Now before the feast of the Passover, Jesus, knowing that his time had come that he would depart from this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.  Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he came from God, and was going to God,  arose from supper, and laid aside his outer garments. He took a towel, and wrapped a towel around his waist.  Then he poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
Jesus knew he was going to die. The Father had come to him with Moses and Elijah and encouraged him regarding the upcoming events (Mt 17:1-9). So, Jesus knew. Yet, despite the personal trial he was experiencing, he did not stop and start focusing on himself. He did not seek pity or attention. Nor did he seek praise for his willingness and surrender. Instead, Jesus wrapped a towel around his waist and washed the disciples’ feet (John 13:1-17).
During Jesus’ time on earth, feet washing was a courtesy. It was bestowed upon guests when they went into another’s home (Luke 7:37-38). Thus, the Lord was treating the disciples like his own guests. It was Jesus’ final Passover and he spent the time ministering to his disciples. At the same time, Jesus’ need was great. Only a short time later do we find him praying for deliverance from the upcoming events (Mt 26:39). Yet in all these things Jesus humbled himself in the sight of the Father.
If anyone has ever had bragging rights it was Jesus. He was the only begotten son of God (John 3:16). He was also a miracle worker (Mt 8:23-27). He could feed thousands with mere scraps (John 6:1-15) and his following was growing. He had something to boast about. Yet he didn’t. He never felt entitled. Rather he humbled himself in the sight of God and the disciples. He showed us how to act amid greatness.
Lord, please help me grow in humility. Take boasting out of my mouth and help me become a servant to others. Thank you for interceding on my behalf, Lord. Help me behave more like You. In Jesus’ name, amen.
He who rejects me, and doesn’t receive my sayings, has one who judges him. The word that I spoke, the same will judge him in the last day.  For I spoke not from myself, but the Father who sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.  I know that his commandment is eternal life. The things therefore which I speak, even as the Father has said to me, so I speak.”
Jesus is the exact expression of the Father. He is divine. He is also human. As a human, he did things from the weakened condition of having laid down his divinity. He laid down his life and took up a life as a human. It is not a small thing when the Lord tells us to lay down our lives. Jesus is calling us into the same behaviors that he demonstrated as he walked the earth.
If Jesus did it, so can we. If Jesus could hear and follow the Father’s commands, so can we. He was human as well as divine. Jesus was so assured that he was hearing from the Father that he claimed to speak the Father’s words. Jesus was anointed. He was righteous and holy. His behavior modeled the scriptures, and his attitudes modeled the scripture. These two things made him both righteous and holy.
Righteousness and holiness opened Jesus up for an enormous anointing. His anointing was so strong that it carried him to the cross. His anointing carried him to and through his divine purpose. This is something we can imitate. We can walk in outward righteousness of choice and behavior. We can also walk in the inner attitude of Godly motive; we can be holy. We can hear from the Father, and we can understand what he says.
Lord, thank you for becoming a human and showing me how to live. Help me, Lord, to equip an anointing through the righteousness of behavior and the holiness of motive. I want to fulfill my divine purpose as you fulfilled yours. Help me to serve you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.
I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in the darkness.  If anyone listens to my sayings, and doesn’t believe, I don’t judge him. For I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.  He who rejects me, and doesn’t receive my sayings, has one who judges him. The word that I spoke, the same will judge him in the last day.
The Word of God will judge us on the last day. That is an excellent reason to become familiar with the Bible. Jesus came to save us. Even now, he is not judging us but rather, loving us into the kingdom. That love includes the grace you need to lay ahold of the truth found in the Bible. If you have access to a Bible, you are responsible for all it says. According to the world that is impossible. But we are not of the world and Jesus clearly thought we could know the Word. We have the truth, and that truth will judge us in the end.
The truth is a great light to all who believe (Ps 119:130). For those who reject the Word of God as a mandate, there is darkness. Not darkness as the world perceives, but darkness of the mind and spirit. When we are witnessing to the lost we are talking to people lost in the dark. Thus, we must shine brightly with righteousness and holiness so the lost can find their way (Mt 4:16).
These virtues come to us when we hide the Word in our hearts. Jesus is called the Word. When we are hiding the Word in our hearts we are abiding with Christ. We know he abides with us, but we must be deliberate if we are going to abide with him. Jesus is the living Word, and the Word was inspired by the Holy Spirit. So, when we hide the Word in our hearts, not only are we abiding in Christ, but we are also filling ourselves with the Spirit. The Word is the mind of Christ. The Word is our lamp, and we must keep our light brightly shining (Isa 28:18).
Lord, please bless me to hunger and thirst for Your Word. Fill me with an interest in the Bible and help me practice hiding it in my heart. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me, but in him who sent me.  He who sees me sees him who sent me.
When we reflect God, we obey the Bible. We care about the 10 commandments and the commandments of the New Testament. It is natural to bind the Word to our hearts, it reflects the Father. Additionally, we put away anger. Instead, we respond to people gently, even when they are rude. We do not try to get even or to justify ourselves. Instead, we are patient, caring more about the things of God than our egos. Finally, when we reflect God, we walk in love. We put away jealousy and bitterness in exchange for mercy, kindness, and grace. In our daily walk, we testify of God through our words and actions.
When we practice these basic principles, God is reflected to the people around us. We must separate ourselves from sin and come into obedience to the Bible. More, we must submit our goals to God. Are our goals truly Biblical reflecting the whole counsel of the Bible? Or do all our choices hang on one or two scriptures that speak of blessings? When we are purposed to reflect God to the world, we bring all these areas of “flesh” into obedience to the Scripture.
When we separate ourselves from fleshly indulgences we begin to look like Jesus. We both reflect God, and we reflect Jesus’ motivations. Like Jesus, we love to the point of laying down our lives. We are powerful to confront sin in other believers. We are passionate about getting people into a relationship with God. We also believe the Bible when we reflect God. We believe in heaven and hell and an eternal destiny so we realize the worthiest thing we can do to reflect God and imitate Jesus is to share the gospel with the lost.
Lord, please help me have the same motivations as Jesus. I long for those around me to see your love and goodness. Please help me witness to the lost. Help me focus on your priorities. Teach me to love others more than myself. Please help me bring my flesh into subjection to you. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Jesus therefore said to them, “Yet a little while the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, that darkness doesn’t overtake you. He who walks in the darkness doesn’t know where he is going.  While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become children of light.” Jesus said these things, and he departed and hid himself from them.  But though he had done so many signs before them, yet they didn’t believe in him,
What does it mean to walk in the light? It means a person who believes in Jesus and walks according to his teachings. The deeds of the light are mercy, justice, and humility (Micah 6:8). That is what walking in the light meant 2000 years ago and it still means the same thing today. Believers today must still walk in the light. When a person is walking in the light, they are obedient to the Bible. People walking in the light are convinced that all sin is darkness.
There are several sin lists in the New Testament. Romans 1:29-30 is one of those lists. Some of the things on this list might be a surprise. For example, gossip is grouped with murder. Also, from the same verses boasting and arrogance are also compared to murder. When we walk in these sins and have no urgent desire to stop sinning, we are walking in the dark. When we walk in the light, our sin is a great burden. When we walk in the dark it sounds foolish to repent of sin and walk in the light (Cor 1:18).
An urgent desire to stop sinning is apparent in the life of a person walking in the light. The deeds of walking in the light are different than the deeds of darkness. In the light people visit orphans and widows (James 1:27). They guard their hearts and mouths turning away from evil speaking and evil deeds (John 17:15). People in the light are healed and delivered from sin (Romans 12:2). And righteousness is their heart’s desire (John 2:29).
Lord, give me the grace to recognize and turn away from sin. Please help me read the Bible and give me an understanding of the Bible. I long to walk in your commandments, Lord. Please help me to embrace righteousness and walk in the light.
 Now is the judgment of this world. Now the prince of this world will be cast out.  And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”  But he said this, signifying by what kind of death he should die.  The multitude answered him, “We have heard out of the law that the Christ remains forever. How do you say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up?’ Who is this Son of Man?”
Jesus’ impending death was heavy on his mind. Jesus was addressing the crowd that was drawn through the mighty miracle of Lazarus’ resurrection. Ironically, the Father revealed that Jesus would die through the resurrection of Lazarus. God even went so far as to reveal how Jesus would die. He would be lifted up on a cross so that all people could receive eternal life.
With all they had seen, the crowd still could not understand a Messiah that died on a cross. That was because in Isaiah 9:7 the Bible says that there is no ending to the Lord’s rule. Also, the crowd believed Daniel 2:44 which says God’s kingdom shall never end. They had Jesus before them and yet could not see him. So, although Jesus was dealing with his own heartache, he continues to explain the kingdom and the Son of Man. With all the heightened experiences Jesus and the disciples had experienced they were almost surely ready for rest. Instead, Jesus keeps trying to make use of the current opportunity. His feet were prepared with the gospel of peace.
Jesus was the gospel of peace. His life story teaches us what peace looks like, strangely enough, Jesus’ story is full of chaotic moments. The water to wine in Cana, the scourging of the vendors in the temple complex, the feeding of the multitude, and the resurrection of Lazarus. Those situations were chaotic, and that chaos affected the disciples. However, Jesus remained unchanged. The chaos of the circumstances did not take Jesus’ peace. Jesus was fully confident in God’s goodness. So much that he obediently went to the cross to be lifted up.
Lord, please release a quality of peace that will allow me to stand steady amid chaos. Help me make use of opportunities to share the gospel. Please, Lord, take away the fear of rejection so I boldly and respectfully share the message of Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ name, amen.
“Now my soul is troubled. What shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this time?’ But for this cause I came to this time.  Father, glorify your name!” Then there came a voice out of the sky, saying, “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.”  The multitude therefore, who stood by and heard it, said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.”  Jesus answered, “This voice hasn’t come for my sake, but for your sakes.
Jesus had just finished telling the crowd that a grain of wheat must die to be fruitful (John 12:24). Afterward, he was troubled in his Spirit. It seems clear at this point Jesus realized he was going to die. He was stressed because of this coming trouble. Yet, he did not turn away from the purposes of God. And as his growing understanding came to full fruit, the Father reached out and said that glory is coming. And Jesus believed.
He always believed. From the time he was a child Jesus believed in God and believed in his destiny in God. He did not always know how hard it was going to be. He didn’t pick the Apostles and joyfully declare they were on a death march. No, he gave the disciples hope that they would see God if they followed him. And in fact, the Apostles and the disciples all saw the miracles. They all ate the bread that Jesus multiplied (Mat 14:18). They saw the blind eyes open (Mat 12:22), and they saw men white with leprosy healed before their eyes (Mat 8:1-3). They had experienced God’s glory.
Now it was time for God to glorify his name. In fact, the voice from heaven said that God’s name had already been glorified. Moreover, the Jewish people refrained from speaking the name of God. Instead of calling him Yahweh, they called him Lord. So, God’s name was glorified in the Jewish people. But now he was going to glorify it again. This time the glory was going to be in the name of Jesus. When God said he would glorify his name again it was a promise to Jesus. It was a promise made after Jesus realized he was going to die and decided to continue with God.
Lord, when difficult things are expected of me, please help me say yes to you with full confidence. Help me recognize when you are asking me to do something for your glory and not for my glory. Let me be joyful in the offering. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Jesus answered them, “The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.  Most certainly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone. But if it dies, it bears much fruit.  He who loves his life will lose it. He who hates his life in this world will keep it to eternal life.  If anyone serves me, let him follow me. Where I am, there will my servant also be. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
Jesus taught a mentality that modern science may have called suicidal. He calls for us to abhor our own lives in preference for a life in God. The Lord goes so far as to say, “unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone. But if it dies, it bears much fruit (John 12:25). Everything we know about having a successful life is nothing in the light of the gospel. According to this passage we are to die. But if we are faithful to serve Jesus, the Father will honor us.
How does the Father honor a person he has told to lay down their life? Once we lay our lives down, he often gives us our lives back. Jesus is the only one who needed to die for the salvation of the world. However, working out our salvation some will be called to martyrdom. Most will not. Most people who commit their whole life to Jesus will prosper. It is impossible to stop wanting goodness and the fullness of life. But with God it is possible.
There are so many ways to lay down our lives. A stable, committed prayer life is a small death to self. Reading the Bible daily is another way to lay our lives down. The same can be said for tithing. It can also be said for going to church every week. Laying down our life could be following the Spirit to a new job. It may be when we humble ourselves to the ungodly for the sake of their salvation. We show others the way to salvation through our righteous behavior and our holy mindset. If we lay our lives down for the sake of obedience, it proves we serve and love Jesus.
Lord, teach me how to lay my life down for you. Teach me how to humble myself to you in obedience and righteousness. And teach me to lead others to you through love and holiness. I want to love you and others more than I love myself. All things are possible in you, Jesus. I trust you to teach me how to lay my life down. In Jesus’ name, amen.
The multitude therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb, and raised him from the dead, was testifying about it.  For this cause also the multitude went and met him, because they heard that he had done this sign.  The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, “See how you accomplish nothing. Behold, the world has gone after him.”
Jesus did a wonderful miracle, he raised Lazarus from the dead. Not only did he raise him, but Jesus did it after Lazarus was buried and dead for four days. The people that were there to grieve for Lazarus saw what Jesus did. And now, they were repeating the story and causing many to look for Jesus. The Lord, through his ministry commonly told people to keep their miracles a secret (Mat 9:29-30). But this sign was too big to keep silent. So, they testified, and many came to Christ.
How do we know when we are testifying and when we are bragging? That is a huge issue in modern society. We live in a time when self-promotion is rampant and often leads to success. Yet the word teaches us not to boast about our accomplishments (1 Sam 2:3). It can even be a boast to tell what God is doing in our lives. When we are right with God, we do not have to prove we are right with God. That comes from ego and self-promotion. We do not have to brag about our blessings. We should brag on God alone. He is our boast.
We can often tell when God has intervened in someone’s life. God will begin to fix what is broken and line up a believer with their destiny. But having healing or destiny is not something to brag about. Having a destiny in Christ should lead to our silence. We may at appropriate times share our calling with others. After all, we still need people even when we are solidly in Christ. But in general, it is not something we should be bragging about. Rather, we should treasure the miracles and share them when led by the Holy Spirit, so they lead others to Christ.
Lord, give me the wisdom to see when I am testifying and leading others to you, and when I am bragging and harming others. Take pride and ego away, Lord, and leave a tender heart prepared to receive from you. Help me receive the wisdom to keep silent. Lead me by your Holy Spirit and let my only boast be you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.
On the next day a great multitude had come to the feast. When they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,  they took the branches of the palm trees, and went out to meet him, and cried out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel!”  Jesus, having found a young donkey, sat on it. As it is written,  “Don’t be afraid, daughter of Zion. Behold, your King comes, sitting on a donkey’s colt.”  His disciples didn’t understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about him, and that they had done these things to him.
I have always wondered how much of the Word Jesus knew. Did he know the minor prophets well enough to quote them? The scripture quoted in the above passage was from Zechariah 9:9. Or, was he merely flowing in the Spirit during his life? It was when Jesus rose from the dead that he began to teach the Word to his disciples (Luke 24:27) In verse 32 of Luke 24 the disciples are in wonder that their hearts were burning as Jesus taught them. It is clear in his resurrected state Jesus had a huge knowledge of the Word of God.
But that still doesn’t answer the question; how much of the Bible did Jesus know before he rose from the dead? To understand Jesus, it is essential to look at his family history. Jesus was born into a middle-class family. That means his family would have had the means to help Jesus pursue his knowledge of the Scripture. It was common for young men from prosperous families to seek to study with a Rabbi. Jesus’ family was most likely prosperous. Furthermore, there was a major building project going on during Jesus’ lifetime. Sepphoris was the capital of Galilee and was under ongoing construction during Jesus’ life. It is also a city in which Rabbinical families settled. It is very likely Jesus spent many years walking the 3.5 miles from Nazareth to Sepphoris to work with his father Joseph.
So what does it all mean? It means that growing up, Jesus was located near the capital of Galilee. He was from a family of financial means. He also had access to rabbinical teaching because of his family’s status. It is likely that Jesus was formally trained by a Rabbi and did indeed know the scripture. Moreover, his knowledge of the scripture seems to be greater than someone who had only gone to the synagogue to learn all they knew. It is almost certain that Jesus studied the Scripture formally.
Lord, please instill in me a desire to learn more about the Bible. I want to be a worker who knows how to handle the Word responsibly. Bless my study, Lord, and help me arrive at the truth. Please fulfill my heart’s desire to know more about you, Jesus. In Jesus’ name, amen.