Daily Devotion for March 5, 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.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
John 8:25-30 (NCV)
The One Who Sent Me is With Me
They asked, "Then who are you?"
Jesus answered, "I am what I have told you from the beginning. I have many things to say and decide about you. But I tell people only the things I have heard from the One who sent me, and he speaks the truth."
The people did not understand that he was talking to them about the Father. So Jesus said to them, "When you lift up the Son of Man, you will know that I am he. You will know that these things I do are not by my own authority but that I say only what the Father has taught me. The One who sent me is with me. I always do what is pleasing to him, so he has not left me alone."
While Jesus was saying these things, many people believed in him.
Notes on the Scripture
From what we can gather from these middle chapters of John, Jesus did not immediately "lay it on the line" when asked about who he was and what he was doing. Rather, he gradually gave those who were listening information about his nature. Often, it is hard to follow precisely what he was saying.
If you have been following along as we go through the Gospel of John, you have noticed the rather circuitous route Christ sometimes seem to take. His answer to questions often seem oddly unresponsive. But he seems to reveal more and more concrete detail as he approaches his death and his glory.
At the most basic level, Christ simply did not spend his ministry answering questions, because the people were not ready to hear the answers. It was God who determined what Christ would say; he did not allow others to choose the place and time he would make a particular statement. He would not be interrogated like a schoolboy or criminal defendant; rather, he would use the questions asked as a vehicle to introduce whatever teaching was appropriate for the time and place.
His teachings are more akin to those of a figure in a drama on stage, which will unfold according to a predetermined script. So most often, when he is asked a question, his answer will not be fully responsive to the question asked. Rather, his response will be based on what it is time for his followers to hear.
In the case of today's Scripture, we will never know exactly who "they" were. Earlier in the chapter, we know that he was being questioned by a fairly hostile group of Pharisees who sought to judge him. They may or may not still be present when he gives these responses. But obviously, there were some open minds in the group which question him in this passage, because when he gets to the point where he tells them he has been sent by the Father, many in the group believe in him.