THE “GREATER THAN” SAYINGS.

Why would John include this in his gospel?

Joh 20:30, 31  And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:  But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (KJV)

When John started to write his gospel, he had a specific audience and purpose in mind. These two influenced how he wrote his gospel, and what he decided to include. No writer is able to give a clear moment-by-moment eyewitness account of life. This would be impossible to achieve for two reasons. First, it would take up too much space. Secondly, it would be beyond boring. Really, it would.

Therefore, not one of the writers of the gospels ever tell us that Jesus bathed, brushed his teeth, combed his hair or ate dinner. That does not mean he did not do these things, it only means that usually they were not important to the purpose of writing or to the intended audience. On several occasions we do read that Jesus ate, (more…)

The “GREATER THAN” SAYINGS

Why would John include this in his gospel?

Joh 20:30, 31  And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:  But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (KJV)

When John started to write his gospel, he had a specific audience and purpose in mind. These two influenced how he wrote his gospel, and what he decided to include. No writer is able to give a clear moment-by-moment eyewitness account of life. This would be impossible to achieve for two reasons. First, it would take up too much space. Secondly, it would be beyond boring. Really, it would.

Therefore, not one of the writers of the gospels ever tell us that Jesus bathed, brushed his teeth, combed his hair or ate dinner. That does not mean he did not do these things, (more…)

Jesus is “GREATER THAN” the Jewish Scriptures.

There was nothing more important in the Jewish religion than the Scriptures. It was sacred and to be followed to the last letter. When John writes his gospel, he intends to show that Jesus was greater than the Jewish Scripture. The way in which he does this is to quote the Old Testament often, and show how Jesus was the promise that the Old Testament spoke of.

Here are some of his quotes.

John 1.23- Is 40.3

Slide1

The call to make a road in the wilderness for God. This is an announcement that God is coming, and that people should prepare the way for Him to approach.

 

John 1.51- Gen 28.12

Slide2

This beautiful promise that one day (and we are living in this time now, because Jesus tore the veil in the Temple that separated the people from God), the relationship between God and man would be restored again. God would walk with us, as He walked with Adam and Eve.

 

John 2.17- Ps 69:9

Slide3

The House of the Lord would consume those who believe. We can see so many examples of this in the lives of the Apostles. They were consumed with the gospel message to such an extent that they would die for it. This is because they understood that Jesus too was concerned with the House of His Father. His zeal meant that He was willing to suffer and die on a cross.

 

John 6.31- Ps 78.23-24

Slide4

John reminds us that Jesus is the spiritual food from heaven, just like manna was the physical food of the Israelites in the wilderness.

John 7.42- Mic 5.2

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Jesus, as prophesied, would come from the least of the tribes of Israel.

 

John 10.16- Ezek 34.23

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Jesus told us himself that He was the Shepard, and that the sheep knows His voice, and follows him.

John 10.34- Ps 82.6

Slide1

Those who believe are children of the Most High.

 

John 12.13- Ps 118.26

Slide2

Jesus, the blessing of all nations, came in the Name of the Lord

 

John 12.14-15- Zech 9.9

Slide3

John reminding us of the promise of Jesus’ lowliness.

 

John 12.31-41    Is 6.10

Slide4

Jesus came to open the eyes and ears, and soften hardened hearts. John refers to this Scripture to show the state of people before they meet Jesus. I can testify to the fact that this is indeed how I was myself, before I had an encounter with God.

 

John 13.18- Ps 41.9

Slide5

John quotes Jesus’ words, which is a direct quote from the Psalms, about the fact that one who was intimate enough to sit at His table and share His bread, would also betray Him.

 

John 19.36- Exo12.46; Ps 34.20

Slide6

John repeats the words from Palmist, speaking about the sacrificial Passover Lamb of which the bones were not to be broken. Jesus, as our Sacrificial Lamb, did not have his legs broken on the Cross, as was the custom of the day.

 

John 19.37- Zech 12.10

Slide7

The bitterness of those wo saw Jesus, God’s first born, die upon the Cross.

 

The “GREATER THAN” sayings: Jesus vs Manna

God send manna to the nation of Israel while they were in the wilderness to feed them. He also send his Son, Jesus. Jesus told us that He is the Bread of Life.

So, what makes the Bread of Life- Jesus- so much better than manna?

Manna was the old way, like the Law of Moses was the old way. Jesus came to show us a new way to God. Jesus was a new beginning, an awakening, a Morning Star at the end of a dark night.

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Manna satisfied a physical hunger, but not the spiritual hunger. John is clear about the fact that we should eat the right kind of bread if we want to live forever. The right kind of bread is Jesus.

 

 

 

Manna was a temporary fix. It did not last. In fact, when night fell, the manna turned sour and by morning it was rotten. And no matter how much you ate of the manna, your hunger would return. Jesus’ nourishment is long term. He satisfies not just for today, but also tomorrow and the day after and the day after… to infinity!

hunger begging

Lastly, manna did not save the nation of Israel from death. Not only did those who complained about the hunger die physically (only those born afterwards got to enter the Promised Land), they also died spiritually.

The ‘GREATER THAN’ sayings: Jesus is greater than manna!

Jesus is better than Manna (John 6)

hunger plead

Have you ever been hungry? Intense hunger will reap havoc on not only your body, but also your mind. It takes full control of your senses. Your instincts will kick into high gear and your nose will pick up every smell around you. You will notice the smell of a bakery or fast food outlet from afar. Your mouth will produce more saliva when it smells food, in an attempt to get you to eat.

If you have been hungry for a prolonged period, you might experience feeling jittery. Your hands might start to shake, or your knees might feel weak. You won’t be able to perform at your peak level. Your mind will wonder to food, and dwell on ways of how to get food.

This was what the nation of Israel had to deal with while they were in the desert walking to the Promised Land.

Hunger. (more…)

Book 1: CALL OF THE GUINEA FOWL

This is a chapter from the first book of the series! Please know that it is still in first draft phase and needs a lot of work before it will be ready for publishing.

Let me know what you think in the comments, please.

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THE BEAST

The bright moon shone down upon earth, lighting the forest for God’s eyes to linger over. As far as his gaze traveled, he could see no movement from any of the villages on that continent called Africa. As He looked over Congo, the quietness of the night touched His heart with sadness. The dust that rose from dancing human feet had settled. The swaying hips, the jumping knees, the shimmying shoulders, and waving hands all laid unmoving in sleep covered by hut or cave. The pits where the fires blazed were now cold. The light of fire that inflamed the dark skins of the dancers were gone. The eyes that shone brightly rested behind closed lids. The ring of glistening wet bodies that snaked across the sand existed no more. The sounds of beating drums, clapping hands, and chanting voices had long ago faded away. All that could be heard now was the sound of the animals, some snoring like the humans, others creeping through the darkness looking for prey, or hiding from the hunting beasts.

It was on one such beast that God’s eyes fell. His gaze swept right past, but then, on second thought, noticing the nearby village, He turned his head slightly until He caught sight of the beast again. It was crouching in the shadows of a canopy of trees, but when the wind blew slightly, its full head of hair gleamed golden under the touch of the moon’s beams. God smiled slightly, love surging in His chest at the sight.

The beast was a magnificent animal, strongly muscled and sharp toothed with large paws. It was also hungry. Lifting its head, it smelled the night air, never taking its eyes off the object of its focus. God followed the line of its sight to find the figure of a human male, a sentry, asleep against a tree. The spear and shield, meant for defense of those asleep in huts behind him, were hanging unsteadily from his limp fingers. For a split second He pondered the dilemma before him. Should He wake the human, or allow the beast to feast?

But then the beast moved, (more…)

THE “GREATER THEN” SAYINGS

Jesus is greater than the Jewish Traditions

As we already know, a large portion of John’s original audience was people from the Jewish culture and religion. For this reason, he makes several statements about Jesus that has the purpose of showing how Jesus is “GREATER THAN” the Jewish traditions and religious beliefs and figures.

I am focusing in the next few sessions on the contrast between Jesus and the Jewish traditions.

Jesus is greater than the Passover

The Passover is an important celebration in the Jewish tradition. As a reminder to you, this is the festival that relates to the nation’s redemption from Egyptian slavery. If you want to read the full version, find it in Exodus. In short, God hears the pleas of the people, and sends Moses and Aaron to free them from slavery. Pharaoh refuses on several occasions to let them go, and each time God hits Egypt with a plague. The last of the ten plagues is the death of all the firstborns in the land. The people of Israel is given clear instructions on how to keep their houses safe (more…)

The birth of the series.

I am writing a series of stories loosely influenced by the seven seals that the Lamb breaks in the Book of Revelations. Each broken seal causes some kind of natural disaster on earth, and each of the books will deal with how that will affect people. It would be difficult to write about how a disaster would affect the whole world. I think I might need 40 000 books to achieve that. Also, this is not going to be technical books with lots of scientific details, it will be fictional. Fictional writing has more focus on the characters and events than the technical detail.

“Otherness” in a main theme in gothic and apocalyptic literature. I love reading books, watching movies, and writing in this genre. Since I have never really fit in anywhere myself, I feel as if this genre, more than any other, touches the deep parts of my humanity. Therefore, I wanted to have main characters that felt the same; as if they did not fit in. As I started planning this series, I was pondering the concept of outsiders, or people who were not like mainstream society. The idea came to me that in each society there are people who do not belong. They are pushed out to the edges of society, and never feel part of a group because they are “other”. In Biblical times, these are the people who lived outside the city gates because they were considered crazy, ill, or demon possessed. So, each of the novels I write would have an outsider as the main character.

Who are the kind of people rejected by mainstream society? I asked this question in order to identify who my main character should be. After about an hour’s pondering, I had a list of such people. I then started to think of where I could place each character, so I sat down with a world map and tried to match each main character with a specific disaster and the best country to feature those two together. So, this is the short list of the series:

  Main character Disaster Country
Book 1 Teenage girl Plague of open sores Born in Congo, moves through South Sudan and Ethiopia
Book 2 Foreigner Red Sea: Death of all sea creatures Born in Europe, moves to Russia
Book 3 Prophet Rivers and springs turn to blood Egypt
Book 4 Crazy person Scorching of the earth America
Book 5 Disfigured person Darkness Greece
Book 6 Handicapped person Large rivers dry up Japan/ China
Book 7 All of the above Lightning and thunder Jerusalem

 

Up to here, the planning all went really easy. And it looked rather cool. So, I sat down to start writing, and I realized that I am far from ready to put words on paper, or to plan any of the individual books. Because this is a nice idea, but it needs some more work, which I am not going to tell you, since it is extremely boring. But things that were explored was villains, local myths and folklore, local religions, and last but not least is customs and traditions.

I will finish this post by saying that somewhere in the middle of the planning, I was reminded of how often God uses unlikely people to speak on his behalf. Moses was a murderer who fled into the desert and lived among foreign people. Most of the prophets where ordinary people and not learned men, or people working at the temple. Jesus selected the disciples not from the leadership of the religious sector, but from the shores of the Sea of Galilee and the streets of Jerusalem. So, I figured that my series could be closely tied in with God revealing himself to specific individuals, and their journeys as they travel to Jerusalem.

As I plan and research my novels, I will post interesting things I learn on this blog for those who want to follow. And who knows… maybe even a chapter or two as I go along.

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Current project: Prophets of the Apocalypse

Volume One: Call of the guinea fowl

I am working on a series based on the seven seals of Revelations, and the prophets that warn the world about the immanent end. Of course, only a few people listen, and together they all make their way to the Golden City, where the nations of the world gather for the final war.
The first book follows the journey of an orphan from Democratic Republic of the Congo, through Sudan and crossing into Ethiopia. She meets new friends, makes enemies, and experience a crisis of belief.