Key verse: v.53 Jesus said to him,” Your son lives!”
Jesus was back in Cana of Galilee. It was the same place where Jesus turned water into wine during a wedding feast (John 2:1). A certain royal official in Capernaum had heard about Jesus. The son of the official was very ill. When the man heard that Jesus could heal sick people, he came to Cana to ask Jesus for his son’s healing. He wanted to invite Jesus to come to his house and heal his son. “Sir, come down before my child dies”.
Jesus replied to the official, “Go your way, your son lives!” (v. 49) So, the man believed what Jesus told him and went his way. On his way back home, his servant met him and told him that his son was already healed. (v.52). The official found out that his son was healed at the very hour Jesus told him. So, the man knew that it was the same hour in which Jesus said to him, “Your son lives”, and he himself believed, and his whole household.
Jesus spoke and told the royal official of Capernaum, “Go your way, your son lives”. The man believed what Jesus said and declared. The man had the faith to trust Jesus and His words. The man had heard of Jesus – His teachings, miracles and kind deeds. In his hour of need, he wanted to know for himself who Jesus truly was. So, he took the initiative and steps of faith to come to Jesus. The royal official laid aside his royalty pride, as he was desperate to see his son healed and live. So, he made his way to come to Jesus, and boldly asked Jesus to come to his place to heal his son. However, Jesus did not waste time to travel to the man’s house, instead Jesus spoke and declared healing to the man’s son. Jesus could have gone with the man to his house, but it would have taken several hours to travel from Galilee to Capernaum. Jesus knew the boy was very ill, at the point of death. And the child was healed at the very hour Jesus said so. Because Jesus had the power to heal, and His words are powerful too! What He said came to pass. As the words in Psalm 33:9 say, “For He spoke, and it was done”. Jesus and His words are powerful. As the royal official believed what Jesus told him, Jesus fulfilled His words.
Jesus and His spoken words have power to accomplish what He said He will do. As I trust and believe Him and His words, He will do what He said He would do.
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You and praise You, for Your words are true! Please help me trust You and Your words. I believe what You said You will do. Lord You are faithful and powerful to do what You say You will do. Amen!
“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly I say to you unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God’”.
John, the writer of this Gospel, wrote about Nicodemus who came to Jesus one evening. Nicodemus was a Pharisee who was seeking for the truth. He wanted to know Jesus and the truth of His teachings personally. He wanted to hear and understand for himself as he heard Jesus speak and teach the crowd. Even though Jesus was rejected by some of the Pharisees, Jesus did not turn down Nicodemus. Jesus knew the heart of Nicodemus, that he was sincerely seeking the Kingdom of God (v.2).
Thus, Jesus revealed to Nicodemus an important spiritual truth. Jesus showed Nicodemus the way to God.
Jesus answered, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit…You must be born again!” (v.5-7)
Nicodemus wanted to understand more, “How can these things be?
So, Jesus further explained;
“No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven… that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (v.13-15)
Jesus gave a clear explanation to Nicodemus of the truth and showed him the way to God, which was to believe in Him, the Son of God. Jesus made Himself known to those who were sincerely seeking and searching for the truth and the kingdom of God.
Jesus was telling Nicodemus about life in the flesh and life in the spirit. Life in the flesh is merely living in the physical realm – with body, mind, and soul. However, there is more to life than just the physical life, there is life in the Spirit, which is only found in the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
As Jesus explained to Nicodemus, we people are all born on earth with physical life – the body, mind, and soul (emotions). However, because of the sin nature, we are born on earth with no spiritual life. We are dead in the spirit, which means separated from God. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
But through Jesus Christ we can be born again. Being born-again is to receive a new life in Christ. As Jesus told Nicodemus, “…that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (v.15)
To be born-again is to have a new life in Christ. Believing Jesus is to receive a new life – a life in the Spirit of God, and eternal life in Christ.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord Jesus, for giving me a new life in the Spirit and for bringing me into Your Kingdom.
Title: Jesus obeys God’s words by honoring His mother!
Reading: John 2:1-12 ; Deuteronomy 5:16
Key verse: “His mother said to the servants, whatever He says to you, do it”. John 2:5 NKJV
Jesus, His mother, and His disciples were invited to a wedding in Cana of Galilee. In Jewish tradition, a wedding feast could last up to three days. In a typical wedding, the host usually served a lot of food and wine. The host may not have expected more people to come, but as more guests came in-and-out, they ran out of wine. (John 1:1-2) Mary, like any other mother, cared about such things. She saw the need for more wine to be served to the guests. She was concerned and brought her concern to Jesus.
“They ran out of wine” (v3). Mary knew Jesus could do something to help. When Jesus was growing up, perhaps Mary had seen Jesus do little miracles in their family. Mary knew her Son well, who He was, and what power He had. So, Mary, with confidence, presented the need to Jesus. However, at that time Jesus had no intention of showing off His divine power to the public.
Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” v4
Again, Mary believed in her Son. She told the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it”. (v5)
Jesus looked around and saw what was available. He saw the six, empty, stone waterpots. So, Jesus instructed the servants to “Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.” (v7) After the waterpots were filled with water, Jesus told the servants to draw them out and take it to the master of the wedding feast. (v8) And the master of the ceremony, not knowing where the wine came from, was very pleased that the host kept the best wine until the last day. And he said, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!” (v.10)
Thus, the wedding celebration was completed with more than enough wine. And Mary was relieved that her concern was taken care of by Jesus. Jesus may not have had the intention to do a miracle at the wedding feast, but because Mary, His earthly mother, had presented the concern to Him, Jesus honored her request.
Jesus loved His earthly mother, and He also knew the word of God which says, “Honor your father and mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, that your days may be long and that it may be well with you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” (Deuteronomy 5:16 & Exodus 20:12).
When Jesus was here on earth, He was fully human and fully divine, too. He had the creative power that God had when He created the heavens and the earth, (Genesis 1). Like God, who created the world and everything in it from nothing, Jesus also had the power to create through the power of His spoken word. And without drawing attention to Himself, Jesus took care of His mother’s concern by turning the plain water into wine. Even when Jesus’ miraculous power was not seen by the public, He cared for those whom He loved. Jesus used His creative power to honor God’s Word and His mother.
Jesus honored the Word of God by honoring His mother. Jesus showed His love for His earthly mother as He took care of her concern.
Prayer: Thank you Lord for Your example of obeying the Word of God by honoring your mother. Help children to honor their mothers and fathers, too.
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” v.46
Readings: Matthew 27:27-47; Isaiah 53:1-12 (NKJV Bible Gateway)
Jesus was scourged and beaten severely by the Roman soldiers. They mocked Him and ridiculed Him. The soldiers demanded that He walk from the Governor’s headquarters to Golgota carrying a big piece of a wooden cross. His beaten body, bruised and scourged, could barely walk, much less carrying a heavy piece of wood. The soldiers saw a man passing by, Simon of Cyrene, and compelled him to help Jesus carry the big piece of wood. (Matthew 27:27-32). Then they crucified Him along with the other criminals. (Matthew 27:35-38)
The people of Israel, the religious leaders, and the Roman soldiers all saw Jesus hanging on the cross and mocked Him. They spoke unkind and insulting words. “He saved others; Himself He cannot save…” (Matthew 27:39-44).
Jesus did not say a word against them. He did not call out for His angels to consume them. He did not use His power to call for lightning from heaven to strike those who insulted Him. But instead He took it all upon Himself – the shame, the humiliation, the insults, the mocking, and the beatings. Jesus chose love, instead of defending Himself. The pain was too much for His earthly body. And Jesus cried out to His Father:
“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” v.46
That was the cry of pain and agony. Did God forsake His only Son? Lord Jesus, why did you say these things?
The prophet Isaiah in the Old Testament said,
Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord [n]has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:4-6)
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken. (Isaiah 53:8)
Jesus carried our sins. All the sins of men were imputed to Him. He took all the punishment for our sins, so we do not have to its eternal consequences. All the sin of the world was laid upon Him. The ultimate penalty of sin is death – or separation from God. For that moment, God had to turn away from His Son because Jesus became a bearer of sin. God and sin cannot be together. God our Father in heaven is holy and pure. Jesus took all the sin and the punishment of sin, so I do not have to carry and suffer the penalty of sin, which is death, eternal death. Jesus paid it all.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” Romans 6:23
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for choosing to give Yourself for us, and for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You that You took my sin, and the punishment of sin, so I could be reconciled with our Heavenly Father and live with You for eternity.
Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” – Matthew 27:17
Jesus was ordered to be arrested by the chief priests. The chief priests incited some people to bring false accusations against Jesus. (Matthew 27:1-2) Then Jesus was brought to Pilate. And the governor asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus replied, ‘It is as you say’. Matthew 27:11
After examining Jesus and talking with Him, Pilate did not find any fault against Jesus.
“And indeed, having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him; no, neither did Herod, for sent you back to him; and indeed nothing deserving of death has been done by Him.” (Luke 23:13-15)
At the time of Jesus’ arrest, it was also the feast of the governor.
Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to releasing to the multitude one prisoner whom they wished. And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” For he knew that they had handed Him over because of envy, (Matthew 27:15-17).
But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. (Matthew 27:.20)
Then the governor said, “Why, what evil has He done?”
But they cried out all the more, saying, “Let Him be crucified!” (Matthew 27:23)
When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.”
And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.”
Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.
And they all cried out at once, saying, “Away with this Man, and release to us Barabbas”— who had been thrown into prison for a certain rebellion made in the city, and for murder. (Luke 23:18-19)
Pilate felt he was powerless over the cry of the people of Israel, so he gave in to their demand. “Let Him be crucified!”. It was not Pilate’s wish or plan to execute Jesus, but Pilate did not want an uprising over the life of one person. Sad to say, it was the religious leaders of Israel who instigated the penalty for Jesus because of jealousy and envy. (Matthew 27:18)
Sad to say when Pilate asked the people whom to release, the people chose Barabbas, a rebel and a murderer.
The people of Israel chose Barabbas over Jesus. They chose a murderer over a sinless man, similar to the people of today’s generation. Sad to say even today, it seems some people choose a life of rebellion against God. Thus, they choose death instead of life. Some people end up dead-physically and spiritually. They choose rebellion, a life away from God, therefore they make a choice of death over a life with Jesus. Jesus died so that we could have eternal life. If we choose Jesus, we choose life.
Dear Lord Jesus, it is our sin that crucified You on the cross. Lord forgive us, help us choose You, help us choose life and not death.