Wednesday 16 April 2014

Bible Reading Thoughts for April 16th

John 8 - 'the word'

If we follow the usage of 'the word' in this chapter:
v31 - If ye continue/abide in my word, then you are really my disciples, true believers.
v37 - if Christ's word does not have a place in us (to affect us), then we are in danger of killing him.
v43 - if we do not hear Christ's word, we will not understand/know his speech.
v51 - if a man KEEP my WORD, he shall never see death.
v55 - I (Christ) know him, and KEEP his WORD.

With keeping Christ's word in mind, the last words of Christ to his servants who hear is voice:
"Blessed is he that readeth, and they that HEAR the WORDS of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein (within this prophecy of Revelation), for the time is at hand"


     John’s gospel records in greater detail the sayings of Jesus.  Sometimes Jesus did not speak in a straightforward manner, especially to those who were jealous of his popularity and who were trying to challenge him; often he uses figures of speech: these were beyond their ability to understand.  Our chapter 8 today is full of this kind of language.  His opponents claim, “Abraham is our Father” causing Jesus to say ‘If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing what Abraham did … you cannot bear to hear my word.  You are of your father the devil … He was a murderer from the beginning….” [v.39, 43, 44]
     The way Jesus uses the word ‘devil’ challenges our understanding, it becomes clearer when recall that in ch. 6 we read, “Did I not choose you, the Twelve?  And yet one of you is a devil”[v.70] clearly referring to Judas Iscariot.
     There is no neutral position in Bible language. The first murderer was Cain, he was the first to make himself an ‘enemy’ of God – even before he murdered his brother, he wanted to set his own standards in approaching God.  It has been so ever since!  We show our genuineness in acknowledging God in the way we live.  In those early centuries, the acknowledging of God descended to virtual nothingness by Noah’s day.  And today?
      Let’s give more thought to the word “devil”!  Sometimes the translators do not render the Gk word ‘diabolos’ as devil. Remember Paul’s description of attitudes in “the last days …(when) people will be lovers of self, lovers of money … unholy … slanderous … lovers of pleasure …” [2 Tim. 3 v. 1-4].  The word ‘diabolos’ occurs in the Gk., but the translators choose use the word ‘slanderous’ to translate it  – the A V has “false accusers” – those whose heart is “false” – as Judas’s became. How many today have ‘true’ hearts?
      We sense more and more that we are living “in the last days”  and the world seems to have many “devils”  But the vital point we grasp is that we must think and live as “children of God” – a greater vision still than the Jews wanted to have as “children of Abraham.”  Let us strive to succeed, where they failed,
     Do you remember what we read in Luke’s Gospel last month?  Jesus said, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and who ever does not gather with me scatters.”  [ch.11 v.23]  The place to “gather” is in God’s word, notice how often Jesus quoted from it, let us do the same and show that we are children of our heavenly Father. 

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