Wednesday 27 March 2024

There are two fundamental doctrines of the Church which cause widespread controversy, and unfounded rejection to people both outside the Church and to members within.  Failure to believe and accept is to say the Bible is unreliable and untrue.

One of those doctrines we celebrated a few months ago when we told of the Virgin Birth of our Lord. This Sunday we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, as countless millions have done so over the centuries, but we face a battle to proclaim our message as secular extremists try to create a spiritual vacuum. 

The armchair unbelievers will tell you of the impossibility that what w believe could not possibly happen.

Our message is that Jesus Christ is the One who died on a   Cross for the forgiveness of our sins, and rose again on the third day.

If someone had said a hundred years ago, that we could sit in our homes, and by watching a box in the corner of the room, show events then happening on the other side of the world; or that by taking a small handset pressing a few buttons, you could speak to someone in any part of the world, they would have been deemed to be insane.  Yet it happens every day by man’s efforts, and we still question what the Almighty God can achieve. Remember the words of Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus; with God, nothing is impossible

The principal character in our Gospel passage is a woman named Mary Magdelene, who loved Jesus dearly.  Mary came from the village of Magdala on the Sea of Galilee and was one of a group of women who became followers of Jesus, offering financial support and general help.  Jesus had healed her from demonic problems, and she never forgot that.

No one loved Jesus as much as Mary Magdelene. Jesus had done what no other person could ever do, and Mary could never forget that. Silly gossip stated she was a scarlet sinner, but no evidence has ever proved that was so.  Mary may have sinned much, and Mary loved much, and only love was she able to offer.

It was Jewish custom, to visit the tomb of a loved one for three days after the body had been laid in the tomb. They believed that for three days the spirit of the dead person hovered and waited round the tomb; and after only then the spirits depart, for then it became unrecognizable. The friends of Jesus could not come to the tomb on the Sabbath, for that would break the law. Saturday was the Sabbath, so Mary went on Sunday morning.

    Early on the morning, Mary went to the tomb and saw the stone had been rolled away, and the body of Jesus had gone.  She ran to tell Peter and John.    

According to the other gospel accounts, other women besides Mary went to the tomb early that morning.

It is sometimes claimed, that the Bible accounts cannot be true because of variations in the gospels; that in fact only offers credibility.  If everyone here this morning was given a piece of paper, and told to go home and write an account of what happened from the beginning of the service until the time you left, I guarantee when you later compared all the writings, no two would be the same, yet no one could doubt you were here.  Any lawyer will confirm, that when two witnesses offer an identical statement there is an immediate suspicion they have colluded.

John ran to the tomb, and John being the younger got their first, but he let Peter enter the tomb, being the stronger character. 

We notice here two believers, one gentle and reserved as John, whilst Peter was always more impulsive and decisive, each revealing their devotion in different ways.  There is room for all characters in the Church. 

Peter and John left the scene, but Mary stayed; she loved Jesus when He was alive and then was too grieved to leave.  Mary was the last person to stay with Jesus at the Cross, and first to go to His tomb.  This was a testimony to her loyalty, for none of the men stayed.  She remained sobbing, but she was rewarded when she became the first person to meet the risen Lord.

.We see that those who are loyal to Christ are honoured by Him, and those who are most true will have most communion with Him.

 As she wept, she saw two angels in white, and they asked why she was weeping.  She said it was because they had taken away the Lord, and she did not know where they had laid him. She then turned round and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus asked her, why she was weeping, and who was she looking for.

Supposing him to be the gardener, she told him she was looking for the Lord and wanted to find his body so she could take it away. It was rather optimistic and unrealistic for to expect herself, a frail woman, to carry a dead man’s body any distance. Jesus the identified Himself and told her to go and tell His disciples, so making her to become the first Christian witness.

This is what Easter is all about, the real spiritual message that Jesus rose from the dead, not the money making enterprise it has become. Easter is celebrated to remind us, that when our days on this earth are over, we have the assurance we shall live with our Lord; if we have accepted Him as Saviour.  The resurrection is the foundation of Christianity.

Whilst there is much about our faith that is respected by people who are not practising Christians, such as being forgiven of sin, hearing that God is love (very popular), but they think that is  free for all without any commitment.  They will come to Church for a baptism, and make all sorts of promises simply because it is a necessary requirement, but they don’t take things seriously or literally. 

Things are not made any easier by the irresponsible liberals within the Church, who themselves question much of the faith. We are performing a sacred service, which has no validity because they don’t understand, or believe, what they are saying and doing.

It is factual, that in many Churches a phone call to the Church requests a Baptism, (often called a christening) and are told to be at the Church at a stated time and date. No explanation as to what Baptism means and demands.

If Easter had not happened; if Jesus had not been raised from the dead, then we have no faith.  Christianity rises and falls on the resurrection of Jesus.  This has been proclaimed down the ages and if not true, the Bible writers would have lied, and millions of people would have made great sacrifices in the cause of the faith in vain.  Why would educated men like Paul, and down to earth fishermen, lie when they had nothing to gain by doing so?

If Jesus had not been raised there would be no forgiveness, we would have no future, but the evidence is overwhelming in favour.  First century witnesses and documents tell.  We have testimony from men present at that time, that the resurrection of Jesus was real, objective and physical.  This is what the Church has always believed in over two thousand years of Christian witness, that has sustained the hearts of millions.

The Apostles Creed does not say I believe in the forgiveness of sins and the spiritual resurrection of Jesus, it says I believed in the resurrection of the body.  When liberals challenge this they do so in spite of all the evidence.

After the resurrection, we find the Apostles who had been timid and frightened men, now ready to go preaching openly and fearlessly, and suffering violently for doing so.  Men do not invent stories to be put in prison, and get beaten up, or hung on a cross like Peter, or stoned to death like Stephen.         

Through centuries that have followed, brilliant men and women have experienced the same fellowship and power in their lives, in addition to peace of mind.  They were not simple minded people, but some of the greatest scholars of their day, who have forsaken the chance of earning great wealth in other professions, in order to serve God and His Church. 

Let us always remember that Jesus never changes, He is the same yesterday to today for ever, and will take care of all who believe and put their trust in Him.


     In the evening of that first Sunday, the Apostles were gathered together in a locked room when Jesus appeared. You can imagine the reaction of the Apostles who must have thought they were hallucinating, for most people do at some time have visions, especially if you are longing for someone whom you never expected to see.  The Apostles were delighted to see the Lord however.

Jesus greeted them with the traditional Jewish greeting Shalom, words which mean not only ‘peace be with you’, but every kind of blessing.  He then showed them His hands and side, to prove that it was the same Jesus they had known when they were with Him, but by showing His wounds, it verified that this was the Jesus who had been on the Cross, and was now an alive person.

Then Jesus gave them command saying, just as God had sent Him He was now sending them out to preach the gospel in His name.  This is essentially and fundamentally what the Church should and must be doing, preaching the gospel that He left us.


Jesus then when parting He again said ‘peace be with you’ as a form of good-bye, and then breathed on them.  At His baptism the Holy Spirit was poured out on Jesus, and He now tells the Apostles as God had given Him the Holy Spirit, He (Jesus) was giving them the power of the Holy Spirit, to go out and tell the world about His offer of eternal salvation, for all who accepted and believed in Him.  If anyone did not, they were condemned Meternally.

Jesus has passed on this mission to the Church all down the ages to go out and speak for His message, so that when people hear that message from us, they are indirectly hearing the words of our Lord.

All true Christians, and who love the Church, should, earnestly pray for the faithful discharge of its duty to Jesus, whose voice it is meant to be, and for the proclamation of the gospel, without any amendments.

May God bless His Word to ourhearts and may His Holy Name be praised


Sunday 24 March 2024


Turn with me to John’s gospel from Chapter 18 through to Chapter 19,  This is a long story.

First verses 1-27.

We begin when Jesus had finished praying, he left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley.  On the other side there was a garden of Gethsemane, and he and his disciples went into it.

Judas, who betrayed him knew the place, because Jesus had met there with his disciples, So Judas came to the garden guiding  a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees, They were carrying lanterns, torches and weapons, for they expected Jesus would be hiding in the garden.


Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, who is it you want?  Jesus of Nazareth, they replied. I am he, Jesus said. (Judas the traitor was standing there  with them) When Jesus said, I am he, they drew back and fell to the ground

 Again he asked them, who is it you want, and again they replied Jesus of Nazareth.  Jesus answered I told you I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.  This happened so that the words spoken would be fulfilled. ‘I have not lost one of those you gave me’

 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant cutting off the right ear. 

 Jesus commanded Peter, put your sword away.  Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?

 Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander, and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas. The high priest that year. Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jewish leaders that it would be good if one man died for the people.

 Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest. But Peter had to wait at the outer door, The other disciple who was known to the high priest came back, spoke to the servant girl on duty there, and brought Peter in.

‘You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you’, she asked Peter. He replied I am not

 It was cold, and the servants and officials stood round the fire they had made to keep warm. Peter was also standing there.

 Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples, and his teaching, Jesus said. ‘I have spoken openly to the world. I always taught in the synagogues or the temple, where all the Jews come together.  I said nothing secret, why question me. Ask those who hear me. Surely they know what I said’.

When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby slapped him in the face. Is this the way you answer the high priest? He demanded

 Jesus said,’ if I did something wrong, testify to what was wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me’ ? Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas, the high priest.

 Peter is twice more asked if he was with Jesus, and on each occasion  denied him. At that moment, the rooster began to crow.

 This has formed the first part of the story. We see the Lord’s care for his disciples safety.  Even at a critical time, when his own sufferings are taking place, he did not forget his little band of believers. He remembers their weakness, and how little prepared they were to go into the judgement hall.

We also see how Jesus submitted fully to his Father’s will. In this blessed frame of mind, there is a pattern for all who profess and call themselves Christians.

 Moving on from v 28, the Jewish leaders took Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning  and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness, it being a Gentile palace, they did not enter the palace, for they wanted to eat at the Passover  festival. So Pilate came out and asked them, what charges are you brining against him?

 If he were a criminal they replied, we would not have  handed him over to you.  Pilate answered, ‘Take him yourselves and judge him by your own laws’. The said  that they have no right to execute anyone.  This was to fulfil what Jesus had said about the kind of death he was going to die.

 Pilate went back into his office and summoned Jesus. ‘Are you the king of the Jews? he asked him. ‘ Is that your idea. or did others talk about me?’

 ‘Am I a Jew?’ Pilate replied, ‘Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me, what is it you have done?’  Jesus said, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If it  were my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders.  But my kingdom is from another place.’

 ‘You are a king then’, Pilate said.  Jesus answered ,’You say that I am a king. In fact the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me’.

 Jesus had no hope of justice, in view of what he was facing, men who were engaged on an evil way. They cannot do anything by fair mans, so they feel entitled to do so through evil means.

 At this time the Jews were subject to Rome, who allowed them a good deal of government, but they had no authority to carry out the death penalty. What belonged to the Romans were taken away from Israel.  If the jews had have been allowed the death penalty, it would have been by stoning. Their law laid down that blaspheming the Lord, shall be put to death, and all the congregation would stone the culprit.

 The Jews from start to finish were seeking to use Pilate for their purposes, seeing that they could not kill Jesus. So they were determined to have the Romans do it for them.  They began hating Jesus, but they finished in a hysteria of hatred. They became a maddened crowd, shrieking like wolves, with faces of bitterness shouting crucify him.  In the end, they came to an insanity that lost all reason, and all judgment was lost.  Hatred destroys a person’s senses.

 You are a king then, Pilate said.  Jesus answered ,You say that I am a king. In fact the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me

 Pilate felt sorry for Jesus an did not want to harm him.  The reason he did not challenge  the Jews was because in earlier days he acted in disputes, in which he was considered to have acted wrongly, so to avoid the prospect of the Jews complaining to Rome, which might have led to his dismissal, he went along with them.

 Moving into Chapter 19,

Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. This was totally superfluous, considering he was going to be crucified.  A belt is  fitted with metal studs which cut into the body and is used 39 times.

 A crown of thorns was placed on his head, the thorns causing blood to flow on to his face. He was mocked and slapped by the soldiers, and a purple cloak was thrown over his body. Again, mocking by calling him king of the Jews. When the Jews saw him, Pilate said to them, ‘here is the man’.

 Once more, Pilate anxious to avoid crucifixion, said to the Jews, I am bringing him out to you  as I find no basis for a charge against him. The Jewish leaders insisted. We have a law, and according to that law, he must die because he claimed to be the Son of God.

 When Pilate heard this, he became more frightened, and went back into his palace.  Where do you come from, he asked Jesus, but Jesus did not give him an answer. Do you refuse topeak to me? Pilate said, ‘Don’t you know I have the power to release you or crucify you?’

 Jesus answered, ‘You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin’.

 From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jewish leaders kept shouting, if you let this man go you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar

 When Pilate heard this, he brought out Jesus, and sat down on the judgement seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement.  It was the day of preparation for the Passover about noon.

 Here is your king. Pilate said.  They shouted take him away. Crucify him.  Shall I crucify your king?, Pilate asked. We have no king but Caesar the chief priests answered.

 Finally, Pilate hand him over to be crucified

 So the soldiers took charge of Jesus, and carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the skull known as Golgotha.  There they crucified him with two others, one on each side of him.

 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the Cross. It read

JESUS OF NAZARETH KING OF THE JEWS. Many Jews read this sign which was written Aramaic, Latin and Greek.  The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate. Do not write king of the Jews, but this man claimed, to be king of the Jews. Pilate answered  what I have written I have written.

 When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one or each of them, with the under garment remaining.  This garment was seamless, worn in one piece from top to bottom. Let us not tear it, they said to one another, let us decide by lot who will get it.

 This happened that scripture might be fulfilled that said,

‘They divided my clothes among men and cast lots for my garment’.

 Near the Cross of Jeus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary he wife of Cleopas, and Mary Magdelene.  When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing there, he said, ‘Woman, there is your son.’, and to the disciple, ’here is your mother’. From that time on, the disciple took her into his own home.  (John was the disciple )

                                   The death of Jesus  

Later, knowing all had finished and so that the Scripture may be fulfilled, Jesus said, ‘I am thirsty’_ A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it. Put the sponge on a stalk of a hyssop plant, and lifted to the lips of Jesus.  When he had received the drink, he said, ‘It is finished’.  He bowed his head and gave up his spirit,

 The next day was to be a special  Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down.  The soldiers broke the legs of  the first man to be crucified, and those of the other man, but when they came to Jesus and found he was dead, they did not break his legs, instead one soldier pierced his side with a spear, bringing a flood  of blood and water.  These things happened to fulfil Scripture.


                             The Burial of Jesus

Later Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. He was a disciple of Jesus. But secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. He took the body away accompanied by Nicodemus, who brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy pounds. They took the body and wrapped it with the spices  in strips pf linen in accordance with Jewish customs,

 At the place there was a garden in which there was a tomb which no one had never been laid. Because it was the day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

 Let us always remember that our blessed Lord suffered and died of his own free will. He could have escaped, but as in all his life he gladly gave himself for us.  He cam to earth to die, and to die so that all who faithfully believed in him, could have their sins forgiven by the penalty he paid for on the Cross. This is why God sent him, and by his life he obtained glory for himself and God was glorified.

 Jesus bore the hardness of so many men. Soldiers, Jewish leaders who were devoid of any sympathy but determined to have nothing but the Lord’s death.

 We should admire the love of Christ, which Paul stated passes all understanding. There is no earthly love which can compare, and no standard by which to measure . Anyone who can read this without a deep sense of  debt to Christ, must have a very cold or thoughtless heart.  As he walked to the Cross, humble without any wish to avoid going. Beaten to near death before being nailed to the Cross, naked to forgive the sins of so many people who will still expect more from him, without giving an hour of their time to attend services of praise for him.

 Christians must come out of the world, and be willing to stand and take up your cross when necessary.  Be prepared to speak out when you see the Bible disregarded in order to please those who will never give a minute of their life to Christ.

 Even in the agony of body and soul, Jesus remembered his mother. He knew that holy as she was, she was still a mother who was seeing her son in such circumstances. 

 In conclusion, amidst such sadness, let us take comfort from knowing we have a Saviour of matchless sympathy and consideration for his believing people. His words to close, whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, sister and mother  Jesus never forgets any that love him.


May God bless his words to our hearts and his Holy Name be praised and glorified.

Wednesday 20 March 2024


Sunday is Palm Sunday the beginning of the most holy week in the     Church’s calendar. All four gospel writers tell the story of that first momentous week, let us turn to Mark in Chapter 11.
The Chapter opens where Jesus is about to make the final stage of His life’s journey, which will end at the Cross, and He plans it with great detail, sending two of His Apostles to arrange for the donkey on which He will ride into Jerusalem. In the course of the next few days, He would celebrate the Last Supper with His Apostles, see one of them betray Him, face a mock trial and be sentenced to death, led to the Cross and crucified.,

Jesus had been in Jericho, and was now ready to go to Jerusalem on the last state of his life’s journey, the end was sight. He twenty miles on a journey that many pilgrims had walked.

The Passover was one of three Jewish festivals, which called for compulsory attendance to all Jews, and people came from far and wide to Jerusalem. Wherever a Jew lived, it was an ambition to observe the act so prominent in Jewish history, when God showed his protection for his people.  The towns and villages were crowded around the city, for the number who attended sometimes in being over two thousands 

On reaching Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of His disciples ahead to the next village, telling them they would find a colt, tied by the side of the road, and they were to untie it and take it to Him.  If anyone should challenge them, they were to say the Lord needs it.  We are not told how Jesus knew this, He may have had a prior arrangement with the owner, or it could have been supernatural knowledge.

So began the fateful journey down the Mount of Olives, where He was joined by waiting crowds who greeted  Him wildly, laying their cloaks on the road in front of Him and waving palm branches, and singing from Psalm 118, which was a psalm pilgrims sang as a hymn of praise to God. This was a sacred hymn, which every Jewish boy had to learn.  Within a week, the same people would call for the death of Jesus.

During His earthly ministry Jesus sought to withdraw from public attention and did what He had to do quietly, often asking people He helped not to tell; now He is deliberately seeking attention as He rides into the city at the greatest public festival of the Jewish year, to proclaim Himself to be the Messiah. This was the feast of the Passover, so revered as a memory of when God led the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt, and when most people would be in the city. Jesus will fulfil the purpose for which He came when He will surrender His life in order that we may have eternal life.
His works had become well known and the crowds greeted Him with shouts of Hosanna, which means ‘save us’, seeing Him as the one who would lead them to glory in world conquest. When they realised this was not His mission, the same crowds would later in the week shout’ ‘crucify Him’.

On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus went into the Temple looking at it in the role of Sovereign Lord. He had been looking at everything, but it was  late so he left for Bethany to stay with his friends Mary. Martha and Lazarus.

The following day on his return to Jerusalem, he saw and approached a fig tree.  The fruit of the tree should be on it at that time, but there were only leaves. This was a surprise for the tree should have been fully blown with fruit. The actions of Jesus have symbolic importance. 

The lack of fruit became because of its likeness to Israel, and its standing. The  cursing of the fruitless fig tree signifies the  judgement of God on the fruitless Jewish people who had gone away from God into empty ritual. It was seen as a visual parable to signify the unrequited search of Jesus for the worship, prayer and righteousness of the Jewish people.  He said the fig tree, may no more bear fruit for you again.

Jesus then entered the Temple as Lord of the Temple, coming to purify it.  He drove out those who sold and brought, and overturned the tables of those who sold pigeons, he stopped all taking of anything

There were tables set up to help people change their currencies into coins in the annual Temple tax of half a shekel, as well being able to buy pigeons, lamb. Oil and salt for the various sin and thanksgiving sacrifices.

The business actively turns the Temple from a house of prayer to a den of thieves and robbers. The Gentiles  were hindered by the business in their Court. The goal of the action of Jeus, was to restore the Temple to a house of prayer.

The chief priests and scribes were in favour of commerce, and so destroy the Purifier rather than purify themselves. Their actions were motivated by the popularity of Jesus and the fear of losing power, and fear of public uprising which could make Romans intervene.

 The Jewish leaders saw actions of Jesus were a threat to  their power, in the most spiritual and sacred space in the world.

In every Bible passage, there is a meaning and a message for us to-day. Just as the Jews then rejected Jesus, so do so many people now. But God allows us free will, to make a decision to be with Jesus or not. Even those who claim to be Christians can be lukewarm and allow their commitment to grow cold. It is not enough to pay the odd visit to nod to the Almighty at Christmas, Easter or to a baptism service. There is a little ditty, ‘each time I pass may parish Church I pay a little visit, so when at last I’m carried in, the Lord won’t say who is it’. Everyone has to take responsibility for the way they respond to the Lord.
We learn from this account of history, that we have to do more than just pay a passing visit. When we appear before Christ on the last day, He will not ask if we had occasional thoughts about Him. The question will be, did we accept Him as our Lord and Saviour
There is an American story, about a young man who painted a portrait of his friend shortly before the friend died. The young man took the portrait to his friend’s father, a rich man, who offered him a huge sum of money, which the young man refused. Sometime later, the father died, and all his priceless possessions were auctioned. The first item up for auction was the portrait, which no one showed any interest in,except the father’s old black servant. He offered a few dollars, all he had, and got the painting. The auctioneer to everyone's surprise closed the auction. The father’s will said ‘he who accepts the son has everything’. We can reject the Son as they did at Jerusalem all those years ago, but  the one who has Jesus has everything
   I read a story of a Minister counselling a couple with marriage difficulties. At one point the husband said in anger to his wife, ‘I have given you a new home, new car , …and so the list went on.’ The wife answered, ‘yes that is true, you have given me everything, but yourself.’ The greatest gift you can give for another is yourself, and that is what Jesus did, gave Himself.

We have to accept Jesus into our life, and decide are we going to accept also, all he commanded. There cannot be the attitude, I will take him when all is  going well, and putting him away when his presence was inconvenient.
The action of our Lord demands a response, and we all need to ask ourselves if we stood before the Lord today and we were asked why we should be allowed into heaven, what would we say. It is easy to say I am a Christian, 95% of the population believe as long as you are honest, kind and helpful to others you have a passport to heaven. It can be very hard to be a Christian when so many organisations, government and public busybodies, try to suppress your faith under pain of some sanction.

How Jesus would weep over society today as He wept over Jerusalem. Jesus Christ lovingly and finally kept God’s law and voluntarily paid sin’s price at Calvary, and He did it for you and for me.

A famous actor attended a meeting and was asked to recite a piece of literary art. He offered to say the 23rd Psalm if an elderly preacher present would do so after he had finished. The actor recited the psalm with much dramatic emphasis, as you see those actors doing so on religious programmes on television. The preacher then recited in a rough broken voice, and when he had finished received prolonged applause. When someone asked the actor why he thought that was so, the actor said, ‘I know the psalm, he knew the shepherd’. Do you know the shepherd ?
For so many people to-day, the Cross has little relevance beyond being a fashion accessory; the philosophy is that they are self -sufficient, they may make an odd mistake, but at heart are quite good; to admit they are sinful is a step too far.

Whoever wears a Cross should ask themselves why they are wearing one. A Cross was the most horrific and cruel means of death

ever devised, and it is equal to wearing a symbol of gallows or electric chair around the neck. The message of the cross, is that we must humble ourselves and surrender to God, which is an affront to many people.
The Bible is all about commitment. We are reminded of the superficiality of commitment in our own time.  Less than 10% of people think God worthy of one hour per week, to visit a Church. Yet,  if you were to ask people their religion, the vast majority would reply C of E, (Church of England)and seriously consider they were Christians.  They would be mortally offended if you suggested otherwise; few people seem bothered to think of Jesus, even less to do anything about it.

It is easy to say I am a Christian; easy to profess being a Christian; easy to say I read the Bible.95% of the population today believe as long as you are honest, kind and helpful to others and do no harm, you are a fully- fledged Christian.

 Muslims in Islamic countries, are Muslims in the full sense of the word, and they find difficulty in understanding how people who live in Christian lands reject their faith so completely.  Why, on the Lord’s birthday so many get drunk and engage in orgies. They will fight and defend their faith, and the men will not feel embarrassed or ashamed to be seen going to worship. Put many Englishmen in a Church and they feel lost and disorientated.

We have to remember the courage of Jesus as he made such a triumphant entry into the city.  He had been marked as an outlaw, and knew the authorities were waiting to kill him.  He knew all eyes would be upon him, it was an act of love‘s last appeal before the


Jesus had come to die for the world, the Passover lamb was about to be slain, his true blood to be shed on the Cross; knowing all this, Jesus placed himself prominently before the Jewish nation. His earthly ministry is over, he was going to offer himself to the Cross at Calvary.  He would die when so many Jews were at the Passover ceremony. The eyes of all Israel would be on him

He accepted the will of his Father to be the sufferer in order to give redemption for lost souls. He was giving his life as a ransom that we might live forever, and gave it all on the Cross with the gift of his heart.  He did it because he loved us, and gave it as our Saviour, and was willing to make his soul an offering for sin.

Such action deserves full attention to all who love the Bible, to read it with reverence, every word being given by the inspiration of God. There can be no justification in altering doctrine, or finding words to allow immoral activity.  We must accept all in literal meaning and reject any mischievous explaining the meaning of Scripture.

This showed how entirely voluntary the sufferings of Christ were. Why did he not  resist his enemies? Why is he not send the soldiers

 It is important for us to understand the lesson we can learn from this event.  It is not enough to think positively about Christ. When we get to the last days, Jesus is not going to say, ‘Did you have nice thoughts about me?’  The question is, have we accepted He is the Son of God and Saviour of sinners, and trusted in Him alone for our salvation. 

May God's Holy Name be praised and our hearts receive His Words

Thursday 14 March 2024


J O H N C H A P T E R 17

The verses in this Chapter are widely read and treasured among Christians. This is one long prayer, the longest in the Bible, made by Jesus to God his Father. There is a sense of communion between Father and Son. during the time Jesus was here on this earth. It helps to show believers what they should mention when they pray,

In the first six verses, are deep words that Jesus states to his Father. There great truth which stands out.

Firstly, the account of the office and dignity of Jesus. The Father has given him authority over all flesh, he has given Jesus the right to give eternal life. The keys of heaven are in his hands, he controls the salvation of all people. Life eternal, is to know is to know the only God, and Christ whom he sent.

The mere knowledge of God is not enough, and none has changed. We must know the Son as well 0as the Father. God knows Jesus is like a Being we can only approach with fear.

It is God in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, who alone can give to the soul life and peace. We read that Christ has done the work that his Father sent him to do. He has finished the work of redemption, and given perfect righteousness to his people. Unlike Adam, who failed to do God’s word and brought sin into the world, Jesus let nothing undone that he came to do.

Christ we read, had glory with the Father before the world was created. Our minds are not about to fully understand all the words used. We have to admire and reverence what we cannot explain or grasp. But one thing is certain and fully clear, the words only understood by someone who is fully God.

For ever, let us thank God that the hope of a Christian rests on the solid foundation of a divine Saviour. He, who we are commanded to go to for pardon, and to whom we are bid to rest for peace, is God as well as man. To all who care about their souls, and are not careless or worldly, the thought is full of comfort. Such people that know how great sinners need a great Saviour. And no human redeemer would be of any use. Let them rejoice and lean on the Christ who has all power, and is able to save the uttermost, because Christ is divine.

We should notice an account they have of our Lord’s disciples. Jesus said, they kept Thy word, and know things |Thou hast given me are of Thee. They have kept Thy words, they know I came out of Thee, and believe Thou has sent me.

We see what character these men had, for they had little knowledge or faith, yet a little after Jesus spoke those words they forsook him. Anyone who reads the four gospels can see how weak the servants of Jesus were. Yet, Jesus spoke of them in honourable terms.

It becomes clear, Jesus had more faith in them, than they did for him. The least degree of faith is precious to Jesus however, Jesus the gracious Saviour, sees true faith in himself, he looks with compassion and passes by many defects. The eleven Apostles were weak and unstable, but hey believed and loved Jesus , when millions refused to accept him.

The true servant of God should mark the future of Christ’s character, we may feel ashamed of our defects and of poor efforts, but do we really believe in Jesus? Can we really say as Peter said, you know Lord I love you, yes you know I do Let us take comfort from, the words of Christ. Jesus did not despise the eleven Apostles because of their weakness, but bore with them, and saved them to the end, What he did for them, he will do for us.

Whilst there were words which are hard to understand, there are points to which all Christins need to give attention to. Jesus has things for true believers, which he does not do for unbelievers. He says I pray for them. I do not pray for the world, but for those you gave me.

The doctrine before us is hated by the world. Nothing gives so much offence among the wicked, as the idea of God making distinction between man and man. Yet the world’s objections to the doctrine are unreasonable. Let us consider the good and bad; holy and unholy; righteous and unrighteous. What kind of God could possibly show equal complacency and favour. It would be a strange God who could do so. The intercession of Christ for his people is pure common sense.

Like every other gospel truth, the doctrine before us needs careful statement and mutual safe guarding.

We can, and must show concern for sinners, but also bear in mind not to be too wide. Christ has care for all sinners, and wants them to be saved, but he especially loves his fellow people, who he makes holy, and glorifies. He has offered redemption for all people, and offers it freely. But is also factual, that his redemption is effectual, only to those who believe.

Whilst it is true, that a mediator between God and man, Christ intercedes actively for none but those who come from God by him. This is why it is written I pray for them, but not for the world.

Jesus gives special intercession, for the believers who are daily sought for, and provides with every care by Jesus, who never slumbers. Jesus is available at all times to the uttermost, to attend to those who come from God.

The special intercession of Jus is a safety for believers. He daily watches and provides care. When Judas fell, never to rise, Peter fell astray but he repented and was restored

We learn that Jesus does not want his believing people to be taken from the world, but just left to be kept from the evil in it.

The mind of Jesus and its wisdom are clearly seen. He wants to see them in all places, tempted , perhaps assaulted but kept from falling into sin.

True believers can be satisfied that Jesus knows what is good for us, so we leave ourselves in his safe hands

The verses from 17 form a fitting conclusion to this longest Bible prayer. often described as the most wonderful prayer ever made, given after the Last Supper. It contains certain three important petitions, which Jesus offered on behalf of the disciples

Jesus prays his people should be sanctified. He asks that God would so through his truth. The word sanctify means holy, and he wanted them to be more holy, more spiritual. With more power, more saintly in thought word and deed. Grace had already done things for them,

More holy living is proof of the reality of Christianity. Holy living prepares us for heaven. The more nearer we are to God while we live, the more ready we shall be to live forever in God’s presence when we die.

Secondly, we read how Jesus prays for the unity and oneness of his people., that all may be made sure we are one, so that the world may know and believe that. Jesus said God sent him, and this is a leading petition in the prayer of the Lord to his Father. This perhaps is the strongest part of the prayer.

Finally, Jesus prays that his people may at last be with him and behold his glory . He prays those who God gave him be with him where he is, that they may behold his glory. This is a tender and beautiful conclusion o our Lord’s prayer. We may believe it was meant to comfort those who heard it, and strengthens for the parting scene which is drawing near.

We do not see Christ now. We read about him, believe in him, and restore souls in his finished words. We shall at last see Christ as he is, and know as we have known. We shall actually be in his company, and go out no more.

We know little of heaven now, we try to create an idea of future date. Let us leave this prayer, letting holiness and unity leading us in the company of Christ for ever. May Christians be happy in nothing so much as beholy and loving as the Lord while he lives , and be a companion of the Lord.

May God bless His Word to our hearts and may His Holy Name be glorified.

Tuesday 12 March 2024


John 15.

The Chapters 13 to 17 are part of the Upper Room discourse.

Here in Chapter 15 Jesus is giving guidance to his people.

The Chapter opens with the parable of the Vine. In this parable, the vinedresser refers to God, the vine Jesus,te branches are Christians,

The vine was grown across Palestine and needed a lot of attention.  When it is pruned in either December or January, there are two branches, one fruit bearing and the  other not bearing fruit. 

The vine has to be drastically pruned in order to bear fruit, and the wasted branches would be of soft wood, only used for fires and perhaps taken to the Temple, for it to be used as altar fires for sacrifice.

Jesus portrayed Christians as the branches of the vine, some bearing fruit, others like the soft wood not of much use. He was thinking of the Jews who had been taught by the prophets, but not taking notice nor action. They just withered away.

Jesus was also thinking of Christians who heard his  message but fell away and abandoned their faith. Others would bear fruit by abounding faith, and remaining close to Jesus, keeping daily contact with him, and as fruit bearing were bringing glory to God

The Chapter opens with the parable of the Vine. In this parable, the vinedresser refers to God, the vine Jesus, the branches are Christians,

The vine was grown across Palestine and needed a lot of attention.  When it is pruned in either December or January, there are two branches, one fruit bearing and the  other not bearing fruit. 

 Jesus portrayed Christians as the branches of the vine, some bearing fruit, others like the soft wood not of much use. He was thinking of the Jews who had been taught by the prophets but not taking notice nor action. They just withered away.

Jesus was also thinking of Christians who heard his  message but fell away and abandoned their faith. Others would bear fruit by abounding faith and remaining close to Jesus, keeping daily contact with him, and as fruit bearing were bringing glory to God


Jesus is setting down how his people should  follow. He points out the disciples did not choose him, he chose them. He told them how God loved him, and he passed his love to his disciples and wants the to love one another so that joy will be among them. He gave the commandment that as he had loved them they were to maintain such love that  they may be full

Similarly, God calls people in his grace. and calls us to accept Jesus into our lives, out of his love for us.  However hard the Christian way may be, it is a way of joy, for we are being led to a proper  way of living.  Christianity is a faith that inspires people. Sometimes, people fall into a state which is too prim and proper and appears severe.

I was on holiday  and went into a Church at the holiday town, where all the ladies were wearing bright coloured dresses, which obviously upset the regulars.  But our faith is not dull and miserable, it is one which motivates joy and people are happy to be following Jesus.

 Christianity is a way of love to share with other Christians, and to welcome new people.  This is a spiritual love, clean and pure. We are to show care and interest in other people.  This too often spoiled by division, caused by false preaching, but if preachers   would do what is expected by our Lord, and follow the Word of God, the Bible. This needs to be enforced to enable all quarrelling to end.

Jesus called us to be his friend, and a friend of  God.  He came to serve, and laid down his life for us on the Cross.  Othe great men led a life of serving, and creating friends. Abraham. Moses, Joshua, James and John.  Jesus offers a friendship with God which was impossible before he came.

Jesus calls us to be his  partner. He said you are not my slave, you are my partner. It is a choice put to us, to enter into a partnership in leading men to God (and women)

 Jesus chose us to be his ambassadors. To send us out into the real  world.  I recognize those who are men and women of much devotion who shut themselves off from the world in closed houses, but just as a lifeboat  should be out on the high seas and not be standing all polished up in a station, so a Christian will need to be in the middle of a troubled world.  Jesus never wanted us to retire from the world, but to represent him in the country in which we live.

Jesus wanted us to be an advertisement.  The only way to promote Christianity is to act like a Christian, behave in public, and follow Christ’s orders.

Jesus even invites us to ne privileged members in the family of God.  To ask for things which we want, but we must be careful about doing so. Preachers of large Churches too often mislead. They gaily tell people to  pray for whatever they want. and God will answer.

I saw a service in a large prestigious Church in the United States and the preacher actually used those words, adding that if you were not answered, you were not praying right.  I thought how irresponsible and stupid a thing to be said on a televised service. What damage and distress he was risking in a demonstrative manner.

I was on one occasion approached by a woman, furious that her mother was nearly killed, because a local preacher, who told a similar statement to her mother, to throw away her medication and pray, and God would cure her. The mother threw away the tablets prescribed by a doctor, and her condition became much worse. As members of his family, we are expected to take things to God, and just as an earthly father acts for what he knows is best for his child, so our heavenly Father acts for our benefit.


John, like his fellow Apostle Paul, saw things as either black or white, and did so  regarding the Church and the world. John did not see compromise or half-way settlement.

The Church was facing persecution, and Christianity became illegal, and John wanted to record that Jesus was quite explicit in his teaching.  He warned how Christians would betray, and people would hate you.

The Roman government hated Christians, as they were thought to be disloyal, for people were expected to worship Caesar. People responded, and so made it more important than Rome expected.  Rome was actually tolerant, and as long as a person conformed, and said Caesar is Lord, they could then follow what they pleased.

The usual mob of people hated Christians, accusing them of being wild activists.  When people are different, they become suspects, and they dislike people who live differently than themselves, and expect all to conform to one fashion.

Jesus exposed sin, and told what upset God, telling how God expected people to act.  He provided a remedy for sin, and opened them to forgiveness.

Today, in most countries there is often a ruler who sees Christianity as a threat to his dictatorship, or a faith not Christian, and who do not favour Christianity; or there are activists who want no  alternative religion of any kind.  They set out their own agenda and attract a following.  We have it here in the United Kingdom where activists effectively promote an agenda, and give it to adopt some policy, and have protection against any opposition to its activities.

John had clearly to his heart, the witness to the Holy Spirit. This is a subject for another day.

It is our privilege and task to be witnesses for Christ in the world, and to do so properly, we need to have personal intimacy and the full conviction.


May God bless His Word to our hearts and may His Holy Name be glorified    


Saturday 9 March 2024


  Turn with me to John’s Gospel, Chapter 13, verse 31 to 14.v6

We are now on the path to the crucifixion, and until Easter Day, will be studying largely from John’s gospel.   

 The passage I have chosen to speak to you about this morning, is one of the best known passages in the New Testament, even to non Church people.

Jesus entered what is known as the Upper Room with His 12 Apostles for the Last Supper, and within hours of doing, so both He and Judas would be dead.  Judas would commit the greatest betrayal in history, as he left the room to ‘go out into the night’ (darkness) to sell out Jesus.

Jesus knew what he was about to do, and told him to do it quickly, and when Judas had left, Jesus told the remaining Apostles that the time for Him to be glorified had come. 

     What Jesus meant by this, it was the last time He would speak to them before He was to die.  His glory is, that He is on His way to the Cross, His work on this earth is over, and the crucifixion will also bring glory to the Father.

Jesus then for the only time, called His Apostles ‘little children’;  this was obviously an endearing term of affection, like a father who is about to go away from his family.  Jesus noticeably waited until Judas had left before saying it.  It is the end of a close relationship of three years, and time to say goodbye.   

Jesus was speaking to His disciples, shortly before going to the Cross, teaching and giving guidance, and that same teaching is passed down for the benefit of all Christians throughout the ages.

 He calls on them to love one another, a fundamental principle of our faith, yet we find some awful failings to obey that command. He was calling on them to stay together and be faithful to each other, something all Christians should show as an example to the world.  So often Christians are seen to be fighting with each other, due to some following a false line of teaching and not obeying Scripture, when they should be seen as a happy family.  This is a complete turn off to non believers

When Jesus said ‘love one another’, He meant we should get along with each other.  We are not talking of physical love or even sentimental feelings, but rather fellowship, compassion, tolerance and loyalty.  We are not called upon to ‘like’ everybody, indeed, there are people in the Church you just couldn’t possibly like, they are so unlikeable. 

If we are true to our faith, we can’t be at odds with each other, yet we find people walking out of Church if they can’t get their own way, or are not given the deference they feel due to them.  We should be able to resolve any issue calmly and amicably.

When non-Church people see Christians as a mixed gathering of different ages, different sexes, different backgrounds, getting on and being happy together, they will be inspired by us and respond, but if they see us as an arguing fractious lot, falling out all the time, they will justly say ‘look at those hypocritical Christians.’  .

Jesus tells them He is leaving them but they cannot go with Him, and that leaves them devastated.  They had only managed to stay together through His unifying spirit, otherwise they would have parted.   Peter spoke up first to plead to go with Him, but Jesus refused and even foretold what would happen to Peter.      

I can relate to the feeling of the Apostles when they heard Jesus was leaving them.  They had been in a three year intimate closeness to Jesus, and it is like the occasion when a Vicar or Minister gives notice he is leaving a parish, and both he and the members are sad.

 Jesus told them to not let their hearts be troubled.  The heart is the seat of all our emotions and feelings, and if that is disturbed our whole body and mind is.  He calls for trust in Himself as well as in God. 

Since we are also disciples of Jesus, and can rightly include ourselves in words like this, we must ask ourselves, "Is it wrong for Christians to be troubled like this? Are we expected never to succumb to moments of pressure, or to feel anxious and worried? Are we supposed to be cheerful and confident all the time?" Many Christians think this is what this verse means. But they forget that Jesus himself, was not immune to this kind of reaction to pressure. Thus it is clear that we may expect to feel troubled at times. Christians are exposed to pressure and danger. We have the record of the epistles to confirm this. The Apostles went through times of great peril, during which they feared and trembled. Thus it is not wrong for Christians to feel pressured and fearful 

In verse 3, the disciples were troubled that Jesus was leaving them, so He tells them He is going to prepare a place for them in heaven. 

This passage is widely quoted in funeral services, when people assume that everyone is automatically going to heaven.  I have taken hundreds of funerals over the years, and there has never been doubt in anyone’s mind that the deceased is going to heaven irrespective of the life led.  Nowhere in the Bible is this view upheld.  Jesus was very clear in His teaching that it certainly was not so. In parable after parable He spoke of two roads, of sheep and goats, of tares and wheat, of heaven and hell.

Whilst it may be comforting to believe that we can all get to heaven regardless of one’s beliefs, and we like to please our fellow men and women, it is quite cruel to mislead if it is not true.  It is like telling a blind person standing on the foot walk of a major road, it is safe for him to cross when ready.  If we say to someone who has no Church commitment, has only a tenuous belief in Jesus Christ, never reads a Bible or prays, that they are going to heaven, we are leading them astray.

Others say if you just follow your conscience you’ll be fine, but consciences become dulled and hardened.  Taking the lead from politicians, people can look you in the eye and lie without any qualm of conscience.

In this passage before us, He is talking to His followers, people who have made a personal commitment to accept Him as Saviour.  This is why it is so important for each person to make his/her own decision, whether to follow Jesus in His teaching, commands and demands He makes on us.

The Bible is all about commitment. We are reminded of the superficiality of commitment in our own time.  Less than 10% of people think God worthy of one hour per week to visit a Church.  Yet, if you were to ask people their religion, the vast majority would reply C of E and seriously consider they were Christians.  They would be mortally offended if you suggested otherwise. Very few people seem bothered to think of Jesus, even less to do anything about it.

It is easy to say I am a Christian, easy to say I read the Bible. 95% of the population today believe as long as you are honest, kind and helpful to others, and do no harm, you are a fully -fledged Christian

 Jesus speaks firmly, and rather profoundly, when He says not all who think they are to enter the Kingdom of heaven will in fact do so.

In every action of life we are confronted with a choice, where we must make a decision to do one thing or another.  In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus confronted us with a hard or an easy way.  He makes uncompromising and tough demands of commitment, which many people cannot take, and are not prepared to commit.     Then as now, some are ready to listen and walk with Him, learning to depend on Him, whilst others are just occasional supporters. 

The Church in general in its desire to be nice and friendly to all, with a craving to please society in general, has not always given sound teaching on this and some misguidedly preach that Jesus was giving a blank promise for everyone, when He is clearly addressing His followers, and if we do not follow Him our end will not be in the rooms of His Father’s house.

 In verse 6, Jesus makes a profound statement which goes to the heart of Christian faith and belief. He states He is the only way to God. This is not generally liked as it is seen as being too restrictive, too bigoted and intolerant, and to be judgmental is not liked.  Consequently some clergy will not quote it, whilst others just will not accept it.  Frankly, I think if any man/woman does not accept this verse, then they should not be allowed to preach, for they are betraying the Lord who said it, and the Church which they serve.

It can be hard to be a Christian in this country at the present time, and many find the going too hard and strenuous and the opposition oppressive.  We have come to a state in this country now, where a Christian person may not express a personal view, based on sincere religious belief, if it might offend someone.    Any open expression of our faith is likely to lead to suspension or dismissal from work, and even the most innocuous adverse comment upon human behaviour, will raise hysterical shouts of phobia or bigotry. There is so much harassment of Christians which is not reported here, and you have to listen to the American news channels to discover what is going on in this country.  This does not apply apparently to other faith speakers.    

I cannot understand how we can share in multi-faith worship and maintain Biblical integrity.    

Whilst I believe we should respect other faiths, and try to live amicably with them, but in view of the unique teaching of our Lord (here set out in verse 6 that He alone is the way to God) we cannot justify sharing in multi faith services, when our beliefs are so different, and it is matter of recognising the unique authority of Jesus.  Only Christianity maintains that Jesus Christ is divine, and salvation was earned by Jesus on the Cross.  But we have the words of our Lord Himself, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life’. No one comes to the Father except through me’.  Jesus is quite unequivocal.

It is widely claimed, erroneously, that we all worship the same God and all religions have the same way to heaven.  Islam worships ‘Allah’, and see Jesus as a good man in the social sense, or a prophet at best.   Indeed, the Islamic faith states, ‘God has no son’, which is in direct contravention of Jesus’ nature.

We Christians worship the God of Israel; we worship a Saviour who was a Jew; we have Apostolic teaching from Apostles who were Jews; our Bible was written by Jews: no Muslim could accept that. We should each respect the right of the other in their belief, and try to live peacefully together.

I do admire the devotion and loyalty of Islam. Muslims in Islamic countries are Muslims in the full sense of the word, and they find difficulty in understanding how people who live in Christian lands reject their faith so completely.  Why, on the Lord’s birthday so many get drunk and engage in orgies. They will fight and defend their faith, and the men will not feel embarrassed or ashamed to be seen going to worship. Put many Englishmen in a Church and they feel lost and disorientated.

Jesus warns us that there must be a clear acceptance of His teaching, and total obedience to it.  Just to recite a creed and attend Church is not enough. We honour Jesus by calling Him Lord, and sing hymns expressive of our devotion to Him.  The lips that sing His praise, should never be the lips that challenge Holy Scripture. 

The temptation for us, as Christians, is to say what makes us popular.  Too many preachers have forgotten about being authentic; about being true to the Gospel we have been entrusted with by our Lord; to be true to our values, and to proclaim them without embarrassment and fear. 

Comment and meditation

In this passage, we find Jesus alone at last with his eleven faithful Apostles. The traitor Judas had gone out to do his deed of wicked darkness.  Free of his company, the Lord opens his heart out more fully than before. Speaking to them for the last time than before his passion, he begins a discourse which is of touching interest, which surpasses any other part of Scripture.

These verses show what glory the crucifixion brought to God the Father and God the Son. He said, now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in him’ He was referring to his work that he was sent to do, and which is about to end.  The next day, an event would take place, which however painful to those who loved him, is glorifying God the Father.

In all the agony of the death on the Cross; the ignominy and humiliation, hanging naked on the Cross, between two thieves, it was calculated to fill the minds of the Apostles with shame, disappointment and dismay, and without any glory.

But the crucifixion brought glory to the Father. It glorified his wisdom and love, and   showed him faithful in keeping his promise to be holy  by providing such mediation.   We should never forget the crucifixion with its cruel pain, and the price Jesus paid for us.

We see the importance Jeus attaches to the grace of heavenly love. As soon as Judas left the other eleven, Jesus came saying love one another..  It was to be the test of Christianity to the world, by this all men know that you are my disciples if you have love one to another.

This grace is not just a notion in our heads, but is to be practice in our lives, yet it is so often little obeyed.  We should see our brothers and sisters in Christ, and do all we can to keep good relationships.

We at this point move on to Chapter 14, and in the first three verses there are truths. We have fellow Christians in every part of the world.

Faith in Jesus is a cure for troubled hearts. The members who sat around that table at that Last Supper had believed already. They showed the reality of their faith by giving up everything to be true to Jesus. 

Never forget there are degrees of faith, and there is a difference between weak and strong believers. A weak faith is enough to give a new interest in Christ, and should not be despised, but it will not give comfort as would a strong faith.

We have a comfortable account of heaven or the future ahead of Christians. It is only a small piece, that we understand about heaven whilst we are here in the body, and little is taught in the Bible

Jesus said, I go to my Father and your Father. It is home of Christ and Christians. Home is where we are generally loved.  Believers will be at home in the life to come.

Heaven is a place of mansions , of lasting eternal dwellings. Here in the body, we are like at lodgings, and must submit to changes.  In heaven we shall be  settled at last, and go out not more.  There will be room for believers, for weak and strong Christians. The feeble child of God need not fear, none will be put out.

Heaven is a place where Christ shall be present. He will not be content to dwell without his people.  He said where I am there ye shall be also.  Our Savior who loved us and gave himself up for us,M shall be in the in the mind for ever.

Jesus stated, I go to prepare a place for you. Heaven is a prepared place for prepared people, a place where we shall meet Jesus himself waiting for true Christians. he has prepared it by going before us as our Head and Representative and taking possession of it for all members of his mystical body.

Jesus had said, I will come again and receive you unto myself.  Christ will come down to raise them from their  graves and ascent them to their heavenly home

As we look back on his first coming to suffer for us, equally will be the greatness of his future coming to raise and reward his people.  How much they must miss him, who live in a dying world, and know nothing of God as their Father and Christ as their Savior. How much they possess who live the life of faith in the Son of God, and believe in Jesus.  We have a friend while we live and a true home when we die.

Jesus said to his Apostles, ye know wither I go and ye know the way.  Thomas replied, denying they knew the way. 

This was a fair reply, for they knew little before they followed Jesus, compared with what they knew after Pentecost. .  Yet the Apostles knew more than many of the Jewish nation, and learned truths the Jewish leaders rejected.  They knew precious truths  more than they realized, for their hearts were better than their minds, and the same applies to many Christians.

We come now to those unforgettable words of Jesus, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except, by me.

Christ is the way; the way to heaven and peace with God. Jesus is the guide and teacher, and law giver like Moses.  He is the door which we passthrough to God. He has opened the way to the tree of life, which was closed by Adam and Eve. By his blood we draw near and have access to the presence of God.

Christ is the truth; the truth of true religion which we require.  Without him we know nothing about God.  Before he came the Jews were in spiritual darkness and did not have any knowledge other than Mosaic law.  Christ is the truth which satisfied every desire of the human mind.

Christ is the life; the sinners way to eternal life and pardon, the believers knowledge of spiritual life and holiness. Whoever believes in Christ has the surety of eternal life. Whoever abides in Christ shall bring forth fruit from the Vine.

We are called on to hold fast to those truths , to use Christ as the way, to believe Christ  as the  truth, to live in Christ as true life.

Finally,  we see how Christ shuts out all the ways to God and salvation to himself.

No one comes to the Father except through me.


May God bless His Word to our hearts and may He be glorified