Luke 6:47

Verse of the Day Devotion Luke 6:47 

“Everyone who comes to Me, and hears My words, and acts upon them, I will show you whom he is like.” – Luke 6:47 

Here in chapter six Jesus is taking time to instruct His disciples.  In verse forty-six, He asks the disciples a question. “And why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” Luke 6:46.  The definition of the word Kurios here translated “Lord” has various meanings, and the definition that fits best here in this context is the idea of a sovereign ruler or master.  Jesus was essentially asking them why do they not obey Him if He is their Lord. As the theologian Adam Clarke put it, “God judges of the heart, not by words, but by works. A good servant never disputes, speaks little, and always follows his work.”  Essentially, He is speaking regarding the contrast between confession and obedience.  The idea being you can say all you want, but if your deeds are not consistent with your words, you have fallen into the error of hypocrisy. And this is what Jesus was letting them know via the question, “And why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?

Then, in our focus verse, Jesus clarifies what He is saying by giving them two examples; one where they do what He says and then one where they do not. He starts with those who come to Him, hear His words, and then acts upon them, essentially doing what He told them. “He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation upon the rock; and when a flood rose, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.” Luke 6:48. They had taken the time to build a strong foundation on the rock so that the house would not fall because of the storm.  On the other hand, the one who has heard, and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house upon the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.” Luke 6:49. He built a similar house but did not lay a solid foundation, and when the storm hit, the house fell on account of the lack of a solid foundation, and Jesus finishes this with “and the ruin of that house was great.” Luke 6:49.

Jesus was teaching them that they can follow Him all over the place, but if they do not hear what He is saying and act upon His teachings, they will not develop a solid foundation in the faith and could possibly turn away. This is what I believe happened to Judas. He was more concerned with the works of this world that He did not establish a firm base for His belief in Jesus as the Messiah. And unfortunately, we see many in our churches that fall into this category.  They read the word out of duty, but not to build a proper foundation.  They give their tithes, not because they want to, but in order to lift themselves up and get the tax credits. They sit in the pews and listen to solid preaching, but they do not apply what they have heard to themselves, however they become critics of others.

How often do we call Jesus Lord, but do not do what He says?  This is the reason His word was given to us, so that read it, understand, and fulfil His will for us. He is our Lord because we, as Christians, are His. “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore, glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

If we call Him Lord, which He is, then we must obey Him completely.  This means from our heart and our deeds. And we can do this by hearing what He is telling us in His word and doing what it says. By doing, we are creating a strong foundation which will keep us truly in the faith by which we profess. We must not be hypocrites in saying Jesus is our Lord and yet not listening to Him and doing what He says. Let us make the decision to follow Him completely, doing what He says even if it is difficult. By doing this, we will show the world we are truly His disciples which can open doors to being a light in this dark world.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

John 11:42

Verse of the Day Devotion:  John 11:42  

“And I knew that Thou hears Me always; but because of the people standing around I said it, that they may believe that Thou didst send Me.” – John 11:42 

Over the next week we will be looking at seven miraculous signs performed by Jesus as recorded in the Gospel of John.  These signs show that Jesus was not just some ordinary man but was truly the Son of God.  Today we will look at the last sign which is Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.

There was a man who lived in Bethany, the village where Mary and her sister Martha lived.  And this is the same Mary who had anointed the feet of Jesus and wiping His feet with her hair. And these are the sisters of the man who was ill.  They send for Jesus to come, for Lazarus, whom He love is very sick.  However, Jesus responded by saying, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” John 11:4. Something special was going to happen that would bring glory to the Jesus.

After two days, Jesus left to go to Judea again.  The disciples were nervous and made this clear to Him. “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone You, and are You going there again?” John 11:8. Jesus responds by referring to a comment in chapter nine. “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 9:5. Note the wording here. “Jesus answered, 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. But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” John 11:10.  Then after saying this, Jesus gives some context. “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, that I may awaken him out of sleep.” John 11:11.  He was saying, while I am here, I must do the work His Father sent Him to do. And this will become more clear further on. When the disciples heard Jesus say Lazarus fell asleep, they assumed he would eventually wake up, but Jesus then comes out and said, “Lazarus is dead, and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe; but let us go to him.” John 11:14b-15. Several Jews came to the house to console them, which provides an opportunity to see this miracle.

Jesus then arrives and Mary goes out to meet Him and says, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” John 11:32. Jesus then, seeing her and the Jews weeping, began crying Himself.  Some Jews that were present remarked that Jesus obviously loved this man, but some said, “Could not this man, who opened the eyes of him who was blind, have kept this man also from dying?” John 11:37. Then, being deeply moved, came to the tomb.  He told them to remove the stone, upon which Martha responds, “Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days.” John 11:39b. But Jesus counters by saying, “Did I not say to you, if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” John 11:40. This is said above in verse four. His words here were probably said to the disciples to whom He had said it. 

Now we come to the critical verses which includes our focus verse. “And so, they removed the stone. And Jesus raised His eyes, and said, Father, I thank Thee that Thou hears Me. And I knew that Thou hears Me always; but because of the people standing around I said it, that they may believe that Thou didst send Me.” John 11:41-42. Several things we see here.  First, his direct reference to God as ‘Father’ is characteristic of his praying. To say that the God He prayed to is His Father was quite revolutionary.  Second, the prayer assumes that Jesus has already asked for Lazarus’ life, and that all he must do is to thank his Father for the answer. That is not surprising for verse eleven also assumes that the raising of Lazarus had been determined for some time. Third, this prayer was not a matter of public playing to the people there, it is intended to show His intimacy with the Father. 

After this prayer, Jesus then cries out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” John 11:43b. After this we see the miracle. “He who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings; and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, unbind him, and let him go.” John 11:44.

The sign here shows that Jesus is truly the Son of God. And this sign was to be seen again by the Jews, which included Mary and Martha and the disciples.  Many of the Jews who were there had their minds changed. “Many therefore of the Jews, who had come to Mary and beheld what He had done, believed in Him. But some of them went away to the Pharisees and told them the things which Jesus had done.” John 11:45-46. However, the leadership for the most part was angry. “Therefore, the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs. If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” John 11:47-48. They called this miracle a sign, which it was, that showed proof that Jesus was the promised Messiah. In John 9, regarding the healing of the blind man from birth.  He there said that those Jews who see these signs and still do not believe are blind. “And Jesus said, For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see; and that those who see may become blind. Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things, and said to Him, We are not blind too, are we? Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.” John 9:39-41.

Jesus allowed Lazarus to die (fall asleep) so that He could show many the miracle and believe. “Father, I thank Thee that Thou hear Me. And I knew that Thou hear Me always; but because of the people standing around I said it, that they may believe that Thou didst send Me.” John 11:41b-42. Jesus came here to be a light in the world. And what better way to shine this light than to show people who He is and the power and glory He has from the Father. We see this in this miracle as well as the other six signs.  He wanted everyone to see who He was, for He loved them and desired them to believe in Him and be saved. 

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

John 5:24

Verse of the Day Devotion:  John 5:24 

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” – John 5:24

This verse addresses the fact that salvation is the result of hearing His words and believing them, and then ultimately acting upon it.  Salvation has nothing to do with any acts or deeds, as the Jews believed, but it was wholly the work of God.  To “hear” in this passage speaks not of just hearing physically, but it involves receiving the word in the heart, believing it to be truth and then obeying it.  Many people hear the gospel, but few see it as a truth they wish to obey.  They must see it as a truth they must obey, because they believing it is the only way to please God and receive salvation.

And the idea is that we believe God the Father who sent Him to fulfill His will.  The Father provided a way that we can receive eternal life with Him, and that is to provide a means by which the penalty of our sins have been paid.  “For the wages of sin is death,” Romans 6:23a.  Note He says “The wages of sin is death.”  When God created man He placed them in the garden declared one thing they were not to do.  “The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.” Genesis 3:2-3.  He told them what they would receive, denoted by Paul as wages, if they disobeyed Him.  Unfortunately, they did and received exactly what God told them they would.  Not necessarily instant death, but they would have a limited lifespan. 

And this was what Paul was referring to.  Because they sinned, they received the wages for their actions.  They no longer had life eternal, but a time where life would eventually end.  And He also declares there would come one who would be capable of addressing this problem.  “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.” Genesis 3:15.  This refers to the coming Messiah who would address this great fall of mankind.  “The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!“  John 1:29.  So, as you can see, this was the plan of the Father and He sent Jesus, His only begotten Son to address the sins of all mankind.  And the only way He could pay the penalty for us is if He did not need to pay it for Himself.  “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 1 Corinthians 5:21.

So, going back to our focus verse, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life,” if we hear the words of Jesus regarding our situation, that being we are dead due to sins, and we believe the Father that the death of His only begotten Son will redeem us if we accept this truth, then we shall no longer die but will live eternally with Him.  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” John 3:16-17. 

We have all sinned and were thus under the penalty of death.  However, if we hear, accept and obey what Jesus said, and believe the Father that if we do this He will forgive us, then our penalty has been placed on Christ, who never sinned and thus can pay our penalty.  And when He does this, then we have eternal life.  Not that we will have eternal life, but we already have it.  It is life begun and expanded.  We, as Christians have already entered this inheritance which is everlasting.  What a glorious life we are assured of going forward.   

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.