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Daily Devotion for February 25, 2011
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Prayer for the Morning
Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.
Prayer for Grace and Strength
Lord God, I pray that you will fill my heart with the blessing of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties, and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities. For the sake of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Community of Prayer
Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
Jesus at the Feast of Tabernacles (Feast of Booths)  (NIV)
However, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went also, not publicly, but in secret.
Now at the festival the Jewish leaders were watching for Jesus and asking, “Where is he?” Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, “He is a good man.”
Others replied, “No, he deceives the people.” But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the leaders.
Not until halfway through the festival did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach. The Jews there were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having been taught?”
Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me.”
Notes on the Scripture
Yesterday, we read a discussion between Jesus and his brothers about whether or not he should go to the Feast. He told them he wasn't going. His time to die had not yet arrived and apparently he knew that an announced appearance would result in his arrest and execution.
But he knows that, if he goes in secret, he will be able to teach for a while without being arrested. John emphasizes more strongly than the other gospels that Jesus knew, fairly early in his ministry, the minute details of his future. In John's Gospel, there is considerably more emphasis on Christ as a fully-realized personage of God, with full and infinite knowledge of all things past and future.
We might glean from Matthew, Mark or Luke that Jesus' full realization as the personage of God comes in stages as he matures. But in John, Christ really appears fully formed as God incarnate. In fact, John is really the only gospel to fully show Christ as an aspect of God that existed from the beginning of time.
Compare the opening verses of John to the opening verses of Matthew. Matthew emphasizes Christ as the Messiah of the Jews, by giving his earthly lineage and showing that his birth accords with the Hebrew messianic prophesies. John also gives Christ's lineage, but the lineage traced by John is directly to God and the beginning of time and existence. John's picture of Christ thus emphasizes his role as the savior of all humanity, while the synoptic gospels take his role as the Hebrew Messiah as their starting point.