Pioneer Devotionals

Pioneer devos for MNU students and friends

1
Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind
2
The Claims of Jesus About Himself
3
“I came from God”
4
The Children of Abraham
5
The Validity of Jesus’ Testimony
6
“Neither do I condemn you”
7
Unbelief of the Jewish Leaders
8
Is Jesus the Christ?
9
Jesus Teaches at the Feast
10
Jesus Goes to the Feast of Tabernacles

Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind

John 9:1-12 By Jordan Mantha 1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. When awful things happen, people want to know, “why”? Think about a recent tragedy. Usually the first question people ask is “who’s responsible?” and the second is “why did this happen?”. Even for the little stuff like a school prank or a stubbed toe we can start asking[…]

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The Claims of Jesus About Himself

John 8:48-59 By Jordan Mantha 58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” 59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds. Jesus finishes his lengthy conversation with the Jewish crowd that started in verse 37. When I read these verses I want to shake my head and say “you’re not getting it!” to the crowd. I have to remember I have the benefit of two thousand years of Christian theology to guide my thinking about the scriptures. Jesus was not what the Israelites were expecting. It was quite natural for[…]

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“I came from God”

John 8:42-47 By Jordan Mantha 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. 47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” The Israelite crowd had just declared “The only Father we have is God himself.” They knew this because they were descendants of Abraham. It was their national and cultural identity. But Jesus explains a different, and more personal, criteria for a relationship with God. We can’t speak of a[…]

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The Children of Abraham

John 8:31-41 By Jordan Mantha 31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” Today’s passage includes a phrase popular in American culture: “the truth will set you free.” We may use it to tell someone facing a hard reality that their hard work will ultimately pay off. Those accused of a crime might use it to proclaim their innocence or hope of exoneration. Often[…]

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The Validity of Jesus’ Testimony

John 8:12-30 By Jordan Mantha 12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Some days it seems like there is a lot of darkness in the world. World events, politics, death, disease, the sometimes-frustrating search for a significant other, and of course grades.  At times it just seems to be overwhelming. In this passage Jesus is pointing out that Christianity is more than a belief system or a moral code. Christianity is an acknowledgment of a new reality, a[…]

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“Neither do I condemn you”

John 8:2-11 By Mary Fry 6b But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. Jesus was teaching in the temple and people were gathered around to hear what he had to say.  Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees interrupted this teaching by bringing a woman caught in the act of adultery.  It was obvious[…]

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Unbelief of the Jewish Leaders

John 7:45-52 By Mary Fry 50 Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, 51 “Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing?” The temple guards and the religious leaders argued about what to do with Jesus.  But Nicodemus was different.  He was a Pharisee and a religious leader, but he was counted as one of Jesus’ own.  Remember, Nicodemus came earlier to see Jesus (John 3:1-10) and he asked Jesus some pointed questions.  Nicodemus believed Jesus was different than just a teacher of[…]

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Is Jesus the Christ?

John 7:25-44 By Mary Fry 28 Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own authority, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, 29 but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.” In the children’s book Fish is Fish by Leo Lionni, a tadpole and a minnow were friends.  The tadpole grew into a bullfrog and left his friend in the water.  One day he returned briefly to the water and told the[…]

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Jesus Teaches at the Feast

John 7:14-24 By Mary Fry 14 Not until halfway through the festival did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach. 15 The Jews there were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having been taught?” Remember Jesus told his brothers he was not going to the Feast because his time had not yet come.  However, he went in secret.  When he arrived at the Feast, Jesus waited until halfway through to begin to teach others. This Festival of Booths or Tabernacles was a Fall Celebration associated with God’s provisions during the Israelites journey in[…]

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Jesus Goes to the Feast of Tabernacles

John 7:1-13 By Mary Fry 8 You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.” 9 After he had said this, he stayed in Galilee. 10 However, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went also, not publicly, but in secret. Jesus was staying in the area of Galilee to keep a low profile among the Jewish people.  His brothers thought he should go public and travel the 2 ½ days to Judea so others could see his miracles. What did Jesus mean when he said his time had[…]

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