Monday: John 1-7. For today’s reading, you may want to try another version of the Bible. If you are reading the New International Version, try switching over to the New Living Translation or to the paraphrase called The Message. There are several great versions available. For a variety of versions, check out biblegateway.com. Click on “passage lookup” on the left banner and you can type in the chapters you want and select a version.
I just have a few observations about today’s reading.
First, John 3:30 says it all: “He must become greater, I must become less.”
I believe that John 6:60-66 is discussing Judas, the betrayer.
John 6:60-66 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” 61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. 64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. 65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him.” 66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. (NIV)
This “hard teaching” that Jesus has given has to do with the idea that the body of Jesus is bread and His blood is wine. He is speaking to them about total surrender, a willingness to exist only on Him, not relying on the things of this life. I had never seen Judas in this, but it makes sense. I believe that Judas’ heart became hardened at that point and he decided to turn away from Jesus. Luke 22:3 speaks of Satan entering Judas. The timing may be a bit off but the fact is undeniable.
I never want to be guilty of turning my back on Jesus. Brad and Rebecca Bichsel did an awesome job yesterday reminding us of the importance of this with a nice rendition of the old classic, “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus”. No turning back!
Talk about different! John’s approach to the Gospel is completely unique. He spends time with lots of issues that the other three writers miss. Not that John is not better or worse, simply different. I am thankful for a variety of writing styles – lets me know that God doesn’t run out of creative ideas.
We only have three days left with the Gospels and then on to Acts! The end of Acts means that we are getting close to the halfway point of our Quest reading journey!
Tuesday will feature John 8-14. Dig deep and listen for the voice of the Spirit.