Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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October 6 - Evening

"Thomas said to him, 'Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?' ”
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.' "
- John 14:5-7

Please, Give Me Those Directions to Your Father's House One More Time


According to Psalm 119:30 “the way” was obedience to the laws of God:
                “I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws.” – Psalm 119:30

After the close of the Old Testament the Jews continued to consider the Law as “the way” as seen in the intertestament book of Tobit (written around 150 BC):
“I, Tobit, have walked all the days of my life in the ways of truth and justice, and I performed many charitable deeds for my brethren and my nation, who came with me to Nineveh into the land of the Assyrians.” – Tobit 1:3
The Qumran community considered themselves to be “the Way” to the extent that those outside were not in “the Way.” And, like Jews before them, the Qumran community understood that a very strict legal observance of the Law guaranteed that they were followers of “the Way.”
The Roman world of 30 AD was, like our society today, under heavy influence of multitudes of philosophies, world views and religions in a pluralistic culture where many claimed to have access to “a way” that would bring peace, purpose, fulfillment, prosperity, pleasure, joy or all of the above!
In 30 AD, at the Last Supper, Jesus spoke with his disciples concerning the future and tells them he is going to his Father’s house. When he gets there Jesus promises that he will prepare a place for these disciples. Then he tells them:
            “You know the way to the place where I am going.” – John 14:4

Thomas, one of the disciples, has been trying to understand Jesus' dialogue in the Upper Room and feels he has been tracking with Jesus’ words up to this point. But, when Jesus says,“You know the way to the place where I am going,” Thomas realizes he is now completely confused because he was still trying to figure out where Jesus was going. And, if Thomas doesn’t know the where, how can Jesus say Thomas knows the way. So, as any sincere, serious disciple would, Thomas stops the dialogue and says:
            “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Thomas speaks for the whole group when he uses the word “we” instead of saying, “I don’t even know where you are going.” Before he interrupted Jesus, Thomas could have looked around to see if maybe Peter or John where understanding Jesus’ words. As we know, simple eye contact by Thomas with John along with an expression that says, “Do you get this stuff?”, could have caused John to give a simple nod, accompanied with a look of confidence, to reply back to Thomas, “Yea, I’ll explain it to you later. Just keep listening and taking notes.”
Surely the Gospels portray the disciples talking among themselves after class time with Jesus to compare notes, interpretations and insights. So, Thomas must have looked around the room and received no confirming nods of confidence from the other students, so he took the initiative to interrupt Jesus. Thomas says, “None of us understand where you are going, so we have no idea how to get there. Could you explain this again?”
To this Jesus answers:
            “I am the way.”

It is not obedience to the law. It is not a religious sect living out in the wilderness community of Qumran. It is not any of the limitless philosophies and worldviews. It is Jesus. The person Jesus is the way. Notice how this simple statement elevates itself above all the other options. Jesus makes an exclusive statement, “I am the way.” He does not say, “I am a way.” There are no other options available to gain access to the Father, which is where Jesus is going. Jesus is going to the Father God in heaven and the disciples are going to follow him.
Then Jesus says,If you really know me, you would know my Father.”

The verb “to know” is a covenant phrase in the language of Middle Eastern culture that carries the sense of “acknowledge.” Also, the word “if” communicates a conditional clause in the Greek that is the first class condition, (there are four; see details here) which means the condition is assumed by the speaker to be true. The first class condition is the condition of reality. Jesus is saying, "Thomas, if you guys knew me, and you do know me, you would know the way!" This is clarified by Jesus' next words:
            “From now on, you do know him (the Father God) and have seen him.”

The personal acknowledgement of knowing who Jesus is provides that person “the Way” to God. Jesus is the only way. And, to know Jesus is to know the Way.
Leon (Gr) -  Lion (Eng) - the Greek word leon is actually where we get our English word "lion." The Greek language uses leon as far back as 700 BC in the days of Homer. The Septuagint (LXX, the Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures) uses leon 150 times. All 9 times that the Greek New Testament uses leon it is a reference back to the Old Testament. For example, when Paul refers to being delivered from the lion's mouth in 2 Timothy 4:17 he is most likely using imagery taken from Daniel's experience in the lion's den in Daniel 6:22.
Do I really understand that Jesus is the Way?
Am I trusting in my behavior, my rituals, my goodness or even my obedience to some Law or system of rules? I will focus on Jesus. I will know Jesus, acknowledge Jesus and trust Jesus as the way to life and the way to eternal peace with God.



Bible Reading Descriptions Here

Narrative

(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text




Personal

Physical strength

Church

People accepting Christ and receiving the New Birth
Poor
Poland - the Catholic church is unpopular and evangelicals are few and recovering from division



Steps leading to the temple that held the Golden Calf at Dan.
(click on image for larger size)
Jericho's retaining walls that supported the mud brick wall that fell. (click on image for larger size)



Someone to Quote

"Whom should we love, if not Him who loved us, and gave himself for us?" – Augustus Toplady (1740-1778)

Something to Ponder

"Sin wouldn't be so attractive if the wages were paid immediately."

Here’s a Fact

In Luke 3:1-3 these men are mentioned by Luke:
- Tiberius Caesar - Pontius Pilate - Herod Antipas - Herod Philip - Lysanias of Abilene - Annas - Caiaphas - John the Baptist
Josephus also mentions all of these same men in his writing of Jewish history in his work entitled "Jewish Antiquities" written 70-90 AD.

Proverb

"If the righteous receive their due on earth, how much more the ungodly and the sinner!"
Proverbs 11:31

Coach’s Corner

Like a musical instrument, keep yourself in tune with reality.

John 21
New International Version (NIV)
Jesus and the Miraculous Catch of Fish
21 Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”
“No,” they answered.
He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.
10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.
Jesus Reinstates Peter
15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.
18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”
22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” 23 Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”
24 This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.
25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.
John 3
New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Teaches Nicodemus
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.”
“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.
John Testifies Again About Jesus
22 After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized. 23 Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were coming and being baptized. 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 baptizing, 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.”
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 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.

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