'Day One' Blog

Jesus, the Teacher – March 09, ’20

(This entry is number two of four that will draw from John, chapters thirteen through seventeen. The purpose is to allow us a deeper look into the character of Jesus in the final hours of His ministry. It will enhance the way we see Him as He approaches Gethsemane and beyond.)


Meditation for the Soul ~

“And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me,
believes not in me
 but in Him who sent me.
And whoever sees me sees him who sent me.
I have come into the world as light,
so that whoever believes in me
may not remain in darkness.
If anyone hears my words and does not keep them,
I do not judge him; for I did not come
to judge the world but to save the world.
The one who rejects me
and does not receive my words has a judge;
the word that I have spoken
will judge him on the last day.
For I have not spoken on my own authority,
but the Father who sent me
has himself given me a commandment
—what to say and what to speak.
And I know that his commandment is eternal life.
What I say, therefore,
I say as the Father has told me.” 
John 12:44-50
I am the vine; you are the branches.
Whoever abides in me and I in him,
he it is that bears much fruit,
for apart from me you can do nothing.
If anyone does not abide in me
he is thrown away like a branch and withers;
and the branches are gathered,
thrown into the fire, and burned
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you,
ask whatever you wish,
and it will be done for you.
By this my Father is glorified,
that you bear much fruit
and so prove to be my disciples.
As the Father has loved me,
so have I loved you.
Abide in my love.
If you keep my commandments,
you will abide in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments
and abide in his love.
These things I have spoken to you,
that my joy may be in you,
and that your joy may be full.
John 15:5-11

Reflection for the Mind ~

As we contemplate the life of Jesus in the days leading up to His arrest and death, let’s consider how He tended to His followers as their teacher. All those who listened to Jesus teach throughout His three years of public life had the gift of hearing the greatest teacher who ever lived. But few had the added gift of watching Him live His life from day to day. Those who did witnessed the flawless execution of everything Jesus taught. Jesus lived what He preached.

For all the diversity of Jesus’s teaching in those final days, a few thoughts have surfaced for me that have launched from the scripture passages above. The first is this: Most teachers work from a curriculum that is not their own. Jesus made it very clear He was no different. While He was in complete agreement with all He spoke, the instruction He gave came exclusively from the Father, and He made sure everyone understood that. Whatever was important to the Father was important to Jesus. Jesus had a specific agenda but it was not His own. It was NEVER His own, (Note to self).

In case His followers (that means us too) couldn’t make the connection between how He lived and how they were supposed to live, Jesus taught them using a very comprehensive analogy. John chapter fifteen might be one of the most familiar passages of scripture there is. A vinedresser, a vine, a branch connected to that vine, and the nutrients that flow through the vine: it’s a picture of connectivity that drives home our comprehensive need of God.

Jesus’ life of deference and submission to the Father was not a path among other paths for fruitful living. It was the singular path to fulfilling His life purpose. The same holds true for us.  We will live the way we are designed to live, bearing fruit if we abiding in Christ.

Jesus’ teaching days are far from over. You and I are meant to glean from Him no less powerfully than those who literally walked the earth with Him. My hope is that as we prayerfully sit with the passages above, we will experience Jesus as the attentive, perfect teacher He is.

Response for the Heart ~

Lord, will You teach me as You did those who walked the earth with You? I understand, however faintly, that if I’m going to live out the things You teach me, it’s going to happen as I “abide” in You. Teach me more about what it means to abide. Teach me more about how You practiced that kind of abiding in the Father. Thank You that You continued to be the great teacher, even as you approached the cross. And now, as I approach the remembrance of Your death, I praise You for the great teacher You are! ~ Amen

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2 Comments

  • Shirley

    1

    I've come to the blog a little late, but read each entry today. Each has spoken to my soul. I've felt "invited back home". I've felt the awe of a friendship with the One who was preparing to lay down His life for me. And I've felt the nutrients flowing as I connected to the Vine. Thank you, Anne. Love you.

    • Anne Barbour

      2

      He is an amazing caregiver! So glad you're along for this. And you are DEEPLY missed here at home! Much love, Anne

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