Thursday, 24 October 2013

Servant King (John Chapter 13) dated 20.10.2013


Jesus came from above in John 1 and has now completed his public ministry with 7 miracles recorded by John to demonstrate Jesus’ divinity so that they may believe Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and in believing they may have life in his name (John 20:31). Jesus explains in this chapter that he’s going to his death to serve them, and that they should serve one another: the cross as an act of service. Jesus explains his own departure: his own death, resurrection, ascension – that will be happening over the next 3 days as they hear these words. But he’s also explaining the implications for them: this is what I’m going to do to you, this is what you must do for each other, and this is what all of you must do in the world. Jesus serves us, we must serve one another.


It means more than washing feet. It’s about the cross. It’s about giving up your life for somebody to the point of death. It means we should be clean in serving one another.


Jesus’ death and service for us is essential because it is essential to be cleansed by Jesus. It’s about cleanliness in a spiritual sense. And all the way through the Bible, being clean and being fit for God’s presence has been a continued thing. God has a problem with dirt.
Jesus says to be washed by him in his death on the cross is essential. Jesus said to Peter, if I do not wash you, you can have no share with me (John 13:8).


Jesus said you are cleansed once, you are clean. Jesus’ death is sufficient and you can have the ongoing grace of confessing your wrongdoing to him with confidence that you remain the child of God:  you remain forgiven.


Firstly, the timing: throughout John’s gospel, the writer makes a big deal of the fact that Jesus died at Passover time – the time when the lambs were sacrificed, that the Jews remembered was symbolic of God’s rescue in the exodus in the Old Testament. Jesus knew that his hour had come: the time has come to die, to depart and return to the Father. He’s leaving the world, it’s his departure which means his death. 1 Peter 1:10-12 talked about the prophets searching intently and with the greatest care. Even angels longed to know.


Jesus tells them about his betrayal so that they will not be unsettled when it happens later that evening. They will not be thrown when they see him going to the cross the next morning. He intended this and he’s in full control. The betrayal triggers a series of events leading to the crucifixion.
It is a warning that being close to Christian things don’t count for anything but staying loyal to Jesus and trusting Jesus does. It is a warning that even someone who looks like an insider could be an outsider.

Different Kingdom


Jesus shares glory (in terms of majesty or weight) with the Father. His glory with the Father is going to be increased as the Father glorifies him and he glorifies his Father. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit acting to increase each other’s glory, worth and honour.
But here Jesus says he’s going to be glorified by dying on the cross, in agony. He’s glorified by someone slipping out to betray him. He’s glorified by a corrupt trial. He’s glorified by brutal soldiers – callously nailing his wrists and ankles. He’s glorified as he dies by suffocation on the cross. That is his glory. That is the place extraordinarily in John that we find the announcement: this is his glory!


So what’s new measure  that is the new commandment here? It’s new because now they are to love one another as Christ has loved them.
It is glorious for Jesus to be the ultimate servant, as he lowers himself to give up his own comfort, even his own life for the good of others. And love is to love like that. Glory is the cross. And the new commandment is the new measure to love like the cross. Love radically with a costly love. Love one another even to death. Christ’s love is essential to Christian mission.
The disciples’ love for one another will give credibility to the message they take out. Their love for one another will identify them as Jesus’ messengers when they teach others about him.


Jesus died as more than an example. He died as a Saviour. He died to rescue us. He died to get us a place in his Father’s house. And that is a glorious thing to do.
Jesus says to Peter and to us:  you’ll deny me, you’ll fail me, you won’t always love one another, but I’m going so that you can come with me. In my absence, you need to love each other and testify to where it is I’ve gone so that others will hear - by your actions, by your words. Because my death to win a place for you is the most glorious thing that the Father could ever do for his Son. And the Son could ever do for his Father.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

The Hour Has Come (John chapter 12) by Gan Tuan Boon dated 13.10.13

The Hour Has Come (John chapter 12) by Gan Tuan Boon dated 13.10.13
In the 80s countries which were known as “little Tigers” were Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia.  Countries known as “Big economic Tigers” were Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong.  However, in 1997 when the financial crisis hit all these countries suffered financially.  People lost their jobs, lost entire savings, and some even lost their lives.  Why was this so?  Basically it is wrong timing.
In the story of Joseph who was a minister in Egypt who had wisdom and foresight in storing up gains for the time of famine when it came for 7 years.  And he sold these gains with great profits.  Pharaoh was pleased with him.
Jesus lived an ordinary man for 30 years.  After that He went into ministry and called His 12 disciples.
1.        Jesus bid farewell to His close friends V.1-11 – He attended a dinner at Mary, Martha and Lazarus house. Mary took ½ litre of nard oil to anointed Jesus’ feet and wipe with her hair.  In Biblical time ½ litre would have cost a year’s wages, approximately RM30,000 in today’s money.  Judas Iscariot criticised Mary for being wasteful as the money could have been given to the poor.  The Chief priest wanted to kill Lazarus as they were embarrassed by his resurrection which they did not believe.
Jesus always commune with those He loved.
2.       Jesus paraded His Messiahship into Jerusalem ( the triumphal entry ) V. 12-19 – on the last Sunday Jesus rode a donkey from Mt. Olive to Jerusalem ( V.12&14 ).  Multitudes cheered Him and lay cloaks and waving palm leaves (v.13 ). Triumphal entry confirmed a prophecy V.15-16).  The Pharisees were envious of Jesus’ popularity but could not do anything V.17-19.
Proclaim Jesus as Messiah and serve Him as the  King
3.       Jesus elaborated on the purpose of His suffering ( V.20-50 ).  Jesus explained His death will bring many more lives (V.20-26 ). John 12:24.  Jesus foretold He will be killed by crucifixion. ( V.27-36 ).  Despite miracles many did not believe in Jesus (V.37-43) because of their hardened hearts.
   “He (God) has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they should see with their eyes and perceive with their heart, and turn for me to heal them.” Isaiah 6:10
 Jesus reiterated His claim of deity and power to give eternal life V.44-50
 He died that we may have full and abundant, here and hereafter.
Four Things happened when Jesus dies on the Cross
·         The world system is defeated
·         Satan is defeated
·         Sins are atoned for
·         Many people will be drawn to Jesus

4.       Summary
The last hour had come for Jesus and three events took place:
·         1st Event – He bid farewell to His close friends
·         2nd Event – He paraded His Messiahship into Jerusalem
·         3rd Event – He elaborated His purpose of suffering on the Cross.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Teaching by Giancarlo and Catherine Elia dated 6.10.2013

Broad Messages

The broad messages of Giancarlo and Catherine Elia are God’s love, the presence of God in our lives and evangelism.  

Before Giancarlo shared his message Catherine shared about the presence of God in us.  She shared that sometime back while she was working, she had to rush to work without praying to God.  While in the London tube she saw a telecom’s advertisement say something like “Ring, you have no time”.  Catherine was struck that this message although ordinary was meant for specifically her because she had not prayed to God that morning.  Right away in the train, she asked God for His forgiveness and from then on she prayed regularly without fail.  She said many people out there do not know God, and we need to pray to God to bring people in our midst so that we can share with them the good news.  She gave some examples of her encounters with strangers and how they were ministered to in public places.

Giancarlo’s Message

God is with us.  Zephaniah 3:17  “The Lord God is with you, and He is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing”.  God is happy to see us and He wants us to relate to Him.  Our aim is not about eventually going to heaven and sitting all day playing the harp!  It seem very boring, he shared. 
Roman 8:15 we did not receive spirit of fear but the Spirit of His son-ship.  We are children of God and rightfully we should be joyful.  Roman 8:23 we are waiting for the redemption of our bodies. 
2 Corinthian 3:18 – we reflect God’s glory and being transformed to the likeness of Jesus.  On the day of Resurrection we will become part taker of Jesus.

Genesis 2:20, God created everything, and He also created man.  Only God can create.  Angels cannot create.  But there is one little thing He did not do, He asked Adam to name the various animals.  So as Adam named these animals, He is effectively honoring him.  He got Adam involved, like He wants us to be involved, as part takers of His kingdom.  Giancarlo shared an example of a man who built a house, and when everything was completed except nailing in a single nail, he got his son to hammer in that nail, and he told his son he has built the house!  Of course the boy did not build the house, but his father honored him with putting in the last nail to show his son he is a part of building the house.  God is doing the same thing for us.

John 16:7 – it is good that Jesus is going away otherwise the Counselor will not come.  The Counselor is the Holy Spirit.  Giancarlo is sharing about the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in us Christians.  Christ in us, the hope of glory.

John 14:12 – those who have faith and having been doing what Jesus is doing, he will do greater things because Jesus is going to His Father.  We have the power to do great things as we are empowered by the Holy Spirit.  Giancarlo shared that he and Catherine have been in ministry for 20 years and they never experience any lack.  They do not have an income, and God provides them in a natural ways.  God gave us His own Spirit because He wants us to be part takers of His Kingdom.

We are not to be ashamed of the Gospel.  The Gospel may be foolishness to people, but it is power to us because God is in us.

John 15:20 – we will be persecuted, but we are to obey Christ’s teaching, and the world will obey our teaching too. 
People needed signs and wonders.  These things still happen today.  Giancarlo shared about his visit to Pakistan to a Christian family recently, and this family told him their deaf and mute son was healed when he preached the previous time he was in Pakistan.  Giancarlo said he was not aware of the healing until he was told by this Christian family.  God is amazing and He heals even today.  Sometimes indirectly.
In another case in Russia, a young woman was healed of serious spinal problem at an evangelistic meeting although she was not prayed for directly.  She was just leaning against the wall because of her severe back problem.  But she was healed and she testified as the meeting was going on how she felt heat at her back and sound of her bones coming into place during the meeting, and eventually she was healed!  Praise God!

Why do we live?  As Christians we are different.  We are to be the best in all that we can do, especially in sharing the Gospel with others.  Ordinary people are to do the works of prophesying, healing, preaching, caring in greater measure than Jesus did (John 14:12). 

Why did God love King David so much although he had failed God in many occasions?  Because he looked after the interests of his Father, just as for his earthly father. He was willing to risk his own life in doing so - like Jesus.  God loved him, like God loves us.