Conservative Jesus

John 10:34-36 WEB

Jesus answered them, “Isn’t it written in your law, ‘I said, you are gods?’ [35] If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture can’t be broken), [36] do you say of him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You blaspheme,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God?’

That phrase, “and scripture can’t be broken,” is intriguing. Why did Jesus include this? He is talking to Pharisees, men who are experts in Scripture. But Pharisees were also experts in the Talmud. The Talmud was a book of approximately 400 rules which, at times, contradicted the Scripture. This is the error Jesus is addressing in these verses.

Including “and scripture can’t be broken” Is also interesting because Jesus does not appear concerned about modernizing the Scripture. He is Conservative. He takes the Scripture as fully divine and to be obeyed in heart first. This was a radical idea but with a very conservative approach on Jesus’ part. Jesus is speaking to the conservatives of the times, and yet, he had many rebukes for their wrong heart issues.

And there is a heart issue here. The Pharisees have grown cold towards God. They have become orthodox instead of conservative. They have come up with a book to explain the scripture. That book, the Talmud, was given greater authority by the Pharisees than they gave the Scripture. The Talmud was a cruel taskmaster. Worse, any Jewish person caught breaking the Talmud would be kicked out of the sanctuary. So, a scripture obeying Jew could be barred from the temple because of a contradiction in the Talmud.

Lord, help me discern false teachings. Help me always place the authority of the Bible above and help me live its message of love and obedience. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Entitled to Blessing

John 6:41-42 WEB

The Jews therefore murmured concerning him, because he said, “I am the bread which came down out of heaven.” [42] They said, “Isn’t this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How then does he say, ‘I have come down out of heaven?’”

The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were legalistic people. When Jesus said he came down from heaven they took it literally. The Pharisees expected the Messiah to come galloping out of heaven, guns blazing, ready to conquer the Romans. Imagine their consternation when Jesus claimed to come down from heaven. They were expecting a magnificent hero that would lead them to victory. Instead, they got a baby in a manger who would grow up and teach to be a conquering hero, you must lay down your life.

Pharisees did not want to lay down their lives. They expected God to bless them because of their piety. However, instead of being blessed, they were castigated as reprobate by Jesus. The Pharisees were waiting for God to come and take responsibility for their problems. The Pharisees were waiting on God.

The Pharisees felt entitled towards God. They expected God to come and fix all their problems. They wanted a Messiah to fight their battles and protect them from harm. The Pharisees felt that because of their devotion to God they deserved to be saved. Worse, because God said in Scripture he was coming, they felt entitled.

Entitlement is the root of legalistic prayers in modern times. Have you ever heard someone tell God what he must do because of what he said in the Bible? I have. I’ve always wondered how God feels about that sort of praying. If I was in a relationship with someone who constantly reminded me of everything I said so they could get what they want, I would feel abused.

Lord Jesus, please help me grow in praying scripture. I do not want to use the Bible as a tool to force you into submission. Please forgive me for feeling entitled to your blessings. I am secure that you want to bless me. In the meantime help me trust you more. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

Was with God

John 1:1-2 WEB

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] The same was in the beginning with God.

I love to hear God talk about himself. It’s always a mystery. And these verses are no different. God describes himself as the Word. More, we understand that through the author, God is also describing himself as Jesus Christ. And all the while, maintaining his Oneness as God. How can it be that God is the word and that God was with the word and that God is one? So, was Jesus with God? Or, is it that Jesus is God? Jesus in this verse is described as the Word of God. When I read that it makes me think of a voice. And I wonder if God is personifying his own voice as he talks about himself. When he imparted his own essence and gave birth to Christ as his only begotten son, his voice went from being Spirit to being Flesh. This makes sense when you think about the wording in the verse. It says the word was with God, not that the word is with God. That’s an important distinction because the circumstance of the Word being with God are in the past tense meaning they’ve changed. The author of John is going to spend the rest of his book telling us how the circumstances have changed. Jesus is not only God In the Flesh, He is the thought and mind of God revealed through the words of Christ. He is both with God and He is God.

Lord Jesus, please give me a revelation of your uniqueness and your oneness with the Father. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

Trusting Like Jesus

John 2:23-25 WEB

Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in his name, observing his signs which he did. [24] But Jesus didn’t trust himself to them, because he knew everyone, [25] and because he didn’t need for anyone to testify concerning man; for he himself knew what was in man.

Have you ever been hurt because you thought another believer was trustworthy based on their faith in God? According to scripture, this is wrong. Jesus did not trust anyone. That is so much different from what popular psychology teaches. How often do people get counseled that they just need to trust someone? Or, accused that they do not trust anyone? When in truth, we should only fully trust God. The text scripture links this type of belief to the miraculous. It even goes so far as to link the ideas together with the salvation of others. Trusting God alone is a big idea. But ideas do not save us. Believing God is what saves us and that is revealed through our choices and actions. What do you truly have faith in? You can measure your trust in God by evaluating your trust in people. This, of course, does not account for disbelief. However, for a believer, this is a good measuring stick. Are you looking for people to save you? Have you partnered with the lie that your promotion will come through your relationships? If so, then you are trusting people and are in disobedience to God’s word. Jesus is said to be “perfect theology” so if He did it, we should also. Jesus trusted God alone and that faith took him to the place of miracles, and it took him to the place of the cross. Those two things both worked for the salvation of mankind.

Lord Jesus, please help me trust in You alone. Please reveal to me what I am trusting in so that I can adjust and more fully trust You. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.


John 1:10-11 WEB

He was in the world, and the world was made through him, and the world didn’t recognize him. [11] He came to his own, and those who were his own didn’t receive him.

If God was sitting on the pew next to you, would you know? It seems unlikely considering God has walked the Earth in the past and not been recognized (John 1:11). When I think of how much the Pharisees were devoted to God (Acts 26:5), and how well they knew scripture (Mt 23:23), it stuns me they did not recognize God (John 5:16). But more, it scares me.

It’s frightening. Pharisees were trained for years in the word of God. All Pharisees had huge sections of scripture memorized. They had more of God’s word inside of them than modern Christians (Phil 3:5-7). And if the Pharisees could not recognize God, why do we think we are going to be able to recognize God?

Lord Jesus, please send out a spirit of Revelation that will open the eyes of Christianity so we can see you at your appearance. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.