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John 10

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

TUESDAY, JUNE 27

SCRIPTURE: John 10

I want to approach today a little differently.  I am going to pull out some different sections of this chapter in which Jesus is specifically talking about His role at the Good Shepherd.  I hope that we might learn some things of value here that will be an encouragement in the days ahead.

The first thing is found in verses 3-4.  His sheep know the voice of the Good Shepherd.  In the context of the analogy, this is a beautiful picture of real sheep being so accustomed to the voice of a real shepherd, that they not only recognized the voice of that shepherd but also followed Him.

As I was thinking about this, I was reminded that I have never heard the physical voice of Jesus.  My guess is the vast majority of you haven’t either.  So, we really don’t know the tone or intonation or cadence or sound of Jesus’ voice.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t recognize Jesus’ voice.  Here’s what I mean.

The Bible is a perfect representation of Jesus’ voice.  I am not just talking about the words that appear in red in some of our Bibles.  I am talking about every word in the Bible from the beginning of Genesis to the last Amen in Revelation.  All of that constitutes the voice of Jesus.  All of that is Jesus speaking to us.

That means the only way we can truly recognize the voice of Jesus is to stay in the Word of Jesus.  That’s one of the most important ways that we know Him.  It is one of the most important ways that we are protected from following others who try to add to or take away from the Bible.  It is one of the most important ways that we are protected from false teachers/shepherds.

The second thing I would call your attention to is found in verse 15.  Here we find that the Good Shepherd is willing to lay down His life for the sake of the sheep.  Others might run to escape a perceived danger.  But the Good Shepherd willingly makes the sacrifice for His sheep.

I have often wondered with the power that He possessed, how Jesus went through all that He endured during His arrest, abuse, and crucifixion.  It would have been easy for Him to obliterate all that had a hand in that. He had countless angels just waiting for His word to come swooping in to rescue Him.  Yet, He endured unimaginable, excruciating treatment for the sake of the sheep.  The poor, dumb sheep.

The third thing is found in verses 28-30.  It is what I call the double security.  Jesus promises us eternal life.  But on top of that He promises us protection.  Our salvation is secure because we are in the grasp of Jesus.  Then it is as if the Father’s hand wraps around the Son’s hand in which we are grasped.  And no one, the Bible says, no one can remove us from those two hands – that double security.

I praise God for this.  If my salvation were left up to me, I would have lost it a million times.  There is no way I could keep me saved.  But my salvation is not left up to me.  My salvation began with Jesus, continues with Jesus, and will culminate in Jesus.  Regardless of what happens or doesn’t.  Regardless of what I do or don’t do.  My salvation is secure because that security is not based on me.  It is based solely in Jesus.

Oh what a Savior.  What a glorious Savior.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

John 9

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

MONDAY, JUNE 26

SCRIPTURE: John 9

In some ways this is a unique chapter.  One of those is the entire chapter actually revolves around the story of one man’s encounter with Jesus.  There are other characters in this story but there really is only one story.

Obviously Jesus is at the forefront of this story which is where He should always be.  But there is another man who is an important character.  It is a man who was born blind.  

It is interesting and telling to look at what the disciples had to say about this man.  They took his blindness as evidence that either he or his parents had sinned.  And they asked Jesus who was responsible for this man being born blind.

As odd as that may sound in our modern ears, there are a couple of things that we should talk about.  First, all illness, sickness, handicaps, etc. are indeed the result of sin.  That certainly doesn’t mean those things are the result of the specific sin of an individual.  It simply means that all of humanity’s health and physical problems are the result of the fact that we live in a fallen world.  And the fact that we live in a fallen world is the direct result of sin.

Second, some illness, sickness, handicaps, etc. are actually the result of the specific sin of an individual.  There are instances of addictions leading to physical illness and handicap.  For example, cirrhosis of the liver is a debilitating illness that is often the result of drinking too much alcohol.  There are other instances of an expecting mom using drugs and the baby being born addicted to that particular drug.  

Jesus’ solution to this situation was to heal this man of this blindness.  In this instance, Jesus spit on dirt to make mud, put the mud on the guy’s eyes, and sent the man off to wash the mud off of his face.  As far as I know this is the only time that Jesus used this method to heal blindness.  There is the one account in Mark 8 where Jesus used spit.  But this appears to be the only time He made mud for healing.

I am more than convinced that Jesus used a variety of methods to heal a variety of problems so we wouldn’t be tempted to worship the method instead of the Master.  It would be so easy for us to focus on the details of the method instead of looking for the meaning behind the healing.  So, Jesus used all sorts of methods to heal folks.

Our friends, the Pharisees, soon showed up on the scene.  The Bible never says nor does it allude to the possibility that the Pharisees were excited, glad, or happy that this man had been healed of his blindness.  Instead they were upset that Jesus had the audacity to make mud on the Sabbath Day which they were convinced violated the Sabbath law.

They did everything they knew to get this healed man to discredit Jesus.  I love his answer in verse 25: “One thing I know.  I was blind but now I see.”  In other words, he was not going to get sucked into their petty arguments.  He was going to stick with what he knew.  He was blind but now he saw.

That’s a pretty good strategy for us.  It is increasingly easy to duped into religious arguments about all kinds of stuff.  Instead of taking the bait and getting bit, we would be better off just to stick to what we know.  And here’s what I know.  God loves me.  Jesus died for my sins.  Jesus saved me.  I’m not sure a whole lot else really matters.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

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