Category Archives: Bible Verses

Entire Message of Jesus Spelled Out in The Message Translation of John 3:16-21

I love, love, love how The Message translation of the Bible phrases John 3:16-21! It tells the entire message of Jesus to people who don’t know him yet, as well as to people who do:

16-18 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.”

19-21 “This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.”

Life of Jesus 2

The Genealogy of Jesus

Matthew 1:1-17

Parallel verses: Luke 3:23-38.

Questions

1. What is your favorite verse or set of verses? Why?
2. Did you learn anything from the reading or find anything particularly cool? What?
3. Was there anything unclear in the passage that you have questions about? What are they?

Summary of reading

This section focuses on Jesus’ ancestors. The main reading is Jesus’ lineage through his father Joseph. The parallel passage is very different, first of all because it traces Jesus’ lineage through his mother Mary. But there are other differences. Luke goes all the way back to Adam, while Matthew starts at Abraham. But even considering just Abraham onward, Luke has many more generations listed, suggesting that Matthew intentionally skipped some. We also see that in Matthew, the lineage is traced through the kings.

Reading a listing of ancestors can be totally boring, but what I found most interesting is that Matthew went out of his way to include four notable women in Jesus’ lineage, of which two were not Jewish, and the circumstances for three of them were exceptional for the things in their lives that represent blatant sin that many people would think would be kept omitted because it could be seen as embarrassing.

Devotions based on reading

Matthew 1:3-6 (Finding the Unexpected in Jesus’ Ancestry).

This is part of a devotional on the Life of Jesus, based on a study using the Harmony of the Gospels. The full listing can be found under the menu 90 Days with Jesus.

Next in the Life of Jesus study.
Previous in the Life of Jesus study.

Life of Jesus 1

John 1:1-18

No parallel verses.

Pre-Existence of Jesus

Questions

1. What is your favorite verse or set of verses? Why?
2. Did you learn anything from the reading or find anything particularly cool? What?
3. Was there anything unclear in the passage that you have questions about? What are they?

Summary of reading

This passage packs a lot of significant revelation into a very small passage about the nature of Jesus and his purpose! It talks about Jesus being God, being involved in Creation of the universe, and sitting next to God the Father in heaven. Jesus is described as being the light which overpowers darkness, one who came into the world as a human, yet was rejected by the people he primarily came to save, though some believed and received him. We also learn that John the Baptist came to witness to who Jesus was.

Devotions based on reading

Omae-Zaki Light House at Sunrise
John 1:1-3 (The Word was God).

John 1:5,10-11 (The World Did Not Receive Him).

John 1:12 (It’s Easy to Become a Child of God).

John 1:14 (Full of Grace and Truth).

John 1:16 (Grace Upon Grace).

John 1:17 (Jesus Brings Grace and Truth).

This is part of a devotional on the Life of Jesus, based on a study using the Harmony of the Gospels. The full listing can be found under the menu 90 Days with Jesus.

Next in the Life of Jesus study.

Luke Tells it to Us Straight (Luke 1:1,3-4)

“Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us… it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.” — Luke 1:1,3-4 (ESV)

Open_Bible

When I first came to believe in Jesus, it came mostly through talking and listening to God. Because it came that way, for a few short months I came to believe that I discovered something no one else had. And it scared me to death! What a responsibility it was to have such an important message, and to think that the burden was on me alone to try to communicate it to the rest of the world! Fortunately for me, I discovered that other people believed similarly to me, so I didn’t have to bear the burden alone.

What I was soon to discover was that even more important than having others who believed similarly to me, there was an even stronger foundation I would want to lean on. That foundation is that those beliefs that we carry are recorded in a book called The Bible. And within the Bible, perhaps the most important part of all is the four Gospels which focus on the life of Jesus. Can you imagine what it would be like if you couldn’t rely on the accuracy of anything you heard about Jesus?

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Finding the Unexpected in Jesus’ Ancestry (Matthew 1:3-6)

“Judah [was] the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife.” — Matthew 1:3-6 (NIV)

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I generally find genealogies boring. I don’t like reading long lists of anything, actually. But in this genealogy of Jesus, and in particular focusing on these four verses, I see things that just grab my attention. I see memories of scandal, ethnic diversity mixed in with the Jewish identity, and women being highlighted in what is typically a male-oriented affair of bloodlines, with the mention of Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba (Solomon’s mother).

Why did Matthew, who was writing primarily to Jewish people, include these? It’s not clear. Maybe he wanted to remind them that in the midst of all the promises of the Messiah coming to the Jewish people as a descendant of David, there were reasons to both be humble and to extend this gift from God beyond the confines of the people of Israel.

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Faithfully Persist in Prayer Even When the Wait is Long — My Verses of the Day (Psalms 130:1-2,5-6)

“Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord! O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy…! I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning.” Psalms 130:1-2,5-6 (ESV)