By: Sonya Polino
Reading: John 8
Hello and welcome to John 8! There is so much for us to absorb from this chapter. So let's take a moment and ask Holy Spirit to speak to us specifically what He has for us to hear today. Word of God speak!
As we may know, the original writings of the Bible were not written with chapter and verse notations as we currently know it. So many times as the chapters and verses were added, there may be a break in the thought that may give a verse a different impact or perspective.
For example, read John Chapter 8:1. No biggy. Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. We know from our readings that Jesus frequented the Mount of Olives / Garden of Gethsemane. This is where He went frequently to pray.
Now go back and read Chapter 7 verse 53. This puts a different perspective, a powerful perspective, on Chapter 8:1 doesn't it?
The translation I am currently reading says "So each one went to his house. But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives."Don't let the different conjunctions used among the translations rob you of the beauty of these two verses.
The power of these two verses fell on me heavily. Each man returned to his house, to his bed, to his comfort, to his sleep and rest. By custom, he may have washed his feet. In our house, we would have showered, put on pajamas and maybe had a snack. Sufficiently refreshed, we climb the stairs and rest our head on our pillows, sink into our mattress and drift off, requesting the Lord to speak to us in our dreams.
"... But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives." No foot washing or change of clothes here. He may have laid to rest for a few minutes, but I am confident it was not a long nor peaceful rest. True to the nature and character of Jesus, He was there for a purpose, to pray. He sacrificed creature comforts, basic necessities, to pray.
Jesus, 100% God, living 100% in the weakness and frailty of man, spent the night praying. Jesus, our perfect example. Isn't this the same sacrifice that we are called to today?
Just in the first few verses of Chapter 8 we see the wisdom, mercy and restoration that He was able to bring. Is our mission and purpose in each of our days, any less?
"So each one went to His house. But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives."
I recently heard the phrase, "Whatever you need is given. Whatever you want you go after." I believe that all of us reading this want a deeper relationship with our God. We simply want more. We want to see His love and power in our lives. We want to see His love and power in the lives of those around us. We want to be used by Him. And at our deepest want, we want to know Him and be known by Him. That is the true cry of our hearts.
The Bible is full of those that went after it. Remember Daniel, he went through the den of hungry lions with his God. He was known for praying three times a day and it is recorded in Daniel 6:5 "we will never find any charge against this Daniel unless we find something against him concerning the law of His God."
I absolutely love James 5:17 & 18 "Elijah WAS A MAN JUST LIKE US, yet he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the land. Then he prayed again and the sky gave rain and the land produced its fruit."
Jesus spent many a night praying and brought, peace, love, restoration and redemption. Jesus, our perfect example.
This isn't going to just happen for us. We need to be diligent and intentional about seeking it. It is my earnest prayer that we all press through the crowds, and stop at nothing less than taking hold of the hem of His garment.
Let's seek Holy Spirit together. Let's ask Him to lead us into that deeper relationship that we so earnestly want. Let's ask Him to give us the strength and diligence and grace to make it happen.
And so, I challenge us all today: a) Identify, find, create a spot, a favorite place for us to go and be with our Lord - our own Mount of Olives; b) identify a time that may work with our schedule, dare I even say a sacrificial giving of time, to pray; c) ask Him to breath His life into our moments with Him and let's be radically obedient to what He speaks to us.