May 2/ John 18

Jesus finished praying and got up and went about his life obeying the Father. I believe this is a good example for us to follow; pray and then get up and live life in obedience to your heavenly Father. Your prayers steady you for what is ahead. What was ahead for Jesus was not pretty but prayer steadied him so he could keep on going. If you find yourself shaking a little because you know what is ahead or you are not sure how to handle what is ahead stop and meet with God in prayer. You might not always receive a clear cut plan on how to proceed but you will be able to proceed with steadiness and confidence.

Philippians 4:6–7 (NLT) — 6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Verses 1-3 > There are a lot of negative things that we could say about Judas but one plus is that he knew Jesus well enough to know where to find him and he led others to find Jesus! Now I realize their intent was wrong but do you know where to find Jesus and could you lead others to him?

Isaiah 55:6–7 (NLT) — 6 Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near. 7 Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously.

Verses 4-9 > How bad to you want to find Jesus? What would you be willing to let go of if it meant getting closer to Jesus? To have us Jesus let go of everything even his life. The cross was for us but to have us Jesus hung in our place. Wow meditate on that for a little while and see if it doesn’t cause you to say, “Thank you Jesus!”

Verse 10 > Peter didn’t know what was going on because a few hours ago he had been sleeping instead of praying. His zeal wasn’t based on knowledge. Sometimes we can swing the sword of the word and hurt people instead of help them. We have the truth but we don’t have the love to go along with it. Pray for the love.

Verses 15-16 > This is the way heaven is. Peter had to stay outside the gate because he didn’t know the high priest; the other disciple knew the high priest so he got to go in. Jesus is our high priest. If we know him because we have believed in him we will be able to enter heaven.

John 1:12 (NLT) — 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.

Verses 19-23 > They slapped Jesus around for telling the truth. They didn’t want to hear the truth. They were comfortable with their own set of beliefs. It is the same in the world today. Christians are being slapped around for telling and living out the truth. We live in a world that says there are no absolute truths. So when we come along and speak absolute truth it exposes their sinful ways and they hate it. They don’t want to know the truth because their deeds are evil. They live for pleasure and for whatever feels good. For a better picture of the world that we live in listen to my message from this past Sunday on “Whatever happened to true guilt”.

Verses 25-27 > I love that God included this story in the Bible about Peter. Jesus predicted that Peter would deny him and yet Jesus loved him anyway and was willing to take Peter’s punishment on the cross.  I know that I have denied Jesus plenty of times and he keeps drawing me back and forgiving me because he loves me. He has even been able to use me to help others receive Jesus.

Verse 28-32 > In a sense this is sort of humorous. They weren’t worried about defiling themselves with murdering Jesus but they were concerned that they might contaminate themselves by breaking their Jewish laws and have contact with Gentiles. I said sort of humorous. I guess this is an example straining out a gnat only to swallow a camel! You might have to think through that one.

Verses 37-38 > Truth is what God says and we have what God says (accurately but not exhaustively) in the Bible. Remember Jesus said and did many more things than were recorded in the bible.

John 17:17 (NLT) — 17 Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.

John 20:30–31 (NLT) — 30 The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.

John 21:25 (NLT) — 25 Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written.

Verses 39-40 > Barabbas wasn’t a threat to their lifestyle, Jesus was. It is the same today Hilltop. The world leaves us alone only until we become a threat to their godless lifestyle. Be a threat anyway. Speak and live the truth to the glory of God!

Be Inspired Hilltop!