Daily Devotion for April 30, 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.
Martin Luther's Prayer for Morning
I give thanks to you, heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ your dear Son, that you have protected me through the night from all danger and harm. I ask you to preserve and keep me, this day also, from all sin and evil, that in all my thoughts, words, and deeds I may serve and please you. Into your hands I commend my body and soul and all that is mine. Let your holy angels have charge of me, that the wicked one have no power over me.
For those in the Armed Forces
Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Now unto him that is able to keep me from falling, and to present me faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
And will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.
The Beloved Disciple and His Book
Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, “Lord, who is the one who betrays You?” Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, “But Lord, what about this man?”
Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.”
Then this saying went out among the brethren that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?”
This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true.
And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.
Notes on the Scripture
The beloved disciple mentioned here, and three times previously in the Gospel of John, is John himself. There have been innumerable scholars who have tried to prove that John was not the beloved disciple, or did not write any of the works attributed to him, or that John the Apostle was different from John the Evangelist; but scholars, like journalists, have to come up with controversial ideas constantly, in order to get published. There really are a number of external reasons to believe that this Gospel was written by John himself, and certainly the Bible indicates this. The Gospel itself states that John the Apostle wrote the Gospel of John, and who are we to doubt the Gospel?
Thus, when Jesus hints that John might live forever, it is not idle chatter. He is referring to the Gospel we have now read, from start to finish. John "lives", and will remain until Christ comes again, through his writings. Jesus gave Peter the role of establishing the church, but he essentially gives John the mission of writing down an account of his life and teachings. And John's writings will endure until Christ comes again.
As his conclusion, John makes sure not to invalidate other accounts of the life of Jesus, i.e. the other gospels, which had not been fully realized when this book was written. (An early form of the Synoptic Gospels, however, might have been in existence.) He also says that this gospel merely scratches the surface of Christ's actions and teachings, which makes sense. Christ's mission lasted about three years, during which he almost certainly taught every day. We know many incidents and teachings that are not in the Gospel of John, because others wrote about them.
And we will end our study of this gospel just as John ended it: with the word, "Amen".