All in Jesus

And Jesus said, “I Am” … life, forevermore

Jesus’ “I am the gate”, and “I am the good shepherd” metaphors bewildered His listeners. At the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah) their questions continued: “If you are the Christ, tell us plainly” (John 10:24). Again they tried to stone Him, and again He slipped away, across the Jordan, where many believed (10:31-42). He was there when news came that His friend Lazarus was sick.

And Jesus said, “I Am” … life, to the full

The Pharisees bombarded the “light of the world” with questions, in total denial of His “I am” claims. When Jesus stated, “before Abraham was born, I am!”…they picked up stones to stone him (John 8:58-59). They knew He was claiming to be God; but it was not yet His time so He slipped away, continuing on to heal a man born blind. The man believed and worshipped Jesus; the Pharisees remained in their sin (9:1-41).

And Jesus said, “I Am” … your sustenance, and your light

The crowd by the Sea of Galilee was mystified. First, they had been fed well the previous evening, all 5000 plus of them, from “five small barley loaves and two small fish” (John 6:9). Then Jesus had sailed across the lake without a boat—how in the world (6:22)? Miracles were foremost on their minds. Give us more they said, manna for this day too, "bread from heaven”, so we can believe you were really sent by God (6:29-31).

And Jesus said, “I Am” … the Messiah, called Christ

Imagine the surprise of the Samaritan woman when Jesus talked to her by Jacob’s well that day, for Jews do not associate with Samaritans (John 4:9). When He told her He had living water to offer, “a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (4:14), she was intrigued. That He knew about her five husbands, and that “the man you now have is not your husband” (4:18), she saw He was a prophet. When He revealed that “salvation is from the Jews” (4:22), she indicated she was aware of the expected Messiah who would make all things clear.

Chosen and Precious, But Rejected

How much further could it be? How could I be so foolish as to wander off on my own?


I was lost and fearful in the heart of Washington, D.C. My mission that afternoon was to walk from my work conference to The National Cathedral.

Thrive!

As I read this verse in Ezekiel, I thought, Wait a minute. No one takes a shoot from the top of a tree and plants it. The shoot would surely die! Yet, God declares, On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches (Ezekiel 22:23).

The Simple Things: Remain

Perhaps you have heard of the My One Word experiment, designed by Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen to encourage you to live—really live—by the word you pick for the year. Well, look no further. In the first ten verses of John 15 Jesus uses the word remain eleven times, in multiple combinations of: remain in me and I will remain in you; remain in my love; let my words remain in you. Seems to me ladies, we need to take the hint from Jesus and remain in Him.

The Simple Things: Grace

In 1948 A.W. Tozer (1897-1963) wrote in his classic, The Pursuit of God: “Every age has its own characteristics. Right now we are in an age of religious complexity. The simplicity which is in Christ is rarely found among us.” Imagine how Tozer would feel if he were alive today. Nothing is simple--our schedules are loaded, our deadlines frantic, and the world distracts, not to mention the complexities of the “religious”.

Messages from God

With these words a 400-year silence of God was broken. Zechariah received God’s message from the angel, Gabriel, who announced the birth of a son filled with the Holy Spirit. He would be used of God to prepare the way for the Lord. Another message came from Gabriel shortly thereafter. He proclaimed to the virgin Mary that she would give birth to the Son of God.

Divine Mystery . . . the treasures of wisdom and knowledge

Ladies, one more clue to follow this week as we unravel divine mystery. We are on our way to experiencing the full riches of complete understanding that Paul wishes for us. Knowing Christ is the essential element—Christ the divine, the reality; Christ in you, the hope of glory. It’s in Christ that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden. Let’s do a little digging.

Divine Mystery . . . Christ

Before the apostle Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus, he was a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the Law a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church (Philippians 3:5-6). Meeting Jesus head-on provided the clues to complete understanding. If Paul could be converted, if he could know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, there was hope for any Jew. It would take revelation, mixed with brain power, based on facts, to unravel this perplexing question.

Light into Darkness

It was an ordinary night. The shepherds were attending their sheep and watching for intruders by the light of the moon. They had grown accustomed to the darkness, accustomed to watching for shadows that might present danger.