4:1–45 Jesus graciously reaches out to a Samaritan woman, leads her to recognize Him as the Messiah, and through her brings other Samaritans to receive His life-giving blessings. Christians sometimes allow social and cultural barriers to hinder their witness to Christ and His love for all people. Just as Christ forgave the woman her past and present sins, He now freely offers His forgiving love to us and calls us to spread this Good News. • O Lord, let me experience the joy of freely sharing Your Word with others, whoever they may be. Amen.
4:1-45 耶稣亲切地向一位撒玛利亚妇人伸出援手，引导她明白耶稣就是弥赛亚，并通过她带领其他撒玛利亚人接受耶稣赐生命的祝福。基督徒有时会让社会和文化障碍拦阻他们见证基督和祂对所有人的爱。正如基督饶恕了这位妇女过去和现在的罪一样，祂现在也向我们白白地供应祂饶恕的爱，并呼召我们去传播这个好消息。- 主啊，让我体验与他人畅快分享你话语的喜乐，无论他们是谁。阿们。
4:46–54 The official, whose dying son Jesus heals in Galilee, comes to a genuine faith in Him before the sign, the wonder, is done. Unlike this official, many today will not believe God’s Word unless they are first shown demonstrative proofs. Despite such unbelief, the Lord Jesus hastens to call all people to faith; He would forgive them and bear their burdens and needs. • Lord Jesus, give me and my entire family unquestioning faith in Your promises. Amen.
4:46-54 耶稣在加利利医治了一位官员垂死的儿子，这位官员在神迹、奇迹成就之前就对耶稣产生了真正的信心。与这位官员不同的是，今天有许多人除非先得到明显的证据，否则不会相信上帝的话语。尽管有这样的不信，主耶稣还是急忙呼召所有人来信祂；祂会宽恕他们，承担他们的负担和需要。- 主耶稣，请赐给我和我的全家人对你的应许毫无怀疑的信心。阿们。
5:1–17 After Jesus heals an invalid, Jewish leaders accuse Him of breaking Sabbath law and begin to persecute Him. Legalistic rigidity can also keep us from showing mercy to those in need. The Lord calls us to repentance, sincere faith, and compassionate service. Jesus cares deeply for us, helping us in our physical and spiritual needs. • O Lover of my soul, help me to extend Your mercy to others. Amen.
5:18 The Jews plot to kill Jesus for what they understand to be a blasphemous claim: equality with God. Failure to acknowledge Christ’s deity despite Scripture’s clear testimony places one in opposition to the Lord. Jesus is indeed God and has given us the right to become God’s children (1:12); nothing will ever take us from His hand (10:28). • O God, forgive me when I have questioned Your authority, and lead me always boldly to confess Your holy name. Amen.
5:19–29 Equal to the Father in deity and honor, God’s Son makes people spiritually alive through His Word and raises believers from the grave at the hour of His coming to judge. Those who refuse to believe in God’s Son will come under judgment, and their evil deeds will become known. Christ has the authority to give you life now and on the day of your resurrection to everlasting life. • O Son of God, with joy I praise You, that by Your grace I have passed from death to life. Amen.
5:30–47 The Father gives binding witness to His Son’s true identity, which is revealed in the works He performs and in the Scriptures that everywhere speak of Him. Those who fail to see Christ in the pages of the Bible, including the OT, are blind to its central purpose. Through Scripture’s testimony of Christ, God reveals His great love toward all people. • O heavenly Father, I praise You for the testimony You have given me of Your Son, my Savior, through Your life-giving Word. Amen.
6:1–15 Jesus’ feeding of 5,000, the next sign recorded in Jn, reveals Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God (20:30–31). Like those who had “eaten their fill,” we also are tempted to seek the Lord only for the earthly things He can give us. Fortunately for us, Jesus reigns as our heavenly King, who calls us to repentance, fills us with needed spiritual blessings, and gives us everlasting life. • O Christ, satisfy not only my temporal needs but also my deepest spiritual needs. Amen.
6:16–21 By walking on the storm-tossed sea, Jesus shows His disciples that He is the eternal King, ruler of all creation. Today, when life’s problems overwhelm us, fear may cause us to lose faith in God’s protection and care. But Jesus is true God and true man in one person; Jesus has saved us from sin and evil, assuring us of His divine protection in every situation. • Lighten our darkness, O Lord, and protect us against the dangers of the night. Amen.
6:22–59 Unlike the perishable manna God gave to Israel through Moses, Jesus comes down from heaven as the true bread to give life to all who believe in Him. Contrary to popular notions, no one “chooses” to believe in Christ; the initiative belongs entirely to God through His Word (v 44; cf 14:6). Those united by faith to Christ will be raised up on the Last Day to enjoy eternal communion with the Father. • O God, draw me ever closer to You through Your Word and Sacraments. Amen.
6:60–71 Faced with Jesus’ true identity and the necessity of faith in Him, many stop following, and even one of the Twelve aligns himself with Satan against Jesus. Nevertheless, Jesus’ words bring life; they are the means the Father uses to draw people to Himself. • O Lord, let me always say as Peter did, “You have the words of eternal life.” Amen.
7:1–24 Despite growing opposition from Jewish leaders and unbelief within His own family, Jesus enters Jerusalem during the Feast of Booths as the time of His death draws near. People today still fail to see that Jesus is not just another lawgiver but a merciful Savior. He was “despised and rejected” (Is 53:3) that He might bear our sins on the cross. • O Lord, confirm the faith of all who experience persecution because of Your name. Grant us boldness to proclaim You. Amen.
7:32–36 Jesus teaches that when He dies, He will return to His Father and become inaccessible to His enemies. Yet, He remains gracious toward all. The “window of opportunity” for the Gospel will soon close, both for the individual and for the world. But God now graciously extends the time for the Gospel’s proclamation that many others may hear and be saved (2Pt 3:9). • Make me alert, O God, to seize every opportunity to share Jesus’ saving love. Amen.
7:37–39 On the final day of the Feast of Booths, Jesus promises that believers will receive the Holy Spirit (at Pentecost) after His death. “Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him” (Rm 8:9). But Christ’s death and resurrection proclaimed in the Gospel brings life to all who thirst for Him and His blessings. • O Holy Spirit, bring refreshing showers of blessing each day of my life. Amen.
7:40–52 Jewish leaders and the populace hold sharply different opinions regarding Jesus. Today, people continue to misjudge the Lord on the basis of their own feelings and perceptions. Truly, “no one ever spoke like this man” Jesus; His teaching exceeded all human expectations, imparting grace to those who heard. His words came directly from our heavenly Father. • Lead me, Lord Jesus, to hear the full message of Your Word. Amen.
7:53–8:11 The scribes and Pharisees fail to trap Jesus by requesting a hasty judgment against a woman caught in the act of adultery. Jesus reveals the hypocrisy of His detractors and calls them to self-examination, even as He calls the sinful woman to consider her error. The Lord’s greatest desire is to deliver us from sin through repentance and faith, rather than condemn us for our sins. Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, even the worst of us, by His sacrifice on the cross. • O Lord, be merciful to me, a poor sinful being. Amen.
8:12–30 Jesus claims to be the light of the world, through whom people may have life, which prompts the Pharisees to question His authority. Unless individuals believe in Jesus Christ, who was sent by God the Father, they will die in their sins. Jesus’ cross reveals that He is truly the Messiah, the Son of Man sent to deliver us from spiritual darkness. • Heavenly Father, You have made me a new person through Baptism. Now make me Your light in the world. Amen.
8:31–38 Jews with a weak faith in Jesus balk when He says that true freedom comes through Him and His teaching. Humans are self-centered from birth and in bondage to sin, unable to please God (Rm 8:8). Through Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection, He provides liberation from sin, death, and the devil to all who believe and are baptized into His name. • Grant that I may remain faithful to Your Word until my last hour, O Lord. Amen.
8:39–47 Jesus traces the people’s refusal to believe in Him and His Word to their spiritual “father,” the devil himself. Beware—even today satanic deception lies behind opposition to Jesus and His teaching. Yet, God’s love revealed in the Gospel explains why His children by faith love their Savior and His Word. • “O LORD, I love the habitation of Your house and the place where Your glory dwells” (Ps 26:8). Amen.
8:48–59 The confrontation between Jesus and the Pharisees reaches a climax when the Pharisees attempt to stone Him for claiming to be the preexistent Son of God. The Bible’s witness that Jesus is true God and the only way to heaven receives intense and sometimes virulent opposition today. Pray for those confused or offended by the truth about Jesus, for “God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rm 5:8). • O God, grant true repentance to those whose hearts are turned against You. Amen.
Ch 9 Jesus gives physical and spiritual sight—faith—to a man born blind, though the Pharisees accuse Jesus of violating the Sabbath and remain spiritually blind. We are all born spiritually blind, unable to see our sin and unwilling to do things God’s way. But through Baptism and the Word, God has delivered us from the domain of darkness through His beloved Son and has enlightened our hearts to know and follow Him. • I praise You, O God, that though I once was blind, now I see! Lead me as I guide others to the truth of the Gospel. Amen.
10:1–21 Jesus calls Himself the Good Shepherd to describe His intimate relationship with His followers and the love that moved Him to lay down His life for them. Sheep who ignore the Good Shepherd’s voice (His Word) have only themselves to blame and will fall prey to Satan. Unlike human love motivated by self-interest, Christ’s love for His own moved Him to voluntarily endure even death on a cross for our sake (Php 2:8). • My dear Shepherd, watch over me that I may never stray from You. Amen.
10:22–42 In the colonnade of Solomon during the Jewish Feast of Dedication, Jesus declares His oneness with the Father, which the unbelieving crowd understands to be blasphemous and worthy of death. To reject Jesus is to reject God and abandon the hope of everlasting life. Believers can rest secure that they belong to Jesus Christ and will never perish; all of Jesus’ works affirm this truth. • O Lord, “into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things.” Amen. (SC, Morning and Evening Prayers, here)
11:1–16 Jesus, the Son of God, will raise Lazarus from the dead so that He might be glorified. Death overwhelms us all. Even Christians have difficulty at times accepting God’s promise to strengthen faith through adversity. At the hand of Christ, suffering serves God’s gracious purpose; even death loses its sting (1Co 15:55–57). • O Lord, strengthen me for the days ahead, that I may bear witness to Your glory. Amen.
11:17–27 Jesus assures Martha that all who believe in Him, though they die physically, will live forever. Death is the consequence of sin (Gn 2:17; Rm 5:12; 6:23) and eventually takes everyone. No human being can overcome it. Comfort one another in the hope that even in the face of death, believers in Jesus Christ possess the sure promise of their own resurrection to everlasting life. • In the hour of our death, comfort us, O Lord, with the bright hope of life forever with You. Amen.
11:28–37 When Jesus comes to Mary and Martha’s house and sees great mourning, He is moved to tears over the situation and because of love for His friends. For all people, death and the grave bring loss and the pain of separation. But for Christians, death is only a temporary interruption of the fellowship they share with others in Christ Jesus, who will raise believers up on the Last Day to everlasting life. • O living Savior, when my loved ones die, turn my sorrow into joy as I look forward to our reunion in heaven. Amen.
11:38–44 By raising Lazarus, Jesus reveals God’s glory and that He is truly the resurrection and the life. Apart from faith in Christ, the fear of death brings hopelessness and despair. Believers, however, can eagerly look forward to the day when Jesus will call them from their graves to live with Him forever (cf 5:28–29). • O God of life, when death takes one I love, may the promise of our resurrection turn my sorrow into joy. Amen.
11:45–57 After Jesus raises Lazarus, Jewish leaders become hardened in their opposition to Him and plot to kill Him before the Passover. Unbelief hardens the heart, making a person callous to God’s acts of grace, mercy, and compassion. By daily repentance and prayer, dedicate yourself to fulfilling your calling faithfully. Rejoice that nothing stopped Jesus from graciously giving His life for all people at God’s appointed time and gathering His children to Himself. • Heavenly Father, draw me ever closer to You through Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen.
12:1–8 In humble devotion, yet with extravagant expense, Mary anoints Jesus, while Judas the betrayer and thief covers his greed with seemingly pious intentions. Sinners may appear to have pure motives, but inwardly they have greedy hearts. Through repentance and the blessings of the Word, God grants us pure hearts. No monetary value can be placed on our “redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses” (Eph 1:7). • O Lord, may we follow Mary’s example by lavishing love on Him who died for us! Amen.
12:9–11 Jesus’ popularity grows as crowds hear about the raising of Lazarus, but the chief priests plot against Jesus and Lazarus. Those who hate Christ also hate His friends. But Jesus deserves praise (Php 2:10), for He came to bring life to all, and He will mercifully watch over us. • Dear Lord, change the hearts of all who hate You so that they may trust in Your mercy. Amen.
12:12–19 Riding on a donkey, Jesus enters Jerusalem on the Sunday of Passion Week. Leaders of the Jewish nation reacted as we often do when we are no longer in control: frustrated and fearful. But Christ comes in a humble and gentle manner, eager to listen to our prayers for salvation. • Hosanna! Please save us, O blessed Lord. Amen.
12:20–26 When some Greeks want to see Jesus, He uses the occasion to proclaim His death and the fruit it will bear. Too often we are tempted to think that we are really “living” when we are indulging in life’s sinful pleasures. Christ promises everlasting life to all who deny themselves and trust in Him. He shows us the meaning of abundant life. • O God, as Your baptized child, let me consider myself “dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Rm 6:11). Amen.
12:27–36a Christ faces the moment of His glory, confirmed by His Father’s voice from heaven: the hour when He would be lifted up on the cross so that He could draw all people to Himself. Now is the day of salvation (2Co 6:2); people ignore it at their great peril. Thanks be to God, Christ remains committed to His mission to save the world in spite of its unbelief. • Father, glorify Your Son and draw us to Him today. Amen.
12:36b–43 Some Jews reject Jesus and, under God’s judgment, are hardened in unbelief; others believe in Him but refuse to confess Him openly for fear of being removed from the synagogue community. The desire to be accepted by others can stand in the way of a Christian’s bold confession of Christ today. Yet, take heart. God has revealed His saving presence (His glory) in the person of His Son, that we may glorify Him before all people. • Lord, may I “tell of [Your] salvation from day to day” (Ps 96:2). Amen.
12:44–50 As Jesus concludes His public ministry, He reminds His hearers that He has come to save the world. Rejection of Christ and His Word brings judgment. Believers, however, do not see in Jesus an angry judge but a loving Savior who has our salvation ever on His heart. • Gracious Savior, remove from my heart all unbelief and doubt. Amen.
13:1–20 Jesus washes His disciples’ feet, thereby showing His willingness to serve them. Often we think that greatness means having others serve us. But Christ shows His true greatness and His love toward us in that He came to wash away our sins, even though it cost Him His life. • Lord Jesus Christ, receive our thanks for Your love, and help us to love one another as deeply as You have loved us. Amen.
13:21–30 Jesus predicts that one of His disciples will betray Him. He gives Judas a morsel of food, a gesture of friendship, but Judas leaves to carry out his plot. This event warns us not to repay the kindness of God with evil and unfaithfulness. When you see how you have betrayed Christ with your behavior, repent; remember that He died for you and will forgive you. • Gracious Savior, forgive my own sins of betrayal, and grant me a new heart. Amen.
13:31–35 The disciples cannot follow Christ to the cross, but He asks them to imitate His love for them as they love one another. Christians bring dishonor to Christ and His love when they deal with one another in a loveless manner. Christ redeemed us through His self-sacrificial love that we may in turn imitate His love (Eph 5:1–2). • May Your love, O Lord, guide my every action. Amen.
13:36–38 Peter thinks he is ready to follow Jesus, but Jesus says Peter will only deny Him. Peter’s boldness was not due to faith but to egotistical bravado. In the end, Peter did offer his life for Christ, but only because Christ first offered His life for Peter—and for us too. • Dear God, help me to see that Your power is made perfect in my weakness. Amen.
14:1–14 Through His death and resurrection, Christ went to prepare a place for us in heaven, where we will dwell with God forever. The true God cannot be known apart from Jesus Christ. Because of Christ’s work, we can know the Father and enter His eternal presence. • O risen Lord, with great anticipation I long for my home in heaven. Come, Lord Jesus! Amen.
14:15–31 Christ promises that He and His Father will come to dwell in those who hear and believe His Word, and that He will send to them the Holy Spirit as the Helper. Those who neglect Christ’s Word isolate themselves from God. Jesus Christ reveals God’s grace in His Word, dispelling our fear and unbelief. • O Holy Spirit, draw me ever closer to my Savior, and focus me on His Word. Amen.