Dear Bethany family, Another midweek Wednesday is upon us! Hopefully, a little break awaits us with the Labor Day weekend. Until then, let us press on! You know there will always be a well of spiritual food in the Word awaiting for you on Wednesday's, so come if time allows. Tonight, we'll ask Pilate's question to Jesus together - what is truth? Such a simple question, but can be distorted in so many ways these days. Let us gaze upon the only truth, the way, the life - Jesus Christ. Lord-willing, see you for a walk tonight. We prayerfully remember those who are ill, those who are going through tough times. Let us carry the burden together. Press on! Remember we're always here for you. Let us continue to build-up this family as brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for loving this church, as much as Jesus does. Bless you precious ones!
WednesdayWalkinto the Word THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN 요한복음: What is Truth? 진리가 무엇이냐? [chapter 18] TRUTH DOES NOT WIELD THE SWORD (18:1-11) (Question #1) Jesus had just finished his long prayer and even longer teaching (chapters 13-17) on His last night with the disciples. Now, the events leading up the crucifixion unfold. Jesus now goes to a garden across the brook Kidron. What was special about this location, and who used it to turn it from a prayerful place to a violent place (verse 1-2)? [*REFLECT #1a] Like Judas, how have we turned a sacred place into a sinful place? [*REFLECT #1b] We know from the other gospels that at this garden, Jesus prayed while the disciples fell asleep. Jesus was in great agony, his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground (LUKE 22:44). Jesus’ soul was very sorrowful, even to death (MATTHEW 26:38). Jesus prayed, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done” (LUKE 22:42). How do you need to go back to the garden, and pray “not my will, but yours, be done”? [*REFLECT #1c] Instead of going to pray, what did Judas do (verse 3)? What did this group go there with (verse 3)? [*REFLECT #1d] When have we come to Jesus to attack rather than to adore Him? [*REFLECT #1e] What did Jesus know already (verse 4)? How is Judas always described (verse 5, also verse 2)? [*REFLECT #1f] Although they came to arrest Him, what happened when Jesus said, “I am He” (verse 6)? [*REFLECT #1g] Although we come to Jesus for the wrong reasons, when have we drew back and fell to the ground when He revealed His identity, character, and presence to us? [*REFLECT #1h] Jesus knew who they had come for, so what did He ask (verse 7-8)? What did this fulfill (verse 9)? Read JOHN 6:39 and JOHN 17:12 to validate this is what Jesus spoke. [*REFLECT #1i] Simon Peter knew what was going to happen, so what did He do (verse 10)? Yet, how did Jesus react and why (verse 11)? How have we been too quick to pull out our sword to solve our problems and declare truth? TRUTH DOES NOT REMAIN IN SECRET (18:12-27) (Question #2) They arrested Jesus, bound Him, and led him to Annas (verse 12-13). Annas was notoriously unjust. He was father-in-law to Caiaphas, the high priest in office at the time, who also was just as corrupt. What did Caiaphas advise (verse 14)? Validate this in JOHN 11:49-52. [*REFLECT #2a] From the beginning, Jesus never had a fair trial. Caiaphas’ advice was corrupt, but somehow turned out to be prophetically God’s divine will. How has God flipped evil, and used evil for greater good in your life? [*REFLECT #2b] Peter embarrassed himself at the garden with his sword and violence. Hoping for a second chance to show loyalty to Jesus, what does he do, along with the unknown disciple – most likely John, our gospel writer (verse 15-16)? How have we desired a new beginning, a second chance? [*REFLECT #2c] The servant girl at the door recognizes Peter. What does she ask, and how does Peter reply (verse 17)? How have we denied affiliation with Jesus out of embarrassment, fear, or pride? [*REFLECT #2d] What was the weather that night (verse 18)? Ironically, who was Peter standing and warming himself with? How have we stood in the way of sinners, sit in the seat of scoffers, as PSALM 1:1 declares? [*REFLECT #2e] The unfair trial begins. How has Jesus not been secretive, and what does he ask his hearers to do (verse 19-21)? By their subsequent actions to strike Jesus, whose respect were they upholding (verse 22-24)? [*REFLECT #2f] Whose respect are we upholding? People? Positions? How are we also striking Jesus by admitting we are right when we are wrong? [*REFLECT #2g] What happened after two more denials by Peter (verse 25-27)? What did this fulfill (JOHN 13:38)? TRUTH ABIDES IN JESUS, KING OVER ALL (18:28-40) (Question #3) Early morning the next day, Jesus is in Governor Pilate’s headquarters. How hypocritical were the people to not defile themselves, while condemning Jesus (verse 28)? How have our acts of rightness also condemned the Righteous One? (Question #4) Did Pilate find fault in Jesus (verse 29-31)? Why did the Jews want Pilate to kill Jesus (verse 32, JOHN 3:14)? (Question #5) What did even Pilate, a nonbeliever, conclude Jesus was claiming about Himself (verse 33-38)? (Question #6) No guilt was found, yet how did Pilate show his corrupt governance (verse 39-40)? (Question #7) Jesus took the place of Barabbas, who was a thief. Although corrupt ourselves, how did Jesus take your place?