A devotional is a topical Bible study and can be completed in anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes. Read it on the go, or take some extra time to dig into the questions for personal reflection. You can also download and print a PDF version to use with a friend to create an engaging spiritual discussion.
The next time you feel like you are foolish and don’t understand something, remember Jesus, like God, is patient and will work you through things until they are clear. He will comfort you along the way, easing your anxiety and bringing clarity to the complexity.
Jesus was sent by God to be the chief persuader. He was on a mission to convince, and in John 11:32-44 he is faced with grief, one of the most traumatic afflictions of faith any human being can experience. The sisters of Lazarus had watched their brother die when Jesus failed to arrive, and were plunged into deep grief accompanied by doubt. This grieving doubt had an emotional effect on Jesus as Scripture says he was “deeply moved” (John 11:33,38).
Jesus and anyone who chooses to live like him will be controversial, and that isn’t a negative thing. Unless we decide to live in a society where everyone believes and thinks the same thing controversies will abound.
When an individual can “hold the attention of someone by being extremely interesting, exciting, charming, or attractive,” then that person is captivating. This brings us to a question. How captivating was Jesus?
Jesus's confidence was in God, so when people were fickle he remained faithful, which is why I think so many people found him attractive. We must read the scriptures with greater intensity to learn this confidence, so we continue to keep the dream of Jesus alive and build his kingdom, regardless of whether we are many or few, important or irrelevant, succeeding or failing, being criticized or praised.
Conquer is a word descriptive of but rarely used to define Jesus. It means “to defeat an enemy, or take control or possession of a foreign land.” In this sense, Jesus comes as the light to conquer a world filled with darkness.
We must recognize, reject, and conquer our easy inclination toward ‘religious humanism’ if we are going to experience “Deep Change.” If we do not, then like the Pharisees we will become opponents of “Deep Change.”