Daily Devotion Text

April 26, 2022

Acts 5:34-42 (ESV)

Journal

Please use one of the prompts below to get your journaling started.

  • Explore your fears and what’s behind them.
  • Write about a relational conflict you are experiencing.
  • List out all that you are grateful for.
  • Recall a significant reaction, conversation or event.

Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF ACTS

CHAPTER 1 COMMENTARY

CHAPTER 2 COMMENTARY

CHAPTER 3 COMMENTARY

CHAPTER 4 COMMENTARY

CHAPTER 5 COMMENTARY

Bible Text

Acts 5:34-42 (ESV)

34 But a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in honor by all the people, stood up and gave orders to put the men outside for a little while. 35 And he said to them, “Men of Israel, take care what you are about to do with these men. 36 For before these days Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. 37 After him Judas the Galilean rose up in the days of the census and drew away some of the people after him. He too perished, and all who followed him were scattered.

38 So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; 39 but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!” So they took his advice, 40 and when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. 42 And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.

Go Deeper

Acts 5:34-42

•       Examine Gamaliel’s advice. What seems sensible about it? What is attractive about it? What is wrong about it?

•       Note the apostles’ response in vv. 40-41, and consider Jesus’ words:

         Matthew 5:11–12 (ESV)

         11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

•       What can I apply or learn from this?


Prayer

April 25, 2022

Prayer

Our church is going through a new devotional format, to devote Mondays and Fridays to prayer. We will continue our study through the Book of Acts on Tuesdays through Thursdays.

“He must set his heart to conquer by prayer, and that will mean that he must first conquer his own flesh, for it is the flesh that hinders prayer always.” – A.W. Tozer


Prayer of Gratitude

Prayer of Supplication


April 22, 2022

Prayer

Our church is going through a new devotional format, to devote Mondays and Fridays to prayer. We will continue our study through the Book of Acts on Tuesdays through Thursdays.

“To desire revival… and at the same time to neglect (personal) prayer and devotion is to wish one way and walk another.” – A.W. Tozer


Prayer of Gratitude

Prayer of Supplication


April 21, 2022

Acts 5:12-33 (ESV)

Journal

Please use one of the prompts below to get your journaling started.

  • Explore your fears and what’s behind them.
  • Write about a relational conflict you are experiencing.
  • List out all that you are grateful for.
  • Recall a significant reaction, conversation or event.

Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF ACTS

CHAPTER 1 COMMENTARY

CHAPTER 2 COMMENTARY

CHAPTER 3 COMMENTARY

CHAPTER 4 COMMENTARY

CHAPTER 5 COMMENTARY

Bible Text

Acts 5:12-33 (ESV)

12 Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico. 13 None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem. 14 And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women,15 so that they even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. 16 The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed.

17 But the high priest rose up, and all who were with him (that is, the party of the Sadducees), and filled with jealousy 18 they arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, 20 “Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.” 21 And when they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and began to teach.

Now when the high priest came, and those who were with him, they called together the council, all the senate of the people of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. 22 But when the officers came, they did not find them in the prison, so they returned and reported, 23 “We found the prison securely locked and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them we found no one inside.” 24 Now when the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these words, they were greatly perplexed about them, wondering what this would come to. 25 And someone came and told them, “Look! The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people.” 26 Then the captain with the officers went and brought them, but not by force, for they were afraid of being stoned by the people.

27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them,

28 saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

33 When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them.

Go Deeper

Acts 5:12-33

•       List out all the evidence and signs the members of the council needed to ignore in order to maintain their position.

•       Consider God’s continued patience and kindness to these rulers as he appealed to them through the apostles’ words, deeds and changed lives. Recall God’s patience and kindness towards me.

•       What is Peter’s message (summarized in vv. 30-32) that causes the rulers to be “enraged” (v. 33), and what lessons can I draw from this?


Prayer

April 20, 2022

Acts 5:1-11 (ESV)

Journal

Please use one of the prompts below to get your journaling started.

  • Explore your fears and what’s behind them.
  • Write about a relational conflict you are experiencing.
  • List out all that you are grateful for.
  • Recall a significant reaction, conversation or event.

Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF ACTS

CHAPTER 1 COMMENTARY

CHAPTER 2 COMMENTARY

CHAPTER 3 COMMENTARY

CHAPTER 4 COMMENTARY

CHAPTER 5 COMMENTARY

vv.1-2: “Lest any should think that the material question is a small issue, Luke moves from the positive account of the generosity of Barnabas to the chilling tale of Ananias and Sapphira.  There, possessions and what they do to us is a matter of life and death, the very first crisis to hit the young community.” [1]

vv.2-3: “The desire to gain a higher reputation than is one’s due for generosity or some other virtue is not so uncommon that anyone can afford to adopt a self-righteous attitude toward Ananias.” [2]

“There is something quite natural about the lies of Ananias and Sapphira, for we all know the way we rationalize and excuse our own covetousness, acquisitiveness, and greed.  ‘I’m not really all that well off,’ we say.  ‘I have all I can do just to make ends meet.’   ‘I worked hard for this and deserve it.’  Our lies are a correlate of our materialism, for both our materialism and our self-deceit are our attempts to deal with our human insecurity, our human finitude, by taking matters into our own hands.  Luther once called security the ultimate idol.  And we have shown time and again that we are willing to exchange anything – our family, our health, our church, the truth – for a taste of security.” [3] 

v.11: “The fear of God and of the consequence of sin is a major theme of this story (5:5, 11).  Paul told Timothy that elders ‘who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that others may take warning’ (1 Tim 5:20).  Public rebuke gives people a sense of seriousness of sin, and that in turn acts as a deterrent to sin.” [4]

“The idea of going through life fearing both God and the consequences of sin seems unattractive in our age where people are so devoted to good feelings.  Fear is considered a bad feeling, and therefore people think it is wrong […]  Actually, fear is a friend that alerts us of the danger of sin […] The fear of displeasing God and of the consequences of sin does not take way the enjoyment of life.  It is rather a gateway to true enjoyment.” [5]

One prominent feature that becomes apparent in this portrayal of the early church is the centrality and the authority that the church seemed to have had on the individual Christians.  The influence of the faith community on its members is so intense that it seems rather foreign to our culture. 

“While being one in heart and mind is considered the usual model for Christian community life, it is not easy to maintain in today’s individualistic society.  We do not like having anyone ‘pry’ into our personal lives, which would be necessary if the model shown in Acts were to be followed.  For this reason many have lowered their standards and settled for a functional unity that comes more from secular management studies than from God’s Word […]  This is an area where the church needs to be countercultural.  In a society where people deny the community orientation that is part of human nature in order to protect their privacy, close Christian community life may be one of the most important prophetic messages we can give the world […]  But such unity is not easy to maintain.  If our standards are high, our expectations from each other will also be high.  Consequently the pain of disappointment will also be high.  I believe this is a primary reason why people have lowered their standards of what to expect from Christian community. […] Many Christians do not feel a church has any right to make demands on members.  They choose which church they will join and choose to leave it when ‘it does not meet their needs.’ Such people will not get the benefit of deep fellowship from any church and will not receive the security and enrichment that comes from spiritual accountability.” [6]


[1] Hillimon, Interpretation: Acts, 53.

[2] Bruce, The New International Commentary on the New Testament, 105.

[3] Hillimon, Interpretation: Acts, 54.

[4] Fernando, Acts, The NIV Application Commentary Series,  201.

[5] Fernando, Acts, The NIV Application Commentary Series,  206-207.

[6] Fernando, Acts, The NIV Application Commentary Series, 185-186.

Bible Text

Acts 5:1-11 (ESV)

1 But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, 2 and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? 4 While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.”5 When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. 6 The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him.

7 After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.     8 And Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much.” And she said, “Yes, for so much.” 9 But Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.”10 Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.

Go Deeper

Acts 5:1-11

•       What might have driven Ananias and Sapphira to lie?

•       What are some modern parallels, and how might such tendencies weaken or damage the church? 

•       Are there any deceptive patterns God is prompting me to repent of through my study of today’s passage?


Prayer

April 19, 2022

Acts 4:23-37 (ESV)

Journal

Please use one of the prompts below to get your journaling started.

  • Explore your fears and what’s behind them.
  • Write about a relational conflict you are experiencing.
  • List out all that you are grateful for.
  • Recall a significant reaction, conversation or event.

Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF ACTS

CHAPTER 1 COMMENTARY

CHAPTER 2 COMMENTARY

CHAPTER 3 COMMENTARY

CHAPTER 4 COMMENTARY

Bible Text

Acts 4:23-37 (ESV)

23 When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them,  25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit,

“‘Why did the Gentiles rage,

    and the peoples plot in vain?

26 The kings of the earth set themselves,

    and the rulers were gathered together,

    against the Lord and against his Anointed’—

27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. 29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

32 Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. 33 And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35 and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. 36 Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, 37 sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

Go Deeper

Acts 4:23-31

•       Consider the content of their prayer. What stands out as noteworthy?

•       What is the role of the Holy Spirit according to v. 31?

Acts 4:23-37

•       List out the features of the church shown in this passage. What aspect am I most challenged and inspired by? Which aspects of the church have I experienced? What steps can I take to strengthen the church?


Prayer

April 18, 2022

Prayer

Our church is going through a new devotional format, to devote Mondays and Fridays to prayer. We will continue our study through the Book of Acts on Tuesdays through Thursdays.

“When we don’t pray, we quit the fight. Prayer keeps the Christian’s armor bright. And Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees.” – William Cowper


Prayer of Gratitude

Prayer of Supplication


April 15, 2022

Prayer

Our church is going through a new devotional format, to devote Mondays and Fridays to prayer. We will continue our study through the Book of Acts on Tuesdays through Thursdays.

“In prayer, real prayer, we begin to think God’s thoughts after him: to desire the things he desires, to love the things he loves, to will the things he wills. Progressively, we are taught to see things from his point of view.” – Richard Foster


Prayer of Gratitude

Prayer of Supplication


April 14, 2022

John 18-19

Journal

Please use one of the prompts below to get your journaling started.

  • Explore your fears and what’s behind them.
  • Write about a relational conflict you are experiencing.
  • List out all that you are grateful for.
  • Recall a significant reaction, conversation or event.

Passion Week Accounts from the Gospel of John

John 18-19 (ESV)

18 1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4 Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” 5 They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 6 When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7 So he asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” 8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go.” 9 This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken: “Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.” 10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”

12 So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound him. 13 First they led him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 14 It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people.

15 Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, 16 but Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in. 17 The servant girl at the door said to Peter, “You also are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” 18 Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself.

19 The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. 20 Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. 21 Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said.” 22 When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?” 24 Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

25 Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You also are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” 26 One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” 27 Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed.

28 Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor’s headquarters. It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor’s headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover. 29 So Pilate went outside to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” 30 They answered him, “If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered him over to you.” 31 Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.” 32 This was to fulfill the word that Jesus had spoken to show by what kind of death he was going to die.

33 So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” 37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”

After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him. 39 But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 40 They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.

19 Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. 2 And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. 3 They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. 4 Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” 5 So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” 6 When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” 7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” 8 When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. 9 He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”

12 From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” 13 So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” 15 They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” 16 So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.

So they took Jesus, 17 and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. 19 Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”

20 Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. 21 So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”

23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, 24 so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says,

“They divided my garments among them,

    and for my clothing they cast lots.”

So the soldiers did these things, 25 but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

31 Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. 35 He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe. 36 For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” 37 And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.”

38 After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. 39 Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. 40 So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. 41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42 So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.

Go Deeper

John 19:17, 28

•       What does Jesus’ statement “I thirst” show about what he endured on the cross?

John 19:25-27

•       What picture of Christian relationships and family ties is depicted through what Jesus tells Mary and John about their relationship? 

•       To what extent have I experienced the church in this manner? 

John 19:28-30

“The use of the perfect tense in ‘It is finished’ (tetelestai) signifies full completion of Jesus’ work and the establishment of a basis for faith. Nothing further needed to be done. Jesus’ act was voluntary and confident, for he had discharged perfectly the Father’s purpose and was leaving the scene of his human struggle. […] Jesus retained consciousness and command of himself till the very end.” [1]

•       Reflect on Jesus’ final words, “It is finished.”  

•       What implication do these words have on my life and on my struggle against sin?

John 19:38-40

“Joseph’s action was courageous, for his petition was a tacit admission that he was a friend of Jesus and consequently an associate in whatever supposed subversion Jesus might have advocated. Joseph took the initiative and petitioned Pilate for permission to remove the body. His request was an open confession of his faith, for up to this time he had been a secret believer[…] Like Joseph, Nicodemus was a secret disciple whose faith grew slowly…his cooperation with Joseph in the burial shows that his faith had finally matured.”  [2]

•       What would have motivated Joseph of Arimathea to ask Pilate for Jesus’ body and Nicodemus to bring “a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds”?

•       What was the significance of their actions?

•       How do their actions show what my response to the cross should be?


[1] Frank E. Gaebelein, Gen. Ed. Expositor’s Bible Commentary CD, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1992) notes for John chapter 19.

[2] Ibid.


Prayer

April 13, 2022

John 18:28-19:16

Journal

Please use one of the prompts below to get your journaling started.

  • Explore your fears and what’s behind them.
  • Write about a relational conflict you are experiencing.
  • List out all that you are grateful for.
  • Recall a significant reaction, conversation or event.

Passion Week Accounts from the Gospel of John

John 18:28-19:16

18 28 Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor’s headquarters. It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor’s headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover. 29 So Pilate went outside to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?”

30 They answered him, “If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered him over to you.” 31 Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.” 32 This was to fulfill the word that Jesus had spoken to show by what kind of death he was going to die.

33 So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” 37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”

After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him. 39 But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 40 They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.

19 1 Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. 2 And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. 3 They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. 4 Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” 5 So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” 6 When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” 7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” 8 When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. 9 He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer.

10 So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”

12 From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” 13 So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” 15 They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” 16 So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.

So they took Jesus.

Go Deeper

John 18:33-19:1

•       What can I learn about Jesus’ heart through his interaction with Pilate? 

•       Contrast Jesus’ view of truth and Pilate’s view of truth as revealed by his action (19:1).

•       What evidence is there in my life that shows that I am on the side of truth?

John 18:38-19:16

“Realizing that the priests were implacable and that resisting them would only endanger his career, Pilate finally gave in and ordered the Crucifixion. Certain features of Pilate’s examination of Jesus are significant. Pilate’s behavior shows that he was apprehensive of trouble. From the outset he was uncertain of his position. He oscillated between public confrontation with the Jewish mob and private interrogation of Jesus. Seven times in this brief narrative the author says or implies that Pilate ‘went out’ or ‘went in’ (18:29, 33, 38; 19:1, 4, 9, 13). Beneath his arrogant manner, there was an uncertainty that came from the conflict between Pilate the Roman judge and Pilate the politician. He finally succumbed to expediency.” [1] 

•       What is the process by which Pilate comes to the point of handing Jesus over to be crucified even though he declared him innocent three times? 

•       What does Pilate forfeit and what does he preserve through his final decision?

•       What have I forfeited to preserve myself in the past?

•       What is the irony of Pilate saying “Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?”

•       What can I learn about true power from Jesus’ response to Pilate?

John 19:1-16

•       Reflect on the scandal of Jesus’ voluntary suffering at the hands of cowardly and cruel men.

•       Reflect on all the evil committed by the others in this text simply because they did not want to suffer.


[1] Frank E. Gaebelein, Gen. Ed. Expositor’s Bible Commentary CD, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1992) notes for John chapter 19.


Prayer

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