John 3:9-13 Nicodemus asks Jesus about being ‘born again’.

Give God Time.

Prayer and Praise.

Jesus said, “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” Matthew 26:40, so we start our journey of giving God time to work in us, by praying this hymnIn Christ Alone https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rn9-UNer6MQ

A Word in your ear. 

John 3:9-13 Nicodemus asks Jesus about being ‘born again’. (Acknowledgements to the Complete Jewish Bible).

9 Nakdimon (Nicodemus) replied, “How can this happen?” 

Last time Jesus taught we must be born again to enter God’s heaven – yet again Nicodemus asks what Jesus means!

10 Yeshua (Jesus) answered him, “You hold the office of teacher in Isra’el, and you don’t know this? 

Jesus is teaching discipleship 101 – and yet Nicodemus doesn’t even understand the basics, and he holds the office of a teacher…

11 Yes, indeed! I tell you that what we speak about, we know; and what we give evidence of, we have seen; but you people don’t accept our evidence! 

The leaders had fingers in their ears. They were being told the truth by witnesses, but their prejudice meant they wouldn’t listen. 

12 If you people don’t believe me when I tell you about the things of the world, how will you believe me when I tell you about the things of heaven? 

Nicodemus had snuck out at night out of fear of the other religious leaders. He knew the religious leaders were impossible to communicate with. Compare for example the Catholic Church’s attitude to Galileo, where the Pope forced him to ‘retract’ (take back), his discovery that the earth went around the sun, on pain of death. (If he hadn’t, he was to have been burned alive for heresy, so of course, he obviously admitted the truth was wrong!) So we can feel for Nicodemus trying to get at the truth behind the backs of the religious leaders.

13 No one has gone up into heaven; there is only the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.

Jesus said He would be the first to ascend to heaven. He was also the only One who had come down from heaven. 

Worship and Prayer. 

“… He went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.” Matthew 14:23. 

Jesus taught His disciples what we call ‘The Lord’s Prayer’; (Luke 11).

Listen here to Albert Malotte’s ‘The Lord’s Prayer’. 

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, 

thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 

Give us this day our daily bread. 

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever;- Amen.

Suggestions;-

  1. The world. (ie ‘For those in authority.’ For lawmakers, trying to shut down Christian freedom to disagree.)
  2. The ‘suffering church.’ https://barnabasfund.org/nz/pray/daily-prayer/#previous-dates
  3. Your own situation. (Suggest ‘needs’ rather than ‘wants’.)
  • Today’s Verse…

John 1:13 No one has gone up into heaven; there is only the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.

  • Today’s Challenge

 A religious leader didn’t understand being ‘born again’. Jesus had to explain discipleship 101 to a religious leader. Being ‘Born Again’ was the first step only. 

Are you clear about what being ‘Born Again’ means? 

If so, have you done anything about it? If not, feel free to email us!

Religious leaders have often worn clothes that make others put them on a pedestal. See what Jesus said about that; Luke 20:45 here… 45 Within the hearing of all the people, Yeshua (Jesus) said to his talmidim (disciples), 46 “Watch out for the kind of Torah-teachers (teachers of the law) that like to walk around in robes and be greeted deferentially in the marketplaces, the kind that like to have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets, 47 the kind that swallow up widows’ houses while making a show of davvening (praying) at great length. Their punishment will be all the worse!”

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John 3:1-8 Nicodemus / ‘You must be born again’.

Giving God Time.

Prayer and Praise.

Jesus said, “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” Matthew 26:40. So we start our journey of giving God time to work in us, by praying along with this hymn…

’You must be born again’

A Word in your ear. 

John 3:1-8 From fear to faith – Nicodemus story…

(video version… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjIlhu-yuTI ).

1. There was a man among the P’rushim (Pharisees), named Nakdimon (Nicodemus), who was a ruler of the Judeans (Judean Jews). 

2 This man came to Yeshua (Jesus) by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know it is from God that you have come as a teacher; for no one can do these miracles you perform unless God is with him.” 

John makes a point out of telling us that it was a night-time visit by a member of the council. Nicodemus’ night visit tells us he was trying to visit Jesus unnoticed by his peers. (Later in 7:50-52 we learn that the Jewish leader’s council were out to get Jesus, and v.45 tells us their religious police had been sent to get Jesus. And elsewhere, that Nicodemus would have nothing to do with their actions.) 

Nicodemus noted that God was with Him – judging by the miracles He was doing. 

3 “Yes, indeed,” Yeshua (Jesus) answered him, “I tell you that unless a person is born again from above, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

Here the famous term “Born Again” is coined by Jesus. It must have been a new term as Nicodemus had never heard of it before. (God once said to Ezekiel, ‘Can these bones live?’ Ezekiel couldn’t answer. He simply said ‘Lord You know’.

4 Nakdimon (Nicodemus) said to him, “How can a grown man be ‘born’? Can he go back into his mother’s womb and be born a second time?” 

Nicodemus didn’t understand and asked what the new term ‘born again’ meant, showing that this was a new term that Jesus had coined. 

5 Yeshua (Jesus) answered, “Yes, indeed, I tell you that unless a person is born from water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God. 

6 What is born from the flesh is flesh, and what is born from the Spirit is spirit. 

Jesus is talking about the soul coming alive;- that happens by the Holy Spirit coming into our soul. It is spiritual life coming to us, turning lights on in our soul. Acts 2:38 tells us that:-

a). By water…means believer’s baptism by immersion in water; (Baptizo in Greek.)

b). By the Spirit. (The word Spirit is with a capital letter and is a noun – meaning the person of the Holy Spirit.)

7 Stop being amazed at my telling you that you must be born again from above! 

As a religious leader, Nicodemus should have cottoned on to what Jesus was saying, but he was amazed so Jesus continues to explain…

8 The wind blows where it wants to, and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it’s going. That’s how it is with everyone who has been born from the Spirit.”

Summary

As it is like trying t

o explain colours to a blind man, Jesus uses the wind to explain what it is like for someone to have the Holy Spirit. The wind is the closest comparison to explain…

Prayer and Worship

“… He went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.” Matthew 14:23. 

Jesus taught His disciples what we call ‘The Lord’s Prayer’; (Luke 11).

Listen here to Albert Malotte’s ‘The Lord’s Prayer’. 

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, 

thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 

Give us this day our daily bread. 

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever;- Amen.

Prayer suggestions;-

  1. The world. (ie ‘Pray for those in authority,’ – in June the UK Parliament is discussing whether to stop Christians trying to teach other people that genders are assigned by God at conception. Pray for the UK lawmakers.)
  2. The ‘suffering church.’ https://barnabasfund.org/nz/pray/daily-prayer/#previous-dates
  3. Your own situation. (Suggest ‘needs’ rather than ‘wants’.)

Today’s Verse…

John 3:3 “Yes, indeed,” Yeshua (Jesus) answered him, “I tell you that unless a person is born again from above, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

Today’s Challenge

Jesus said we cannot see the Kingdom of God unless we are ‘Born Again’. 

We are not disciples unless we obey Jesus. Have you taken these words of Jesus to heart? Entry into the sheepfold is through Jesus now. Jesus said that trying to get in any other way leads to being treated as a thief and a robber. 

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John 2:18-25 ‘Who do you think you are?’

Giving God Time.

Prayer and Praise.

Jesus said, “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” Matthew 26:40, so we start our journey of giving God time to work in us, by praying this hymnSTAND UP, STAND UP FOR JESUS

A Word in your ear. 

John 2:18-25 ‘Who do you think you are?’ 

(With thanks to the Complete Jewish Bible.)

18 So the Judeans (Judah’s Jews) confronted him by asking him, “What miraculous sign can you show us to prove you have the right to do all this?” 

This follows our last message where Jesus cleared away the traders in the temple court. Now the Jewish leaders challenged Jesus for clearing the Temple Courts. Why? They had all been shown up! They had monetized forgiveness, prayer and worship. So they demanded Jesus explain Himself! They demanded to see a miracle to prove He had the authority to overrule their ‘racket’! 

19 Yeshua (Jesus) answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up again.”

Jesus answered with a prophecy! He knew they were going to kill Him and prophesied the end result! 

 20 The Judeans (Judah’s Jews) said, “It took 46 years to build this Temple, and you’re going to raise it in three days?” 

Their answer showed that they had missed the point!

21 But the “temple” he had spoken of was his body. 

John wants to underline this point for his readers so it is not missed by anyone else, so it must be important.

22 Therefore, when he was raised from the dead, his talmidim (disciples) remembered that he had said this, and they trusted in the Tanakh (Scriptures) and in what Yeshua (Jesus) had said.

This helped the disciples to later go on to be His witnesses. 

23 Now while Yeshua (Jesus) was in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) at the Pesach (Passover) festival, there were many people who “believed in his name” when they saw the miracles he performed. 

The people remembered the miracles and believed. 

24 But he did not commit himself to them, for he knew what people are like — 25 that is, he didn’t need anyone to inform him about a person, because he knew what was in the person’s heart.

Summary. John finishes this section with an indictment on humanity. Jesus already knew everything about everybody. Here John notes that Jesus would NOT trust Himself to anybody, as He knew what was in the heart. 

Worship and Prayer. 

“… He went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.” Matthew 14:23. 

Jesus taught His disciples what we call ‘The Lord’s Prayer’; (Luke 11). Listen here to Albert Malotte’s ‘The Lord’s Prayer’. 

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, 

thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 

Give us this day our daily bread. 

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever;- Amen.

Suggestions for prayer;-

  1. The world. (ie ‘For those in authority.’ Pray that the Indian President will soften towards Christians.)
  1. The ‘suffering church.’ https:/71/barnabasfund.org/nz/pray/daily-prayer/#previous-dates
  1. Your own situation. (Suggest ‘needs’ rather than ‘wants’.)

Today’s Verse…

John 2:23 Now while Yeshua (Jesus) was in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) at the Pesach (Passover) festival, there were many people who “believed in his name” when they saw the miracles he performed. (Complete Jewish Bible.)

Today’s Challenge

Jesus often tested the hearts of people with questions He knew the answer to, but He wanted to see if they would lie to Him, as Peter did – at first. Do you see yourself as you really are? Paul called his self-righteousness, ‘dung’. Isaiah said something similar. So do you think of your self-righteousness any differently to St Paul and Isaiah?

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John 2:13-17; Jesus Clears the Temple Courts

Give God Time Devotional.

(BY John Dunning)

Prayer and Praise.

Jesus said, “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” Matthew 26:40, so we start our journey of giving God time to work in us, by praying this hymn…

‘El Shaddai …’ (composed and sung by Michael Card)

A Word in your ear. 

John 2:13-17  Jesus Clears the Temple Courts

13 It was almost time for the festival of Pesach (Passover) in Y’hudah (Judah), so Yeshua (Jesus) went up to Yerushalayim (Jerusalem). 

So then Jesus and the disciples walked from Capernaum to Jerusalem – around about 100 miles. It would be about a 3-4 day walk. 

14 In the Temple grounds he found those who were selling cattle, sheep, and pigeons and others who were sitting at tables exchanging money. 

The religious leaders had created a monopoly of the Temple trade. Before a Jew could make a sacrifice, they had to exchange the local Roman currency into their own specially minted Temple money. The exchange rate was not favorable! That then allowed the worshipper to buy the specially reared Temple animals at an exorbitant markup. Only their own Temple animals could be used for sacrifice. The Temple was the only place allowed for sacrifice, so the religious leaders had a monopoly. You had to obey the religious leaders as they could ban you from the Temple, which was the only place you could make a sacrifice for forgiveness, let alone anything else. 

15 He made a whip from cords and drove them all out of the Temple grounds, the sheep and cattle as well. He knocked over the money changer’s tables, scattering their coins; 

Now, enter Jesus, who overturned the money changers tables. He made a DIY whip form cord and drove the traders out, and ‘shooed’ the animals out too. 

16 and to the pigeon-sellers he said, “Get these things out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market?” 

He ordered the pigeon sellers to take their birds out too. 

17 (His talmidim [disciples] later recalled that the Tanakh (Scripture) says, “Zeal for your house will devour me.” ) 

Summary:- 

This event must be significant as it came by revelation to David. (This event was prophesied, Psalm 69:7-9), and quoted by John as significant. ‘For I endure scorn for your sake, and shame covers my face. I am a foreigner to my own family, a stranger to my own mother’s children; for zeal for your house consumes me, and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.’ Paul also picked up on that prophecy in Romans 15:3. God knows the future! 

Worship and Prayer. 

“… He went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.” Matthew 14:23. 

Jesus taught His disciples what we call ‘The Lord’s Prayer’; (Luke 11).

Listen here to Albert Malotte’s ‘The Lord’s Prayer’. 

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, 

thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 

Give us this day our daily bread. 

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever;- Amen.

Suggestions;-

  1. The world. (ie ‘For those in authority.’ Christians are under pressure now.)
  2. The ‘suffering church.’ https://barnabasfund.org/nz/pray/daily-prayer/#previous-dates
  3. Your own situation. (Suggest ‘needs’ rather than ‘wants’.)

Today’s Verse… John 2:17

(His talmidim [disciples] later recalled that the Tanakh (Scripture) says, “Zeal for your house will devour me.” ) C.J.B.

Today’s Challenge

The zeal that God approved of in the ‘Old’ & ‘New’ Testaments identified those who God chose to use to do remarkable things through; (ie the list in Hebrews 11.) James tells us to put our faith into practice with our ACTIONS. How’s your zeal coming along? Does your zeal get you out of bed in time to give God time? Maybe going to bed in time to get up in time!

This is John Dunning and that our new devotional for another week

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John 2:1-12 The 1st ‘God-like’ miracle;- water into wine

Give God Time Devotional

Prayer and Praise.

Jesus said, “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” Matthew 26:40, so we start our journey of giving God time to work in us, by praying this hymn…

‘water into wine’  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0R9LRv6Sdw

A Word in your ear. 

John 2:1-12 The 1st ‘Godlike’ miracle;- water into wine

Introduction…

Let’s slow right down to look at this story in detail as John saw it as being so important that he recorded it in his gospel in spite of writing that he had left out so much other material, (John 21:25).

John saw what the other disciples hadn’t. John wrote about WHO Jesus was, by his selection of material. This is the first of 3 miracles showing the ‘Godlike’ nature of Jesus’ miracles. Jesus performed miracles that no one could be in any doubt that only God could do. In this story, Jesus was the creator AGAIN by turning ordinary well water into wine, instantly! 

1. On Tuesday there was a wedding at Kanah (Cana) in the Galil (Galilee); and the mother of Yeshua (Jesus) was there. 

The Complete Jewish Bible tells us that it is a Tuesday because the Greek says it is the ‘third day’ (as the 1st day of the week is what we call Sunday.) Jesus had just arrived in Galilee, Jn. 1:43.

It is now AD 26. Roman records show that the census took place in 4 BC which is what caused Joseph to take Mary and the unborn Jesus to go to Bethlehem! So Jesus was already 4 years old by the church’s new calendar of the year ‘0’. 

As Jesus was immersed by John the Baptist (which had just happened) and as He started His ministry at age 30,  it means this story happened in the year 26 AD.

2 Yeshua (Jesus) too was invited to the wedding, along with his talmidim (disciples)

3 The wine ran out, and Yeshua’s (Jesus’) mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”

Jesus had gone to Galilee and went to a wedding. Mary felt a responsibility for the  shortage of wine. (Maybe she felt responsible as it was a family wedding, which would explain it and there is no sign of Joseph, so maybe she was a widow already. Although that it’s not explained for sure, it helps me to make sense of why Mary should feel personally responsible. 

4 Yeshua (Jesus) replied, “Mother, why should that concern me? — or you? My time hasn’t come yet.” 

The other translations translate the Greek here as ‘Woman’. Only this version translates it as ‘Mother’. Why? Because when it is translated into English, it comes across as being rude, but in the Greek it isn’t at all. The Complete Jewish Bible is making sure that it does not give the wrong impression by translating so accurately that Jesus could be  misunderstood in it’s translated form. Having said that, the Greek word used here is ‘Woman’; but in translation into English, it loses the perfectly correct sense in which it is being used. Remember too that as Jesus existed before coming to earth, Mary became the way the Son of God came into the world as a human, so that He could die as a human for us. In that sense, Jesus is the only person who CHOSE to be born – as He pre-existed. Remember the words of Jesus on the cross to Mary, ‘Woman, here is your son…’ (John 19), when he wanted Mary to be cared for by his best friend, John, as Joseph had died. 

5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 

Mary knew enough to take the problem to Jesus, knowing He could fix it! Mary knew that only Jesus could help, and not her biological sons!

6 Now six stone water-jars were standing there for the Jewish ceremonial washings, each with a capacity of twenty or thirty gallons. 

(120-180 gallons total altogether!)

7 Yeshua (Jesus) told them, “Fill the jars with water,” and they filled them to the brim. 8 He said, “Now draw some out, and take it to the man in charge of the banquet”; and they took it.

9 The man in charge tasted the water; it had now turned into wine! He did not know where it had come from, but the servants who had drawn the water knew. So he called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone else serves the good wine first and the poorer wine after people have drunk freely. But you have kept the good wine until now!” 

Jesus CREATED AGAIN, this time by turning ordinary well water into wine, instantly. 

An artist’s reflection called, ‘water into wine’.

WATER                    INTO                         WINE 

Jesus turned water into wine because it was Mary who was anxious. We see from v.12 that Mary and her biological sons were at this wedding, (perhaps even making this a family wedding, as Mary also had a daughter and yet she was not with the after wedding get away group mentioned in v.12!) 

11 This, the first of Yeshua’s miraculous signs, he did at Kanah (Cana) in the Galil (Galilee); he manifested his glory, and his talmidim (disciples) came to trust in him. 

This miracle revealed something of Jesus’ glory and resulted in the disciples putting their trust in Jesus. Mary already had as she said ‘do whatever He tells you’.

12 Afterwards, he, his mother and brothers, and his talmidim (disciples) went down to K’far-Nachum (Capernaum) and stayed there a few days.

Never again did Jesus ‘stay a few days’ to have family time with Mary and her biological children. It must have been a bit like a farewell. Mary’s husband had already passed away, and as Jesus was leaving home He would no longer be the provider. Mary’s adult sons would be in charge of the carpenter’s shop. By joining the pieces of the jig puzzle together, it seems Jesus created this family ‘time out’ to act as a family farewell. We don’t see another family ‘get away’ recorded. It was the last time Jesus was with them as a family as the next thing that happens is that Jesus started His ministry. 

Whilst dying on the cross, Jesus asked John to adopt Mary as his mother – so maybe Mary’s natural-born sons were all married by then. Jesus only entrusted Mary to His most reliable friend – John the Apostle.

Summary:- 

John wanted everyone to know about the Godlike miracles of Jesus. Jesus created wine out of water in an instant! This was the first God-like miracle which John wanted all to know about! 

Worship and Prayer. 

Jesus taught His disciples what we call ‘The Lord’s Prayer’; (Luke 11). Listen here to Albert Malotte’s ‘The Lord’s Prayer’. 

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, 

thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 

Give us this day our daily bread. 

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever;- Amen.

Suggestions;-

  1. The world. (ie ‘For those in authority’ – maybe for Christians in India!)
  2. The ‘suffering church.’https://barnabasfund.org/nz/pray/daily-prayer/#previous-dates
  3. Your own situation. (Suggest ‘needs’ rather than ‘wants’.)

Today’s Verse…

John 2:9The man in charge tasted the water; it had now turned into wine!’  

Today’s Challenge

v. 5 His mother said to the wedding staff, “Do whatever he tells you.” 

That was faith! She knew only Jesus could help and whatever He said had to be obeyed.

The former Anglican bishop of Durham, the Right Reverend David Jenkins was promoted by the Archbishop of Canterbury in spite of not believing in the miracles. Some Anglican clergy, like Bishop David Jenkins, didn’t believe in the God-like miracles which John wrote about. If you have a voice in the Anglican church, do you speak up? History books record that John the Apostle refused to even get into the same public baths as a heretical church leader. Mary believed, because she said ‘ “Do whatever he tells you.” Her faith was rewarded. Joshua famously said, “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”Joshua 24:15. The bottom line is, just whose side are WE on?

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