Monday, 27 April 2015

I Reading: Acts 13: 44-52: We must turn to the pagans.
Gospel: John 14:7-14: To have seen me is to have seen the Father.
The Embodiment of God is Jesus Himself, 14:8-14
Jesus Christ is the very embodiment of God Himself.
1. Philip’s request-show us the Father, a dazzling sight (v.8)
2. The revelation: Jesus is the full embodiment of God (v.9)
3. The clear evidence (v.10)
a. God’s presence
b. Jesus’ words
c. Jesus’ works
4. The clear challenge: Believe the claim of Jesus (v.11)
5. The clear promises: Are conditional-to the person who believes on Jesus (v.12-14)
a. The power to do great works
b. The answer to all prayers
Thought: God’s presence was proof that Jesus was the embodiment of God.

I Reading: Acts 13:26-33: God has fulfilled his promise by raising Jesus from the dead.
Gospel: John 14:1-6: I am the Way, the Truth and Life.
Jesus’ Death Delivers Troubled Hearts, 14:1-3
Jesus’ death delivers troubled hearts. The disciples had reason to be troubled and also the believers. So they need the words of encouragement and hope-the same deliverance from Jesus. Jesus said that deliverance from trouble comes through five things.
1. Delivers through trust, belief in me/Jesus (v.1)
2. Delivers through the hope for God’s house and its rooms or mansions (v.2)
3. Delivers through Jesus’ work (v.2)
4. Delivers through Jesus’ return (v. 3)
5. Delivers through an eternal habitation with Jesus (v.3)
Another Outline: Jesus’ death delivers troubled hearts.
1. His commandment: trust, believe in me (v.1)
2. His assurance: God has a house (v.2)
3. His departure: To prepare (v.2)
4. His great promise: To return (v.3)
5. His great purpose: An eternal union (v.3)
The Way to God is by Jesus Alone, 14:4-7
This passage is continuation of Jesus’ departure from this world. It is outlined separately because it is spurred on by another question, this one by Thomas (Jn 13:36) for the first question by Peter).
This is one of the most critical passages of Scripture. Jesus declared in unmistakable terms how a person gets to God, and He makes it clear: there is no other way to God.
1. Jesus’ destination (v.4-5)
a. The destination is known
b. The way is known
c. Thomas’ contradiction and scepticism
2. The way to God is Jesus himself(v.6)
3. The destination is God (v.6)
4. The only way to God is Jesus (v.6)
5. The only way to God is not revealed-unmistakeably
Thought: The destination of Jesus was “the Father” Himself. The believer has the same destination on “the Father.”

I Reading: Acts 13:13-25: God has raised up one of David’s descendants, Jesus, as Saviour.
Gospel: John 13:16-20: Whoever welcomes the one I send welcomes me.
The Prediction of the Betrayer: A Picture of Apostasy, 13:18-30
This is a clear picture of betrayal and apostasy, of a man who turns away from Christ to the world. It stands as a strong warning to every person who professes to follow Christ.
1. There is the heartbreak of betrayal (v.18)
a. A betrayer is not chosen
b. Betrayer is of the basest sort: eats with, yet turns away
2. There is the prediction of betrayal (v.19-20)
a. To assure that Jesus is the Messiah
b. To strengthen the dignity of the Lord’s call
c. To give assurance of God’s indwelling presence
3. There is the last chance given to the betrayer (v.21-26)
a. The betrayer’s presence exposed
b. Jesus’ distress
c. The disciples’ perplexity, nervousness and self-consciousness
d. Peter’s gesture for John to inquire further
e. John’s inquiry
f. Jesus’ indirect and merciful identification: the giving of a last chance
4. There is the warning against betrayal (v.27-30)
a. The evil possession
b. The charge: Act now
c. The deceiving of the disciples by the betrayer
d. The judgement: seen in the betrayer being separated immediately
Thought: The more a person thinks about sinning, the more likely he/she is to turn back.

I Reading: Acts 12:24-13:5: Set Barnabas and Saul apart.
Gospel: John 12:44-50: I, the light, have come into the world.
Jesus Rejected and Accepted as King, 12:37-50
This is a clear picture of Jesus’ being rejected and accepted as king.
1. The unbelievers (v.37-41)
a. They act illogically
1) They reject miraculous signs
2) They reject revelation
3) They reject the arm of the Lord
b. The results of unbelief:
A just, judicial rejection by God
1) Man is blinded
2) Man is hardened, deadened
3) Man is condemned to be lost
4) Man is condemned to remain unhealed
5) Man never sees the glory of the Lord
2 The silent believers (v.42-43)
a. They failed to confess Jesus
a. They fail, fearing personal loss
c. They fail, loving the praise of men more than God
3. The true believer (v.44-46)
a. Believes on God-through Jesus, the Mediator
b. Sees God-through Jesus, the Mediator
c. Is delivered from darkness-through Jesus the Light
4. The unbeliever-his judgement (v.47-50)
a. Judged not by Jesus: He came to save, not judge
b. Judged by the words of salvation: the very words he rejected will stand as a witness against him
1) Because Jesus’ words are God’s commandment
2) Because God’s word is life
3) Because the words of Jesus are the truth
Thought: A person is led to a juridical blindness and rejection by God through obstinate unbelief, constant sin and continued rejection.

I Reading: Acts 11:19-26: They started preaching to the Greeks, proclaiming the Lord Jesus.
Gospel: John 10:22-30: The Father and I are one.
The Great Shepherd’s Claims, 10:22-42
Jesus Christ is the great shepherd-great because of who He is. Note the phenomenal claims He made. Jesus Christ claimed to be “the Good Shepherd.” He is not a bad or a false shepherd.
1. Jesus was in Jerusalem at the Feast of Dedication (v.22-24)
a. It was a winter
b. He was walking in Solomon’s colonnade
c. The religionists approached and questioned Him
2. Claim 1: He is the Messiah (v.25-29)
a. Religionists did not believe
          1) His clear claim
          2) His works are proof
          3) Reason: The religionists were not of His sheep
b. His sheep believe
          1) Are receptive
          2) Are known
          3) Do follow v.27
          4) Are given life
          5) Are kept from perishing
          6) Are secure
          7) Are assured a double security in God Himself
3. Claims 2: He is one God, that is, He is God Himself (v.30-33)
a. The religionists reacted
b. Jesus questioned their reaction
c. The religionists admitted that His works were good
d. The religionists understood His claim, but they rejected Him
4. Claim 3: He is the Son of God (v.34-36)
a. Jesus showed man’s inconsistency
b. Jesus’ claim
          1) The Father sacrificed Him, set Him apart
          2) The Father sent Him
          3) He is the Son of God
5. Claim 4: God is in Him and He is in God-absolutely (v.37-39).
a. His works prove
b. He was still rejected
6. Conclusion: Jesus retired (v.40-42)
a. Jesus went to the area of John the Baptist
b. John’s crowds began to follow Jesus
c. Many believed in Jesus
Thought: Who is Jesus for us today? How many of us/missionaries work and die knowingly, willingly and voluntarily for the people of God as a good shepherd in our Church?

I Reading: Acts 11:1-18: God can grant even the pagans the repentance that leads to life.
Gospel: John 10:1-10: I am the gate of the sheepfold.
The Shepherd and His Sheep: False vs. True Teachers, 10,1-6
This passage begins the great revelation of Jesus as the Shepherd of Life. Jesus is pictured as the true Shepherd of the sheep.
1. The sheep pen (v.1)
2. The false shepherd (v.1)
a. Enters the wrong way
b. Is a thief and robber: Seizes by false entry and force
3. The true shepherd (v.2-3)
a. Enters the appointed door
b. Is known by the watchman (God)
c. Knows sheep by name
d. leads and shepherds the sheep
4. The sheep (v.4-5)
a. Know the shepherd’s voice
b. Follow the shepherd who goes before them
c. Flee from strange voices
5. The parable or figure or speech: was not understood (v.6)
The Gate of the Sheep: The only Way to God, 10:7-10
Jesus claims to be the gate of the sheep. Jesus is probably referring to the gate of the community sheep pen or a community pasture which housed all the flocks of an area. There is however, descriptive picture of Jesus as the gate.
1. Jesus is the only gate of the sheep (v.7-8)
a. All others are thieves and robbers
b. Proof: The sheep did not listen to them
2. Jesus is the only gate that leads to salvation (v.9)
a. “In and out” : security
b. “Pasture”: provision
3. Jesus is the only gate that leads to abundant life (v.10)
a. All others come to take and to steal
b. Jesus comes to give life
Thought: Jesus answered “ I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (Jn 14:6)
The strange voice can be the voice of false religion, false science, false psychology, false philosophy, humanism, materialism, worldliness, fame …etc.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

I Reading: Acts 4:8-12: This is the only name by which we can be saved.
II Reading: 1John 3:1-2: We shall see God as He really is.
Gospel: John 10:11-18: The good shepherd is one who lays down his life for his sheep.
The Good Shepherd: Jesus, the True Saviour of the World, 10:11-21
In the Gospel of today, Jesus himself provides us with a most meaningful answer: I am your shepherd and you are my sheep. The answer is so simple that even a child can understand it and grasp its full meaning.
Jesus Christ is our Good Shepherd because Jesus himself said “I am the good shepherd.” He is not only good but the best shepherd one who loved and cared for his sheep or people. Jesus has the following qualities or characters as the good and the best shepherd:
1. The good shepherd knows his sheep.
He knows by name and to the least detail our needs at each and every moment of our life and provides for all our needs in body and soul.
2.  The good shepherd leads his flock.
No shepherd can compare with Jesus in leading his sheep. He leads them to his Church through Baptism, all other sacraments, through his Spirit and by our repentance or conversion.
3. The good shepherd feeds his sheep.
He feeds them with his own hands and gives them food, drink and heals them when sick or wounded.
And no shepherd can ever afford such a nourishing food as Jesus provides for us:
He feeds us through prayer.
He feeds us with his Word.
He feeds us with his own Body and Blood in the Eucharist. Who can give us his own body and blood to nourish our bodily and spiritual needs?
4. The good shepherd defends his sheep.
He defends them against wild beasts and thieves; he watches over them day and night sacrificing his life, time and comforts. “The good shepherd is one who lays down his life for his sheep”(Jn 10:11).  This is exactly what he did and saved his sheep/people by giving up his own life on the cross. Jesus clearly said in his Gospel that “no one has the power to take his life; he lays it down of his own free will.” (Jn 10:18)- The Jews killed him.
Jesus continues to lead us also after his death. He leads, feeds, and defends us today as effectively as ever before.
We are Jesus’ sheep. What kind of sheep am I?
i. Good sheep knows his shepherd.
ii. The good sheep follows its shepherd.
iii. The good sheep joyfully accepts the food its shepherd offers.
iv. The good sheep stays close to the shepherd so as to be defended by him.
Am I careful to stay away from danger? In the time of temptation or sin.
What would you say of a sheep that runs away from the shepherd and joins the wolves’ company? Are you one such a sheep?

Jesus Christ claimed to be “the Good Shepherd.” He is not a bad or a false shepherd.
1.     The meaning of “Good Shepherd” (v.11-13)
a.     A sacrificial life
b.    Not a hired or employed shepherd
1)    He sees danger-acts cowardly, flees
2)    He cause the sheep to be caught-in error
3)    He lacks genuine care
2.     The proof that Jesus is the “Good Shepherd” (v.14-16)
a.     He knows His sheep
b.    He knows His Father the Owner
c.      He will die for His sheep
d.     He works to enlarge the pen
3.     The final proof is the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus (v.17-18)
a.     The very reason God loves Him so much
b.    His death was the supreme act of obedience
1)    Was Voluntary
2)    Was a command
4.     The reaction to Jesus’ claim (v.19-21)
a.     Some reject: call Jesus demon-possessed and mad
b.    Some question: perhaps Jesus is who he claims
Thought: How many of us/missionaries work and die knowingly, willingly and voluntarily for the people of God as a good shepherd in our Church?
Jesus is my shepherd, the Good Shepherd, the one who never fails in his care of the sheep. I must decide once for all to be his good sheep.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

I Reading: Acts 9:31-42: The churches built themselves up and were filled with the consolation of the Holy Spirit.
Gospel: John 6:60-69: Who shall we go to? You have the message of eternal life.
People are often offended by Christ. Four things in particular offend them.
1.     Jesus’ message was to the synagogue crowd in Capernaum (v.59-60)
a.     Many disciples were present
b.    They had difficulty accepting His message
2.     There is the idea of eating Jesus’ flesh and drinking His blood (v.61)
3.     There is the ascension and exaltation of Christ (v.62)
4.     There is the teaching that the Spirit quickens, gives life and the flesh counts for nothing (v.63-64)
5.     There is the fact that God saves man, man does not save himself (v.65)
6.     The conclusion: there were three responses (v.66-71)
a.     The disciples who turned back
b.    The disciple who believed Jesus was the Christ
c.      The disciple who believed Christ
Thought: A person is saved unless he/she has come to Jesus Christ. A person is lost unless he/she comes to Him.

I Reading: Acts 9:1-20: This man is my chosen instrument to bring my name before pagans.
Gospel: John 6:52-59: My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.
The Results of Partaking of the Bread of Life, Jn 6:52-58
A person must receive and partake of the Bread of Life. When he/she does, he/she receives five wonderful things.
1.     The religionists were perplexed over Jesus’ words (v.52-53)
a.     They questioned partaking of His flesh
b.    Jesus proclaimed a much more shocking thing: unless one partakes of Him, he/she does not have life
2.     Result 1: eternal life-conquering death and being resurrected (v.54)
3.     Result 2: true not false satisfaction (v.55)
4.     Result 3: supernatural companionship and fellowship (v.56)
5.     Result 4: a life that is full of purpose and meaning (v.57)
6.     Result 5: incorruptible food received with in the heart-energizing life forever (v.58)
Thought: Unless a person receives (eats and drinks) Christ, he/she has no life within him. He/she is a dead person spiritually and eternally. He/she is walking around a dead person. (Eph 2:1; 5:14; Col 2:13, 1Tim 5:6; Rev3:1)

I Reading: Acts 8:26-40: If you believe with all your heart, you will be baptised.
Gospel: John 6:44-51: I am the living bread which has come down from heaven.
The Way a Person Partakes of the Bread of Life, 6:41-51
How one partakes of the Bread of Life, that is, how one come s to know Jesus personally, is the focus of this passage.
1.     The religionists rebelled against the claims of Jesus (v.41-43)
a.     They questioned Jesus’ origin
b.    They misunderstood the incarnation
c.      Jesus appealed: stop grumbling
2.     A person must be drown by God (v.44-46)
a.     The result: he will be raised up at the last day
b.    He must be taught by God (God’s part)
c.      He must hear and learn trough Christ (man’s part)
1)    Because no man has seen God
2)    Because Christ is from God and has seen God
3.     A person must believe on Christ (v.47-51)
a.     Believe He is the Bread of Life
b.    Believe He is “out of” heaven-has come to deliver man form death
c.      Believe He is the living bread-the One who gives life to man forever
d.    Believe He gives His flesh for the life of the world.
Thought: “My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world” says two things.
1)    Jesus Christ came in the flesh (1 Tim 3:16; 1Jn 4:2-3).
2)    Jesus Christ gave His flesh (life) for the life of the world (Heb 2:14-15; Rom 8:3; 1Pet 2:24; 3:18).