Will you be ready when the Lord returns? It’s a good question and one that is asked in a couple different ways this week. On that last day, in Whom or what will you put your trust ? Will it be the things of this world or the Savior? On the last day will you be waiting for the Lord’s return or will you be caught completely by surprise? This week and always we are encouraged to be prepared and trust in the only One who saves.
Learning about God's Plan for Salvation at South Shore Trinity Lutheran Church
God will gather His lost sheep through His Son & The lost son
The Messiah will be the good shepherd & The lost sheep and the lost coin
What it costs to be a disciple
Jesus at the Pharisee’s house
And the Pharisees said, “Oh great, now what do we do!?”
This week we have two main themes. The first is the account of Lazarus being raised from the dead. In this narrative we hear another “I am” statement as Jesus declares that He is the resurrection and the life and then proves it by raising Lazarus from the grave. In this account the main point is that Jesus is the resurrection and the life. However, another point to ponder is found in the opening few verses of the text. When Jesus is told of Lazarus’ sickness He waits for two more days and then, when they get up to leave, He tells them that Lazarus is already dead.
Why? Why did Jesus allow this suffering and pain to come to a family He dearly loved? The answer to that difficult question is revealed to us when Jesus arrives in Bethany and uses the situation as a witness to the world of God’s power and love. Sometimes God allows bad or painful things into our lives to teach us certain lessons, to help us make a witness to others or a myriad of other important reasons. He knows He can make all things work together for good to those who love Him.
These verses encourage us to trust in the Savior, even when we don’t see the reasoning for the pain. By faith and the Holy Spirit's power, we can believe our loving Father will use this trial for our benefit or the blessing of others.
The second half of the week focuses on Jesus as He reaches out for the lost. In these readings we see that Jesus didn’t come for those who think they have it all together. He came for those who have made a mess of things,…otherwise known as… each and every one of us. Jesus wanted those sitting at His feet and those of us who would be listening in the future, to know that there is no sin so bad, no pain so deep, that Jesus cannot save you. We are the lost coin, the lost sheep and the lost son, and just as each one of them was found by someone desperately searching for it, we too have a Savior who is desperately searching for us.
The Jews don’t believe Jesus is God’s son
Spiritual sight and spiritual blindness
Jesus heals a man born blind
God’s name is the great “I AM” & Jesus is the “I AM”
Job, like all who believe, will see the light of the world & The Light of Christ is coming into the world & “I am the Light of the World”
In our journey through God’s plan we have begun to get a good picture of the purpose and person of the Messiah. Some of the clearest insights into Jesus and His purpose come to us through His “I AM” statements. This week we have three of the ”I am’s”. In the opening reading, Jesus tells us “I am the Light of the world.” and in the Saturday reading He tells us that He is the “good shepherd.” In each of these passages He gives us a glimpse into His mission and identity. However, the most important of the three verses is the one we will read on Tuesday. In this reading Jesus leaves behind the usual formula and just says, “I AM.”
Now if you and I were to say, “I AM” people would get pretty confused. “I am” doesn’t make sense. It needs more. But Jesus, in the context of questions about His identity, refers to Himself by the same name which the Triune God used when He called Moses from the burning bush. You may remember, “I am” was His reply when Moses asked, “Who shall I tell them has sent me?” In this one verse, John 8:58, Jesus dispels any thought that He isn’t God. In this one verse He says that He is the God who made Abraham a father of nations and brought Israel out of Egypt. In other words, Jesus is saying, “I am the creator of all things, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”
The woman caught in Adultery
Jesus goes to the feast of Tabernacles