The 40-Day journey through the Gospel of John is an opportunity for daily reading and reflection through John’s account of Jesus’ life and ministry. Participants will individually read each day’s scripture selection from the reading schedule. A guest facilitator will share a brief reflection about the day’s reading that will be posted on New Life Assembly’s website and social media pages.

We are excited to share this journey together; feel free to invite others to take this journey with us! Click the button below to download the PDF with instructions and the full reading schedule.


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  • How it Works
    Simply follow the reading schedule and read daily passages from the Gospel of John. After you’ve read the passage, visit the website or social media post and read the reflection from the facilitator for that day. Within the social media posts, you can engage in moderated comments and discussion with others who are on the reading journey with you. It will be a great opportunity for participants to share insights and encouragement from God’s word with each other.

    Daily Reflections
    The heart and soul of this journey can be found in the daily reflections. We believe that God’s word can and does speak to us, both individually and corporately. Sometimes a particular verse, Bible character, or story leaps out to us from the pages of our Bible in very real and meaningful ways. Daily reflections are a way to capture those moments of significance for ourselves and then share with others. We encourage believers from all places along the spiritual path to write down their insights and inspirations in a reading journal. Seasoned believers, youth, new believers, those called to ministry – all have something meaningful to share.

    A reflection may come in a wide range of expressions. It may be something very specific to one’s life. It may be connecting this passage with other truths in the Bible. It may be seeing something interesting about God’s nature and how He moves and works in the world. The most important thing about these daily reflections is that they help the reader to find meaning in God’s word that is relevant and applicable to his or her life.

    A reflection doesn’t need to be long. It may be a sentence or two; two or three paragraphs are plenty. Take one big idea from the passage and share a thought or two about it. Sometimes the most powerful reflections are questions. Feel free to ask “what does this mean?” if you’d like. Or perhaps a particular story has special meaning to you because you see yourself in it. Testimonies are also a great way to reflect on God’s word.

  • As you take this 40-day journey with us, we need you to pick a day to be a facilitator and share your reflection with the other readers. We are all blessed and encouraged when we share together what God is saying to us through His word. Sign up for your day by contacting Pastor David or scheduling online here. You will receive confirmation of your chosen day with instructions about when and how to submit your reflections.

  • DAY 1: The testimony about Jesus

    Alletha M. Barnett

    The Genesis 1 account of the original creation starts out: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” in the step-by-step process recorded, followed by a number of statements: “And God made,” as well as “And God said.” Many people remember those introductory phrases but fail to recall the statement: “Let us make man in our image.”

    The John 1 account states: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made...” In Christian theology Jesus Christ is referred to as The Word as the second person in the Holy Trinity. We refer to the Triune God (meaning three in one), with God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Greek nomenclature for “word” is “logos” – “logic”, or correct reasoning, is from this root word.

    A man named John was sent by God to bear witness that Jesus was the true Light. He is referred to as John the Baptist. John declared that they who received that Light, by believing in Him, to them Jesus, the true Light, gave power (or the right) to become sons of God (or children of God). The most significant message in this passage is 1:11-13. When I was a child, we sang a song in children’s church called “Boys and Girls Assurance March” that included this stanza:

         For as many as received Him, then and there became
         Sons of God by simply trusting in His name;
         Chapter one, verse twelve of John
         is the ground we stand upon

    In declaring the incarnation of Jesus (taking on a human form), John referred to Moses who gave the law, but that grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, the only begotten of the Father. John 1:14 says “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory...”

  • Day 2: The gathering of disciples
    Charlie Umphress

    One Man’s reflection

    Jesus performed miracles. Disciples believed on Jesus’ name after seeing the miracles Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. Many others believed on Jesus when they saw the miracles Jesus performed in Jerusalem. However, it is very interesting to me that the named disciples did not seem to need to see the miracles of Jesus to believe who he was. Two (Andrew, and the 2nd one was probably John, the author of the book of John) believed because John the Baptist told them Jesus is the Son of God. Peter and Nathaneal believed on Jesus because of the testimony of Andrew and Philip respectively, that Jesus is the Son of God. In fact, the first 3 believed on Jesus so strongly they followed him home the first day they met him. Then the next morning they followed Jesus as he walked to Nazareth several days’ journey. Somewhere along the way Philip and Nathaneal were added to the group. Then they followed Jesus to Capernaum, stayed with Jesus a few days, and then followed him to Jerusalem for the Passover.

    Yes, miracles draw people to God. This is twice stated clearly in this passage. (John 2:11, John 2:23) Many believe because of the signs and miracles, but those are not the memorable disciples. John 2:24 says, “But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them (the ones who were there for the miracles), because he knew all people.”(ESV) We remember some disciples because they believe Jesus is the Son of God, and are willing to follow Jesus because Jesus is the Son of God. Those were the ones Jesus taught, trained, and prepared.

    Do I need to see the miracles of Jesus to believe he is the Son of God?

  • Day 3: The Encounter with Nicodemus
    Juliana Barnett, Worship Pastor

    Jesus is having a conversation with a high-ranking Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin named Nicodemus, who has a keen interest in the teachings of Jesus because they are perceived to be adversarial to the views of the Jewish leadership.

    Although Jesus’ teaching is considered blasphemous, Nicodemus is so intrigued that he meets with Jesus to ask questions about his teaching. Jesus begins, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus knows that physically being “born again” is impossible. He even asks Jesus, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

    Nicodemus’ questions remind me of when David and I were raising our children. They were highly curious about things that did not make sense to them. Our son Caleb was the most curious. When he was four, I decided to write down every question he asked one afternoon. “Is this watch waterproof or water-resistant? Why don’t fish drown? How does Jesus live in our heart?” To a child’s mind, the world does not make sense sometimes. Could it be that just as a child is trying to understand the world, Nicodemus is asking questions about his own world - a belief system that is being challenged by Jesus’ teaching?

    A rational mind sympathizes with the apparent lack of reason that Nicodemus sees in Jesus’ statement. Jesus answers Nicodemus’ question: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” A more literal translation suggests that Jesus is referring to the spiritual, purifying work of the Holy Spirit in the new birth of spiritual salvation.

    The crux of Jesus’ plan and purpose is not a temporal, physical rebirth, but a new, spiritual birth that is eternal. Jesus summarizes His salvific plan for the world in one of the most-quoted scriptures, John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
  • Day 4: John's confirmation of Jesus' baptism
    Today's post is a reflection excerpted from an audio commentary from the late Pastor Chuck Smith, Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa CA. Pastor Chuck's story is told in the movie "Jesus Revolution" which opened in theaters yesterday.

    [Commenting on John 3:28-30]

    Beautiful humility of John and taking his rightful place. He said, “You bear witness that I testified of him. Now look: He’s the bridegroom, I’m just the best man. It’s the bridegroom who takes the bride; but his best man rejoices when he hears him, and herein I rejoice because of the bridegroom's voice. And my joy, therefore, is fulfilled.”

    How? In bringing honor and glory to Jesus, “for he must increase and I must decrease.”

    So say we all.

  • Day 5: The encounter with the Samaritan Woman

    Jacob Duffin, Guest Teacher

    A part that stuck out to me that relates to what we have been learning for the past few months is verses 32-33. So we’ve talked about this but I wanted to reiterate that if we have the idea that “Jesus always spoke very clearly and was easily understood”, we have a false impression about how Jesus often teaches. We see all throughout the scripture that Jesus’ words would confuse people; he sometimes did that on purpose. Why? Because it was expected of him as Messiah. Note one of the messianic prophecies of Jesus written in Isaiah 6:9-10, cross referenced in Mark 4:12: [Isa 6:9 ESV] 9 And he said, "Go, and say to this people: "'Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.'"

    So in summary, remember that the words of Jesus and the Bible are not always easily understood and it’s going to take some work and some thought. Most things that are important are going to take work and thought, and the word of God is no different!

  • Day 6: Two healings and two responses to them

    Lance Rummel

    Isn’t it interesting, the contrast between these next two miracles…

    A royal official, whose son has become deathly ill, is made aware that Jesus is returning to Galilee. Knowing of Jesus’ miracle turning water into wine, and of the miracles He performed while in Jerusalem, the man believed that Jesus could heal his son. He sought Jesus out, focusing on Jesus as the one who could heal his son. He had the resources to be able to go find Jesus. He had servants to care for his house and family while he was gone, and probably others who traveled with him. When Jesus spoke to him and told him his son would live, he believed Jesus’ words and returned home. His son was healed, just as Jesus told him.

    Then we see a man who had been laid up with a crippling disease for 38 years, staying at the pool of Bethesda. This day started just as any other day for him. He may not have been aware of the miracles that Jesus had performed. He likely had never heard the name of Jesus, and clearly if he had heard of Jesus, he did not know who Jesus was when facing him at the pool that day. He certainly had not sought Jesus out for his healing, yet Jesus healed him. He was unsuspecting, undeserving, and unknowing, but healed on that day nonetheless.

    We have a wealthy man with authority, and another man with likely not a penny to his name and no one to help him into the pool. One seeks Jesus out; another is sought out by Jesus. One is believing and ready for his miracle, the other knows his miracle is not coming.
  • Day 7: Jesus' equality with God

    Nancy Philip, Youth Pastor

    Jewish leaders did not accept Jesus as the Son of God, and in John 5:17-30, Jesus is stating that He is the Son of God. Jesus continues to explain who God is and how He, Jesus, is the Son of God and how He is connected to God. Jesus states His role as the Son of God and knows His true purpose.

    How many times do we question ourselves whether or not we are doing what we are called to do? Every teenager is asked this one question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Finding that specific calling in your life includes trial and error, and continuous prayer to keep an open eye and heart on this journey called life. When you find that calling, you are opening the door to allow God to join you on your journey and guide you into the beautiful blessings that He desires for you to have.

    Jesus knew who He was and what His purpose was. He said it loud and proud that He is the Son of God even when Jewish leaders mocked, ridiculed, and persecuted Him. Jesus stood on the firm foundation that God provided Him. Just as Jesus stood firm on solid ground, so should we. We need to be open to the opportunity of blessings that God has for our lives. God will always be there to catch us when we fall, but we should remember to dust ourselves off and continue on the path God has prepared for us.

    "And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God's glory..." ~Romans 8:17

  • Day 8: Jesus' affirmation of the testimony of others

    Jennifer Rummel

    The Jewish leaders were accusing Jesus of blasphemy because He had spoken of God as His Father, making Himself equal to God. Jesus explains to the religious leaders that He is not guilty of blasphemy if He IS God. Jesus then supports His claim with trustworthy testimonies. He doesn’t need this proof but He does want others to see and understand.

    He mentions John the Baptist, who testified that he was sent to prepare the way for the Messiah. Then there is the testimony of Jesus’ works, the works that “bear witness” to the very heart of God. God, the Father, spoke from heaven saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). Jesus tells the leaders that the scriptures that they have studied all their lives point to Him. Ironically, they’ve studied the scriptures diligently but never saw Jesus in them.

    Jesus presents testimony and witnesses to refute the charge of blasphemy. He proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that He is the Son of God. Would you be able to present enough testimony and witnesses to convince others that you are a Child of the King? And if you aren’t a believer, what is keeping you from trusting Christ? Jesus wants us to not only believe the evidence, He wants us to embrace it and to trust it and follow Him.
  • Day 9: Feeding 5,000; walking on water

    Mariana Royer

    Setting: Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee and went up to the mountain with His disciples. People were following Jesus because of His healing miracles and they wanted to hear/see more. The Passover was near and a huge crowd was coming toward Jesus. This crowd was estimated to be 5,000 men, plus women and children.

    Problem: The people had traveled to hear Jesus and they were hungry. Since the disciples did not travel with backpacks of food, they were concerned about how these people would get fed. The disciples made Jesus aware of the problem and Jesus decided to give a pop quiz. Why? God tests us because he wants us to apply spiritual truth to the challenges we face. Jesus asked Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that all these may eat?” Instead of answering the question, Philip shared how much money they would need to get the food. Jesus was not asking for cost, but where food would come from. Why is it that we tend to answer a problem with a physical solution and not a spiritual one?

    Solution: On the other hand, Andrew told Jesus that there was a boy with 5 loaves and 2 fish. This is a great example on how the Lord expects us to use what we have and have faith that Jesus will provide the rest. John 6:11 states “Then Jesus took the loaves, and after giving thanks he distributed them to those who were seated – so also with the fish, as much as they wanted.” Jesus thanked God for what was not nearly enough; He took insufficiency, thanked God for it, and provided more than enough. In everything we are to give thanks.

    Lesson: Don’t let your lack of resources limit what God can do, offer thanksgiving in the midst of your insufficiency. Everyone seated that day ate until they were full, in addition, Jesus had the disciples collect the leftovers. Yes, there were leftovers. Why? Because He is El Shaddai, the God of “more than enough.” There were twelve baskets of food left over, each a reminder of God’s supernatural provision for each disciple.
  • Day 10: The Bread of Life

    Naomi Philip

    Context: Jesus just fed over 5,000 people with only two fish and five loaves of bread. A few days after this event the people were now looking for Jesus. He is in Capernaum speaking with some of the followers he had fed.

    Lesson: When Jesus fed as many people as he did with only so little food, the crowd was amazed. We have to remember that getting food back then was not as accessible as we have it now. As a result of this, when they found a source of food they latched onto it. Basically the crowd ditched all their ways of finding food to follow Jesus’s way. 

    Remember the Word of God is your food source. It is like no other. It is unmatchable. The more you read the more you latch onto His way and not your own. There is no limit to his food source. He is forever eternal. Latch on to His word.

  • Day 11: Accepting or rejecting the Bread of Life

    Danielle Royer

    I interpret this passage as a foreshadowing of the last supper. It is always so incredible to me when a work of Jesus has scriptural reference prior to its occurrence. I can only imagine how confusing his words were for those who heard them without the context we have now. In today’s day and age, it underscores the importance of the last supper and personally strengthens the meaning and relevance of partaking of communion with our church body. There are not many practices that have continued since the inception of the church, so the continued emphasis placed on taking communion is all the more supported by this passage. It is truly a special privilege to have the opportunity to put biblical tradition into my personal life and to continue to accept the bread of life.

  • Day 12: Disciples believe; brothers doubt

    Kyli Leftwich, Childrens Ministries Director

    The gospel in John 6:60-7:9 is a deep representation that people need faith for them to survive. The gospel's message is no different from our situation today. We are in division and while some practice their faith, there are also those who don't. John 6 & 7 help us understand that the Savior will not physically dwell in us, but rather His divine influence will remain with us to help us become more like Him and the Heavenly Father. 

  • Day 13: Accepting or rejecting Jesus' teaching

    Sandy Finnegan

    This passage of scripture reflects the most important and life-changing decision that is still essential today. Whether we accept or reject the teaching of Jesus has eternal reward or everlasting consequence. The Jews were amazed at His teaching with such knowledge of the scriptures without a formal education. Jesus' teaching was about who He is and how God has sent Him for this crucial and most important plan of salvation for everyone who will believe.

    It must have been difficult for Jesus to teach, having to balance how to tell the truth without being killed for blasphemy. He traveled in secret to the Festival of Tabernacles and waited until mid-week to appear in the Temple court. Widespread whispering about Him came from the people. Some said "He is a good man." Others said "no, he deceives the people." No one would say anything boldly in public for fear of the leaders. Still today, because of societal pressures people are often afraid to speak the truth for fear of the response.

    It is amazing how the Pharisees kept using Moses’ law against Jesus. They didn’t understand because of self-imposed spiritual blind eyes that kept them from seeing the spiritual things that Jesus was teaching. Some could not understand because of hard hearts, even declaring Jesus was demon-possessed.

    I am impressed how Jesus used wisdom when he told them that anyone who testifies about himself does so for his personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sends him is a man of truth and there is nothing false in him. Jesus was saying "do the will of God and you will know if it comes from God or from me."

    In John 7:24 Jesus says "stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly." We are not to judge by human standards but allow the Holy Spirit to lead us to truth and understanding. Then we will be able to make this life changing-decision whether to accept or reject who Jesus is. I believe Jesus is The Lamb of God, Alpha and Omega, Immanuel, King of Kings, Son of the Living God, our Savior and Redeemer, Prince of Peace, the Word, the Fountain of Living Waters, the Way the Truth and the Life.
  • Day 14: Pharisees challenges to Jesus

    Nancy Ceja

    The story begins with Jews listening to Jesus at the temple in Jerusalem (the capital city with educated and informed people). The people were discussing among themselves what they knew about Jesus. They were divided on who He was: an imposter, a prophet, or the Christ? They knew Jesus was wanted by the authorities, that He was from Galilee, and that He had done a large number of miracles. Also, they knew that Christ should come out of Bethlehem and from the seed of David. As the Pharisees heard all of this, they got enraged and sent the temple guards to arrest Jesus.  


    What amazes me is the arrogance of the leaders, thinking they know the law and, therefore, they have no need to check the records. The records would reveal that Jesus was from Bethlehem, and both parents were from the seed of David. The leaders could have helped bring those in doubt to believe in Jesus. Why did the leaders not approach Jesus and inquire about his background, family, and his birth to compare with the knowledge they already had? 


    I encourage all of us (starting with me) to not be set in our ways, thinking we know the Word, and not spending time with Jesus. Let us read the Word, spend time with Jesus through prayer, and with other believers continue to learn about Him and his Word, to ask him those questions we have.

  • Day 15: The woman caught in adultery
    David Barnett, Lead Pastor

    The story of the woman caught in adultery is a beautiful example of forgiveness and confronting hypocrisy. But there is an important question we need to consider first before we engage this story: does this passage belong in the Bible?

    This question may seem quite unusual, but actually it has been asked since the earliest days of the Church. Why is it in question? Very simply, it is not found in many of the earliest manuscripts of John's gospel. When it is included, it may be recorded in different places in John, and sometimes even inserted into the Gospel of Luke. Depending which English translation you read, you will likely find a note explaining this uncertainty, and/or find the passage in brackets.

    In light of these discrepancies, the first question biblical scholars try to answer is "from where did this story come?" As we know, there were many stories about Jesus circulating among 1st Century believers that were not recorded in the New Testament. The very last verse of John's gospel tells us so: "Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written." (John 21:25)

    It appears that this story might have been one of these stories, and it was particularly well-known and retold in the early Church. There are references to it in the writings of the Church fathers as early as AD 100. But some church fathers noted that it wasn't included in every manuscript. The story was codified in John's gospel by Jerome, who included it when he translated the New Testament into Latin around AD 385.

    Given these circumstances, how should we engage this story? I think modern translators have taken a sensible approach. Clearly, there are legitimate issues concerning the origin of the passage and whether it passes the test for being authoritative. However, it also has an enduring and extensive presence of the story throughout Church history. The story is wholly consistent with the rest of the New Testament witness of Jesus. Including it in the Bible, but also noting the issue, makes sense.
  • Day 16: Many believe

    [Today's reflection is from the Reverend Frederick Brotherton Meyer, a friend and contemporary of Reverend Dwight Moody.]

    There is much for us to learn here. We choose for ourselves aims and ends too subsidiary, too low. The conversion of the unsaved, the building up of the Church, the extension of the kingdom of God, are in themselves worthy and glorious objects; but they are not the very highest. They do not include it, though it includes them; as the planet does not include the sun, but the sun it. Aim at the planet, you miss the sun; aim at the sun, and you include the planet. There is a purpose, foreshadowed in the life of Jesus, the sweep of which is so wide, the march of which is so majestic, the depth of which is so infinite, as to comprehend all other motives, and to be worthy of an endeavour which, though we approach towards it through infinite ages, must yet for ever be far beyond us. And this is the intention, that God may be pleased and glorified and magnified in our bodies, whether by life or death (Phil. i. 20).

    - Frederick Brotherton Meyer, THE LIFE AND LIGHT OF MEN: EXPOSITIONS OF JOHN I.— XII, p. 168

  • Day 17: Who is your father?
    Jonas Ceja

    When the word of God is read or spoken, revelation and understanding are often dependent on the receiver's personal communion with God or lack thereof. While Jesus walked this earth, He told his disciples, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." Those were straightforward words to his true believers; it was a revelation of the freedom they would experience, free from the bondage of sin and death.

    However, to unbelievers, those who did not have a relationship with Jesus, the words became words of contention, fighting, and insult. Unbelievers quickly claimed they had not been enslaved and promptly pointed out their lineage to Abraham to justify themselves. They claimed they had not been born to fornication and sin; thus, there was nothing to free them from. In other words, "we do not want or need the freedom you are offering; we are saved already." This is a condition many of us have been in at one point in our lives before receiving Jesus as our Lord and Savior and one we must not fall back into.

    The Pharisees then claimed God was their Father, to which Jesus responds by telling them about their real father (vv.42-44). Once again, Jesus spoke with clear words. Notice that Jesus was speaking with people who "thought" they knew the truth, people who "thought" they were walking a righteous path. Instead, he said their Father was the devil.

    How many times have we met people who claim to know Jesus, but their personal life doesn't reflect that? How many people are deceiving themselves, claiming publicly to know Jesus but living a secret life of sin? How often have we rejected the correction God sent us through a parent, a preacher, or another believer who attempted to correct our behavior?

    We must seek out God's truth and worship him as he is truly worthy -- that we may be blameless through his precious blood because we do not stand a chance without him. As his children, we must obey his voice, abide in his word, and know the truth many will never know. Only through Jesus can we truly be children of the Most High God, and he can be our Father.
  • Day 18: Healing the blind man

    Leanna Villalobos

    Jesus came down to the world to save and to heal his children: also, to fulfill prophecy. John chapter 9 is the sixth miracle documented in scripture in John. Almost every aspect of this story has a spiritual implication. The important detail of this account is that man is born blind spiritually, lacking saving faith in God.

    In all scripture only Jesus is seen healing the blind. It’s also important to notice that the man was born blind. He could never regain something he has never lost. Jesus gave the blind man an ability that he never had. This this gives us proof the purpose of God in bringing us saving by faith and salvation by grace. The blind man was able to see the light.
  • Day 19: The sheep know his voice

    Erica Avila

    Jesus has given sight to a man who was born blind. The Pharisees, who had always been able to physically see, had spiritual blindness. But the blind man, who just received his sight, believed right after Jesus told him he was the Son of Man.

    Many things in this world provide temporary comfort but blind us from the Truth and lead us astray. As someone who was blinded by worldly "truths", I can now testify that I see His goodness firsthand. I had to hit "rock bottom" twice to finally have my eyes opened and know that I am complete in Him. When I look back on those experiences, I see Jesus was there all along; I just had to choose Him over things that would ultimately destroy me and my family. I see now how He didn't give up on me, even when I was giving up on Him.

    In John 9:40, the Pharisees ask Jesus if He is saying they are blind, too. His response reminds me of how the first time I hit rock bottom led me to give my life to Jesus, but the second time, although I knew Him and what He could do, I chose to look another way. That was spiritual suicide: choosing death over life when I knew He was the Truth. It is a dangerous position to be in. If you find yourself there, ask God to open your eyes–pray, read His Word, confide in believers, seek a mentor–just don't allow the thief (Satan, sin) to steal and kill and destroy.

    In John 10, Jesus explains that He is the good shepherd that lays down his life for His flock, which would soon happen on the cross. His flock follow Him and only Him because they know His voice. I know my Father's voice. I will never follow someone or something else. As He says in 10:5, "...they will never follow a stranger." Next, Jesus says that He is the gate that leads to pasture: lush, green grass that sheep feed on. It's not dry and dead; it's living. Jesus gives us life to the fullest while the wolf attacks the flock and the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy.

    I have a question about John 10:12. Who is the hired hand? I think the hired hand is the world or man, so Jesus is illustrating the point that He is the only one who will truly protect us, we can't rely solely on the world or man.

  • Day 20: Unity with the Father

    Eric Avila

    In this passage, Jesus is in Jerusalem during the Festival of Dedication (Hanukkah). As He is walking, many people come up and surround Him. Suddenly they begin questioning Him, asking “Are you the Messiah? Are you the Messiah?” Jesus responds by saying “I have already told you, and you don't believe me.” He follows this by explaining that He knows His believers, and He gives them eternal life.

    The people respond by picking up stones and preparing to stone Jesus, claiming He is being blasphemous for saying He is the Son of Man. Jesus explains that they should believe Him because of the miraculous works He has done, and that the Father has sent Him into the world. Once again the people retaliate and try to arrest him, but Jesus gets away and goes near the Jordan River. Many follow Him, saying “everything [John] said about this man has come true,” and they believed in Him.

    To me this passage describes 3 kinds of people when Jesus arrived in Jerusalem:

    * Those who see Him but do not believe: someone who instantly begins with questioning and needing proof or signs to believe what is right in front of them;

    * Those who try to combat and push away Jesus. In the passage we see it literally, as they pick up stones, but today it could be those who refuse to nurture a relationship with their heavenly Father; and finally,

    * Those who choose to steadfastly believe in Him and follow Him wherever He goes.

    In your daily life and your walk with Jesus, will you push Jesus out of your life and choose to live by this world? Or question Jesus and deny His power and love He has for you unless He shows you proof or signs? Or lastly, will you seek Jesus at all costs, and build your life on Him?
  • Day 21: The death of Lazarus
    Steve Royer

    When I read about relationships in the Bible, I am encouraged by Jesus’ clear expression of love for His followers. As a follower of Jesus, I can be confident in His love for me as well. I am also encouraged by the assurances that He gave His followers.

    Jesus informed His disciples that Lazarus’ illness would not lead to death: "But when Jesus heard it he said, 'This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.'” I believe the disciples were concerned that Jesus did not go to Lazarus right away instead of staying two more days where He was, but they may not have been insistent after Jesus said the illness would not lead to death.

    However, I imagine that the disciples and Lazarus’ sisters were hurt and very confused when Jesus plainly stated that “Lazarus has died.” They remained confused when Jesus shared that He was glad He was not there when Lazarus died. They did not remember what Jesus shared earlier that this illness would not lead to death and that it was for the glory of God.

    Instead of thinking, "Wow, Jesus, this is an amazing opportunity to give God glory – what are you going to do?", they were overcome with other thoughts. "So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, 'Let us also go, that we may die with him.'” Lazarus’ sister Martha truly believed that Jesus was the Christ and in the resurrection: "Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?' She said to him, 'Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.'” She believed in her future with Christ, but could not see the outcome of the promise for the moment that would bring glory to God.

    When we believe in God and His Word, we need to believe all of it. God loves us and keeps His promises even when the immediate circumstances around us seem dire; we should remember that it is all for His glory. With every one of life’s storms that I weather, I am reminded of God’s faithfulness.

  • Day 22: Raising Lazarus

    Ben Kapuya

    Jesus had been to Bethany before. As the scriptures report, Bethany is close to Jerusalem. My last trip was in the holy land of Israel. Our guide showed us how Jerusalem faces the Mount of Olives, and Bethany is on the opposite slope of the mountain. This place was so familiar to Jesus because Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha were His close friends.

    When Lazarus was sick, they needed help and they naturally called for Jesus to come. They knew Jesus had power to heal. But Jesus did not show up. He finally arrived four days after Lazarus had died. Jesus’ best friend was already buried. Can you imagine how Mary and Martha were disappointed and hopeless? Their friend they needed the most in this crucial moment had not come in time, despite the call they made with insistence. Jesus got the blame.

    We are all like that. We blame Jesus when things seem desperate. But we do not bind Jesus to our timing; instead, Jesus just applied His plan. They went to the tomb. Jesus called Lazarus by his name. Why? Our guide in Israel told us he called Lazarus by his name to avoid any confusion because all the dead people could have been raised. Lazarus came out with his hands and feet bound with linen strips. How could it possible, considering how deep is the tomb? Six meters underground, and stairs. Nothing can stop Jesus’ order.

    People or circumstances may try to immobilize us, but once Jesus decides, His power will move us. Remember Jesus’ timing is always the best. Death is nothing in front of Him.

  • Day 23: Plotting to kill Jesus; Mary anoints Jesus

    Pastor David

    This passage begins in earnest John’s account of the conspiracy among the Jewish leadership to execute Jesus. As with many political conspiracies, the plot includes multiple elements. First we meet Caiaphas, the High Priest. John introduces him in Chapter 11, a foreshadowing of the significant role he would play in Chapter 18.

    It is quite interesting that John calls special attention to the unintended prophetic significance of Caiaphas’ choice of words. Surely Caiaphas meant them as a means of persuasion to convince others that Jesus’ arrest and execution would be to their advantage. But unwittingly, he declared that Jesus’ death would redeem all of Israel and all the children of God (11:51-52).

    But the plot went deeper, for not only did the Jewish leadership want to silence Jesus’ teachings and stop His miracle-working, they also wanted to erase the evidence of His power that had already been demonstrated. We see in 12:10-11 that the Jews wanted to kill Lazarus too, because he was a living, breathing, walking testimony of Jesus’ divine power.

    It is also interesting to me that, in the first verses of Chapter 12, we have the beautiful picture of Mary’s anointing of Jesus contrasted with the greed and deception of Judas. Both these people and their actions in this instance foreshadow what will soon follow as Judas betrays Jesus, the Romans crucify Him, and Mary heads for His tomb to anoint Him in death.

  • Day 24: The triumphal entry

    New Life Media Administrator

    This passage is commonly referred to as the Triumphal Entry, and is customarily celebrated on Palm Sunday (the Sunday before Easter):

    John cites a prophecy from Zechariah 9:9: "So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, 'Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!' And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, 'Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey's colt!'" John 12:13-15 ESV

    This Sunday, March 26, Pastor David will begin his Easter sermon series "Finished" and will be looking in depth at this passage. Why do you think Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey rather than on a horse?

  • Day 25: Belief and disbelief

    New Life Media Administrator

    This passage draws a line of distinction between those who believe and those who do not. A key idea is about those who believe, but refused to confess it out of fear of the consequences: "for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the  glory that comes from God." John 12:43 ESV

    This passage will be the text for Pastor David's April 2 sermon in the "Finished" series.

  • Day 26: Jesus' humility and Judas' betrayal

    New Life Media Administrator

    One of the most interesting parts of this passage centers around the practice of footwashing. Footwashing was a common hygiene practice in the ancient Near East. Because of the dusty roads and open footwear, the washing of one's feet was almost as routine as the washing of one's hands. It became known as an act of service to and humility toward others. Scriptures mention the following instances of footwashing in addition to Jesus' washing the disciples feet in John 13:

    * travelers washing their own feet. Gen. 18:4; 19:2; Judges 19:21

    * women washing feet as an act of service. 1 Sam. 25:40-41 (Abigail); 1 Tim. 5:10 (widows)

    * women washing Jesus' feet. John 12:3-8 (Mary of Bethany); Luke 7:36-50 (sinful woman with alabaster box)

    The recently-released movie "Jesus Revolution" includes a scene in which Pastor Chuck Smith washes the feet of young people ("Hippies") as they enter the church building.

  • Day 27: Jesus comforts his disciples

    Nino Avila

    Jesus demonstrates in John 13:31-35 that He makes a way for us to have hope in our purpose. He has gone before us and created the way we can follow: not by a path of our choosing, but by the one He created for us. Jesus had known His entire life that He would be glorified through the Father in Him, and that as Himself being the Son of Man, so would mankind have an opportunity to also be glorified by He who lives in us as He was.

    He gave us but one commandment as He left his disciples behind: "Love one another as I have loved you." In this way all people would know we are His disciples: through love. We learn that choosing to love comes from Jesus because He loved us first. By His example and through His sacrifice we learn that He provided the path that we can follow.

    In John 14:1- 14 I see that He is the Way and the Truth and the Life. Any time someone gives you an invitation it is done so with the intention that they expect your presence. A place has been reserved for you specifically, a designated chair with even a card made with your name on it so you know that seat is for you. Jesus himself has gone ahead and called you by name to an invitation to be with Him and the Father.

    Just as we come closer and closer in our faith in Jesus, we come closer and closer to the Father. As we grow closer still, Jesus tells us that in His name we will do greater works because He goes to the Father. What good work we do in His name is also glorified in the name of the Father. In knowing God's will for our lives, we can glorify Jesus and the Father in our heart. When our day comes to follow where Jesus has prepared our place, we may have waited for this day to come, but Jesus has been waiting our whole lives for this day to call us by name. If your life has ever needed rest or if you have searched for peace, accept the invitation, answer the call and receive the love that Jesus is offering today.

  • Day 28: The Holy Spirit as Helper

    Guy Gigundjueto

    The Holy Spirit helps us to go above and beyond loving people in the church, loving the church, or loving the life of the church by ourselves becoming the living church. As the scripture states in Corinthians 6:19, we are the temple of the Holy Spirit.

    The Holy Spirit is a helper since He is with us and in us. He helps us to worship God in God’s way because He is the one able to change the worship time as God was worshiping Himself through us.

    As Christians we have to know the Holy Spirit, start building a relationship with Him, and let Him have control of our life.

    The Holy Spirit is a helper because:

    - He is the Comforter,

    - He is the Spirit of Truth,

    - He dwells with us and in us,

    - He prevents us from feeling orphaned,

    - He brings the assurance that we belong to the Father,

    - He is sent by the Father in the name of Jesus for us,

    - He teaches us everything and will remind us of the words of Jesus, and

    - He allows us to become the dwelling place of God.

  • Day 29: Being hated
    Brittany Umphress, Missionary

    I want to highlight three “nuggets” in this passage:

    1. Jesus gives us this wonderful example of His being the True Vine and His Father being the vinedresser. He tells us to abide: to remain; continue; stay; dwell.

    Abiding in Jesus isn’t just a visit: it’s a deliberate decision to dwell IN His presence. We should live our entire lives in His presence, not just when it’s convenient. Every word we speak, interaction with others, and moment of our day should be done while abiding in the presence of Jesus. How would things change if we were less like the world and more like Jesus? Let’s make it a point to abide in Him!

    2. Jesus gives His commandment to “love one another as I have loved you.” He then says “greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

    I’m not sure I’d be willing to die for my friends, would you? Much less give the life of my only son for my enemies. Our flesh is weak, even if our spirit is willing. Yet this is exactly what God the Father did for us. He allowed His only Son, Jesus, to die for us while we were still sinners, enemies of God. Jesus loved us enough to die in our place so that one day we can live forever in God’s presence. Can you imagine standing in the presence of our Maker on that day?

    3. Jesus said in verse 16 that we did not choose Him, He chose us. He appointed us to “go and bear fruit that your fruit should abide...” Remember what abide means? It’s not fleeting fruit, it’s abiding fruit. When we abide in Jesus and our fruit abides in us, our desires become more like His desires. We will be less concerned with our fleshly desires. Our thoughts, actions, and words will reflect that.

    When you live for the Lord and have abiding fruit, don’t be discouraged when you are hated by the world. Jesus tells us that the world hated Him before it hated us. It rejected not only Him, but His Father who sent Him. We have been rescued out of the world, and the world will despise us because we are different. Don’t be discouraged, we are not left to face the world alone. Jesus promised a Helper to strengthen us through this journey of life: The Holy Spirit.

  • Day 30: The Help of the Holy Spirit

    Jazmine Atkinson, Media Pastor

    To understand the help of the Holy Spirit from this passage you must also understand the hatred from the world and why Jesus sent Him to us. The whole passage before (John 15:18-25, which is also part of the reading from yesterday), is about how people will reject us for loving God. For some reason there are people in this world who don’t accept Jesus and what He has done for us and probably never will. That hatred from the world is dark, which means it will never accept the light within us without genuine life-change that comes from the help of the Holy Spirit.


    Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit for a multitude of reasons, He acts as a direct line to the ears and mouth of God when we pray and when He responds to us. The Holy Spirit of truth has been given to us to share with other people. John 16:1-15 tells us about the work of the Holy Spirit- what His job actually is. The Holy Spirit is God’s voice within us. He helps to comfort and guide us out of sin and temptation, convict us when we have done something displeasing to God and to help us reach the lost people of the world. He also guides us in the use of our gifts and talents that we have received from God. The scriptures for today are Jesus’ direct words to the disciples at the Final Passover meal before He was betrayed, arrested and crucified to pay the price for our sin so that one day we can be united with Him in heaven as it is written in John 3:16.

  • Day 31: Death, resurrection, and triumph

    David W Barnett, Lead Pastor

    When we read this passage, it seems a bit confusing. Why was Jesus speaking in riddles to His disciples? It helps if we understand that there is a long tradition in Judaism of speaking in parables, riddles, and mysteries. A direct example of this is in Matthew Chapter 13, where Jesus quotes from the prophet Isaiah as an explanation:

    10 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” 11 And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: ‘You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.’ 15 For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them. 16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. 17 For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”

    I think a key for understanding is found in verses 23-28. For the first time, Jesus instructs the disciples that they now have direct petition with God the Father; they no longer will ask for help from Jesus, but rather will ask the Father in Jesus’ name. The unique and unified relationship of Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of the Father, being one with the Father, is now clear. Jesus no longer needs to speak to His followers in riddles. He has now been fully revealed as being with God, and being God (see John 1:1).

  • Day 32: Christ's prayer

    Charles Umphress

    We talk about “The Lord’s Prayer”, but that is not really what it is.  What we call “The Lord’s Prayer” is Jesus teaching us how to pray.  John 17 is actually a prayer of Jesus.  I recommend you read this entire chapter yourself.  I will only touch on a few specifics.


    1. In Verse 17: “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.”  What is Truth?  That is the question from Pilate shortly after this chapter.  Here Jesus says God’s Word is The Truth!  It is not just another truth, it is THE TRUTH!  If you look around this world there are many voices trying to tell us what to think, how to think, what is right and what is wrong.  All of those voices are just noise trying to drown THE TRUTH.  God’s Word is The Truth!  God’s Word is the standard we can stand on.


    2. Verse 20: Not only is Jesus praying for his current disciples, but also for those “who will believe in me through their word”.  If you are a believer, Jesus prayed for you.  But what did Jesus pray for you?  Keep reading.  Jesus prayed for unity, “that they may all be one”.  Why is unity important?  Keep reading.  Jesus prayed for unity of believers “that the world may believe that you have sent me.”  How do we pursue unity?  Keep reading.  Jesus said “The glory that you have given me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one.”  One small note here that crossed my mind as I wrote this.  Jesus prayed that we are “one”, not “won”.  I don’t know if that pun works in Hebrew or Greek, but in English it makes me think.  I like to win and I don’t like to lose.  How do we win? We win by reaching the lost with the Gospel of Christ.  We call that soul winning.  How do we do that?  Jesus said by being one.  Unity is not just a word.  It is literally how “the world may know” that God sent Jesus.


    3. Keep reading to the end of the chapter.  This is a powerful prayer.  At the end of the chapter Jesus declares to God, “that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”  Do you have Jesus and the Love of God in you?

  • Day 33: Jesus' arrest

    Gabriela Royer

    This passage is titled "Jesus' Arrest" and I think the best way to begin this reflection is to give some context on the passage. Jesus has just finished praying with His disciples and went over to a garden on the other side of Kidron Valley. Judas, His disciple who betrayed Him, knew where Jesus and the disciples would be. Because of this, Judas came to the garden with soldiers and officials from the chief priests and Pharisees to arrest Jesus. Jesus knew that this was going to happen and He asked the question, "Who is it you want?" They replied with, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus said, "I am He" and they fell to the ground. Once again, Jesus asked the same question and they replied with "Jesus of Nazareth." 


    This next verse that Jesus said is something I'd like to take a moment to elaborate on. Jesus replied with, "I told you that I am He. If you are looking for me, then let these men go." Jesus is referring that He wants His disciples to be let go and not taken with Him. When looking at this verse at a deeper level, Jesus saying this shows that Jesus took the consequences, pain, and hatred for us, His children, and our sins, even though He didn't do anything to deserve it. It is amazing how a few words can be so reflective of Jesus' love for us. 


    After Jesus had said this, Simon Peter took a sword and cut off the high priest's servant's right ear. Immediately after Simon Peter's action, Jesus commanded, "Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?" This is another verse that I would like to elaborate on as well. To me, the cup represents the cross. Jesus was going to drink the cup of God's judgement for us, even though He did not deserve it. In other words, Jesus drank the cup of Salvation, not just the cup of judgement.


    After this Jesus was arrested and taken to be questioned. 


    One main take away from this passage is that Jesus' love for us is so great that He took all of the pain, suffering, and consequences on Himself to give us salvation. 

  • Day 34: Jesus' trials before the Jews
    New Life Media Administrator

    The Anglican cleric John Newton is universally known as the redeemed slave ship captain who penned "Amazing Grace", the great anthem of the Church. Newton also wrote many other hymns. Today, as we read about Jesus' trial before the high priest and Peter's denial, let us reflect on the powerful lyrics of Newton's hymn "Peter Sinning and Repenting" which as written in October 1774.

    When Peter boasted, soon he fell,
    Yet was by grace restored;
    His case should be regarded well
    By all who fear the Lord.

    A voice it has, and helping hand,
    Backsliders to recall;
    And cautions those who think they stand,
    Lest suddenly they fall.

    He said, “Whatever others do,
    With Jesus I’ll abide;”
    Yet soon amidst a murderous crew
    His suffering Lord denied.

    He who had been so bold before,
    Now trembled like a leaf;
    Not only lied, but cursed and swore,
    To gain the more belief.

    While he blasphemed, he heard the cock,
    And Jesus looked in love;
    At once, as if by lightning struck,
    His tongue forbore to move.

    Delivered thus from Satan’s snare,
    He starts, as from a sleep;
    His Saviour’s look he could not bear,
    But hasted forth to weep.

    But sure the faithful cock had crowed
    A hundred times in vain,
    Had not the Lord that look bestowed,
    The meaning to explain.

    As I, like Peter, vows have made,
    Yet acted Peter’s part;
    So conscience, like the cock, upbraids
    My base, ungrateful heart.

    Lord Jesus, hear a sinner’s cry,
    My broken peace renew;
    And grant one pitying look, that I
    May weep with Peter too.
  • Day 35: Jesus' first trial before Pilate

    Ben Kapuya

    This is a typically unfair political trial. The Jewish leaders have nothing to condemn about Jesus’ behavior. But they wanted Jesus to be sentenced to death, so they made up the false accusation. Caiaphas was the prosecutor. He brought Jesus before the judge, Pilate. The indictment failed to offer a legitimate charge against Jesus.


    As the judge, Pilate followed proper procedure by asking the charge against the accused. Indeed, he saw no wrongdoing with which to charge Jesus. Pilate told them Jesus was innocent according to the factual evidence and the rule of law; he should merely release Jesus without charging Him. The Jews did not accept the verdict. They used political threats to get Jesus sentenced to death. Pilate put aside all the rule of law from this moment to please them.


    From this point the trial became an abuse of power, ignoring Jesus’ legal rights and any human rights protection. Jesus was now the hostage of the Jews, and Pilate had become their tool to accomplish this murder. Pilate showed some remorse by offering to release Jesus according to the custom of Passover. But the public now had just one goal; the death of Jesus Christ.


    This story teaches us to not expect to get justice from the world. We need to trust God (Isaiah 33:22). Look at Jesus’ attitude. He is calm when He is responding to Pilate: no panic. That is how we should act when facing injustice, especially persecution. We belong to God’s Kingdom. It is all about God’s timing and His plan. Jesus would go through this path of unfairness and injustice according to God’s plan of righteousness (1 Peter 3:18).


    Jesus died for our sins. He was innocent. Today we enjoy the freedom and the salvation of His resurrection, just being confident that God is on our side.

  • Day 36: Jesus' second trial before Pilate

    Jonas Ceja

    In an attempt to appease the people's lust for blood, Pilate allowed the soldiers to beat, torture, and ridicule Jesus. It seems as if Pilate was hoping that a thorough flogging would quench the crowd's vicious thirst for blood. Perhaps he hoped that people would turn from their path after flaunting Jesus' tattered body, and His life could be spared. King David was wise when he said, in 2 Samuel 24:14, "Let us fall into the hands of the LORD, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into human hands." 


    David knew we, as people, could be fickle, cruel, and unjust. David knew that the enemy sought to steal, kill and destroy us, whereas God looks to correct us with His consequences. God wants to restore us, heal us, and save us. The enemy was so blinded by his hatred of Jesus that he could not contain himself and used the mob mentality to kill Jesus, not knowing that Jesus was about to snatch the keys to his Kingdom. You see, Jesus was not defeated, He willingly gave His life for you and me. He took back the keys that Adam forfeited at the garden. 


    Note that the powers-to-be will give in to the mob mentality to secure their own political agendas. Notice that the people were willing to pledge allegiance to their enemy, Caesar, to get what they want.     


    But most importantly, notice that although it appeared Jesus' fate was in the hands of humans, the Father was still in control. No matter what this world brings to your life, God has the first, second, and last word. But beware, look at verse 11 "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin." 


    That verse shakes me to the core because we, too, have given Jesus over to crucifixion for our sins. It is only through Him that we can be found blameless. Jesus, hold us close to you and don't let us go, do not let us be the guilty "one!" 

  • Day 37: The crucifixion

    Marc Avila

    They had wrapped Jesus up for the burial (they still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead).

    I thought about what the tomb might look like in real life.

    Jesus has the power and strength to rise up from 75 pounds of aloes and myrrh, and a massive boulder.

    Jesus can do ANYTHING for us as long as we BELIEVE.

  • Day 38: The burial and empty tomb

    Juliana Barnett, Worship Pastor

    These verses describe what happened after Jesus was crucified. At the tomb, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus prepared Jesus' body for burial. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes and placed it in the burial linen as it was wrapped around Jesus' body. After preparing Jesus' body for burial, his body was laid in the tomb.

    Early the next morning, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that Jesus was gone. She ran to tell Simon Peter what had happened. Peter noticed Jesus was not there; however, he "saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself."

    I find it interesting that John would highlight a small, seemingly insignificant part of the death shroud of Christ. The way in which the cloth (sudarium) was folded has symbolic meaning. In Jewish culture, when the master was finished eating, he would wipe his hands and face with his napkin, wad it up, and toss the napkin on the table. If the master neatly folded his napkin, it indicated he was not finished eating and was coming back.

    This passage has influenced the eschatology of various Christian traditions. Many Christians believe that just as the neatly folded napkin of the Jewish master indicated that he was "coming back" to finish his meal, the folded face cloth in Jesus' tomb foreshadows the return of Jesus for His bride (church).

    Scholars may debate the neatly folded cloth, but there is strong, convincing, evidence throughout scripture that foreshadows and prophesies Christ's birth, life, death, resurrection, and return.

    I Corinthians 11:23-26 - For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me." In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me." For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes."
  • Day 39: Jesus appears to Mary and the disciples

    Brittany Umphress, Missionary

    This section has always captured my interest. Having been cleansed of seven demons, Mary Magdalene has observed the miracles Jesus performed; she is a recipient of the miracle of salvation and the compassion of Jesus.

    Mary is standing outside the tomb weeping. It’s not just a small tear, she is weeping from the depths of her being: tears streaming down her face, sobs racking her body. The one who loved her unconditionally has been shamed and brutally murdered with the public’s approval. This explains what comes next.

    Looking into the tomb, she sees two angels. They ask her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She answers “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” Why wasn’t she frightened by two angels in front of her? Did she not realize they were angels because of the depths of her grief? In other stories in the Bible, people were afraid and the angels had to tell them to “fear not”. Have you ever been blinded by grief?

    She turns around to see Jesus, her Lord, standing there. She was seeking Him, yet she doesn’t recognize Him, maybe because her expectation was to find His body lying somewhere, not His resurrected person standing before her. Maybe she was blinded by her tears and grief. When she asks Him to tell her where the body of Jesus was moved, Jesus responds by simply saying, “Mary.”

    When Jesus calls us BY NAME it changes everything! She immediately recognizes Jesus. Mary Magdalene, who had been cleansed of seven demons, is now the first to witness Jesus’ resurrection and to proclaim it to others!

    Jesus then appears to His disciples, except Thomas. When Thomas hears about Jesus’ resurrection, instead of rejoicing he told them that if he didn’t see and feel the marks, “I will never believe.” When Thomas sees Jesus eight days later, we see a wonderful example of a tender reproach. “Have you believed because you have seen me?” He doesn’t condemn Thomas for his unbelief. Instead, Jesus uses it to encourage believers for all time, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

    What a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see!
  • Day 40: Jesus on the shore of Galilee

    Naomi Philip

    We all have a purpose. This purpose was given from God to share with others. In John 21:4-6, Jesus told the disciples to switch sides of the net. After switching to the right, a multitude of fish came through the net---so much that the disciples had a hard time to contain it.

    When you follow Jesus’ direction, you receive blessings of multitude. Your purpose should align with His purpose. The disciples learned so much from Jesus just by following His life and obeying His command. Even though we want to do life our way, His way is everlasting. Jesus will always be the right direction in whatever circumstance. Next time in your in quiet time with God, ask "how have I aligned my purpose with God’s purpose for me?"