Saturday, March 27, 2010

Memorial Bible Reading (Events on Nisan 10)

the following illustrations, of events on Nisan 10, are in: (chapters 103 & 104 of The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived)


(this event isn't covered in the Memorial Bible reading, so here's an excerpt from chapter 103 of the 'Greatest Man' book)

...Jesus and his disciples soon reach Jerusalem. He goes to the temple, which he had inspected the previous afternoon. Today, however, he takes action, just as he did three years earlier when he came to the Passover in 30 C.E. Jesus throws out those selling and buying in the temple and overturns the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. He does not even allow anyone to carry a utensil through the temple.
Condemning those who are changing money and selling animals in the temple, he says: “Is it not written, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a cave of robbers.” They are robbers because they demand exorbitant prices from those who have little alternative but to buy from them the animals needed for sacrifice. So Jesus views these business dealings as a form of extortion or robbery.
When the chief priests, scribes, and principal ones of the people hear what Jesus has done, they again seek a way to have him killed. They thereby prove that they are irreformable. Yet, they do not know how to destroy Jesus, since all the people keep hanging on to him to hear him.



(God's voice is heard a third time in response to Jesus, in the midst of a crowd at the temple)

Memorial Bible reading:
(Events on Nisan 10)

John 12:20-50
Now there were some Greeks among those that came up to worship at the festival. These, therefore, approached Philip who was from Beth·sa′i·da of Gal′i·lee, and they began to request him, saying: “Sir, we want to see Jesus.” Philip came and told Andrew. Andrew and Philip came and told Jesus.
But Jesus answered them, saying: “The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified. Most truly I say to YOU, Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains just one [grain]; but if it dies, it then bears much fruit. He that is fond of his soul destroys it, but he that hates his soul in this world will safeguard it for everlasting life. If anyone would minister to me, let him follow me, and where I am there my minister will be also. If anyone would minister to me, the Father will honor him. Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? Father, save me out of this hour. Nevertheless, this is why I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Therefore a voice came out of heaven: “I both glorified [it] and will glorify [it] again.”

Hence the crowd that stood about and heard it began to say that it had thundered. Others began to say: “An angel has spoken to him.” In answer Jesus said: “This voice has occurred, not for my sake, but for YOUR sakes. Now there is a judging of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And yet I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw men of all sorts to me.” This he was really saying to signify what sort of death he was about to die. Therefore the crowd answered him: “We heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever; and how is it you say that the Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man?” Jesus therefore said to them: “The light will be among YOU a little while longer. Walk while YOU have the light, so that darkness does not overpower YOU; and he that walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. While YOU have the light, exercise faith in the light, in order to become sons of light.”

Jesus spoke these things and went off and hid from them. But although he had performed so many signs before them, they were not putting faith in him, so that the word of Isaiah the prophet was fulfilled which he said: “Jehovah, who has put faith in the thing heard by us? And as for the arm of Jehovah, to whom has it been revealed?” The reason why they were not able to believe is that again Isaiah said: “He has blinded their eyes and he has made their hearts hard, that they should not see with their eyes and get the thought with their hearts and turn around and I should heal them.” Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory, and he spoke about him. All the same, many even of the rulers actually put faith in him, but because of the Pharisees they would not confess [him], in order not to be expelled from the synagogue; for they loved the glory of men more than even the glory of God. However, Jesus cried out and said: “He that puts faith in me puts faith, not in me [only], but in him [also] that sent me; and he that beholds me beholds [also] him that sent me. I have come as a light into the world, in order that everyone putting faith in me may not remain in the darkness. But if anyone hears my sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I came, not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that disregards me and does not receive my sayings has one to judge him. The word that I have spoken is what will judge him in the last day; because I have not spoken out of my own impulse, but the Father himself who sent me has given me a commandment as to what to tell and what to speak. Also, I know that his commandment means everlasting life. Therefore the things I speak, just as the Father has told me [them], so I speak [them].”


*extra reference* regarding Jesus' words above,
(chapter 103 in the 'Greatest Man' book):

Jesus knows he has only a few days of life left, so he nicely illustrates his situation: “The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified. Most truly I say to you, Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains just one grain; but if it dies, it then bears much fruit.”
One grain of wheat has little value. Yet, what if it is put into the soil and “dies,” ending its life as a seed? It then germinates and in time grows into a stalk that produces many, many grains of wheat. Similarly, Jesus is just one perfect man. But if he dies faithful to God, he becomes the means of imparting everlasting life to faithful ones who have the same spirit of self-sacrifice that he has. Thus, Jesus says: “He that is fond of his soul destroys it, but he that hates his soul in this world will safeguard it for everlasting life.”
Jesus obviously is not thinking only of himself, for he next explains: “If anyone would minister to me, let him follow me, and where I am there my minister will be also. If anyone would minister to me, the Father will honor him.” What a marvelous reward for following Jesus and ministering to him! It is the reward of being honored by the Father to associate with Christ in the Kingdom.