us that we, as His followers, will do "greater works" than He did. This has to be taken in the context of Jesus defining who He is and what will happen after He goes to "prepare a place for us". In other words, while we wait for Him to return, we will, with the help of the Holy Spirit, tell a far greater number of people the good news about Christ. This will be far more people than Jesus ever spoke to, hence the "greater works". Some try to make this about performing signs and doing miracles. What is greater than healing folks, casting out demons and raising the dead as Jesus did? Focusing on signs and wonders can distract the world from the "work" Jesus came to do. His work was to redeem those who believe in Him. To do this, Jesus revealed Himself to them. We the church will reveal Jesus through the gospel to a far greater number of people than Jesus did while on earth. We are, in every way His hands and feet.

Jn 15 speaks of our union with Christ, a simple truth that has vast and profound consequences. Our union with Him impacts every area of our lives, spiritual and physical. It influences our sanctification (Jn 15:2), the atonement for our sins (Jn 15:3), our testimony (Jn 15:5), our eternal destiny (Jn 15: 6), our prayer life (Jn 15:7), our obedience (Jn 15:8-15). We're able to abide securely in Him because He chose us, we didn't choose Him (Jn 15:16). It is His work, not ours, (John 1:13) that accomplishes our salvation. In our salvation, our union with Him is complete.

Jn 16 tells us we will be able to do all this because Jesus will send us the Holy Spirit to help and guide us in living holy lives. We don't have to do it on our own. As a matter of fact, we can't. Jesus not only chooses us to follow Him and be in union with Him, He gives us the capability to do both. Our victory is assured because we are united with Him (Jn 16;25-33) and He has overcome the consequences of sin and death.

All this is sealed by the beautiful High Priestly prayer in ch 17.

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