It is good to study truth. It is good to have sound knowledge that we can rely on. God gives us exactly what we need when we need it. We can know what to believe and what not to by learning and listening to God. He is all we need; especially in these dark days of uncertainty.
We know God is alive and active when chaos ensues. When God is moving in the hearts of man, battles erupt! Opinions come spewing out and sides are taken as human nature defends itself. We see this as COVID-19 is entrapping the world. Thank goodness we have a solid foundation of truth that can stand the test of time.
I want you to be encouraged today. We can learn from our Bible study lesson in how God is in control. He has never let man thwart His plans and He isn’t about to let go of control, even now as a virus is causing conspiracies to fly around as well as opposition to what is sound medical advice.
Go ahead and read John 11:45-57. The time has come for Jesus’ public ministry to come to an end. He has been teaching people for three years. He has shown unconditional love, compassion and a deep understanding for what we experience while on this marred earth. He was faithful and trustworthy to everyone who chose to see beyond themselves.
Tuesday, we studied the amazing feat of Jesus resurrecting his close friend after four days in the grave! You would think that everyone who witnessed that would stop their worldly living and turn to the One who has control over death and follow Jesus. While many did come to believe, we know the opposition was gearing up for a battle.
ADDED INSIGHT: When we study scripture as well as history, we see battle after battle. There is a war that has been waging behind the scenes, a spiritual warfare between God and His angels versus Satan and his demons. It began with Satan duping Adam and Eve in the Garden and it will continue until Jesus returns to set things right again. We must never forget this war that is ensuing all around us.
We read how many people did come to believe Jesus. But there were many who could not get past their own thinking. Jesus continued irritating the priests and Pharisees with His mumbo jumbo of propaganda crap.
QUESTION: What were the leaders worried about in verse 48? What did they fear?
People were comfortable and familiar with their Old Testament ways. The priests and Pharisees had taken control over the people. They were supposed to be teachers who led people to walk with God but instead they led by their own opinions. They placed themselves before God and they called it religion. Jesus came to destroy their devilish works.
Caiaphas led the council in verses 49-50.
QUESTION: Why did he say what he did, see verse 51?
His words were prophetic. Caiaphas did not realize that God was using Him to bring about His plan. Prophecy is one way God helps us to know that He is alive, active and in control. The stage was being set for Jesus to reveal who He is. Jesus came to save the whole world, Jews as well as Gentiles.
QUESTION: What is God’s plan for His children, see verse 52?
Ephesians 1:10 reveals God’s plan, “And this is the plan: At the right time, God will bring everything together under the authority of Christ – everything in heaven and on earth.” Notice 1 John 2:2, “He, Jesus, is the sacrifice that atones for our sins; and not only our sins but the sins of the world.”
We have a front row seat to God’s plan for saving mankind. We have the whole story in front of us. It is found in the Bible. And this is why it is imperative to study it. We need to know what is going on. The best news source to follow is found within the pages of the number one bestseller of all time!
From that moment on, the plot to kill Jesus was enacted. God’s plan was moving forward. His plan in 2020 is moving forward and it will until He sends His Son back, not as our sacrificial Lamb but as a roaring Lion. He came in love the first time. The second time is for judgement. He will return as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!
The jealousy of Jesus took over many hearts. The Jewish leaders were on a mission to end His reign. God kept Jesus hidden with his disciples. The Passover celebration was taking place which meant a lot of people were gathering together. This would have been a prime time for Jesus to be out mingling with people.
QUESTION: What did the priest and Pharisees do to ensure that Jesus could be captured, see verse 57?
You know they had it up to here (their hand reaching up to their eyeballs) with this person disrupting their way of life! It was time to stop the madness!
Man has not changed since these early years. We are still sinful. We can be thankful that God has not changed either! We would not be here if it wasn’t for God’s gracious hand. We would have no hope if it wasn’t for the saving sacrifice of Christ to make a way for us.
His sacrifice opens the door for man to be reconciled back to God. Not only are we reconciled but Christ renews us. Sin isn’t present when God looks at His redeemed child. Before Christ, God sees us stuck in muddy pits; clamoring hard to escape. When Christ’s blood is upon us, we are made clean and can stand presentable in front of God. He lifts us out of our sinful pits. He deems us righteous and redeemed. From there, God infuses us with everything that is His and He calls us sons and daughters.
So, who is with me? Who wants to live where we are united in love? This is what God is wanting for us. This is what God is asking of us. It isn’t hard or toilsome. He wants to bestow amazing freedoms upon us but we can’t when we continue living like self-righteous priests and Pharisees.
We would run to Jesus if we truly understood that we all possess a key that unlocks the wonders of the world. What if you used your key and discovered a treasure that would change your world? Again, who is with me? You have it in you to be a world changer. God is calling you, my friend. The rest of us need you to say yes. God will give clarity, healing and return what has been lost. It would be amazing!