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Archive for March 2020

Easter 2020 - Day 13

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Easter 2020 - God is Love

Day 13. Jesus’ I AM – Altogether now

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45

So there we have it – Jesus the I AM of history. We saw together how Jesus loudly proclaiming he was the living bread; the light of the world; the good shepherd and the gate; the resurrection and the life; the way, the truth, and the life; and finally declaring He and He alone was the true vine! Jesus as the long waited for Messiah or Saviour, was the reality , whereas Israel was the symbol. All the things the nation of Israel was to be but failed to do so, is embodied in Jesus Christ. All the I AM statements reflect this.

All through this, Jesus knew what his mission on earth was. He knew that the cross and his being raised from the dead was his ultimate mission to defeat sin and death. If it were to be any other way, do you not think God would have done it another way? The cross and the resurrection show that Jesus’ exclusive proclamations are true, because Jesus life and actions support Jesus’ claims. No other religion, apart from Christianity, offers a guarantee of salvation and everlasting life based on faith and grace alone. This is because the offer is all down to God’s salvation work on the cross and not due to the efforts of humans to appease a God or gods.

Jesus – the “I AM…” Jesus never said “I am a true vine; a way, a truth and a life.” Nor did He say “I am a resurrection and a life.” Jesus never said “I am a door to life”, just as He did not say “I am a shepherd, a door, a light or a bread of life.” No! Jesus is the only way, the only truth and the only life. Jesus is the one great shepherd and the only door to life. Jesus is the only light of the world and the only true bread of life.

Jesus the I AM of history. What are you going to do with this Jesus? What options are open to you?

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Easter 2020 - Day 12

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Easter 2020 - God is Love

Day 12. Jesus’ I AM the True Vine

"I AM the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser." John 15:1

All the things the nation of Israel was to be but failed to do so, is embodied in Jesus Christ. All the I AM statements reflect this. Isaiah 5 starts out as a love song between God and His chosen people, Israel. Israel was to be a vineyard, and despite all the love God had given tending to her, Israel had only produced bitter and sour fruit. This bitterly sour fruit is described in Isaiah 5:8-25. In the Old Testament, the nation of Israel was to be a vine or vineyard (Isaiah 5:1-7, Ezekiel 15:1-6). Therefore, God will abandon her.

So if this vineyard is abandoned, will God raise a new vineyard? Juxtaposed against Israel’s failure to be a vine, Jesus states that he is the true vine. Jesus was the reality, whereas Israel was the symbol. The fruit of Jesus Christ’ life was and is abundant, fresh and sweet to the taste! We as Christians some 2000 years later are the result of Jesus being the true vine!

As the purpose of a vine is to produce fruit, the focal point is on what it takes to produce fruit (John 15:2). As Christian Disciples, we are to bear fruit by remaining close to Jesus, as He is the vine and we are the branches. And why is the Christian Disciple to bear fruit? So that God the Father is glorified (John 15:8) by the Christian Disciple, and thereby proving their Discipleship. As part of the ultimate mission of Jesus to glorify God the Father (John 12:28, John 17:4), it is imperative that Jesus’ disciples be fruit-bearers. This means that all Christian Disciple are to be His witnesses and therefore a commitment to mission and evangelisation is necessary. That is why the Christian prays “your kingdom come” in the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:10)

Jesus, “I AM the true vine”

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Easter 2020 - Day 11

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Easter 2020 - God is Love

Day 11. Jesus’ I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life

Jesus said to him, "I AM the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (John 14:6).

When Jesus issued this statement, the stress of the sentence automatically falls on the words “the way”. This is because Jesus is answering a question posed by Thomas (John 14:5). Jesus Christ has exposed the barrier of sin and death, which prevents a person from entering God’s presence. He explodes this same barrier when a person entrusts in Him for their eternal salvation. He is as he claims in Matthew 7:14 “the road that leads to life”.

Not only is He the way, but He is also the truth and the life. All of God’s truth is embodied in Jesus Christ who as both fully God and fully human was also the ever-living God. Nobody can claim access to God the Father, except through Jesus Himself. Other religions and other so-called paths to God may contain some element of truth about God, but there is no other way to God but through Jesus Christ. He is the means of access to God for all people of all cultures and all backgrounds. Jesus welcomes all, so that in His singular exclusive claims is an inclusive embrace of all. As Jesus goes on to say in John 14:7, because we know Him we also know God the Father.

Jesus, “I AM the way, the truth and the life!”

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Easter 2020 - Day 10

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Easter 2020 - God is Love

Day 10. Jesus’ I AM the Resurrection and the Life

Jesus said to her, "I AM the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live." (John 11:25)

This exclamation by Jesus is highlight of this passage of Scripture. Lazarus has died (John 11:15) and will be raised back to life again (John 11:43-44).

Why does Jesus say that He is the resurrection and the life?

Because He is the giver of life itself. He gives eternal life to all who will believe in him. Resurrection and life are inextricably tied together. Resurrection and life harmonize each other because resurrection precedes life and the new life of a Christian disciple is the result of resurrection. Remember Jesus mission was to go to his death on the cross and be resurrected three days later. Not a resurrection like that of Lazarus, who would later physically die again.

No, Jesus’ resurrection is one where death is ultimately conquered, and Jesus has a glorious new body. Those who choose to be Christian Disciples by faith in the risen Christ, only have new life because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ three days after His death on the Cross. That is why Jesus can exclaim with authority “I AM the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11v25). Moreover, this resurrected life is not just for the future, but it is also for the present, and only through the risen Jesus Christ.

Jesus, “I AM the resurrection and the life!”

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Easter 2020 - Day 9

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Easter 2020 - God is Love

Day 9. Jesus’ I AM the Good Shepherd

7 Therefore Jesus said again, ‘Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11 ‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 ‘I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me – 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father – and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. John 10:7-15

Throughout the Old Testament, God is seen as a shepherd and His people are the sheep of is keeping. The sheep are always God’s even though He temporarily entrusted them to people such as Moses to care and tender them. Therefore Moses and others like him such as the true prophets, were forerunners to Jesus. Here Jesus proclaims that He is the door or gate to salvation! It is through Jesus that salvation is found and through Him alone as the door or gate, people are led safe and sound into spiritual freedom, spiritual light and spiritual sustenance. Unlike others who come only to steal, kill and destroy, Jesus offers spiritual safety & nourishment. Jesus does not just offer a way out, but also a way in! The security offered by Jesus is because He is always in close proximity to those who follow Him. Jesus calls all those who follow Him by name (John 10:3) and they know each other.

Jesus is the great shepherd only through the sacrifice he must make for His sheep. Here Jesus is looking ahead to the sacrifice He makes on the Cross. His love for all of humanity compels Him to make the ultimate sacrifice. Just as all shepherds will endanger themselves for the safety of their sheep, so too will Jesus endure the pain and suffering of the Cross, so that people can be led into safety of God’s kingdom. It is in this role of shepherd, that Jesus exhibits true leadership, which is self-less and sacrificial. Ezekiel 34:11 tells of God searching out for his sheep among all nations, and this is fulfilled through Jesus. Through His perfect, obedient and voluntary sacrifice on the Cross, not only will salvation be available to the Jews but also to those of other nations (John 10:16).

Jesus, “I AM the good shepherd

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Easter 2020 - Day 8

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Easter 2020 - God is Love

Day 8. Jesus’ I AM the Light of the World

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’ John 8:12.

Jesus is at the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles! One of the great symbols of that Feast was Light! At the end of the feast, when the lights are extinguished, Jesus said that he was the light of the world! Throughout the Old Testament, light is an important symbol. There is the pillar of fire and cloud leading the nation of Israel on their journey (Exodus 13).

In Psalm 27:1, the Psalmist describes God as “my light”. The nation of Israel was to be God’s light to all the world (Isaiah 49:6) so that God would be the world’s light (Isaiah 60:19-22). So by referring to Himself as the light of the world, Jesus is saying it is He who shines light into peoples spiritual eyes and gives them understanding which in turn leads to them seeing their need of God and His ability to satisfy their spiritual needs.

Jesus, “I AM the light of the world!”

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Easter 2020 - Day 7

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Easter 2020 - God is Love

Day 7. Jesus’ I AM the Bread of Life

G’day! Welcome to our Easter 2020 series, God is Love, where for the next 30 days we look at Jesus Christ, the events of Easter and its consequences.

35 Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live for ever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.’ John 6:35, 48-51

Three times in this passage, Jesus refers to Himself as the living bread. By this He meant that He was the only one who could satiate the appetite and yearning of every person’s spirit. For those He was speaking to, bread was a basic staple food for living, just as it is for millions of people today. Jesus indicates when saying He is the bread of life, that He will supply all needs!

Just as He said to the woman at the well in John 4:4, that whoever drinks His living water, shall never again go spiritually thirsty. When Jesus referred to the manna in the desert (John 6:49) he talked of it being merely temporary despite being a gift from God. He however as the true bread of life would give permanent satisfaction and life everlasting to all those who believe and follow Him (John 6:51)! But this bread He offers, has to be eaten; has to be taken up by the person wanting spiritual life! Note the inference to His impending sacrifice on the cross at the end of John 6:51!

Jesus, “I AM the living bread!”

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Easter 2020 - Day 6

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Easter 2020 - God is Love

Day 6. Jesus the “I AM”

G’day! Welcome to our Easter 2020 series, God is Love, where for the next 30 days we look at Jesus Christ, the events of Easter and its consequences.

Exodus 3:13-14: Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' Then what shall I tell them?" God said to Moses, "I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'

Isaiah 41:4: “Who has done this and carried it through, calling forth the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD -with the first of them and with the last—I am he”

John 8:58: “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “Before Abraham was, I AM”.

On seven other occasions in the Gospel of John, John records statements where Jesus said “I AM”. These are unique to John and are not recorded in the other three Gospels. In John 8:58, Jesus is reinforcing His claims to be God. When Jesus says “I AM”, he is referring back to the time when God revealed Himself to Moses in Exodus 3:14 and through the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 41:4. That’s why in John 8:59, they picked up stones in order to kill Him for blasphemy. This was in accordance, so they thought, with Deuteronomy 13, which dictates that anyone who tries to turn people away from the living God is to be stoned to death. They knew Jesus was claiming to the very God they thought they worshipped.

In these seven “I AM” statements, as well as equating Himself as God with the “I AM”, Jesus is also promoting his exclusivity as the only Saviour. As His disciples currently in the Western world, we get shouted at and criticized for holding such exclusive views. But if Jesus was not God and He was only one path to God, would Jesus have needed to go through the agony of the cross, as payment for the sins of the world? Of course he wouldn’t have needed to. That He did, shows that He is the only path and only means of access to God. It is only through the resurrected Jesus that salvation can be assured and then only by a childlike faith and not by any other means. That is why we should not capitulate to current trends to unite all religions, which says that all paths lead to God. Jesus Christ Himself, as we have seen, and will see, has said that He and He alone is the way to God and that salvation is only through His work on the cross for all those who trust and believe in Him.

Jesus, the great “I AM!” Over the next 7 days we look at Jesus being the I AM of God as part of Easter 2020 series "God Is Love"!

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Easter 2020 - Day 5

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Easter 2020 - God is Love

Day 5. Jesus’ Identity

27 Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, ‘Who do people say I am?’
28 They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.’
29 ‘But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’
Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah.’
30 Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.
Jesus predicts his death
31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. ‘Get behind me, Satan!’ he said. ‘You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.’ Mark 8:27-33

This part of the Bible contains the verse which divulges Jesus’ true identity, when Peter calls Him the Christ or Messiah or Saviour (Mark 8v29). In the preceding few verses Jesus and the disciples were in Bethsaida and there is the incident where Jesus healed the blind man.

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See who Jesus truly is – (Mark 8:22) revealing that the faith of others apart from the blind man was also involved.

There are obvious questions which come out of this.

  • Why did Jesus touch the blind man twice to heal him?
  • Why does Jesus tell the man not to tell anybody?
  • Who do people say that Jesus was?
  • Who did Peter say that Jesus was? Why did Jesus tell the disciples to keep quiet about Him?
  • What was the purpose of the Messiah? (Mark 10:45)

Jesus’ mission was to be the Servant of the Lord, and therefore, the saviour of the world as God’s Son (John 3:16). His purpose as the Messiah was neither that He be served nor that He will lead a political overthrow of the Roman government as some had hoped. Rather, His purpose as the Messiah was to be God’s servant and give a message of hope for the spiritually poor and spiritually oppressed people.


Our confession of Jesus is a matter of life and death (John 8:21;1 John 4:1-3). Confession of Jesus as Lord is necessary for salvation (1 Corinthians 12:1-3), when that confession is from the heart (Romans 10:9-10). Christians are called to follow Jesus, to take up their cross and this could mean nothing less than being ready to suffer and die for Jesus. If we are ashamed of him on earth, he will be ashamed of us when the end of the world has come. He will reward those deserving the reward, and deny those who deny him.

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Easter 2020 - Day 4

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Easter 2020 - God is Love

Day 4. Jesus’ Mission

G’day! Welcome to Partakers and to our Easter 2020 series, God is Love, where for the next 30 days we look at Jesus Christ, the events of Easter and its consequences.

42 At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. 43 But he said, ‘I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.’ 44 And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea. Luke 4:42-44

Jesus’ public ministry on earth has begun! A reluctant John the Baptist has baptized him and the crowds heard God the Father speaking to Him. Jesus then underwent temptations by the arch-seducer, satan, and emerged victorious from that ordeal.

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  • in his home town where he worshipped and where he was rejected.
  • when he travelled away from home, where he preached, rebuked, healed and prayed.

Jesus’ mission was to be the saviour of the world as God’s Son (John 3v16) and the Servant of the Lord. His mission was to give a message of hope for the spiritually poor and spiritually oppressed people - people not only in his hometown, nor only in Israel, but rather for the whole world.

People have two choices when faced with this fact: accept or reject. There is no other option. That is why as Christian Disciples we are to be actively engaged in evangelism, to tell people of this news about Jesus Christ.

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