As we approach the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the Wittenberg door, Pastor Randy Grossman of Grace BFC in Reading visits us to share about his experience in Europe touring the historical sites of the Protestant Reformation.
12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you?13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am.14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.18 I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’19 I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he.20 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”
31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.32 If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once.33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (ESV)
Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.”3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You[d] must be born again.’8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
9 Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?”10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things?11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony.12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” (ESV)
15 When one of those who reclined at table with him heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!”16 But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many.17 And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’20 And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’21 So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’22 And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’23 And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.24 For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’”
25 Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them,26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple. (ESV)
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.2 For by it the people of old received their commendation.3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
4 By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God.6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.7 By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.9 By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise.10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.11 By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised.12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.
13 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland.15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return.16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. (ESV)