April 6, 2019
John 11:45-53 The Message (MSG)
Today is the twenty-eighth day of our 40-Day Lenten Series, “Praying for a Kingdom Heart.” Lent should be a time of prayerful reflection, repentance, and restoration as we draw closer to the heart of God. People have the freedom to go in two entirely different spiritual directions each day. We can choose to look for God’s presence and grace guiding us along the paths of righteousness, or we can choose to guide our own self-serving paths. God allows us to make the choice. Now, when we choose to yield our lives to God, the Spirit reveals God-Signs to us along the way. It’s like being guided by little symbolic spiritual hugs of assurance for our faith. As we pray and ask for God’s grace, we may see details being brought together or connected to help us while facing challenges or concerns. These are moments of revelation that God is taking care of us. Every day as you pray and ask for a Kingdom heart, do you also expect the Spirit to reveal God-Signs that help you follow and grow in your belief and faith in the saving work of God’s Son?
In our passage today, Jesus has just resurrected and restored Lazarus. As a result of this miracle, many people were turning to believe in Jesus as the Son of God—the Messiah. Talk about a huge God-Sign! You would think that would be a hard God-Sign to miss, right? It depends on the heart. The hearts of the Pharisees and chief priests were bent on self-serving power. They wanted power over the people; rather than to help God’s people yield and grow under the rule of God. Yet, God used even the hardness and the selfishness of their hearts to bring his will to pass. In fact, he even put the words he wanted spoken in Caiaphas’ mouth in order to save the world. Our lives will move in the direction of our hearts. Choose to believe in the Son of God as the greatest God-Sign of all times!
During Lent, we will be using the acronym P.R.A.Y. as we pray for a Kingdom Heart. P=praise, R=repent, A=ask, and Y=yield. May God bless you as you spend time in God’s Word and in prayer today.
John 11:45-53 The Man Who Creates God-Signs
45-48 That was a turnaround for many of the Jews who were with Mary. They saw what Jesus did, and believed in him. But some went back to the Pharisees and told on Jesus. The high priests and Pharisees called a meeting of the Jewish ruling body. “What do we do now?” they asked. “This man keeps on doing things, creating God-signs. If we let him go on, pretty soon everyone will be believing in him and the Romans will come and remove what little power and privilege we still have.”
49-52 Then one of them—it was Caiaphas, the designated Chief Priest that year—spoke up, “Don’t you know anything? Can’t you see that it’s to our advantage that one man dies for the people rather than the whole nation be destroyed?” He didn’t say this of his own accord, but as Chief Priest that year he unwittingly prophesied that Jesus was about to die sacrificially for the nation, and not only for the nation but so that all God’s exile-scattered children might be gathered together into one people.
53 From that day on, they plotted to kill him.
Prayer: Father, I praise you for Jesus the God-Sign of your love for me. Thank you for the work of your Spirit who guides me with reassuring glimpses and signs each day. I repent for the times I have entertained a self-serving heart, because I realize that action limits what you want to do through me. I ask for you to teach me so I may influence others and guide them toward your God-Signs each day. Help me to reassure people of your presence guiding them. I want to recognize and yield to every God-Sign you bring to guide my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.