The Reproach of Jesus

John 11:47-48,53-54 WEB

The chief priests therefore and the Pharisees gathered a council, and said, “What are we doing? For this man does many signs. [48] If we leave him alone like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” [53] So from that day forward they took counsel that they might put him to death. [54] Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews, but departed from there into the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim. He stayed there with his disciples.


It is startling to think that Jesus had to hide from the authorities. Can you see Jesus and the disciples looking around corners, being careful of where they walked? It has a dramatic flair. But it also shines the light on Jesus’ humanity. Though he was God, he functioned entirely in his humanity and made himself subject to human authority.

Jesus was humble. He took his disciples and quickly departed to the edge of the wilderness to a city called Ephraim. He could have called angels to save him from the death plot (Mat 26:53). Instead, he removes himself and his followers from the danger. Jesus does not tempt God but rather takes a more difficult path (Mat 4:7). He is obedient to the Word even though he is fleeing.

Jesus was obedient to the Word and the Spirit. This caused him to receive condemnation from those in Judea. We also receive condemnation when we obey the Word of God or walk in the Spirit. For example, the Word says not to gossip. However, gossip is a very prominent sin. To refuse to engage in gossip is to put yourself at odds with people both in and out of the church. Likewise, Jesus ran the risk of heaping more reproach upon himself with every miracle he performed and every sermon he preached.


Lord, I thank you for humbling yourself to human authority on your journey to the cross. Thank you for receiving reproach just as we receive reproach today. You are honorable in all you do Jesus. Help me be more like you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.

On Throwing Stones

John 8:7-11 WEB

But when they continued asking him, he looked up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw the first stone at her.” [8] Again he stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground. [9] They, when they heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning from the oldest, even to the last. Jesus was left alone with the woman where she was, in the middle. [10] Jesus, standing up, saw her and said, “Woman, where are your accusers? Did no one condemn you?” [11] She said, “No one, Lord.” Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way. From now on, sin no more.”


Jesus explained the Old Testament and the New Testament in one act. He found a way of escape for this woman who was about to be stoned. He said those with no sin should throw their stones. Yet, in the entire crowd, not one stood up and claimed to be qualified to throw stones.

Jesus could have thrown a stone. He did not. In fact, he didn’t even look at her for most of the exchange. Instead, he was stooped down with his head to the ground drawing in the sand. He deliberately took a posture of humility when he stooped to the ground. Likewise, when he stood, he made the woman equal to himself. She was not abased further by Jesus. She was given mercy and grace and then told not to sin.

Jesus gives this ravished soul what it needs, validation. Jesus stood up and made himself equal to the woman. Now, she could hold her head up, for Jesus was talking to her.  He was not talking about her or down to her. No, he was talking to her with respect and courtesy. He validated her worth by treating her decently.

And at the very end. Not the beginning, not the middle, the end, Jesus tells her to stop sinning. I feel quite certain that is what she did. Jesus develops a relationship with her and then boldly tells her to stop sinning.


Lord Jesus, please help me grow in courtesy and kindness so that I may win some for you. Help me grow in courtesy so that my relationships will be blessed. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Walking in the Light

John 3:18-19 WEB

He who believes in him is not judged. He who doesn’t believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God. [19] This is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their works were evil.

He who walks in the light is not judged. When we disobey the truth and walk in dark and secret paths, our evil deeds will condemn us. In 1 Cor 4:2 WEB, Paul the Apostle says, “But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by the manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” This verse describes the anger the ungodly feel towards the righteous. Namely, their ungodly deeds bring them into condemnation before the Lord. As a result, they reject godly people whose lives bear witness to the light of righteousness. But what about those who name Christ? What causes shame to the professing believer? The same thing that causes shame to all people. That is, walking in darkness. This is a critical sign that we do not truly believe in Jesus and the power of his name. In truth, walking in darkness means the professing believer does not truly believe Jesus’ teachings. When we believe Jesus, we keep his teachings. When we don’t believe fully in Jesus’ teachings we are satisfied with sin in our lives and according to the word of God we are lost. However, any person in this condition would likely keep their deeds secret. For instance, the word of God says Fathers are not to discourage their children. In Colossians 3:21 WEB Paul says, “Fathers, don’t provoke your children, so that they won’t be discouraged.” Yet, how many “believers” are calm with their children at church but are hard or indifferent to them at home? Or, how about the commandment to love other believers? In 1 John 3:14 WEB it says, “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. He who doesn’t love his brother remains in death.” Yet how often do we condemn other believers? In Psalm 101:4-6 WEB it says, “A perverse heart will be far from me. I will have nothing to do with evil. [5] I will silence whoever secretly slanders his neighbor. I won’t tolerate one who is haughty and conceited. [6] My eyes will be on the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me. He who walks in a perfect way, he will serve me.” The issue of gossip among believers is a great example of walking in darkness. How often do you hear people gossiping in the light where their deeds can be judged? Almost never. There are many scriptures that group gossip and slander together with sins such as murder and sexual immortality. For example, in Romans 1:29-32 WEB it says, “being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, malice; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil habits, secret slanderers, [30] backbiters, hateful to God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, [31] without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, unforgiving, unmerciful; [32] who, knowing the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but also approve of those who practice them.” And in Matthew 7:21-23 WEB it says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. [22] Many will tell me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, in your name cast out demons, and in your name do many mighty works?’ [23] Then I will tell them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you who work iniquity.’” The key issue of our text scriptures is walking in darkness versus light. So, if you recognize that you are walking in darkness simply stop sinning. Start believing God and choose to become obedient. The world and those in sin will try to beguile you into believing you cannot help yourself. Don’t be deceived. If you know of sin in your life that you cannot overcome and you are keeping it a secret, you are in danger of missing eternal life with Jesus. In that case, talk to your pastor. Even if you are in leadership and will lose your position, if you cannot overcome sin, come into the light.

Lord Jesus, please forgive my unbelief and show me clearly my sin. I want eternal life, so I ask for conviction, especially of deliberate sin. Lend me the grace that I may walk in the light, fully renouncing all evil. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Condemnation or Salvation

John 3:17 WEB

For God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him.

Do you look at the world through the lens of condemnation or salvation? We know that God loves the world and wants all people to be saved (John 3:16). Yet, many Christians judge the world and condemn the lost. This is worldly. It seems godly to stand against unrighteousness. However, it is not right to condemn the lost before they have a chance to get saved and adopt a righteous lifestyle. On the other hand, we should condemn unrighteousness in ourselves. This is part of us becoming holy. We must be holy to bring people to Jesus so that He can save them. Furthermore, when we live righteously it proves that we believe in Jesus and the finished work of the cross. If we believe Jesus we will live righteously. Thus, when we demonstrate our beliefs through our actions we know we are in right standing with God. Once we are in right standing with God we become holy which means we are able to give the lost access to Jesus. Matthew 7:21-25 tells us that if we do not obey Christ’s teachings he does not know us. That is scary. It is comfortable to imagine that all we have to do is confess with our mouths that Jesus is the Lord and we are saved. This leaves us room to “be in process” or to keep some of Christ’s teachings but not all of Christ’s teachings. Many people want to throw all their unrighteousness under the cross and call it good. Essentially they are trusting in their confession alone to save them. But if this was true, then even the demons would be saved. However, this is not the case. We must believe and confess to be saved (Romans 10:9-10). The only way we know that we believe is if we keep the teachings of Jesus (Matthew 7:24). It is significant to note that Jesus loved the lost. The truth is He condemned those who professed to love God but demonstrated only love for themselves. So, where do you stand? Does your life condemn you or are you genuinly saved both believing and confessing?

Lord Jesus, please have mercy on me and show me my unrighteousness. I accept that I have to see my sin to correct my sin. I am not afraid for you to tell me the truth. I am only afraid of not genuinely believing. Please help my unbelief. In Jesus’ name, amen.

God Loves the World

For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16 WEB

Often we hear preaching that speaks of the world derisively. Yet, in this passage, it clearly says that God loves the world. So, while it’s popular to condemn the world from the pulpit, it is not what God does. God does not currently condemn the world, rather, God wants to save the world. This is why Jesus was sent so that anyone who believes in Him will be saved. But here is the problem, when preachers condemn the world in one message and teach the great commission in another message they are defiling the word of God. The great commission is the command from the New Testament for the church to bring the lost into a saving relationship with Christ. However, Christians are often taught to hate ungodly people from the pulpit. What other outcome can there be from a message of condemnation? God does not condemn the world. Rather, he endured the cross so that the world could be saved. If anyone is going to be a soul winner for Christ, they have to love the lost. So, rather than defile the hearts of believers with an unbiblical message of present condemnation, preachers need to teach a message of love for the world.

Lord, help me to love the world without being defiled by the world. Help me to love people without letting their sin infect my heart. In Jesus’ name, amen.