A Spiritual Re-Awakening…? Day 36 Lenten Readings & Reflections through John’s Gospel

A Spiritual Re-Awakening…? Day 36 Lenten Readings & Reflections through John’s Gospel

Day 36 (Tuesday, April 16, 2019)


John 18:33-38

33 Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?” 35 Pilate replied, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.” 37 Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate asked him, “What is truth?”


Something deep within us cries out when we witness injustice. In his Gospel, John wants us to feel the determined, ruthless injustice that was carried out against Jesus of Nazareth. Bound in chains, he was handed over by the Jewish High Priest to Pilate for sentencing. Weeks before the High Priest had said that it was better to have one man die for the people (John 11:49). Now, wanting to remain ritually clean because it was the Passover, the Jewish authorities remained outside the Praetorium when Jesus was brought before Pilate.

 For their case to be heard by the Roman authorities the Jewish leaders had to charge Jesus with something that would ensure the death penalty. So they accused him with saying he was the king (Messiah) of the Jews – treasonable under Roman law. Pilate asked what Jesus had done to bring about the charge. “My kingdom is not from this world,” he responded. Jesus’ kingdom is not about political rule: all who belong to the truth, listen, he said. Which evoked Pilate’s cynical response, “What is truth?”

 That said, realizing the charge of treason to be false, Pilate said three times that Jesus was innocent. But the Jewish authorities were insistent. They gave Pilate a choice. He could either sign the death warrant and remain a friend of Caesar or acquit Jesus and suffer the consequences. It was the most wicked, unjust trial in history. John wants us to feel the evil that was enacted that day. But then, what would we have done if we had been in their shoes?


Almighty Father, look graciously upon this your family, for which our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed and given up into the hands of wicked men, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (BCP, Good Friday)

Daily Reading Plan

Read John 18:19-40

A Spiritual Re-Awakening…? Day 36 Lenten Readings & Reflections through John’s Gospel

A Spiritual Re-Awakening…? Day 35 Lenten Readings & Reflections through John’s Gospel

Day 35 (Monday, April 15, 2019)


John 18:1-5

1 After Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas brought a detachment of soldiers together with police from the chief priests and the Pharisees, and they came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4 Then Jesus, knowing all that was to happen to him, came forward and asked them, “Whom are you looking for?” 5 They answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus replied, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.


No one likes to fail. We may never have experienced it, but it happens, even to the smartest of people – physicians when they lose a patient, wondering if they could have done better; Wall Street brokers when they fail their clients. If we have a conscience, we are embarrassed. It wounds us deeply.

John 18 and the verses above, record Judas’s betrayal of Jesus to the Jewish authorities. It seems that money held a fatal fascination for him. John 12 tells us that during a meal with Martha, Mary and Lazarus, when Mary poured a very expensive perfumed oil over Jesus’ feet, Judas had complained, asking why the money hadn’t been given to the poor. John’s comment was that Judas was a thief, and helped himself out of the common purse.

Judas had a choice. He had been a privileged follower of Jesus, but at the end of three years he chose to reject him. His decision was his own, not mechanistically predetermined. The other Gospel writers tell us that realizing what he had done, he was filled with self-pity and committed suicide.

Anyone of us can experience moments of self-pity when, having received Jesus Christ into our lives, we turn our back on him. Increasingly we have made success, marriage, sexual pleasure and money our goals and we have no time for Jesus. We may go to church, but it’s really a facade. Then a time comes when, realizing what we have done, we are faced with a decision. We can either be filled with self-pity or we can be repentant. Jesus does not forgive the former, but he does forgive the repentant heart.


Lord our heavenly Father, almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for bringing us safely to this day. Protect and preserve us by your mighty power, and grant that today we fall into no sin, nor run into any kind of danger. Lead and govern us in all things, so that we may always do what is right in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (1978 AAPB, A Prayer for the Morning)

Daily Reading Plan

Read John 18:1-18

A Spiritual Re-Awakening…? Day 36 Lenten Readings & Reflections through John’s Gospel

A Spiritual Re-Awakening…? Sunday 6 Lenten Readings & Reflections through John’s Gospel

SUNDAY 6 (April 14, 2019)

Psalm 118

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!

Let Israel say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”
Let the house of Aaron say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”
Let those who fear the Lord say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”

Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?
The Lord is on my side as my helper; I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.

10 All nations surrounded me; in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
11 They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side;

   in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
12 They surrounded me like bees; they went out like a fire among thorns;
    in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
13 I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, but the Lord helped me.

14 The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.
15 Glad songs of salvation are in the tents of the righteous:
   “The right hand of the Lord does valiantly,
16     the right hand of the Lord exalts, the right hand of the Lord does valiantly!”

17 I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord.
18 The Lord has disciplined me severely, but he has not given me over to death.

19 Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them
    and give thanks to the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it.

A Spiritual Re-Awakening…? Day 36 Lenten Readings & Reflections through John’s Gospel

A Spiritual Re-Awakening…? Day 34 Lenten Readings & Reflections through John’s Gospel

Day 34 (Saturday, April 13, 2019)


John 17:20-26

20 “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24 Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

25 “Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”


During our travels through the Bernese Oberland in Switzerland many years ago, the magnificent peaks were hidden by heavy cloud. Then late one afternoon outside Interlaken, the cloud lifted, revealing the glorious sight of the snow-covered peak of the Jungfrau, aglow with the reflected glory of the setting sun.

One of the astonishing promises God makes is that all who have turned to Jesus Christ will one day be made glorious. Not only will the whole of the universe, the created order of heaven and earth be re-made perfectly reflecting God’s glory, but God’s people will also participate in it.

In the meantime God is preparing for that day by drawing men and women from all nations and peoples into a relationship of faith, hope and love with himself through Jesus Christ. This occurs through the declaration of his good news. God is committed to forgiving sin and changing lives by the action of his gospel of grace and the work of the Holy Spirit. His intention is that we might increasingly come to live lives of loyal obedience to him.

 Key to all this is the Lord Jesus Christ, our rescuer from our self-centeredness. As people around us see the changes he brings to our lives they will see the reality of God at work.


Heavenly Father, keep your household the Church continually in your true religion; so that those who lean only on the hope of your heavenly grace may always be defended by your mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP Epiphany 5)

Daily Reading Plan

Read John 17:13-26

A Spiritual Re-Awakening…? Day 36 Lenten Readings & Reflections through John’s Gospel

A Spiritual Re-Awakening…? Day 33 Lenten Readings & Reflections through John’s Gospel

Day 33 (Friday, April 12, 2019)


John 17:1-5

1 After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. 5 So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.


Jesus knew that within hours he was going to die. In chapter 17, John records Jesus’ prayer while he was still in the upper room with his disciples. It was still the night of the Passover meal. In the course of the prayer Jesus prayed for himself, for his disciples and for all who would become his followers – for people like you and me.

The focus of his prayer for himself is significant: it is the theme of glory. The real meaning of glory often eludes us for we tend to think of it only as the outward splendor of fame or beauty. So we speak of the glory of a woman’s hair or the glory of a splendid building, illuminated against a dark night sky. But that is only part of the meaning, for the true meaning is more subtle. Glory is the outward manifestation of previously hidden, inner qualities.

In praying as he does, Father… glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, Jesus is praying that he will remain faithful to the end in implementing God’s previously hidden plan. For contrary to all human wisdom, Jesus’ death and resurrection will outwardly display the glory of God by revealing the true meaning of God’s previously hidden character – his justice and his love, his service and his power. God’s inner holiness, utter perfection and majestic power are revealed in Jesus’ death and resurrection. In this, Jesus is glorified and consequently brings glory to God the Father.

So he prays for resilience to stay on course and for reinstatement to his pre-incarnate glory. These are profound truths for us to ponder.


All glory to you, our heavenly Father, for in your tender mercy you gave us your only Son Jesus Christ to suffer death on the cross for our redemption; who made there, by his one oblation of himself, once offered, a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice for the sins of the whole world; and who instituted, and in his holy gospel commanded us to continue, a perpetual memory of his precious death until his coming again. (BCP, Prayer of Consecration – adapted)

Daily Reading Plan

Read John 17:1-12