John 12:10-11 But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.
Can you punish someone for something they did not do?
I know it happens and many innocent men and women are arrested and jailed but are not guilty.
Mistaken identity, wrong place at the wrong time, and lies against someone can all lead to someone wrongly accused.
In today’s scripture, the Jews wanted to kill Lazarus basically for being raised from the dead.
He had no control over that.
I’m sure many people came to see this man that was once dead.
Perhaps they asked him questions about what was beyond this life.
Whether or not he could answer is unknown.
Paul said of his death he heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. 2 Cor 12:4
So, perhaps Lazarus could not say much.
Regardless, the desire to get rid of someone or blame someone for something they never did is nonsense.
John 13:8 Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!”
There are those individuals that feel you are above doing anything for them.
Others believe they are above you doing anything for them.
Some don’t want to bother you with doing anything for them, while another group wants everything done for them, and finally, there are some choosing to do everything themselves.
I always fell into the “I can do it myself” group.
At one time I thought I was fine without Jesus.
I did not need His salvation because I could just do it myself.
However, the day came when that barrier was torn down and I accepted Him as savior.
Then I shifted to the “I don’t want to bother you with it” group.
My wife has helped me though when an elderly lady wanted to hand me $20 for pastor appreciation.
I, of course, wanted to decline it because she was on a fixed income and I was still working.
Linda told me, “Don’t deny her blessing!”
I stopped that sweet lady from feeling good about doing a little something for her pastor.
I don’t know what Peter’s thinking was but if someone wants to minister to you, bless you, or help you then don’t deny them.
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Sometimes you’d like a do-over – to go back in time and erase a mistake; take away something you said or did.
But you cannot go back in time.
The fictional lives of those that did so in the movies messed things up even worst.
You are who you are today because of the choices you made – for good or for bad.
All you can do is change everything from this moment forward.
Let me go back to 1975.
I was in high school and my life took a major turn that year when one of my best friends handed me a Christian tract and said, “Swanson, you need to read this!”
I did and a decision welled up inside me.
Do I accept Jesus as my savior or ignore what the tract said?
I chose Jesus.
It changed my life.
I got my do-over because I was born again.
I became a new person.
It was the best decision of my life.
If you want a fresh start, then consider accepting Jesus as your savior.
You will not regret it.
John 1:42 And he brought him to Jesus.
This is the first meeting of Peter and Jesus.
Andrew, Peter’s brother, believed Jesus is the Messiah but Peter is not so convinced.
It is later that Peter sees his own sinfulness in the presence of Jesus. (Mark 5:1-11)
This introduction is a key point in Peter’s life.
Who is given credit for leading Peter to Jesus?
Peter had to make his decision to follow Christ but you can’t make the decision without the introduction.
Where do you bring others?
Will you introduce someone to Jesus?
Here in East Texas the first major winter storm is predicted for the next 24 hours.
Winter is a strange, unpredictable time for the area. Last week 70 degree temperatures were reached and in January it hit the 80 degree mark.
There have been a few dips into the 20’s but so far winter weather has consisted of temp’s mostly in the 40’s with, perhaps, some rain.
Now the prediction is freezing rain or sleet with temperature not going above the mid 30’s.
TXDOT has trucks of sand and gravel to spread on bridges and roadways. Schools are preparing for the necessity of closing for a day or two.
Others will wrap pipes or cover tender vegetation that has already sprouted in gardens.
Yesterday I bought ten gallons of gas just in case the electric lines are downed and we have to run off the generator.
People hear of a major change in the weather and they prepare.
Prepare to meet your God, Amos 4:12
How many are prepared for the return of Jesus. He has given notice that He is returning. He may not have said when but He has promised that return nevertheless.
He has prepared for you!
I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:3
Are you ready?
Have you prepared to meet your God as much as you have prepared for other things in life like winter weather, a vacation, or retirement?
I like to see where things are made!
It’s fascinating to stand in the clothing section of a store and look at the tags; at least it’s fascinating to me. China, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica, Mexico, and India all pop up. Continue reading
No one wants a fair weather friend. You want someone that will stick by your side in good times and especially the bad; someone that will be there for you when you are at your lowest.
The Lord deserved no less. Continue reading
I don’t know about your salvation. I don’t know how many opportunities you have had to accept God’s grace and forgiveness.
He is known as a God of second chances. Continue reading
There are people with seemingly good intentions outwardly but inwardly have an ulterior motive.
This is often the case when someone places their own needs, desires, and agenda above that of others. I’ve noticed this with a few “giveaways” on the web these days. Continue reading
What do you get out of church, Sunday school, and Bible study?
Some get very much and others very little. There are those that don’t get fed in a church service and others that take lots of notes.
What you get out of it is entirely up to you.
Case in point,
From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.
Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?”
But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” John 6:66-69
Peter was one of twelve men that traveled with Jesus. Along with the others he witnessed miracles, heard teaching, and watched His lifestyle.
However it was Peter alone that proclaimed that Jesus was the Christ. That’s not to say the others did not think it also.
But among the twelve is one that is of a different nature.
Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?” John 6:70
Knowing what Judas will do begs the question as to why he didn’t get anything from the teaching of Jesus.
How is it the others went on to preach, teach, and evangelize and Judas did not?
Let’s investigate this tragedy this week.