Home > Reading > Daily Reading – March 10, 2023

Friday of the Second Week in Lent

Dear friends, greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus as we draw closer, each day, to remembering the final events of our Lord’s life.
When it comes to understanding and determining the truth, it is often the testimony of witnesses that plays a key and decisive role. A jury in a court room, for example, is not expected to give credence to what is often called “hearsay”. There has to be something more authentic and reliable to determine what is true.

The people of Jesus’ day faced a real problem in determining the truth of what He said. They had to answer for themselves, individually, whether the claims Jesus made for Himself and about Himself were true. And so, they looked for witnesses. They wanted to have more than a “hearsay” basis upon which to render a decision.

It’s interesting, as you read the Gospels, that Jesus never discouraged such a search. In fact, He invited people to weigh the evidence. He encouraged people to test what He said, and to try it out for themselves. He even challenged them to summon whatever witnesses they could find. Not surprising, in our day, that He invites you and me to do the same.

Three witnesses were called, by Jesus, to testify to the truth of what He said. The first was John the Baptist. He was the one called by God to prepare the way for the Messiah. It was John’s mission to point people to Jesus, and he did what he was called to do well. He tied the coming of Christ into the long redemptive history of the nation of Israel. He baptized Jesus, even though he hesitated to do so because of his own unworthiness. And he said to all who would listen, “I have seen and borne witness that this is the Son of God” (John 1:34).

The second witness Jesus called is that of His own works. The people had already seen Him perform miracles of healing. They had already witnessed with their eyes the powerful things Jesus was able to do. His challenge to them was to let His works speak for themselves. The lame walked. The blind could see. If they wanted another witness to testify, they could ask the officer at Capernaum whose son was healed, or the man who was lowered through the roof by his friends. If you don’t believe Me, Jesus was saying, then let my works become My witnesses.

The third witness Jesus called was that of the Scriptures themselves. In doing so, He was talking to people who were students of the Scriptures. He was talking to those who should have already known that what He claimed and did was true. Every prophecy in the Old Testament about the coming Messiah was fulfilled in Christ. Every word spoken by the prophets about God’s promises had become real and true in Jesus. For us today, the ultimate fulfillment is the death and resurrection of Jesus that has, and will always have, the final say.
Toward the end of the Gospel of John, from which our text is taken, the apostle says this about what he has written. He says, “These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:31). May these three witnesses — John the Baptist, the works of Jesus, and the Word of God revealed to us in Scripture — along with the faith instilled in us by the Holy Spirit, continue to guide us and lead us as we seek to live in the truth. 

Prayer: Lord God, as we draw closer to remembering the final events of Jesus’ life, may the witness you have given us in your Word, and through your Son, keep us always and forever in the truth. In His name we pray. Amen.

Devotion written by The Rev. Dr. Daniel W. Selbo

This daily prayer and Bible reading guide, Devoted to Prayer (based on Acts 2:42), was conceived and prepared by the Rev. Andrew S. Ames Fuller, director of communications for the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). After several challenging years in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been provided with a unique opportunity to revitalize the ancient practice of daily prayer and Scripture reading in our homes. While the Reading the Word of God three-year lectionary provided a much-needed and refreshing calendar for our congregations to engage in Scripture reading, this calendar includes a missing component of daily devotion: prayer. This guide is to provide the average layperson and pastor with the simple tools for sorting through the busyness of their lives and reclaiming an act of daily discipleship with their Lord. The daily readings follow the Lutheran Book of Worship two-year daily lectionary, which reflect the church calendar closely. The commemorations are adapted from Philip H. Pfatteicher’s New Book of Festivals and Commemorations, a proposed common calendar of the saints that builds from the Lutheran Book of Worship, but includes saints from many of those churches in ecumenical conversation with the NALC. The introductory portion is adapted from Christ Church (Plano)’s Pray Daily. Our hope is that this calendar and guide will provide new life for congregations learning and re-learning to pray in the midst of a difficult and changing world.

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