What Jesus Did! 'Refusing Deliverance' — John 11:55-57

Monday, August 18, 2014

It was almost time for the Jewish Passover festival. Many people from the country went to Jerusalem before the Passover. They went to do the special things to make themselves pure {for the Passover}. The people looked for Jesus. They stood in the temple area and asked each other, "Is he (Jesus) coming to the festival? What do you think?" But the leading priests and the Pharisees had given a special order about Jesus. They said that if any person knew where Jesus was, the person must tell them. Then the leading priests and the Pharisees could arrest Jesus.
— John 11:55-57
Illustration of John 11:55-57 — "Is he (Jesus) coming to the festival? What do you think?"

Key Thought

Why is it so hard for those caught up in wrong things—ideas, addictions, relationships—to accept the opportunity for deliverance? While there are many partial answers, there is one clear answer: Satan has blinded them to the truth because he doesn't want them free. Despite the inexplicable healing of Lazarus, some will not believe. Despite the freedom that Jesus comes to offer them, some will not receive it. In fact, some are determined to be rid of Jesus because they are happily settled in the fog Satan has brought over them to keep them from the truth. As much as we may pray and try to convince them otherwise, some will not believe. There is not much that we can do other than to pray for their hearts to change; live before them with a consistent example of character and faith; and be ready to help when they face difficulty or find themselves open to the truth.

Today's Prayer

Father, please minister to my discouragement. I have some friends whom I love deeply who are caught in Satan's traps. Make my life a consistent example of compassion and character before them. Please help me see the opportunities when they are more open to your grace and please use me to share that grace at the appropriate time. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

There were many Jews that came to visit Mary. They saw what Jesus did. And many of these Jews believed in Jesus. But some of the Jews went to the Pharisees. They told the Pharisees what Jesus did. Then the leading priests and Pharisees called a meeting of the Jewish council. They said, "What should we do? This man (Jesus) is doing many miracles. If we let him continue doing these things, all the people will believe in him. Then the Romans will come and take away our temple and our nation." One of the men there was Caiaphas. He was the high priest that year. Caiaphas said, "You people know nothing! It is better for one man to die for the people than for the whole nation to be destroyed. But you don't realize this." Caiaphas did not think of this himself. He was high priest that year. So he was really prophesying that Jesus would die for the Jewish people. Yes, Jesus would die for the Jewish people. But Jesus would also die for God's other children that were scattered {in all the world}. He would die to bring them all together and make them one people. That day the Jewish leaders began planning to kill Jesus. So Jesus stopped traveling around openly among the Jews. Jesus left {Jerusalem} and went to a place near the desert. Jesus went to the town called Ephraim. Jesus stayed there with his followers. It was almost time for the Jewish Passover festival. Many people from the country went to Jerusalem before the Passover. They went to do the special things to make themselves pure {for the Passover}. The people looked for Jesus. They stood in the temple area and asked each other, "Is he (Jesus) coming to the festival? What do you think?" But the leading priests and the Pharisees had given a special order about Jesus. They said that if any person knew where Jesus was, the person must tell them. Then the leading priests and the Pharisees could arrest Jesus.

John 11:45-57

Related Scripture Readings

I said, 'Who are you, Lord?' The Lord said, 'I am Jesus. I am the One you are persecuting. Stand up! I have chosen you to be my servant. You will be my witness—you will tell people the things that you have seen about me today and the things that I will show you. This is why I have come to you today. I will not let {your own} people (the Jews) hurt you. And I will keep you safe from the non-Jewish people too. I am sending you to these people. You will show the people the Truth. The people will turn away from darkness (sin) to the light (good). They will turn away from the power of Satan, and they will turn to God. Then their sins can be forgiven. They can have a share with those people who have been made holy by believing in me.'"

Acts 26:15-18

In the past, your spiritual lives were dead because of your sins and the things you did wrong against God. Yes, in the past you lived doing those sins. You lived the way the world lives. You followed the ruler of the evil powers over the earth. That same spirit is now working in those people who refuse to obey God.

Ephesians 2:1-2

You know that {in the past} you were living in a worthless way. You got that way of living from the people who lived before you. But you were saved from that way of living. You were bought, but not with things that ruin like gold or silver. But you were bought with the precious blood (death) of Christ—a pure and perfect lamb. Christ was chosen before the world was made. But he was shown {to the world} in these last times for you. You believe in God through Christ. God raised Christ from death. Then God gave glory to him. So your faith and your hope are in God.

1 Peter 1:18-21

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.