Christmas Eve

Every Christmas Eve I put out luminarias, just like I grew up doing with my family. It may be a few hundred less and it may not be as spectacular with the street lights going, but I love them. I love the memories, but mostly I love the tradition and what it represents. Lighting the way for Mary and Joseph. Here’s one from last year.

Copyright Naomi Hodawanus

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. John 1:1-5

What we Learn about Jesus in John chapter 10

Part of studying scripture is simply recording observed factual statements in the text. These observations, planted in our heart, form the foundation of God’s truth in our lives and creates a framework for discernment as well as allowing God’s Word to grow in our lives, satisfying our Spiritual hunger and drawing us closer to God. In John chapter 10, Jesus makes many statements about Himself that help us understand who He is:

  1. Jesus said again, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that I Myself am the Door for the sheep. [In explanation of the parable he just got done telling, where He sad that the shepherd uses the door but the thief and robber enter the fold by other means to snatch sheep].
  2. I am the Door; anyone who enter in through me will be saved. He will come in and he will go out, and will find pasture.
  3. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance.
  4. I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd risks and lays down His own life for the sheep
  5. I am the Good Shepherd; and I know and recognize My own, and My own know and recognize Me-even as the Father knows Me and I also know the Father-and I am giving My life and laying it down on behalf of the sheep.
  6. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring and impel those also; and they will listen to My voice and heed My call, and so there will be one flock under one Shepherd.
  7. For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My own life-to take it back again. No one takes it way from Me. On the contrary, I lay it down voluntarily. I am authorized and have power to lay it down and I am authorized and have power to take it back again. These are the instructions which I have received from My Father.
  8. [in response to the people demanding He tell them plainly whether or not He was the Christ]…Jesus answered them, I have told you so, yet you do not believe Me. The very works that I do by the power of My Father and in My Father’s name bear witness concerning Me.
  9. The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never lose it or perish throughout the ages. And no one is able to snatch them out of My hand.
  10. I and the Father are One.
  11. Jesus said to them, My Father has enabled Me to do many good deeds.
  12. do you say of the One Whom the Father consecrated and dedicated and set apart for Himself and sent into the world, You are blaspheming, because I said, I am the Son of God?
  13. If I am not doing the works of My Father, then do not believe Me. But if I do them, even though you do not believe Me or have faith in Me, believe the works and have faith in what I do, in order that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I am in the Father.

In this chapter Jesus uses two of the “I AM” statements recorded in the book of John when he says “I AM the Door” and “I AM the Good Shepherd”. Jesus uses the same name that God gave Moses to tell the people who He was. By this, and his statements that He and the Father were One, Jesus was claiming his divinity.

We learn also that it is through Christ alone that eternal salvation is provided. (John 14:6)

Christ confirms, in agreement with the rest of scripture, that God consecrated, dedicated and set Christ apart for Himself and sent Christ into the world to lay down His life and take it back again so that people may be saved.

Jesus explains to the people that He will lay down His life and take it back again on behalf of his fold. He also states that He does this voluntarily and that He has the authority to both lay it down and take it back. This is important to note, that Jesus voluntarily gave up His life on the cross and through the authority invested in Him by God, took it back again and rose from the dead. (John 19-20) Another important thing that Jesus explains, is that God commanded Him to do this. This is in alignment with other statements Jesus made about Him only doing what the Father commanded of Him. (John 5:17-47)