Thursday, March 27, 2014

John 14

Jesus comforted his disciples saying, "In my Father’s house are many rooms."

Thomas said he did not know how to get there. He was speaking to the one who came from Heaven.
John 14:6 - 7 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
Hearing this, Philip wanted to see the Father. To this, Jesus answered that we don't have to wait to get to Heaven to know God, The Father.

The word "know" here means having a very intimate relationship.

Further, Jesus makes a wonderful promise:
John 14:12-14 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
Then Jesus said he will ask the Father, to send down another helper - The Holy Spirit, so that people are not left behind as orphans. If people love Jesus, and keeps his commands, then both he and the Father will make their home with them.

As a word of caution, Jesus mentioned two of our greatest spiritual enemies - the world and Satan.

My Thoughts

This is a wonderful chapter.

The only person who ever claimed to have come down from Heaven, and said he's returning to heaven is Jesus Christ. Numerous times, he said if we follow him, we will get to heaven.

I know a little bit about Jesus by now - just a tiny bit (I think). While he is all powerful, Jesus has one major weakness - he cannot tell a lie. Whatever he speaks and spoke, happens to be the truth. Those of us who love truth will enjoy the companionship of Jesus in our day to day life. When Jesus says he knows the way to heaven, he means it 100%. He will make sure we reach there.

One thing that dawned to me is that, none of our religious leaders can guarantee a ticket to heaven - not even the ones whom we proclaim as saints. Nor do they know the way to heaven themselves. I fully and truly believe that only by following Jesus, one can arrive at the gates of Heaven. For that, we should be able to read, study and understand the road-map and guidance he provided - the one recorded in the Holy Scripture. Keep that in mind, and follow Jesus to arrive at our destination.

How wonderful it is, to know that someone is reading the word of God. There are lots and lots of rooms at Our Father's heavenly house.

Pay attention to that fabulous promise, which stems out of his overflowing abundant love for us. We humans make such statements only to those whom we love so intimately. Jesus said, "You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." Faith is the central theme of this message as well.

Jesus made sure we were well taken care of. He entrusted us in those best hands - that of The Holy Spirit. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

John 13

Just before the Passover festival, Jesus washed his disciples’ feet, wearing a towel around his waist. At first, Peter objected to Jesus washing his feet. When Jesus said that if he doesn't wash his feet, he will have no part with him. Hearing this, Peter asked Jesus to wash his feet, hands and head. To that, Jesus replied that his body was clean, however, not all of his disciples were clean. Jesus knew who would betray him. Satan had already prompted Judas to betray Jesus. While washing his disciples' feet, Jesus encouraged them to wash each other's feet as well.

Jesus predicted his betrayal and the disciples wondered who that would be.  One of the disciples asked him “Lord, who is it?”

Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.

So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.”

The rest of the disciples had no clue what Jesus was speaking about. Judas left them and rest of them thought he had gone to go buy some more bread. Then Jesus spoke to them that he would be with them only for a short while. He taught them about love.
John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Jesus told Simon Peter that he was going somewhere where he cannot be immediately followed. Peter responded that he would lay down his life for him. To this, Jesus replied that that night Peter would disown him three times. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Luke 22

While Passover was approaching, chief priests and teachers of law were looking for an opportunity to get rid of Jesus. They were afraid of the people, and wanted to cover their tracks. Satan entered Judas, who agreed to betray Jesus for money. The priests could not believe their good luck and hatched out a plan to arrest Jesus out of sight of crowd.

Jesus sent Peter and John to make preparations for Passover. During the dinner, Jesus predicted that one among them would betray him.

Then Jesus intervened in a squabble about who was the most important disciple. He taught them that greatness emerged paradoxically, through service. Jesus conferred a kingdom for the disciples saying that they will sit on thrones in God’s kingdom, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Jesus also predicted that Peter will deny him three times before the rooster crowed that early morning.

After the dinner, Jesus went to Mount of Olives to pray. There he told the disciples to pray so that they would not fall into temptation. He asked God the Father, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel came and strengthened him. Jesus was sweating blood while he prayed more earnestly.

Jesus roused those sleeping disciples and instructed them to pray. Soon, Judas came with a crowd and betrayed Jesus with a kiss. An unnamed disciple cut off the right ear of the servant of the high priest. Jesus healed this servant, and submits to his arrest.

That night, Peter denied Jesus three times before the rooster crowed. When Jesus looked at Peter, he remembered what Jesus told him earlier. He went outside and wept bitterly.

Then Jesus was blindfolded, beaten, insulted and mocked. Before the Sanhedrin, Jesus confirmed that he is the Son of God.

Mark 14

Chief priests and scribes were secretly scheming to kill Jesus. They were wary about doing so during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

At the home of Simon the Leper, a woman anointed Jesus’ head with very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. Some of those who were present rebuked her saying, “Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.”

Hearing this, Jesus rebuked them who said so, and added, "She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial."

Jesus made preparation for the Passover festival.
Mark 14:17-18 When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve. While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me—one who is eating with me.”
After dinner, Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. There Jesus predicted the desertion of the disciples and Peter’s denial. While at Getsemane, Jesus prayed for the cup to be taken from him He saw his disciples sleeping three times. Once he told Peter, “Are you asleep? Couldn't you keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus in the garden, with a kiss. While Jesus was being arrested, everyone deserted him and fled. A young man wearing linen clothes was following Jesus, but when he was caught, he fled naked, leaving his linen garment behind.

Next, Jesus was brought before the Sanhedrin, where the high priest, and all the chief priests, the elders and the teachers of the law came together. There they accused him falsely about destroying the temple and rebuilding it in three days. When asked by the high priest, Jesus told that he is the Christ, and that he will be seen at the right hand of God, coming with the clouds in heaven. Hearing this, the high priest tore his clothes and accused Jesus of blasphemy.

Jesus was blindfolded, beaten, spit  and mocked by the crowd. The guards took him and beat him.

Peter denied having known Jesus three times. The third time, Peter said, “I don’t know this man you’re talking about.” The rooster crowed a second time. Later, Peter broke down and wept.