We learn in John 10:22-23 that Jesus celebrated the Feast of Dedication, a national holiday not mentioned in the Old Testament. It was winter, and Jesus walked in the portico where it would have been warmer. Here, Jesus was confronted for the final time in His public ministry by the religious leaders. Only three months away from crucifixion, Jesus boldly proclaimed (John 10:30) that He and His Father are one, and the Jews picked up stones to kill Him (John 10:31).
John writes his gospel with the purpose of proving that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, so that we might believe, and in believing, that we might have life through His name. John places a discourse of teaching before or after each of the miracles he writes about. John 6:16-21 includes two of four miracles that occur in this account. Other details, including the other two miracles, are found in the parallel accounts in Matthew 14 and Mark 6. In both the feeding of the 5,000 and this passage of John 6:16-21, we see that God is Provider, providing food and safety to His people. Jesus is Jehovah-Jireh in the flesh (John 6:35).
Job was a man who was prepared to understand his trials because he understood his God. We need to understand what it means to be prepared for God-appointed calamity in our lives. The author of Job is seeking to convey to the reader that Job was the last person on earth that anyone expected to endure such calamity.
Too many pastors have been measured by worldly standards of success in this past year in the midst of all the distractions life and culture have brought our way. The real measure of successful ministry is what the all-powerful grace of God is doing in people's lives. Only Jesus Christ can transform a life so completely.
Humans need to be together and to celebrate something bigger than themselves. We also need to be together as God's people. We prepare to be with each other, and we enjoy being with our Christian family. Our unity is based on our position in Christ and our disposition produced by the fruit of the Spirit.
We long to see people we love. Christians love Jesus Christ because of all He has done for us, and we can't wait to see Him. Our anticipation of Christ motivates us to live in a way that pleases Him.
What Paul says about Israel in his context can be applied to religious people in our context. Even those who are stuck in their ways have not stumbled so badly as to never have opportunity to be saved again. The offer of salvation is always given to them. What Paul says of Gentiles in his context applies to irreligious people today. As they accept Christ, religious people see the joy that results and become jealous.
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