Author Archives: Jason

“Crude and Adolescent” – Addressing Donald Trump’s comments

Originally I was just gonna Facebook this, but it felt like something bigger than that. So it seemed only fitting to dust off the ol’ WordPress (my apologies for being away for so long, by the way), write this up, and have at it. Sorry in advance to those I’ll undoubtedly offend; I still love you and you’re still welcome to visit and have some cheesecake with us anytime.

That said, here we go.

Having worked in the industry I’ve worked in for the last 15 years, I’ve been able to work with people from all walks of life, if every religious and racial background. Most that I’ve worked with were unbelievers, and as nice and hard-working as many of them have been, I wonder if a lot of people who are “now” condemning Trump have any idea the conversations their husbands (or wives), kids, parents, or friends have amongst friends at work?

First and foremost, was it a crude and adolescent thing to say? ABSOLUTELY, and there’s no defending that. But to all of a sudden have an unbelieving world stand up and say “We can’t support this man” while they do the SAME EXACT THINGS day in and day out — just not recorded on tape — is the height of hypocrisy.

You, American citizen, while you sit and watch (and tweet about and “Facebook-fawn” over) your TV shows and movies that glorify such “conquest” themes, the affairs, the “innocent eye candy”;

You, American man, while you banter with your buddies about every woman you see throughout each day, objectifying them and joking about all manner of things you’d kill another guy for saying about your wife or daughter;

You, American woman, while you giggle with your girlfriends about that guy at your spin class or that guy in your office, making comments just as offensive as Trump’s (just from the opposite direction);

You, American “progressive”, while you’ve sat for decades now dismissing everything that Hillary (and Bill) have ever said and done in their personal lives and “behind closed doors” as “having nothing to do with the job” of running a country….

YOU have no ground to stand on in condemning his words, because to do so, you’d have to equally condemn YOURSELVES for having said or done the same things!

You think we don’t notice when you sit at the park in your book groups going on and on about the last chapter of “50 Shades” you read? You think we don’t notice when you turn up the volume for the commercials for the newest “who’s sleeping with whom” pseudodrama? You think we don’t notice when in daily life we see these women ogling and giggling over these guys and those guys catcalling and fist-bumping over those girls?

I mean, are you serious right now?

Listen, the unbelieving world is a self-gratifying one, and “the Donald” is not exempt from that. Living as a rich and powerful guy is going to attract all sorts of very “basic” attention, and I dare say that the vast majority of us, given those resources and attention, would destroy ourselves and those we love chasing all manner of frivolity. However, do Hillary supporters (who still love Bill to death, btw) really want to stand on the trap door of “a crude guy who has lusted over women” and pull this particular lever? What does that say about how desperate they’ve become over “not being ahead by 50 points”?

Is this the election where — finally — the hypocrisy and irony culminates in one gargantuan self-destruction that effectively eliminates both candidates? The “hold your nose” factor has been there for months on both sides, but seriously, if we’re gonna make a decision about who best to lead this nation at this time, we have to cut through the crap, assess the actual policy stances (since policy stances are pretty much all a chief executive contributes to government), compare them with our own values, and MAKE YOUR VOTE.

As people, they both suck; as leaders, they’re both quite different. Who will lead in the direction you want the country to go? An “apologetic tour 2.0” where everything is acceptable and there is no defined enemy? A return to American strength where we still do good in the world but finally look after Americans first?

We’ll find out soon enough. If you’re weak-kneed, you might wanna get your passports ready.

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Keeping People “Off The Island”

There have been a number of people I’ve talked to lately that have opened up about the presence of “loneliness” in their lives, even though they are (by all outward appearances) typically happy people, with plenty of friends and lots of social activity. In our culture, such an admission seems almost counterintuitive, yet as many are discovering, it’s a growing trend.


Despite appearances, people are largely finding that our busy, stress-laden lives are becoming more and more compartmentalized. It’s almost a necessity for it to be so, just to keep your head straight with all the things vying for our attention. We’ve got the work compartment, the home compartment (with sub-compartments for various family members), the neighborhood compartment, the friends compartment (with its various sub-compartments), hobbies, kids’ activities, social obligations….

It stands to reason with having all these different compartments, being able to “close the file” on one to effectively move our focus onto another is a smart use of our energies. However, there’s a social component to this that we’re starting to see the downside of.

When people have their lives compartmentalized – the way you have files on your computer compartmentalized – that separation between each compartment trains them to not think about things from one compartment while thinking about another. While it might be smart thinking regarding “things” (i.e. work, household chores, vehicle maintenance, etc.), unfortunately people are not exempted from being compartmentalized as well.

What does this end up breeding in our lives? Well, first and foremost it breeds the habit of not thinking about people unless we’re thinking about the compartment that they’ve been assigned to. For example, my wife and I coach our daughters’ soccer teams. Since I don’t spend my entire week thinking about the soccer teams, I naturally don’t think about the team members and their families unless I’m focusing on something that has to do with that “compartment”.

“What’s the harm in that?”, you might be thinking.

Superficially, there might not be much harm in it, because they are very likely not expecting me to be spending my entire week thinking about them. Digging a little deeper though, there might be one kid on one team who doesn’t really have a lot of positive going on at home, and that kid just might be viewing “team time” completely differently – enjoying the ability to have clear-cut goals and things to work on and excel in, and being able to receive positive encouragement from coaches looking for opportunities to encourage them.

“Wait a minute, weren’t we talking about loneliness?” This is precisely where loneliness comes in.

As adults, we’re no strangers to the concept of having responsibilities. There are many places to be and things to do each day, each of which likely having its own “compartment”, which causes us to isolate ourselves from the things within each compartment when we’re not actively engaging them. Again, it might seem counterintuitive to think this would breed loneliness, but look a little deeper.

When do we feel lonely? Don’t get suckered into thinking that it’s something that only happens when no one else is around, though it can happen then. It often can happen when there are people all around us.

I would suggest that loneliness happens more from being (or feeling) disconnected from those around you than from being physically absent from others.

* * * * * * *

When we lead ever-increasingly compartmentalized lives, it becomes easier and easier to be disconnected from people:

“I’d love to spend more time with you honey, but I’ve gotta get to work.”
“I’d love to hang out with you after work, but I’ve got stuff I’ve gotta get done at home.”
“We don’t have time for that right now, we’ve gotta get to soccer practice.”
“Sorry I don’t have time to sit and talk with you after practice, we have to hurry and get some dinner so the kids can get their homework done and get to bed on time.”
“We don’t have time to try to find your doll’s missing shoe, get dressed, we have to get to church.”
“I’d love to sit and chat with you about some things that moved us from the sermon today, but I’ve gotta get to room ____ to serve.”
“Yeah bro, I’d love to sit and catch up with you but we’ve got ____ to do at home.”

* * * * * * *

You might be thinking “That sounds more like disconnection due to an overly busy schedule”, but that would be superficial and short-sighted. No, I’m not trying to be insulting, I’m trying to be real with you.

When things are important to us, we make time for them; when we view things as no more pressing or important than average, we have no problem allowing them to sink back into “the routine” and not put the extra effort into them they might be asking for. It’s just another thing looking to take energy from us, and it’s not worth it enough to us to give that.

This is where this problem is rooted.

Because we’ve allowed ourselves to become so compartmentalized, we don’t have nearly so many relationships that “transcend the compartments”. If my wife needs something right now, I’m going to drop what I’m doing and do what I can to meet that need; likewise with my kids, if they truly need something right now (not, “Daddy, I neeeeeeeeeeeeeed to find my dolly’s shoe or I’ll just die!”), I’m going to stop what I’m doing and meet the need. But those are relationships that are expected to “transcend the compartments”, and indeed we know in some unspoken place that we’ll even be looked down upon socially if we fail to do so. But what about the relationships that are not so expected to “transcend the compartments”?

*What about that neighbor down the street you don’t really know very well, but you see they might be needing a little bit of help – do you break routine and offer?
*What about the guy at work you notice is “going along with the crowd” in some crude way but you can tell he’s uncomfortable with it – do you seek him out one on one at some point to ask him about it?
*What about that friend at church that you haven’t seen in a while or that you can tell is really going through something – do you say to yourself “I’ll pray for them” but never step forward to be there for them?
*What about those people who you get along with when you’re “in their compartment” (leisure activities, sports contests, kids’ activities, etc.) – do you reach out to possibly bring them into another compartment (telling them about a job opportunity in their field where you work, inviting them to church with you, invite them and their kids over to enjoy an afternoon, etc.)?

Going back to “loneliness = disconnection” for a second, we have to recognize that we’re not always going to recognize loneliness in other people. Some people are really good at hiding it and “putting on the smile”, some people are good at using defensive reflexes (like humor or deflections), and sometimes we’re just flat-out not paying attention. We have to be somewhat vigilant – IF indeed we care about the people whom God has put us in contact with – to invest ourselves in people, and part of that is being on the lookout for any that are “on the island”. (I don’t mean militantly investigating people’s lives either, but rather just paying attention and being able to read between the lines of what might be going on in their hearts and letting them know we’re available to talk.)

I can tell you from personal experience, people “on the island” will certainly send up “smoke signals” hoping that someone will break through the compartments and take the time to engage them, seeing what’s going on and in some small way, help them re-connect and break through. They also will not continue sending up smoke signals forever, because of our culture’s recent emphasis towards people reaching out for help as being “needy” or “whiny”, and nothing adds insult to injury more than, well, adding literal insult to emotional injury.

It’s easy to say “Hey bud, if you’re feeling lonely, why don’t you just get re-connected to people?” Usually though, it’s not just a case of a natural introvert just slinking back from people and disappearing – there’s typically something external that happens to push someone away, with the person hoping that someone from the “compartment” will reach out saying “I’m not giving up on you.”

This isn’t intended as an indictment but as an exhortation – we all can do better with this, on both sides of the spectrum. I would encourage you today to get engaged with those around you, to remind people you’re there for them. If you name the name of Jesus, be reminded that He said “Love one another, even as I have loved you” (John 15:12 & 13:34).

We’re responsible for each other as Family. Do we forget that we have a common enemy, one who seeks to separate us from each other, to isolate us so he can “steal, kill and destroy”? Therefore, as much as the hustle and bustle would try to force us into compartmentalizing people just as much as things and events, we must – MUST – simply refuse to let people evaporate from our lives. It makes a world of difference.

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“The Influence of Mary’s Meditation…” ((DTFD, March 10))

(from “Daily Thoughts for Disciples” by Oswald Chambers, March 10th entry)

* * * * * † * † * † * * * * *

“After serious thought…” — Nehemiah 5:7

* * * * * † * † * † * * * * *

Meditation means getting to the middle of a thing; not being like a pebble in a brook letting the water of thought go over us; that is reverie, not meditation. Meditation is an intense spiritual activity; it means bringing every bit of the mind into harness and concentrating its powers; it includes both deliberation and reflection.

Deliberation means being able to weigh well what we think, conscious all the time that we are deliberating and meditating. “After serious thought…” (Nehemiah 5:7) — that is exactly the meaning of meditation, also — “But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).

A great many delightful people mistake meditation for prayer; meditation often accompanies prayer, but it is not prayer. It is simply the power of the natural heart to get to the middle of things. Prayer is asking, whereby God puts processes to work and creates things which are not in existence until we ask.

Prayer is definite talk to God, around which God puts an atmosphere and we get answers back. Meditation has a reflex action; people without an ounce of the Spirit of God in them can meditate, but that is not prayer. This fundamental distinction is frequently obscured.

Mary pondered these things in her heart, that is, she meditated on them, got right to the center of the revelations about her Son, but as far as we know, she did not utter a word to anyone. But read John’s gospel, and a wonder will occur to you. St. Augustine has called John’s gospel “the Heart of Jesus Christ.”

Recall what Jesus said to His mother about John: “Woman, behold your son!” and to John about Mary, ” ‘Behold your mother!’ And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.” It is surely quite legitimate to think that Mary’s meditations found marvelous expression to John under the guidance of the Spirit of God, and found a place in his gospel and epistles.


Taken from Daily Thoughts for Disciples, © 1976, 1994 by Oswald Chambers Publications Association, Ltd., and used by permission of Discovery House Publishers, Grand Rapids MI 49501. All rights reserved.

[[Some words Chambers uses are not used often today — click [here] to look up difficult words.]]

* * * * * † * † * † * * * * *

Brief commentary:
It has often been said that praying is like enjoying a Creole dinner then asking what all was in the pot, while meditating is like simply savoring every bite of what’s there without asking about what’s on your plate. God doesn’t slip us spiritual “food” that we’d gag on if we knew what it really was — “I can’t believe you threw some Peruvian wombat in my gumbo, Jesus…that’s so not cool.”

Sure, there are some times that He won’t always disclose that tonight is a “peas and spinach” night (or whatever vegetables you know you need but try to avoid), but only with things that are beneficial, not things that are just for His own amusement — “Hey, Dad, shhh! Jason’s totally about to eat some of that wombat snout! …. don’t make it too obvious We’re watching him now…OH!! He bit it! Ewww, that’s so GROSS!”

We don’t have to worry about Him giving us any disgusting spiritual food, thus armed with the knowledge that He delights in treating us to exotic nutritious foods, we don’t have to concern ourselves with the menu; we can just sit back and enjoy what He’s dishing. If you can’t see who’s in the kitchen cooking your food, you better verify the source before you eat, so make sure the only “restaurant” you pull out your knife and fork at is “His Bible Cafe”. Doing so ensures that you’re not digesting any trash from some “D-rating-from-the-health-department” greasy spoon.

Once you come to His Word, there will be times you come across things that are simply too much for your brain to process adequately, and it’s best to tuck them away in your heart the same way Mary did after hearing from Simeon and Anna. Sometimes we get a piece of the puzzle and we need to wait until we find all the border-pieces first so we can know where to fill in the center tiles.

It’s great to pray about what you’re studying — you should get into the habit of doing so before, during and after you read regardless of how challenging or elementary you feel the section at hand is — and it’s great to meditate on what you’re going through. Prayer will invite the Holy Spirit to brighten your dim vision, while meditation will run what you’re reading “through the grid” of the things you’ve studied before, taking time to compare and contrast and search for connections and unearth parallels.

But Mary, she had no idea just how vivid the impact of the words she had received that day, nor did she even know where to go to try to make heads or tails of it all, so she hid them away in her heart — basically adopting a “we’ll wait for the time and see for ourselves” approach. And when she stood there with John the Beloved on Golgotha that afternoon, looking at her Son hanging there on a tree in fulfillment of Psalm 22, the things she’d hidden away likely came bubbling back up to the surface again for her contemplation.

John, having just spent three and a half years with Jesus, would likely have been the next best thing to discussing the things with Jesus directly. And these insights into things that happened before John met Jesus would do nothing but build up his readers. If it’s really how things unfolded, it certainly would answer some questions as to how John acquired a lot of the insights about Jesus’ early life that he recorded.

Think about it like a recipe. When you first decide on a recipe, you typically start with the main ingredient, but there’s nothing else with it. After you grab the main ingredient, you have to generally prep it in some way, adding a few other important ingredients to build on the base. Toss in a couple finishing touches, a sprinkle of some seasoning and a bit of garnish, and voila, you’ve got a gourmet dish.

The awesome thing about meditation is that you leave the idea on “simmer” long enough for other ingredients to make their way into the mix, and after a while, the whole recipe comes together in such a way that now as you meditate on it, it tastes sooooo good you enjoy every time you think about it. So if it’s been a while since you’ve last meditated on a section of Scripture, I’d suggest doing so today…it’s never too soon to start preparing your next gourmet meal.

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What are Israeli leaders learning from the President’s vacillations on Syria? They’re on their own when it comes to Iran.

For anyone who has ever wondered why there’s no mention of the U.S. coming to the aid of Israel in Ezekiel 38-39, this might have something to do with it:
(reposted from Joel Rosenberg’s blog)

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

obama-netanyahu-WHUPDATED:(Washington, D.C.) — It is not exactly starting off as a happy New Year in Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Security Cabinet have to be mortified by what they are seeing unfold — not in Damascus, but in Washington.

To be sure, Israeli leaders are concerned but not surprised by the horrific blood-letting that is underway between the evil Assad regime and the demonic forces of al Qaeda and their Radical Islamic partners. But the Israelis are stunned and dismayed by the vacillating, lurching, confused and chaotic approach to decision-making being taken by President Obama and his top advisors.

Officially, the Israeli government supports the Obama administration’s approach to Syria. “Israel agrees with President Obama that the use of chemical weapons is a ‘heinous act’ for which the Assad regime must be held accountable and for which there must be ‘international consequences,’” said Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador…

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HCAD — John 13:1-17

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. 2 And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, 4 rose from supper and laid aside His outer garments, took a towel and girded Himself. 5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.

6 Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?” 7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.” 8 Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” 9 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, You are not all clean.”

12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.”

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Study of James – Intro

This is intended as the introduction portion of our study in James. In it, I will cover (a) information about the author, (b) touch briefly on significant points and characteristics of the letter, and (c) establish a basic outline of the subsequent parts of the study.

So Who’s James?

As you read through the New Testament, you’ll notice that there are several men named “James” along the way. So how can we know which one wrote this epistle? Well, the apostle James (the brother of the apostle John, son of Zebedee) is thought to have been martyred a bit too early (Acts 12:2, early/mid 40’s AD) for it to have been from him, as this epistle is thought to have been written between ~50-66 AD. In Acts 15, we read about the council in Jerusalem — apparently the “leadership group” of the church at that time — and James, the half-brother of Jesus (i.e. one of the several sons that Joseph and Mary had “the normal way” after Jesus’ immaculate conception and birth), is seen there as a prominent leader at that time. It is generally recognized that the half-brother of Jesus is the James who wrote “The Epistle of James”.

Some mentions of this James that speak of his prominence in the early church:

  • Peter told his friends to tell James that he’d been rescued from prison (Acts 12:17)
  • James was mentioned as a leader in the Jerusalem council (Acts 15:13)
  • Paul met with James on his first visit to Jerusalem after his conversion (as mentioned in Galatians 1:19), as well as on his last visit to Jerusalem (Acts 21:18)
  • He was one of the select people Jesus appeared to after His resurrection (as mentioned in 1st Corinthians 15:7)
  • Paul called him a “pillar” of the church (Galatians 2:9)
  • Jude, in his epistle, identifies himself as a “bond-servant of the Lord Jesus Christ and brother of James” — in a time when people typically introduced themselves by parental lineage, introducing one’s self as a “brother of” someone indicates that someone must have great enough significance to warrant it (Jude 1)

Significant Points and Characteristics

There are some points of significance that are useful to talk about, and others that generally only will appeal to a more “scholarly” type of study (such as taking note of the exceptional use of the Greek language). Since our purpose is a practical one, I’ll stick to the useful points and leave the more “scholarly” ones for you to seek out, should you so desire to jump into that pool later.

The epistle of James is sometimes referred to as “the New Testament ‘Proverbs'”, as it is rich with practical wisdom regarding righteous living, morality, dealing with temptation, prayer, “walking the talk”, and keeping one’s tongue on a tight leash. It is probably best known for its call for believers to match their talk about their faith with genuine action. The early parts of chapter 2 also suggest a great familiarity with Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount”, as it directly talks about points made there before “fleshing out” what exactly the heart the Lord was speaking about looks like in everyday life.

Basic Outline

If you are using a study Bible, it will likely have some sort of outline preceding each book. Looking through several study Bibles and commentaries of my own in preparation for this study has given me no less than five general outlines — none of which are “right” or “wrong”, they simply group things together in different ways, depending on (a) the simplicity or thoroughness with which they are attempting to outline (the simplest used in the materials I possess had only five outline points, while the most thoroughly broken down one had ten outline points + 11 sub-points) as well as (b) what particular focus or topical emphasis each material delved into the most.

Look at it like the gospels: different perspectives on the same events give us harmonized, yet differentiated accounts of what happened that paint a “higher resolution” picture for us than if they’d been exact photocopies of each other. Likewise, don’t be discouraged or confused if your study Bible has a different outline than what we’ll follow here. The purpose of the simple outline I’m drawing up matches our immediate purposes, which is a plain “first run through” study of the book of James with sections that are large enough to focus on and learn from without being so big that we get lost in too much information. It will often follow the natural divisions within the fairly short chapters, and more or less breaks into about half a chapter for each part of our study (similar to what you’d find in the “Half-Chapter a Day” sections of Scripture I try to post daily).

I.     Instruction Regarding Trials and Tribulations (1:2-1:18)
II.    The Difference Between a Hearer and a Doer (1:19-1:27)
III.   The Folly and Consequence of Favoritism (2:1-2:13)
IV.   The Intersection of Faith and Works (2:14-2:26)
V.    Taming the Tongue (3:1-12)
VI.   Two Kinds of Wisdom (3:13-18)
VII.  The Dangers of Pride (4:1-10)
VIII. The Dangers of Pride, Undercover (4:11-17)
IX.   “To Whom Much Is Given…” (5:1-12)
X.    The Prayer of Faith and Chasing Down the One (5:13-20)

This should be a real fun study, breaking down sections of this very practical book into daily, “bite sized” portions that we can then more easily incorporate into practical living. With ten sections, assuming that you read through one a day, even if you took the weekends off you could still complete a “first run through” study of the epistle of James in two short weeks. I pray that it would be as helpful and practical for you as getting ready for it has been for me.

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HCAD — John 12:27-50

27 “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, saying:

“I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.”

29 Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to Him.” 30 Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake. 31 Now is the judgement of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. 32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” 33 This He said, signifying by what death He would die. 34 The people answered Him, “We have heard from the law that the Christ remains forever; and how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up‘? Who is this Son of Man?

35 Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them.

37 But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, 38 that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke:

“Lord, who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?”

39 Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again:

40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts,
Lest they should see with their eyes,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.”

41 These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him. 42 Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

44 Then Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. 45 And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me. 46 I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. 47 And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him — the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. 49 For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. 50 And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.”

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HCAD — John 12:1-26

Then six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. 2 There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. 3 Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.

4 But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, 5 “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” 6 This he said, not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it. 7 But Jesus said, “Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial. 8 For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.”

9 Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. 10 But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.

12 The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out:

‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’
The King of Israel!”

14 Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it as it is written:

15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion;
Behold, your King is coming,
Sitting on a donkey’s colt.”

16 His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him. 17 Therefore the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of his tomb and raised him from the dead, bore witness. 18 For this reason the people also met Him, because they heard that He had done this sign. 19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, “You see that you are accomplishing nothing. Look, the world has gone after Him.”

20 Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast, 21 Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn Andrew and Philip told Jesus.

23 But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. 24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. 25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.”

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H-CAD — John 11:37-57

37 And some of them said, “Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?”

38 Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”

40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” 41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” 43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave-clothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”

45 Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things Jesus did, believed in Him. 46 But some of them went away to the Pharisees and told them the things which Jesus did. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, “What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. 48 If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”

49 And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, 50 nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.” 51 Now this he did not say on his own authority, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad. 53 Then, from that day on, they plotted to put Him to death.

54 Therefore Jesus no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there into the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim, and there remained with His disciples. 55 And the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went from the country up to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves. 56 Then they sought Jesus, and spoke among themselves as they stood in the temple, “What do you think — that He will not come to the feast?” 57 Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a command, that if anyone knew where He was, he should report it, that they might seize Him.

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H-CAD — John 11:1-37

Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. 3 Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.”

4 When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. 7 Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8 The disciples said to Him, “Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?” 9 Jesus answered and said, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”

11 These things He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.” 12 Then His disciples said, “Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.” 13 However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep. 14 Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him.” 16 Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.”

17 So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles away. 19 And many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. 20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. 21 Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24 Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, yet shall he live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” 28 And when she had said these things, she went her way and secretly called Mary her sister, saying, “The Teacher has come and is calling for you.”

29 As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly and came to Him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the town, but was still in the place where Martha had met Him. 31 Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and comforting her, when they saw that Mary rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, “She is going out to the tomb to weep there.” 32 Then, when Mary came to where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You would have been here, my brother would not have died.”

33 Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. 34 And He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.”

35 Jesus wept. 36 Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!” 37 And some of them said, “Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?”

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H-CAD — John 10:22-42

22 Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. 23 And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch. 24 Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”

25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they testify of Me. 26 But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me, 28 and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.

31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you seek to stone Me?” 33 The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.”

34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”‘? 35 If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36 do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said ‘I am the Son of God’? 37 If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38 but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.”

39 Therefore they sought again to seize Him, but He escaped out of their hand. 40 And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was baptizing at first, and there He stayed. 41 Then many came to Him and said, “John performed no sign, but all the things that John spoke about this Man were true.” 42 And many believed in Him there.

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H-CAD — John 9:39-10:21

39 And Jesus said, “For judgement I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.” 40 Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, “Are we blind also?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.”

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.

7 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, bu the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd, and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.

15 “As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd. 17 Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.” 19 Therefore there was a division again among the Jews because of these sayings. 20 And many of them said, “He has a demon and is mad. Why do you listen to Him?” 21 Others said, “These are not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

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H-CAD — John 9:13-41

13 They brought him who was formerly blind to the Pharisees. 14 Now it was a Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. 15 Then the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.”

16 Therefore some of the Pharisees said, “This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” Others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them.

17 They said to the blind man again, “What do you say about Him because He opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.” 18 But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight.

19 And they asked them, saying, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he see now?” 20 His parents answered them and said, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; 21 but by what means he now sees we do not know. He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself.”

22 His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue. 23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”

24 So they again called the man who was blind, and said to him, “Give God the glory! We know that this Man is a sinner.” 25 He answered and said, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.”

26 Then they said to him again, “What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?” 27 He answered them, “I told you already, and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become His disciples?” 28 Then they reviled him and said, “You are His disciple, but we are Moses’ disciples. 29 We know that God spoke to Moses; as for this fellow, we do not know where He is from.”

30 The man answered and said to them, “Why, this is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where He is from, yet He has opened my eyes! 31 Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him. 32 Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind. 33 If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing.”

34 They answered and said to him, “You were completely born in sins, and are you teaching us?” And they cast him out.

35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” 36 He answered and said, “Who is He, that I may believe in Him?” 37 And Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.” 38 Then he said, “Lord, I believe!” And he worshiped Him. 39 And Jesus said, “For judgement I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.”

40 Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, “Are we blind also?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.”

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H-CAD — John 9:1-12

Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. 2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

3 Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. 4 I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. 5 As long as I an in the world, I am the light of the world.”

6 When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. 7 And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.

8 Therefore the neighbors and those who previously had seen that he was blind said, “Is this not he who sat and begged?” 9 Some said, “This is he.” Others said, “He is like him.” He said, “I am he.”

10 Therefore they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?” 11 He answered and said, “A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and I received sight.” 12 Then they said to him, “Where is He?” He said, “I don’t know.”

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H-CAD — John 8:31-59

31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”

33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And the slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

37 “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38 I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.” 39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. 41 You do the deeds of your father.”

Then they said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one father — God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? 47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”

48 Then the Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. 50 And I do not seek My own glory; there is One who seeks and judges. 51 Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.” 52 Then the Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon! Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.’ 53 Are You greater than Abraham, who is dead? And the prophets are dead. Who do You make Yourself out to be?”

54 Jesus answered, “If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God. 55 Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, ‘I do not know Him’, I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” 57 Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” 59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

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