Category Archives: bible

Here He Comes

John 12:12-16  (GNT)

The Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem

12 The next day the large crowd that had come to the Passover Festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting, “Praise God! God bless him who comes in the name of the Lord! God bless the King of Israel!”

14 Jesus found a donkey and rode on it, just as the scripture says,

15 “Do not be afraid, city of Zion!
Here comes your king,
    riding on a young donkey.”

16 His disciples did not understand this at the time; but when Jesus had been raised to glory, they remembered that the scripture said this about him and that they had done this for him.

Good News Translation (GNT)
Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Here he comes,
the one who will change everything.

Here he comes,
riding to bring freedom,
triumphing over fear.

I cheered
and shouted,
waved whatever I could find
in anticipation
and excitement.

He’s coming,
how different everything will be now.

But it never occurred to me
that he might change me.

I thought it was ‘them’
that needed changing.
The powers,
the rulers,
those who held our lives
so tightly.

But it was me
who would be challenged:
my ways questioned,
my commitment,
what I really was shouting for.

Cheering,
shouting ‘bring it on’,
wanting this to happen.

If I’d realised,
would I have been so keen?
Thrown in my all?
Shouted for more?

More than excitement,
today is about challenge.

Where do I stand?
Who do I support?
Am I with Jesus –
all the way to suffering?

Lord,
as I shout
may I be open to listen;

as I seek change
may I hear what you want of me,
what you want to be different.

May I not just make the noise
but take the journey
with you.

Failing to See The Obvious

John 9:1-41 

If you prefer a version read to you you can find it here

(GNT)

Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been born blind. His disciples asked him, “Teacher, whose sin caused him to be born blind? Was it his own or his parents’ sin?”

Jesus answered, “His blindness has nothing to do with his sins or his parents’ sins. He is blind so that God’s power might be seen at work in him. As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me; night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light for the world.”

After he said this, Jesus spat on the ground and made some mud with the spittle; he rubbed the mud on the man’s eyes and told him, “Go and wash your face in the Pool of Siloam.” (This name means “Sent.”) So the man went, washed his face, and came back seeing.

His neighbors, then, and the people who had seen him begging before this, asked, “Isn’t this the man who used to sit and beg?”

Some said, “He is the one,” but others said, “No he isn’t; he just looks like him.”

So the man himself said, “I am the man.”

10 “How is it that you can now see?” they asked him.

11 He answered, “The man called Jesus made some mud, rubbed it on my eyes, and told me to go to Siloam and wash my face. So I went, and as soon as I washed, I could see.”

12 “Where is he?” they asked.

“I don’t know,” he answered.

The Pharisees Investigate the Healing

13 Then they took to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. 14 The day that Jesus made the mud and cured him of his blindness was a Sabbath. 15 The Pharisees, then, asked the man again how he had received his sight. He told them, “He put some mud on my eyes; I washed my face, and now I can see.”

16 Some of the Pharisees said, “The man who did this cannot be from God, for he does not obey the Sabbath law.”

Others, however, said, “How could a man who is a sinner perform such miracles as these?” And there was a division among them.

17 So the Pharisees asked the man once more, “You say he cured you of your blindness—well, what do you say about him?”

“He is a prophet,” the man answered.

18 The Jewish authorities, however, were not willing to believe that he had been blind and could now see, until they called his parents 19 and asked them, “Is this your son? You say that he was born blind; how is it, then, that he can now see?”

20 His parents answered, “We know that he is our son, and we know that he was born blind. 21 But we do not know how it is that he is now able to see, nor do we know who cured him of his blindness. Ask him; he is old enough, and he can answer for himself!” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish authorities, who had already agreed that anyone who said he believed that Jesus was the Messiah would be expelled from the synagogue. 23 That is why his parents said, “He is old enough; ask him!”

24 A second time they called back the man who had been born blind, and said to him, “Promise before God that you will tell the truth! We know that this man who cured you is a sinner.”

25 “I do not know if he is a sinner or not,” the man replied. “One thing I do know: I was blind, and now I see.”

26 “What did he do to you?” they asked. “How did he cure you of your blindness?”

27 “I have already told you,” he answered, “and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Maybe you, too, would like to be his disciples?”

28 They insulted him and said, “You are that fellow’s disciple; but we are Moses’ disciples. 29 We know that God spoke to Moses; as for that fellow, however, we do not even know where he comes from!”

30 The man answered, “What a strange thing that is! You do not know where he comes from, but he cured me of my blindness! 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners; he does listen to people who respect him and do what he wants them to do. 32 Since the beginning of the world nobody has ever heard of anyone giving sight to a person born blind. 33 Unless this man came from God, he would not be able to do a thing.”

34 They answered, “You were born and brought up in sin—and you are trying to teach us?” And they expelled him from the synagogue.

Spiritual Blindness

35 When Jesus heard what had happened, he found the man and asked him, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

36 The man answered, “Tell me who he is, sir, so that I can believe in him!”

37 Jesus said to him, “You have already seen him, and he is the one who is talking with you now.”

38 “I believe, Lord!” the man said, and knelt down before Jesus.

39 Jesus said, “I came to this world to judge, so that the blind should see and those who see should become blind.”

40 Some Pharisees who were there with him heard him say this and asked him, “Surely you don’t mean that we are blind, too?”

41 Jesus answered, “If you were blind, then you would not be guilty; but since you claim that you can see, this means that you are still guilty.”

Good News Translation (GNT)Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

 

Failing to See the Obvious
Lent 4 Year A John 9:1-41

I am me, I am who I am, with what I have.  But that day I found myself the centre of attention – well an argument actually.  Someone started trying to use me and my condition to score points.  They were wanting to trap this Jesus we’d all heard so much about – but they wanted to use me to do it.

How was my disability caused?  Had I done something wrong, or my parents?  It seemed a given to them that illness and misfortune were caused by what they call ‘sin’- which seemed to mean getting their rules wrong.

But Jesus stood up to them, made it clear that whatever had caused this it certainly was not because of anything either I or my parents had got wrong, nothing we had done at all.  This was really important.  So many people lived by the understanding that bad things did not happen to good people.  Bad things happening to you had to mean that you had done something bad.  We like things neat and tidy.  We like to know who or what to blame.  But Jesus was quite clear that was not the case.

The sad part about the whole episode is that the only thing that seemed important to the Pharisees was that the Sabbath Law has been broken – or at least their interpretation of it!

Having got nowhere with their first argument, they tried a different tack.  Perhaps this is some set up.  I was never really blind at all – Jesus was just using me to try to make it look like he was a prophet.  They were beginning to get worried that there are those who are thinking that Jesus might be the Messiah.

The leaders want to keep the lid on all this.  But it very soon becomes clear who the blind ones are.

The one who was blind meets Jesus and finds he can see.  The one’s who believe they have the understanding of everything meet Jesus, and it turns out they can see nothing because of their prejudices.  They need to open their eyes – and who knows what they might discover.

Lord
may I open my eyes to you.

May I see
the things you have to show me.

May I not be closed-minded
but wanting to discover more of you.

May I never think
I know everything there is to know,
or have you sorted,
but be open to new possibilities.

Surprise me Lord
I pray

By The Well

John 4:5-42 (GNT)

5 In Samaria he came to a town named Sychar, which was not far from the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by the trip, sat down by the well. It was about noon.
7 A Samaritan woman came to draw some water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink of water.” (8 His disciples had gone into town to buy food.)
9 The woman answered, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan—so how can you ask me for a drink?” (Jews will not use the same cups and bowls that Samaritans use.)[a]
10 Jesus answered, “If you only knew what God gives and who it is that is asking you for a drink, you would ask him, and he would give you life-giving water.”
11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you don’t have a bucket, and the well is deep. Where would you get that life-giving water? 12 It was our ancestor Jacob who gave us this well; he and his children and his flocks all drank from it. You don’t claim to be greater than Jacob, do you?”
13 Jesus answered, “Those who drink this water will get thirsty again, 14 but those who drink the water that I will give them will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give them will become in them a spring which will provide them with life-giving water and give them eternal life.”
15 “Sir,” the woman said, “give me that water! Then I will never be thirsty again, nor will I have to come here to draw water.”
16 “Go and call your husband,” Jesus told her, “and come back.”
17 “I don’t have a husband,” she answered.
Jesus replied, “You are right when you say you don’t have a husband. 18 You have been married to five men, and the man you live with now is not really your husband. You have told me the truth.”
19 “I see you are a prophet, sir,” the woman said. 20 “My Samaritan ancestors worshiped God on this mountain, but you Jews say that Jerusalem is the place where we should worship God.”
21 Jesus said to her, “Believe me, woman, the time will come when people will not worship the Father either on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans do not really know whom you worship; but we Jews know whom we worship, because it is from the Jews that salvation comes. 23 But the time is coming and is already here, when by the power of God’s Spirit people will worship the Father as he really is, offering him the true worship that he wants. 24 God is Spirit, and only by the power of his Spirit can people worship him as he really is.”
25 The woman said to him, “I know that the Messiah will come, and when he comes, he will tell us everything.”
26 Jesus answered, “I am he, I who am talking with you.”
27 At that moment Jesus’ disciples returned, and they were greatly surprised to find him talking with a woman. But none of them said to her, “What do you want?” or asked him, “Why are you talking with her?”
28 Then the woman left her water jar, went back to the town, and said to the people there, 29 “Come and see the man who told me everything I have ever done. Could he be the Messiah?” 30 So they left the town and went to Jesus.
31 In the meantime the disciples were begging Jesus, “Teacher, have something to eat!”
32 But he answered, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”
33 So the disciples started asking among themselves, “Could somebody have brought him food?”
34 “My food,” Jesus said to them, “is to obey the will of the one who sent me and to finish the work he gave me to do. 35 You have a saying, ‘Four more months and then the harvest.’ But I tell you, take a good look at the fields; the crops are now ripe and ready to be harvested! 36 The one who reaps the harvest is being paid and gathers the crops for eternal life; so the one who plants and the one who reaps will be glad together. 37 For the saying is true, ‘Someone plants, someone else reaps.’ 38 I have sent you to reap a harvest in a field where you did not work; others worked there, and you profit from their work.”
39 Many of the Samaritans in that town believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I have ever done.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they begged him to stay with them, and Jesus stayed there two days.
41 Many more believed because of his message, 42 and they told the woman, “We believe now, not because of what you said, but because we ourselves have heard him, and we know that he really is the Savior of the world.”

Good News Translation (GNT)Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

A spoken version of the meditation:

(There is a purposeful silence part way through to reflect, before it concludes!)

You do know who I am don’t you?
What I am?
I am not your kind,
your kin,
you should have nothing to do with me.

I bring life,
thirst-quenching water,
refreshment for the weary,
for you,
even you,
who thinks so little of yourself.

How can you
give me
what I need?
You have nothing
with which to help me.

What I offer is not temporary,
short-lived,
just for today;
what I offer to you
is for life,
your life.

It is not just a drink,
but the source of life,
flowing
in and through you.
Not a puddle,
or a sip,
but a spring,
eternal,
ever-quenching.

You have been waiting,
seeking,
looking for answers,
yearning for fulfilment.
I am the one,
here with you,
offering all that you need.

Come,
come and meet him,
the one who has met my thirst,
who knows me inside out,
yet still takes time for me,
offers me refreshment,
not just for today,
but for tomorrow,
and forever.

He’s the one.
Come and see,
come and know for yourself.

Come,
those who are thirsty,
parched,
dried out,
come,
know my love
and know life
and refreshment
from within,
from me.
I know what you need
and I offer it now.

Come,
drink,
be refreshed.

Lord
I come
thirsty,
in need of refreshment.

I think I’m not good enough
for your help,
but you know me
accept me
and offer to quench my thirst.

May I take
all that you offer,
fresh
clean water,
running through my life
filling me with you.