I am pushing this Daily Devotion(DD) out late because of some last minute changes. I had pulled a bonehead move and written DD from content early in the Gospel of John instead of jumping ahead and finding scripture from Holy Week. John’s Gospel is the best reference to the events that transpired from the week Jesus spent in Jerusalem that led to His crucifixion. John spends over half of his gospel covering these events because John is the only author that was there for all of it. So I moved some passages around this morning and found something much more relevant to share as we celebrate this sacred week of worship. As Pastor Steven Furtick coined it this weekend in his service: “Resurrection Not Cancelled!”
23Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My father will honor the one who serves me.
27“Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28Father, glorify your name!”
Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” 29The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.
30Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. 31Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” (John 12:23-32)
This passage captured by John comes from Jesus speaking to “some Greeks” who had gone to the temple to worship. Remember that Jesus and His crew had arrived in Jerusalem for the Passover Festival, which even today is the Jewish faith’s biggest celebration, where they celebrate God freeing His people from Egyptian slavery. So these Greeks were obviously Jewish settlers who had spread their roots away from the Holy Land. Jesus speaks to this group about how His hour has come. He realizes what must be done and is prepared to be sacrificed to glorify God. Jesus speaks out, “Father, glorify your name!” Then, as the world saw along the Jordan River when Jesus was baptized, God spoke to the crowd:
“I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.”
The next sentence is what I want to focus on. John writes that the crowd that was there said it “had thundered” while others said an angel had spoken to (Jesus). I had always read this passage thinking when John said the crowd had heard it thunder, I assumed John meant they heard God’s voice as a thunderous roar. But that is not what John is saying here. John is saying that those in the crowd did not hear the words God spoke, instead they had just heard thunder.
God’s speaking to the world right now through this crisis. What are you hearing? Believe in Jesus, lay down your old life, rise from this disaster born anew. Break the hold this culture has on your life, find peace in “prince of this world,” and listen to what God is saying.
We are in Holy Week, we are praying for revival and resurrection at the end of this week. We’re going to jump around in our study of the Gospel of John and look at his detailed account of Jesus’ week leading to His crucifixion.
Continue to pray for God to use this pandemic to open the eyes of the world and bring everyone’s focus back to God and allow them to fix their eyes on Jesus. Maudy Thursday will be the day COVID stops spreading and Good Friday will see the first day of recovery. And Easter Sunday will be the day of resurrection for this country. Pray this prayer with me every day.
Reading plan: John 4:27-54
Deeper reading plan: 1 Kings 15, 16, 17
Prayer and meditation: Pray for all medical personnel around the world, that God wraps them in heavenly protection to keep them healthy and keep their families protected. Pray for everyone involved in the supply chain industry that is working tirelessly to keep food in our grocery stores. Pray for those working in food and grocery industries, still working, putting their health in jeopardy every single day. Pray for those that have lost jobs or income during this uncertain time. Pray for protection for your loved ones and that God will continue to keep them safe and healthy. Pray for all those personally affected by COVID infections.
Fitness challenge: 21 reps of each exercise 1-7, then repeat :
1. Standard push-up
2. Sit-up or crunches
3. Air squats
4. Hand-release push-up
5. Leg lifts
6. Lunges (7-each leg)
7. 4-count flutter kicks