The God Who Stoops!

David Sulcer

Passage: John 13:1-11

Prayer: Father, we stand amazed at the sight of our stooping God! Jesus is your very self-disclosure. He reveals to us your beating heart. Does God wash feet? Indeed he does! We are astounded that Jesus would disrobe and wash our feet. Not only so, but he became totally exposed on the Cross so that the untouchable, unreachable, unknowable God would become intimate with his creation; so that the Word became flesh to speak our language, beat with our heart, and suffer our pain! And all this to make us your chosen and washed people! In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

Ponder: In all world religions, only one exalts a God who humbled himself on a cruel cross! How does this divine humility allow us to embrace a life of humility over pride and service over being served? How can you make this practical today?

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I Want to Be in the Light

Chris Kaskel

Passage: John 12:44-50

 The Point: We have reached the end of chapter twelve. These are the last few verses before we enter into the narratives surrounding Jesus’ last supper, death, and resurrection. You could say that, in the book of John, this is the last of Jesus’ public ministry before His death. This is one of many beautiful examples of John’s writing style. John gives us this encounter and Jesus’ words about being the light. This language is almost an exact mirror to the opening of the first chapter; John begins and ends his retelling of Jesus’ ministry by talking about the light. Here, Jesus says, “I’ve come into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me won’t need to stay in the dark.” (v. 46) Those words beautifully capture Jesus’ purpose here on earth. He came as the true light, so that everyone would receive salvation and no longer live in darkness. In the book of John, the true enemy is darkness. We all know how the story ends; the darkness overcomes only for a few days. After the third day, Jesus rose from the dead, defeating death, Hell, the grave…and darkness. Forever. Jesus’ final challenge here at the end of chapter twelve is to believe in Him, and no longer stay in the dark. For us, as Christians today, it is our job to not only see the light and believe, but also to be like Moses, and let that light shine on our faces so that everyone we come into contact with can also see the light. His light shines through us.

To Ponder: As cheesy at it may sound, do you hide your light under a bushel? If you have truly seen this light of Jesus and believed, your life should be a glowing beacon for those who are lost.

For Families: If your kids don’t know it, teach them the song, “This little light of mine.” Talk about the light vs. dark and how when we share Jesus with others, we shine a light into the darkness of their lives.

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The Light of Life!

David Sulcer

Passage: John 12:37-43

Prayer: Father, too often we see with cataract eyes. When Christ came into our world, the true Light that he is, our hearts had grown so accustom to our murky surroundings that the comfort of the darkness seemed the more choosable option. We felt that the opaque and misty was the way to see things, instead of the brilliant revelation of truth found in Jesus. But now, our eyes have been opened, our vision has become clear and we see the Light of life! Thank you for touching our eyes so that we might gaze on the radiance of your glory and bask in the warmth of your fire-light. Amen


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The Cross

David Sulcer

Passage: John 12:27-36

Prayer: Father, we are drawn to the magnetic throne of the universe, the Cross. It is the place of Jesus’ kingly glory! It is the place where humanity’s destiny reached its enthronement, and God’s purpose and power is displayed! For us who have eyes to see, it has become the beckon of grace and truth and the beach-head of the coming Kingdom of God to this planet. Yes, the Cross upon which Jesus died, was the day, the hour of His kingly coronation and the triumph over the dark lord of this present evil age! We lay our crowns at His feet. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

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In On The Plan

Mike Ferrante

Passage: John 12:20-26

Point:  I think it is good here to make some things evident in our study of John.  Throughout John’s Gospel, there are times when the Judeans, the Pharisees, or simply the crowds have opportunity to hurt or perhaps kill Jesus.  They also have a few instances when they could have thrown Him into jail.  I recall a passage in Luke where they were going to attempt to throw Jesus off of a cliff.  Luke 4:30 says he simply passed through their midst and went away.  Why?  Because in every instance John’s response is that His time had not yet come.

How wonderful would it be to know the timetable of your life! To be so in tune with Father God that each day was presented in clear view to us; where, regardless of which trials would come, we would not fear because we were certain of the next step in the plan.  Be encouraged! In many ways, because of Jesus, God lets us in on more than we can ever imagine.  He does share His plan with his children!

When the Greeks came and wanted to meet Jesus.  That was a part of the plan He was waiting for.  In a sense, it was a marker to say that the time has come.  I am sure it was exciting for him being fully God, but I’m sure he also had a sense of dread which needed to be worked through since He is fully man.  God knows how much we can handle.  Be patient as you wait for the next step.

Ponder: What in your life today are you waiting for the next phase to begin?  Would you be willing to follow the plan if you heard it?

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Divine Perspective

David Sulcer

Passage: John 12:9-19

Prayer: Father, awaken our hearts to your world-wide plan. Keep us from seeing your will from the narrow constraints of nationalism, regionalism, or tribalism. Too often we see life only from our own point of view. Help us to grasp the larger picture and the better perspective that Jesus came to reveal: a perspective that includes every nation, kindred, tongue, and people; a picture of a world that needs saving, and sheep, not in the fold, who need rescuing. For one day, one King will rule all the other kingdoms of this world. So may it be His banner that we wave. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

Ponder: How does Jesus help us see a larger picture than our, too often, narrow mindset? How does this divine perspective help us move beyond the borders of our own prejudices to minister to a wider world of real human need?

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Work and Worship

Elyssa Kaskel

Passage: John 12:1-8

Point: Throughout John and the other gospels, there are a few stories of Mary and Martha. These sisters are quite well-known, despite only being mentioned a handful of times. Each time we see them, they each have pretty typical responses. Martha is the practical one, the servant, the host. Mary, on the other hand, usually has a more emotional response towards Jesus, such as when she sat at his feet listening to him while Martha cooked dinner. Here in John 12, again we see that she has a passionate reaction and outpouring of her heart. Although Martha gets reprimanded in Luke for being too focused on working, both of these sisters teach us valuable lessons. We all have different relationships with God, different reactions to his love, and different gifts. Martha gives her time by serving Jesus and those around her, just as we are to be servants to those around us. However, it’s also ok to sit at Jesus’ feet and act on an impulse of love. Mary has a very giving and unselfish attitude.

I know I personally tend to be more like Martha. I prefer to keep myself busy, and don’t mind serving others. I have to make an effort to spend quiet time with God and “sit at his feet.” It’s not something that comes easy for me, and I have to work on it. It’s not enough to serve and work, even if you’re doing it all for God. We need to worship him, spend time with him, and receive the love he has for each of us.

When this story is told in Matthew 26 and Mark 14, there’s a verse added on to the end: “Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.” Jesus does value us when we use our gifts and talents and when we serve others, but what he really wants is for us to spend time with him.

Ponder: Do you tend to be more like Martha, a worker, or like Mary, a worshipper? Whomever you relate to, make an effort this week to be like the opposite.

For Families: Ask your kids what they like about going to church: do they like the music, the lessons, perhaps helping out in whatever ways they can? Talk about different personalities and how we all have different gifts to use in the church. As your kids grow up, help them discover how they respond to their faith.


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