Saint John Chapter Seven Review

The Gospel According to St John: John Chapter Seven: Please open the following link to read chapter seven: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/john/7?lang=eng

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The worldy, or even most of us as humans, seek recognition. If we do something great, or seemingly great in our own eyes, we want to make it known; we seek validation; we desire praise.

Not so with Jesus. He only sought, and still seeks, to do His Father’s will.

So when His disciples urged Him to make Himself known to the world, He answered, “My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready” (vs. 6).

Because the Jews hated Jesus and sought to kill Him (see vs. 1), and because even his own family didn’t yet believe in Him, or they found shame in Him (see vs. 5), He did not go to the Feast of Tabernacles openly, sending His disciples only while He remained in Galilee (vs. 1-9).

But when his brethren were gone up, then went He also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret” (vs. 10). Jesus did not want to enter with fanfare, but quietly.

Though Jesus had not been taught as the scribes and Pharisees, yet He knew His Father’s doctrine. How is being taught by the Spirit of more value to us than merely obtaining a secular education?

Jesus only sought His Father’s glory. Verses 15-18:

Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught. And the Jews marvelled, saying,

“How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?”

Jesus answered them, and said,

“My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me. If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.”

The people saw His wisdom, witnessed His miracles, felt something special; but still there were those who chose not to believe. Just like today.

Jesus explained that those who chose to believe in Him would later be given the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It would be given after He was gloried (see vs. 38-39).

Some then counted Jesus as the Prophet, others as the Christ, and still others said that no one worthy of any notice would ever come out of Galilee. Nicodemus spoke up in favor of their law and of Jesus (see vs. 40-53).

Saint John Chapter Six Review

The Gospel According to St John: John Chapter Six: Please open the following link to read chapter six: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/john/6?lang=eng

Great multitudes followed Jesus because of the miracles He performed.

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Jesus blessed and broke food, lds.org

They following Jesus and His disciples into a mountain. Jesus asked a question of his disciples, not because He needed His disciples answer, or because He didn’t know what to do. Jesus knew that He could feed the multitude. He asked His disciples the question to prove them or test their faith (see vs. 6).

Philip stated the obvious. They did not have enough money to buy food for the multitude (see vs. 7).

Andrew pointed out that a boy had a small amount of food, but not nearly enough to feed a great multitude (see vs. 8-9).

Then Jesus performed the miracle of feeding the five thousand, with twelve baskets full of fragments remaining after everyone had eaten (see vs. 10-13).

The multitude believed on Jesus, because they saw a miracle that day, that He was the promised Messiah. But they did not understand His mission. They wanted to make Him a king (see vs. 14-15).

Jesus’s disciples left for Capernaum before Jesus did. The sea rose boisterously because of the wind. Then Jesus came to them walking on the water. He calmed the sea and calmed their fears when He said, “It is I; be not afraid.” The were then glad to receive Jesus into the ship, and they immediately reached their destination (see vs. 16-21).

Interestingly, the people whom Jesus had taught knew that He hadn’t entered the ship with His disciples; but since they couldn’t find him, they got into their ships and headed for Capernaum to look for Him (see vs. 22-24).

The exchange between Jesus and the multitude who sought Him is very telling. They asked, “Rabbi, when camest thou hither?” To which He responded, “Ye seek me, not because ye desire to keep my sayings, neither because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loves and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting lie, which the Son of man shall give you: for Him hath the Father sealed” (vs 25-27, JST).

For what purpose do we seek Jesus? What are our reasons for following Him? We should interview ourselves now, before we bear the chastisment of His interview in the coming day.

They asked Jesus a good question. “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” His response: “This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent” (vs. 28-29).

But then they showed their lack of faith which resulted from their own wickedness and yet carnal state, asking, “What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? What dost thou work” (vs. 30)?

Jesus taught the multitude that He is The Bread of Life. Jesus came to do His Father’s will. Because He did so, He will inherit eternal life. His Father’s will is that Jesus save us all. If we believe on Jesus and seek His face, we will also be lifted up by Him in the resurrection of the just at the last day (see vs. 31-40).

Of course, there were those who were offended in that day when Jesus told them that He is The Bread of Life and The Living Water; and there are those who are offended today. But we know that the manna that was fed to the Israelites in the wilderness, or the bread that Jesus fed to the multitudes as recorded in this chapter did not have lasting power to give life eternally. But Jesus did and does.

Do we trust more in earthly treasures or heavenly ones? If we have our daily portion of physical food, is that enough for us?

Many foresook Jesus when He told them that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood. How important is it that we partake of the sacrament, The Lord’s Supper, that we have this communion with God? We can only understand spiritual things through the gift and power of the Holy Ghost. Hopefully, we will not turn away from Him in offense, because He has offered us everything if we accept His gift. Hopefully, we can be like Peter and say, “Lord to whom shall we go? And we believe and are sure that thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (vs. 41-69).

Saint John Chapter Four Review

The Gospel According to St John: John Chapter Four: Please open the following link to read chapter four: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/john/4?lang=eng 

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(Image source:clcfremont.org)

At this point in John’s record, Jesus’s disciples were baptizing more people than John’s. As the Pharisees became aware of this, it further put Jesus’s safety in danger.

As Jesus traveled through Samaria, he encountered the Woman at the Well (Jacob’s Well). Surely Jesus is the One who renews us and gives us life. He is as a well of water that will never run dry (See vs. 6-15).

Jesus knows all of us. He knew the woman’s history. It doesn’t matter so much where we’ve been as where we decide to travel now. It doesn’t matter so much where we worship as how we worship. “True worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth” (vs. 23). It doesn’t matter so much who we are currently as who He is and whom He can help us become. Jesus declared to the woman that He is the Christ (See vs. 16-26).

At this point, Jesus’s disciples came on the scene. They’d returned from buying food. The woman left to bring back an audience (See vs. 27-30).

The disciples bade Jesus to eat. Just as He had told the woman that He is the Water of Life, He then told His disciples that He is the Bread of Life. Our we not all spiritually fed when we do God’s will? He indeed is the Bread of Life. (See vs.31-34).

Jesus came to do His Father’s work. What is God’s work? “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). Jesus’s disciples are also called to this work: to bring souls unto Him and to extend to them an invitation to partake of salvation and exaltation (See vs. 34-38).

Many Samaritans believed on Jesus because of the woman’s testimony. They then listened to Jesus and gained a personal conviction that Jesus is the Christ (See vs. 39-42).

Jesus returned to Galilee (See vs. 43-45).

Jesus healed a nobleman’s son. This father wanted Jesus to come with him to his son to heal Him, but Jesus required that the man exercise faith to believe his son would be healed without witnessing the miracle (See vs. 46-54). How important is it for us to be believing without seeing? Do we trust that God’s words will come to pass, in His time and in His way? Do we exercise our faith in Jesus Christ and in His mission to heal and to save us?

A Time for Reflection

Today while reading in Matthew Chapter 21,
I couldn’t help but think of the following song when I pictured Jesus entering the city of Jerusalem:

  Tell Me the Stories of Jesus

Tell me the stories of Jesus I love to hear;
Things I would ask Him to tell me if He were here;
Scenes by the wayside, tales of the sea,
Stories of Jesus, tell them to me.

First let me hear how the children stood round His knee,
And I shall fancy His blessing resting on me;
Words full of kindness, deeds full of grace,
All in the love light of Jesus’ face.

Tell me, in accents of wonder, how rolled the sea,
Tossing the boat in a tempest on Galilee;
And how the Maker, ready and kind,
Chided the billows, and hushed the wind.

Into the city I’d follow the children’s band,
Waving a branch of the palm tree high in my hand;
One of His heralds, yes, I would sing
Loudest hosannas, “Jesus is King!”

Show me that scene in the garden, of bitter pain;
Show me the cross where my Savior for me was slain;
Sad ones or bright ones, so that they be
Stories of Jesus—tell them to me.

Words: W. H. Parker; Music: Frederic A. Challinor

20 Childrens Band (Insert post)

This was one of my favorite Primary songs as a child, and it remains so.

“Into the city I’d follow the children’s band.”

I am thankful for the choice I’ve made to read the New Testament this year. It has been nearly three weeks, and I can honestly say that I love the Savior more and His Spirit is with me more. I would encourage everyone to begin his or her own personal study. You will gain more in that way, in studying the scriptures for yourself, than by reading anyone else’s words. I will continue to write this blog, but I know that there are things that I’ll gain that I cannot pass on to any reader. I write this in sincere humility and gratitude, not in a boastful manner; because, the Lord is ready to hear us all. When we ask, He will answer; when we seek, we will find; when we knock, He will open the door unto us.

Yesterday my husband and I conversed about a sacrament meeting that we attended. The main speaker was a humble man with a simple, profound message that really touched our hearts. But, there was any extra ten minutes or so left to the normal conclusion time of that the meeting, and another good man filled in that time. Even though he had a good message and a good personal style, and even though he has a great love for the Lord, his message detracted from the spirit of the meeting which had been set by the sweetness of that message which preceded his. At least it did for us.

My husband said that he thought that the last speaker may have shared things that he acquired through personal study that were only meant for him and not for the congregation. I’m not sure if that is so or not. I think he had a great message, and he delivered a good talk. There just was a stark contrast between the two, in my opinion. (But we never know who else is in tune to be touched by the message of one and who is in tune to be touched by the message of another.) But what my husband said caused me to think further about what I share and if I am too eager in my desire to share the gospel that sometimes I share more than the Spirit would have me share.

While we were talking together, I told my husband how I felt like I should do this blog for many reasons: first, it will make me stick to a gospel study schedule and be accountable to read and write each day; second, if I can help others in this journey and help them feel of our Savior’s love for them, my extra effort in writing down my thoughts and impressions will be so worth it (especially if others are encouraged to study for themselves); third, I believe that one of my gifts is discernment and another is writing, and this gives me an opportunity to work on my gifts as I gain more knowledge about my Savior and as I seek to serve Him through the talents He has given me.

I told my husband though, that if there were things that were private that I shouldn’t share, that I would withhold those things from being uploaded to this blog. Last night, the Spirit held me to that. The sweetness of His presence is always incredible and full of love; but, it still was a challenge for me to omit sections of what I wrote, so as not to be an offense to Him and to build a trusting relationship between us.

So my focus may change in writing this blog. I am grateful to the few who have read and made comments; especially those who have expressed that they have stepped up in their own study. That’s really what we need to encourage each other to do.

We live in a world where we want recognition; we seek praise and the favor of men all too often. But our Lord ever tells us that it is our humility, our submissiveness, and our willingness to bend to our Father’s will that will add glory to Him in perfect praise and deliver us from this sorrowful realm into a much more glorious existence with Him. The Greatest of all submitted perfectly to His Father’s will and became the servant of all. So to become like Him, we need to cast aside our desires for self-promotion and seek to be like Him, submitting ourselves ever more readily to do His will. To become like Him, we need to desire that all are able and given the chance to choose to partake of His goodness for themselves.

Thanks for reading. Enjoy your journey. The year is hastening on so quickly.

St Matthew 3 Reflections

The Gospel According to St. Matthew: Matthew Chapter 3: Read Here: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/matt/3?lang=eng

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The Father was Pleased that Jesus was Baptized

What was the purpose of the Pharisees and the Sadducees in coming to the baptism of John? John certainly questioned their sincerity; and in this chapter, he tells them the requirements for baptism. Although John baptized with water, it is God who will baptize us with fire and the Holy Ghost.

When Jesus came to John to be baptized, John felt inadequate to baptize His Lord; but, Jesus insisted and said, “Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness” (Matt 3:15). When Jesus was baptized of John, a dove is seen as a witness from the Holy Ghost that John baptized the Messiah; and, God spoke from the heavens saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt 3:17)

Further thoughts:

When we follow the Spirit in doing our Heavenly Father’s will, we can also have a personal witness that Heavenly Father is pleased with us through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Not only does this chapter set forth the importance of baptism; because Jesus Christ, being completely holy, was baptized to comply with His Father’s will; it also shows that the Godhead is indeed three distinct persons, although One in unity and purpose.