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Free Daily Bible notes by Rev Stephen Thompson

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John 5: 19-29: More gigantic claims.

John 5: 19-29: More gigantic claims.

19 Jesus gave them this answer: ‘Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honour the Son just as they honour the Father. Whoever does not honour the Son does not honour the Father, who sent him.24 ‘Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. 25 Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.28 ‘Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and come out – those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.NIV

 

Following the healing of an invalid man on the Sabbath day, Jesus spoke of His unity withy the Father. The Father had healed the man, and Jesus’ work of healing on this occasion gave expression to His oneness with the Father. The Jews got the point and saw that Jesus was claiming equality with God (18). That gave them even more reason to want to kill Him. But this was just the starting point. Jesus had even more things to say about His essential unity with the Father. He can only do what the Father does (19) so whenever we see Jesus at work, that is God the Father at work. And, indeed, to honour the Son is to honour the Father (23). If we don’t honour Jesus we can’t honour God. 

We need to get this message:

The Father heals the sick on the Sabbath, and so the Son does – for they are one (16-18);

As the Father raises the dead, so Jesus has the power to raise people both spiritually and physically – for they are one (21, 24, 25, 26, 28 and 29);

As the Father judges all, so does Jesus – for they are one (22, 23).

”The relationship of our Lord to the Father was such that he felt himself competent to fulfill all the functions of the Divine Being. Is it God’s prerogative to raise the dead? It is also Jesus Christ’s…Is it the divine right to be the judge of man? It is also the Redeemer’s right…Is it the peculiar attitude of God to be the fountain of life, so that life, inherent, underived, and perennial, is ever arising in his nature, sustaining here an angel and there a hummingbird? This is also an attribute of our blessed Lord…The entire sum of the attributes of Deity are resident in the nature of the Son of man. But though although all divine attributes were his, and might have been called into operation, he forebode to use them, that he might learn the life of dependence and faith, the life which was to become ours toward himself. He did nothing apart from the Father…No vine ever clung more closely to its trellis, and no child to its mother, than he to the Father. See Gal.2:20; Heb.12:2” F.B. Meyer: ‘Devotional Commentary’, pp.461,462.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, as you walked through life in total dependence on your Father, so enable me to keep my heart and eyes fixed on you. I need you every hour, every minute, every second (and milli-second!)

John 5:1-9: ‘Do you want to be healed?’

John 5:1-9: ‘Do you want to be healed?’

Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie – the blind, the lame, the paralysed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, ‘Do you want to get well?’‘Sir,’ the invalid replied, ‘I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.’Then Jesus said to him, ‘Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.’ At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, NIV

It’s a fair question: ‘Do you want to be healed?’ Some people, I am convinced, ENJOY bad health. There can be comfort zones in sickness. Pastors sometimes wonder whether certain people who expose their problems (and sins) really do want to be healed. Or do they just want to vent, have a jolly good moan, get things off their chest, without ever having to go through the trouble of changing? There is also the even bigger question of, ‘Do you really want Jesus in your life at all?’ Do you want Him to re-connect you to God? Or does that appear just too pricey, not to say inconvenient? 

Could it be that this man was making an excuse for remaining in his invalid condition? (6). It may not be fair to ask this, but you can’t help but wonder. Whatever, out of this great heaving crowd of human need, it would appear that Jesus homed in on just one man and set him free. So we see Christ’s sovereignty in the work of healing.

You may have heard the joke, ‘How many counsellors does it take to change a light bulb?’ The answer is, ‘Only one. But the light bulb has really got to want to change!!’ There is something in that.

‘Are you a withered soul? Healing and wholeness are in Christ for you. Receive from him the power that waits to flow through your wasted muscles. Believe that it is passing through you. And act accordingly. Spring to your feet, roll up your bed, and carry that which has so long carried you.’ F.B. Meyer: ‘Devotional Commentary’,p.461.

John 4:31-42: Real satisfaction.

John 4:31-42: Real satisfaction.

31 Meanwhile his disciples urged him, ‘Rabbi, eat something.’32 But he said to them, ‘I have food to eat that you know nothing about.’33 Then his disciples said to each other, ‘Could someone have brought him food?’34 ‘My food,’ said Jesus, ‘is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35 Don’t you have a saying, “It’s still four months until harvest”? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.37 Thus the saying “One sows and another reaps” is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labour.’39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me everything I’ve ever done.’ 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers.42 They said to the woman, ‘We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Saviour of the world.’ NIV

You may remember from verse 8 that ‘His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.’ When they returned, they naturally wanted Jesus to ‘eat something’ (31). I’m sure they knew that he was ‘tired…from the journey’ (6). They were being kind and caring. But Jesus sized the moment for a teaching opportunity (32). He wanted to convey the deep inner satisfaction He felt from doing the will of God (34). The disciples were confused because they took His words in a materialistic fashion (33) – much as the Samaritan woman had done previously (11-15).

Someone preaching on this passage said something like this: ‘Imagine an artist at work in his studio. At lunch time his wife brings him a drink and some sandwiches. When she returns to collect the empty’s a little while later, it’s barely been touched. Her husband is so absorbed in his work.’ That’s a good illustration. Obviously, it has stayed with me. Jesus found unparalleled satisfaction in doing ‘the will’ of the Father. That particular day it involved a ‘witnessing conversation’ with a deeply dissatisfied woman. And what a chain reaction it set off (39-42) It’s been suggested that when Jesus said, ‘I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields!’ (35), He was pointing to the Samaritans streaming across the fields towards them (40). There was a contrast to be drawn between the natural harvest, still four months away, and the spiritual one right before their eyes (35).

‘These Samaritan fields are ripe. It’s harvest time!…Without lifting a finger, you have walked in on a field worked long and hard by others.’ The Message.

There is nothing more satisfying for a Christ-follower than to point people to Jesus. And if you see success in some form; if people respond positively, better still. But all evangelism is team work, whether we are sowing or reaping (and in a lifetime you’ll probably do a bit of both.) The bottom line truth, of course, is that God gives the growth (1 Corinthians 3:7). So to Him belongs all the glory.

‘No single individual can claim credit for the success of any spiritual mission. The harvest belongs to the sower as much as to the reaper. It is possible that the others referred to the long line of prophets who had prepared the way, of whom John the Baptist was the last.’ Donald Guthrie: ‘New Bible Commentary’, p.1035.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, may I not fail to play my full part in your harvest.

John 4:1-14: Futility.

John 4:1-14: Futility.

“Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptising more disciples than John – although in fact it was not Jesus who baptised, but his disciples. So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, ‘Will you give me a drink?’ (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?’ (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)10 Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.’11 ‘Sir,’ the woman said, ‘you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?’13 Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’NIV

Wilfred Owen wrote a beautiful little war poem, full of pathos, and called it ‘futility’. It’s one of his shorter works, but it says so much. Reading Jesus’ words in (13), I call to mind the Old Testament book of ‘Ecclesiastes’. It too speaks of ‘futility’: the ‘vanity’, the emptiness, of everything we pursue in this life (‘under the sun’) in order to find meaning. King Solomon had everything you could want in this world. He had money, sex (oodles of it!!) and power. He found by personal experience that apart from God it was all ‘meaningless’. F.B. Meyer has said that you could write the words of verse 13 over all worldly amusements: ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again’ (13).

Jesus did not ‘have’ to go through Samaria as a geographical necessity. He could have taken another route. But there was a divine necessity about this trip. The Father had scheduled an appointment with a deeply ‘thirsty’ woman. She had found that this world does not satisfy, and she was ready to ‘drink’ what Jesus offered her.

Notice the simple relevance of Jesus’ approach. It starts with a shared understanding and need for water (7). But skilfully, carefully, Jesus went gradually deeper in the conversation, arousing her curiosity, drawing her in, whetting her appetite. Michael Green once said that in personal evangelism we have to row our gospel boat around the island of a person’s life, and determine which is the best place to ‘put in’. When you read the gospels you see that Jesus had no pre-packaged, pre-programmed approach. He was led by the Father.

By the way, can you see the irony in (12)? We know the answer, even if she doesn’t – yet!!

Prayer: Father God, please organise my schedule for today – and every other day. And help me to never make tiredness an excuse for avoiding people, and failure to serve.

John 3:22-36: God gives the growth.

John 3:22-36: God gives the growth.

“22 After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptised. 23 Now John also was baptising at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were coming and being baptised. 24 (This was before John was put in prison.) 25 An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. 26 They came to John and said to him, ‘Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan – the one you testified about – look, he is baptising, and everyone is going to him.’27 To this John replied, ‘A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. 28 You yourselves can testify that I said, “I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.” 29 The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. 30 He must become greater; I must become less.’[a]31 The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. 33 Whoever has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. 34 For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God[b]gives the Spirit without limit. 35 The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” NIV

Never forget the principle enunciated clearly in (27) – a man can have only what is given him from heaven. God gives the growth, so why do we act like He doesn’t? Why do we place so much store by people who seem to be experts at producing growth and telling ‘how it’s done!’?

We need to remember this especially when other churches and leaders SEEM to succeed more than we do. How we handle the success of others is a real test of character. Dallas Willard makes the point that one practical out working of the doctrine of the Trinity will mean that pray for other church leaders and root for them. We will want their success.

John’s disciples seemed to complain about the growth of Jesus’ ‘church’, but John himself was delighted with the news. He recognised the total superiority of Jesus to himself (31-36). He realised that more and more he would have to retreat into the shadows, whereas Jesus’ place was in the spotlight (30). He likened his role to that of the ‘best man’ at a wedding (28, 29).The best man needs to be efficient (and John was very good at what he did), but he must not steal the show. He cannot court the limelight. He wants to see the bride and the groom come together. It would be terrible if he were to run off with the bride. John was watching the ‘bride’ run to her Beloved, and nothing could give him more pleasure. This was what he lived for. The bride and Groom were coming to centre-stage, and he would be able to slip out through the back door.

‘What a blessing it would be if we could enshrine in our hearts this immortal maxim: ”A man can receive nothing except it be given him from heaven!” What we have is God’s gift; let us hold it reverently. What another person has is God’s gift to him; we have no right to find fault with his dealings with another of his servants. Our orbits are distinct; all we have to do is shine our brightest where he has placed us, confident that he knows best.’ F.B. Meyer: ‘Devotional Commentary’, p.459.

Prayer: Help me Lord to see your glory in the gifts you share with others. Let me feel neither jealous or discouraged. Let me be content to be the best version of me that I can be. It will be because of you, and to you be all the glory.

John 3:9-21: Darkness to light.

John 3:9-21: Darkness to light.

“9 ‘How can this be?’ Nicodemus asked.10 ‘You are Israel’s teacher,’ said Jesus, ‘and do you not understand these things?11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven – the Son of Man.14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.’16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.” NIV

‘This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil’ (19).

There are people in the world who, although yet in darkness, like Nicodemus (9 – 12) they are making honest movement toward the Light (20, 21). They are prepared for the exposure the Light brings, and at some point (probably soon) they will be willing to repent of their wickedness and trust in Christ’s sacrifice on their behalf.

But the natural state of man is anti-God/anti-Christ (19).The natural person hates God. It is a sin against love (16), we know, but there it is. He/she rejects Christ, and therefore they are in condemnation (17). Such a person will never turn from darkness to Light without a regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. They ‘must’ be born again (7). Thank God that, by His Sovereign grace, such a miracle is possible.  Think about Saul of Tarsus for example (Acts 9). A man or a woman, a boy or a girl, can ‘believe in’ Jesus (16) and receive this gift of ‘eternal life’ (16). This faith in Christ crucified brings a person ‘out of darkness’ and into ‘marvellous light’ (1 Peter 2:9). 

It seems to me that there are two important ‘must’s’ in John 3 – two compelling necessities:

  1. The necessity of the new birth (7);
  2. The necessity of the cross (14).

These two necessities are linked, and through the life-giving work of the Spirit we are enabled to trust in Christ for our salvation.

I heard a preacher say something like this: ‘We talk about wearing the heart on the sleeve; God wore His heart on a cross.’

W.E. Songster said in a sermon that God knows ‘the pain of unrequited love.’ He ‘so’ loves even those who hate Him. 

‘My Lord, what love is this…?

John 3:1-8: ‘Blowin’ in the Wind.

John 3:1-8: ‘Blowin’ in the Wind.

“Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.’Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.‘How can someone be born when they are old?’ Nicodemus asked. ‘Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!’Jesus answered, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.You should not be surprised at my saying, “You must be born again.” The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.’NIV

Nicodemus was a ‘seeker’. It would appear that he was not the only one among the group of ‘Pharisees’. They were exceptionally devout men, and there were certainly those who recognised that there was something special about Jesus (2). They were not yet converts. Clearly, they were still in spiritual ignorance (10) and should have known better. But there were promising indications of eyes starting to open; the first glimmerings of a spiritual dawn.

Nicodemus may have come to Jesus ‘at night’ because he was embarrassed to be seen with him during the day. He was, after all, a man of great status, and we know how pride can affect us all. But maybe at this stage, he just wanted a private, unhurried and uninterrupted conversation with Jesus. Whatever, although the man was religious – a ‘man of the cloth’ you might say – Jesus wasted no time in letting him know that religiosity was not enough. In one statement Jesus swept away much of what Nicodemus stood for (3) and demanded that he should be remade on the inside by the power of God. Jesus said it is not possible to ‘see’ the kingdom of God (3), let alone ‘enter’ it (5) without a second and spiritual birth. (There is in the Greek language the idea of being ‘born from above’ as well as being ‘born again’. Just as a person is born physically, so there must be another, a second birth, which is the work of the Holy Spirit.) This should not have come as a surprise to Nicodemus (7). He was well versed in the Old Testament, and there are intimations there of the need for, and possibility of regeneration (e.g. Ezekiel 36:24-27).

There is a mystery about the work of the Holy Spirit, and about those in whom He is at work (8). Spirit-led people will often leave worldly people scratching their heads. (Sometimes they will even baffle fellow-believers!!). The Spirit of God is like the wind. (It’s interesting that in the original language, the same word is used for ‘breath’, ‘wind’ and ‘spirit’).We can’t see Him, but we can see what He does. And we certainly can’t control Him. One of the problems we can have in church life is when ‘the Wind changes direction’ and we don’t realise it. May we remain sensitive to God’s mighty Spirit, and seek to always keep in step with Him.

Prayer: Thank you Lord that you recreate – that you make brand new people by your Holy Spirit. Thank you for your work in me. I pray that I will never resist your Holy Spirit, but move wherever He ‘blows’ me.

John 2: 12-25: ‘Get these out of here.’

John 2: 12-25: ‘Get these out of here.’

“12 After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days. When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, ‘Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!’ 17 His disciples remembered that it is written: ‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’ 18 The Jews then responded to him, ‘What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?’19 Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.’20 They replied, ‘It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?’ 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. 24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. 25 He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.”NIV

There was quite a lucrative business going on in the Temple precincts. If you wanted to buy an animal for sacrifice it would cost you ‘an arm and a leg’. (Let’s face it, people travelling great distances to worship at the temple might not be able to bring one with them. They needed the opportunity to purchase a beast on site. But they got ripped off). Also, only Temple currency could be used there, and the exchange rate was exorbitant. 

Jesus came to the Temple in the spirit of Malachi 3:1ff. He acted like the Temple was HIS. It was. He assumed the right to act in this way. This was not lost on the Jews. Only God had the ‘authority’ (18) to clean up the Temple. Jesus was (and is) God, and His resurrection demonstrates the fact (19). The Jews in this story totally misunderstood what He was saying (20). At His trial, these words were aggressively thrown back at Him. But Jesus did not say that He was going to destroy the Temple. He did know, however, that they were going to ‘destroy’ His body (which He refers to as ‘this temple’). Yet they would find Him to be indestructible.

What does Jesus ‘find’ today in His temple?

My body is His temple (1 Corinthians 6:19);

The local church is His temple (1 Corinthians 3:16, 17).

What does He find there that needs to change? He has the right to challenge and to change it.

He is Lord.

What needs to go?

‘Get these out of here.’

‘When he comes to dwell within us, he finds our hearts desecrated by unholy things which he quickly casts out. He sits as a refiner of silver; his fan is in his hand, and he thoroughly purges his floor.’ F.B. Meyer: Devotional Commentary,’ p.459.

Prayer: Lord show me what needs to go from my life. Help me to throw it out, in your strength.

John 2:1-11: The difference Jesus makes.

John 2:1-11: The difference Jesus makes.

“On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, ‘They have no more wine.’‘Woman, why do you involve me?’ Jesus replied. ‘My hour has not yet come.’His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from eighty to a hundred and twenty litres.Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water’; so they filled them to the brim.Then he told them, ‘Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.’They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realise where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, ‘Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.’11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.” NIV

A former drunkard said, ‘I have no problem believing Jesus turned water into wine, for He turned beer into furniture in my house!’

You have the potential for miracles when Jesus is invited into a marriage (1,2) – and every marriage will need them. There can come a time in a marriage when ‘the wine runs out’. But Jesus can turn the ‘water’ of ordinary, everyday married life into the ‘wine’ of something rather special, when He is at the centre. We ‘involve’ Him (4) because we recognise we need Him so much.

The essential thing is: ‘Do whatever he tells you’ (5). Not everyone reading these notes will be married, but for those who are I have a question: Is your marriage centred in the Lordship of Christ? Is it built on the rock of Scripture? Is the desire to obey your Lord at the heart of everything? Do you pray together? Do you read God’s Word together? (Okay, I know Jesus can be Lord of your marriage even where you don’t have joint quiet times, as well as individual ones; but I highly recommend the practice of sharing the deepest and most meaningful things in life in this way. It is a wonderfully bonding/unifying practice.) But the bigger question is, ‘Do you obey Jesus, both in your life together and personally?’ If you ask Him to – if you involve Him – Jesus can and will reveal His glory right in the middle of your marriage, and grow your faith (11b).

Jesus blesses abundantly (6-10). A huge amount of wine was supplied and it was of the finest quality. (What happened ran contrary to the custom of the times. A wedding feast could last for days. Normally, the best wine was given first. Then later on, when the guests were ‘past their sell-by date’, they brought out the inferior stuff. But here it was acknowledged that the best was kept until the end.)

Well, whether you are single or married, the message is: ‘Do whatever he tells you’.

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