Immerse: Messiah – 8 Week Bible Reading Experience

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Read Through The New Testament in just 8 weeks with the NLT Bible and Immerse: Messiah
QUICK START GUIDE
3 ways to get the most out of your experience
  1. Use Immerse: Messiah instead of your regular chapter-and-verse Bible. This special reader’s edition restores the Bible to its natural simplicity and beauty by removing chapter and verse numbers and other historical additions. Letters look like letters, songs look like
    songs, and the original literary structures are visible in each book. 
  2. Commit to making this a community experience. Immerse is designed for groups to encounter large portions of the Bible together
    for 8 weeks—more like a book club, less like a Bible study. By meeting every week in small groups and discussing what you read in open, honest conversations, you and your community can come together to be transformed through an authentic experience with the Scriptures.
  3. Aim to understand the big story. Read through “The Stories and the Story” (p. 483) to see how the books of the Bible work together
    to tell God’s story of his creation’s restoration. As you read through Immerse: Messiah, rather than ask, “How do I fit God into my busy life?” begin asking, “How can I join in God’s great plan by living out my part in his story?”
4 Questions to get your conversations started:
  1. What stood out to you this week?
  2. Was there anything confusing or troubling?
  3. Did anything make you think differently about God?
  4. How might this change the way we live?
Part of NLT Immerse: The Reading Bible, Complete Set, the Winner of the 2022 Christian Book Award for Bible of the Year!
Messiah is the first of six volumes of Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience program. Messiah takes the reader on a new and unique journey through every book of the New Testament. Each part of Messiah begins with one of the Gospels, and together combine to provide the reader with enjoyable and impactful readings all centered on Jesus. The end result is a Bible developed for the purpose of being read and understood, not referred to. Messiah is a new way to interact with God’s Word.
Messiah delivers Scripture to the reader as it was originally created: without chapter or verse breaks. While references are made available for ease of finding specific Scripture references, those references do not appear within the actual text of Scripture. This makes for uninterrupted reading of God’s Word. Created with the look and feel of a paperback book, and written using the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, the most readable translation available, Messiah enables you to easily read and understand the Bible.

Currently featured in the Saddleback Church "Anchored Life Challenge." To join the challenge and read through the New Testament in 8 weeks, join at https://saddleback.com/anchored

What is Immerse: Messiah – 8 Week Bible Reading Experience?

Read (and listen!) through the New Testament in 8 weeks with your small group or on your own.

Immerse: Messiah is the first of six volumes in Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience. Messiah takes the reader on a unique journey through every book of the New Testament. Each section of Messiah begins with one of the Gospels, and together they combine to provide a life-changing reading experience centered on Jesus. This fresh arrangement of the books highlights the depth of the New Testament’s fourfold witness to Jesus the Messiah. The Son of God, who fulfills all the longings and promises of the collected Scriptures, can be experienced in Messiah through the rich variety of lenses provided by the books of the new covenant.

The Immerse Bible Series is the proud winner of the prestigious Bible of the Year award from the ECPA Christian Book Awards. Immerse: The Reading Bible is specially crafted for a distraction-free listening and reading experience, helping you dive in and get immersed in Scripture. You’ll have a great experience using Immerse by yourself. But for an even richer experience, try reading with friends.

Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience is an invitation to a different kind of community interaction with the Bible. Less like a Bible study, more like a book club.

- 8 or 16-week Bible listening plans take you through a large section of the Bible like the New Testament or the Torah
- Meet once a week for a free-flowing discussion about the text
- Wrestle with questions and celebrate ‘aha!’ moments together

Nothing impacts spiritual growth more than spending time in Scripture. Immerse removes many of the barriers that make Bible reading difficult and invites communities to become transformed together through the power of God’s word.

 Welcome to the saddleback church anchored life challenge which can also by found on the saddleback companion app or by purchasing the immerse messiah book from tyndale.

The anchored life challenge includes speakers such as Andy Wood, Rick Warren, and Stacie Wood. 
Immerse Messiah 35
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Intro Narrator: [00:00:00] Welcome to Immerse Messiah Reading for Week 7, Day 35. After this, Jesus

Rick Warren: traveled

Intro Narrator: around Galilee. He wanted to stay out of Judea, where the Jewish leaders were plotting his death. But soon it was time for the Jewish Festival of Shelters, and Jesus brothers said to him, Leave here and go to Judea, where your followers can see your miracles.

Rick Warren: You can't become famous if you hide like this. If

Intro Narrator: you can do such wonderful things, show yourself to the world. For even his brothers didn't believe in him. Jesus replied, Now is not the right time for me to go, but you can go any time. The world can't hate you, but it does hate me, because I accuse it of doing evil.

Intro Narrator: You go on. I'm not going to this festival because my time has not yet come. After saying these things, Jesus remained in Galilee. But [00:01:00] after his

Rick Warren: brothers left for the festival,

Intro Narrator: Jesus also went, though secretly, staying out of public view. The Jewish leaders tried to find him at the festival and kept asking if anyone had seen him.

Rick Warren: There was a lot

of

Intro Narrator: grumbling about him among the crowds. Some argued, he's a good man, but others said, he's nothing but a fraud who deceives the people. But no one had the courage to speak favorably about him in public, for they were afraid of getting in trouble with the Jewish leaders. Then, midway through the festival, Jesus went up to the temple and began to teach.

Intro Narrator: The people were surprised when they heard him. How does he know so much when he hasn't been trained, they asked. So Jesus told them, My message is not my own. It comes from God who sent me. Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own. Those who speak for themselves want [00:02:00] glory only for themselves.

Intro Narrator: But a person who seeks to honor the one who sent him speaks truth, not lies. Moses gave you the law, but none of you obeys it. In fact, you are trying to kill me. The crowd replied, You're demon possessed. Who's trying to kill you? Jesus replied, I did one miracle on the Sabbath, and you were amazed. But you work on the Sabbath, too, when you obey Moses law of circumcision.

Intro Narrator: Actually, this tradition of circumcision began with the patriarchs, long before the law of Moses. For if the correct time for circumcising your son falls on the Sabbath, you go ahead and do it, so as not to break the law of Moses. So why should you be angry with me for healing a man on the Sabbath? Look beneath

Rick Warren: the surface so you can judge

Intro Narrator: correctly.

Intro Narrator: Some of the people who lived in Jerusalem started to ask each other, [00:03:00] Isn't this the man they're trying to kill? But here he is speaking in public and they say nothing to him. Could

Rick Warren: our leaders possibly believe that he is the Messiah? How

Intro Narrator: could he be? For we know where this man comes from.

Rick Warren: When the Messiah comes, he will simply appear.

Rick Warren: No one will know where he comes from.

Intro Narrator: While Jesus was teaching in the temple, he called out, Yes,

Rick Warren: you know

Intro Narrator: me, and you know where I come from, but I'm not here on my own. The one who sent me is true, and you don't know him, but I know him, because I come from him, and he

Rick Warren: sent me to you. Then the

Intro Narrator: leaders tried to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come.

Intro Narrator: Many among the crowds at the temple believed in him. After all, they said, would you expect the Messiah to do more miraculous signs than this man has done? [00:04:00] When the Pharisees heard that the crowds were whispering such things, they and the leading priests sent temple guards to arrest Jesus. But Jesus told them, I will be with you only a little longer.

Intro Narrator: Then I will return to the one who sent me. You will search for me, but not find me, and you cannot go where I am going. The Jewish leaders were puzzled by this statement. Where is he planning to go, they asked. Is he thinking of leaving the country and going to the Jews and other lands?

Rick Warren: Maybe he will even teach the Greeks.

Rick Warren: What does he mean when he says, You will search

Intro Narrator: for me, but not find me. And, you cannot go where I'm going. On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, Anyone who is thirsty may come to me. Anyone who believes in me may come and drink, for the scriptures declare rivers of living water will [00:05:00] flow from his heart.

Intro Narrator: When he said living water, he was speaking of the Spirit who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory. When the crowds heard him say this, some of them declared, Surely this man is the prophet we've been expecting.

Intro Narrator: Others said, He is the Messiah.

Rick Warren: Still others said, But he can't be. Will the Messiah come from Galilee? For the scriptures clearly state that the Messiah

Intro Narrator: will be born of the royal line of David in Bethlehem, the village where King David was born. So the crowd was divided about him. Some even wanted him arrested, but no one laid a hand on him.

Intro Narrator: When the temple guards returned without having arrested Jesus, the leading priests and Pharisees demanded, Why didn't you bring him in? We have

Rick Warren: never heard anyone speak like this.

Intro Narrator: The guards [00:06:00] responded,

Rick Warren: Have you been led astray too? The

Intro Narrator: Pharisees mocked, Is there a single one of us rulers or Pharisees who believes in him?

Intro Narrator: This foolish crowd follows him, but they are ignorant of the

Rick Warren: law. God's curse is on them. Then Nicodemus,

Intro Narrator: the leader who had met with Jesus earlier, spoke up. Is it legal to convict a man before he is given a hearing? He asked. They replied, Are

Rick Warren: you from Galilee too? Search the scriptures and see for yourself.

Intro Narrator: No prophet ever comes from Galilee. The most ancient Greek manuscripts do not include John 7, 53 through 8, 11. Then the meeting broke up,

Rick Warren: and everybody went home. Jesus returned

Intro Narrator: to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them.

Intro Narrator: [00:07:00] As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd. Teacher, they said to Jesus, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The Law of Moses says to stone

Rick Warren: her. What do you say?

Intro Narrator: They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him.

Intro Narrator: But Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone. Then he stooped down again and wrote

Rick Warren: in the dust.

Intro Narrator: When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest.

Intro Narrator: Until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the

Rick Warren: woman. Then Jesus

Intro Narrator: stood up again and said to the woman,

Rick Warren: Where are your accusers?

Intro Narrator: Didn't even one of them condemn you? [00:08:00] No, Lord, she said. And Jesus said, Neither do I. Go and

Rick Warren: sin no more.

Intro Narrator: Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, I am the light of the world.

Intro Narrator: If you follow me, you won't have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life. The Pharisees replied, You are making those claims about yourself. Such testimony is not valid. Jesus told them, These claims are valid even though I make them about myself. For I know where I came from and where I'm going, but you don't know this about me.

Intro Narrator: You judge me by human standards, but I do not judge anyone. And if I did, my judgment would be correct in every respect because I am not alone. The father who sent me is with me. Your own law says that if two people agree about [00:09:00] something, their witness is accepted as fact. I am one witness, and my father who sent me is the other.

Intro Narrator: Where is your father? they asked. Jesus answered, Since you don't know who I am, you don't know who my father is. If you knew me, you would also know my father.

Rick Warren: Jesus made these

Intro Narrator: statements while he was teaching in the section of the temple known as the treasury. But he was not arrested, because his time had not yet come.

Intro Narrator: Later, Jesus said to them again, I am going away. You will search for me, but will die in your sin. You cannot come where I am going. The people asked, Is he planning to

Rick Warren: commit suicide? What does

Intro Narrator: he mean you cannot come where I am going? Jesus

Rick Warren: continued. You are from

Intro Narrator: below. I am from above You belong to this world.

Intro Narrator: I do not that is why I said [00:10:00] that you will die in your sins For unless you believe that I am who I claim to be you will die in your sins Who are you they demanded Jesus replied? The one I have always claimed to be. I have much to say about you and much to condemn, but I won't. For I say only what I have heard from the one who sent me, and

Rick Warren: He is completely

Intro Narrator: truthful.

Intro Narrator: But they still didn't understand that He was talking about His Father.

Rick Warren: So Jesus said, When you have lifted

Intro Narrator: up the Son of Man on the cross, then you will

Rick Warren: understand that I am

Intro Narrator: He.

Rick Warren: I

Intro Narrator: do nothing on my own but say only what the Father taught me, and the one who sent me is with me. He has not deserted me, for I always do what pleases Him.

Intro Narrator: Then many who heard Him say these things

Rick Warren: believed in Him. Jesus said

Intro Narrator: to [00:11:00] the people who believed in Him, You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. We are descendants of Abraham, they

Rick Warren: said. We have never been slaves to anyone.

Rick Warren: What do you mean, you will

Intro Narrator: be set free? Jesus replied, I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the son sets you free, you are

Rick Warren: truly

Intro Narrator: free. Yes, I realize that you are descendants of Abraham, and yet some of you are trying to kill me because there's no room in your hearts for my message.

Intro Narrator: I am telling you what I saw when I was with my father. But you are following the advice of your father. Our father is Abraham, they declared. No, Jesus replied. [00:12:00] For if you were really the children of Abraham, you would follow his example. Instead, you are trying to kill me because I told you the truth, which I heard from God.

Intro Narrator: Abraham never did such a thing. No, you are imitating your real father. They replied, We aren't illegitimate children. God himself is our true father. Jesus told them, If God were your Father, you would love me, because I have come to you from God.

Rick Warren: I am not here on my own, but He sent me. Why can't

Intro Narrator: you understand what

Rick Warren: I'm saying?

Rick Warren: It's because you can't even hear me. For you are the

Intro Narrator: children of

Rick Warren: your Father the Devil, and you love to do the evil things He does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has

Intro Narrator: always hated the truth, because there is no truth in Him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character,

Rick Warren: for he is a liar and the

Intro Narrator: father of [00:13:00] lies.

Intro Narrator: So when I tell the

Rick Warren: truth, you just naturally don't believe me. Which of you can truthfully

Intro Narrator: accuse me of sin? And since I am

Rick Warren: telling you the truth, why don't you believe me?

Intro Narrator: Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don't listen because you don't belong to God. The people retorted, You Samaritan

Rick Warren: devil!

Rick Warren: Didn't we say all along

Intro Narrator: that you were possessed by a demon? No, Jesus said, I have no demon in me, for I honor my father, and you dishonor me. And though I have no wish to glorify myself, God is going to glorify me. He is the true judge. I tell you the truth, anyone who obeys my teaching will never die. The people said, now we know you are possessed by a demon.

Intro Narrator: Even Abraham and the prophets [00:14:00] died. But you say, anyone who obeys my teaching will never die?

Rick Warren: Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the

Intro Narrator: prophets. Who do you think you are? Jesus answered, if I want glory for myself, It doesn't count, but it is my Father who will glorify me. You say, He is our God, but

Rick Warren: you don't even know Him.

Intro Narrator: I know Him. If I said otherwise, I would be as great a liar as you. But I do know Him and obey Him. Your father Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to my coming. He saw it and was glad. The people said, You aren't even 50 years old. How can you

Rick Warren: say you have seen Abraham?

Intro Narrator: Jesus answered, I tell you the truth.

Rick Warren: Before Abraham was even born,

Intro Narrator: I am. [00:15:00] At that point, they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus was hidden from them and left the temple. As

Rick Warren: Jesus was walking

Intro Narrator: along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. Rabbi, his disciples asked him, why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents sins?

Intro Narrator: It was not because of his sins or his parents sins, Jesus answered. This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work. But while I am here in the world, I am

Rick Warren: the light of the world.

Intro Narrator: Then he spit on the ground. Made mud with the saliva and spread the mud over the blind man's eyes. He told him, go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam. Siloam means scent. So the man [00:16:00] went and washed and came back seeing. His neighbors and others who knew him as a blind beggar asked each other, isn't this the man who used to sit and beg?

Intro Narrator: Some said he was and others said, no, he just looks like him. But the beggar kept saying, Yes, I am the same one. They asked,

Rick Warren: Who healed you? What

Intro Narrator: happened? He told them, The man they call Jesus made mud and spread it

Rick Warren: over my eyes and told me, Go

Intro Narrator: to the pool of Siloam and wash yourself. So I went and washed, and now

Rick Warren: I can see.

Intro Narrator: Where is he now? They asked.

Rick Warren: I don't know.

Intro Narrator: He replied. Then they took the man who had been blind to the Pharisees. Because it was on the Sabbath that Jesus had made the mud and healed him. The Pharisees asked the man all about it. So he told them, He put the mud over my eyes, and when I washed it away, I could see.

Intro Narrator: Some of the [00:17:00] Pharisees said, This man, Jesus, is not from God, for he is working on the Sabbath. Others said, But how could an ordinary sinner do such miraculous

Rick Warren: signs? So there was a deep division of

Intro Narrator: opinion among them. Then the Pharisees again questioned the man who had been blind and demanded, What's your opinion about this man who healed you?

Intro Narrator: The man replied, I think he must be a prophet.

Rick Warren: The Jewish

Intro Narrator: leaders still refused to believe the man had been blind and could now see, so they called in his parents. They asked them, Is this your son? Was he born blind? If so, how can he now see? His parents replied, We know this is our son and that he was born blind, but we don't know how he can see or who healed him.

Rick Warren: Ask him.

Intro Narrator: He is old enough to speak for himself. His parents

Rick Warren: said this because they were afraid of the

Intro Narrator: Jewish leaders, who had [00:18:00] announced that anyone saying Jesus was the Messiah would be expelled from the synagogue. That's why they said,

Rick Warren: he is old enough, ask him. So, for the second

Intro Narrator: time, they called in the man who had been blind and told him, God should get the glory for this, because we know this man, Jesus, is a sinner.

Intro Narrator: I don't know whether he is a sinner, the man replied, but I know this, I was blind and now I can

Rick Warren: see. But what did he do, they asked. How did he heal you? Look, the

Intro Narrator: man exclaimed, I told

Rick Warren: you once. Didn't you listen? Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his

Intro Narrator: disciples too? Then they cursed him and said, You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses.

Intro Narrator: We know God spoke to Moses, but we don't even know where this man comes from. Why, that's very strange, the man [00:19:00] replied. He healed my eyes. And yet, you don't know where he

Rick Warren: comes from?

Intro Narrator: We know that God doesn't listen to sinners,

Rick Warren: but he is ready

Intro Narrator: to hear those who worship him and do his will. Ever since the world began, no one has been able to open the eyes of someone born blind.

Intro Narrator: If this man were not from God, he couldn't have done it. You were born a total sinner, they answered. Are you trying to teach

Rick Warren: us?

Intro Narrator: And they threw him out of the synagogue. When Jesus heard what had happened, he found the man and asked, Do you believe in the Son of Man? The man answered, Who is he, sir? I want to believe in him.

Intro Narrator: You have seen him, Jesus said, and he is speaking to you. Yes, Lord,

Rick Warren: I believe, the man

Intro Narrator: said,

Rick Warren: and he worshipped

Intro Narrator: Jesus. Then Jesus told him, I entered this [00:20:00] world to render judgment, to give sight to the blind, and to

Rick Warren: show those who think they see that they are blind. Some Pharisees

Intro Narrator: who were standing nearby heard him and asked, Are you saying we're blind?

Intro Narrator: If you were blind, you wouldn't be guilty, Jesus replied.

Rick Warren: But you remain guilty because you claim you can

Intro Narrator: see.

Rick Warren: I tell you the truth,

Intro Narrator: anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber, but the one who enters through the gate is

Rick Warren: the shepherd of the sheep.

Rick Warren: The gatekeeper

Intro Narrator: opens the gate for him. And the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. They won't follow a stranger. They will run from him because they [00:21:00] don't

Rick Warren: know his voice.

Rick Warren: Those who heard Jesus use this

Intro Narrator: illustration didn't understand what he meant, so he explained it to them. I tell you the truth. I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and robbers, but the true sheep did not listen to them. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved.

Intro Narrator: They will come and go freely and will

Rick Warren: find good pastures. The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy.

Intro Narrator: My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf

Rick Warren: coming. He will abandon

Intro Narrator: the sheep because they don't belong to him and he isn't their shepherd.

Intro Narrator: And so the wolf attacks them and scatters

Rick Warren: the flock. The

Intro Narrator: hired hand runs away because he's working only for the [00:22:00] money and

Rick Warren: doesn't really care about the sheep.

Intro Narrator: I am the good shepherd. I know my own

Rick Warren: sheep, and they know me, just

Intro Narrator: as my father knows me and I know the father.

Rick Warren: So I sacrifice

Intro Narrator: my life for the sheep.

Intro Narrator: I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd. The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to, and also to take it up again.

Intro Narrator: For this is what my Father has commanded. When he said these things, the people were again divided in their opinions about him. Some said, he's demon possessed and out of his mind. Why listen to a man like that? Others said, [00:23:00] this doesn't sound like a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?

Intro Narrator: It was now winter, and Jesus was in Jerusalem at the time of Hanukkah, the festival of dedication. He was in the temple, walking through the section known as Solomon's Colonnade. The people surrounded him and asked, How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.

Intro Narrator: Jesus replied, I have already told you,

Rick Warren: and you don't believe me. The proof is the

Intro Narrator: work I do in my Father's name. But you don't believe me because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me.

Intro Narrator: For my Father has given them to me, and He is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father's hand. [00:24:00] The Father and I are one. Once again, the people picked up stones to kill Him. Jesus said, At my Father's direction I have done many good works. For which one are you going to stone me?

Intro Narrator: They replied, We're stoning you not for any good work, but for blasphemy. You, a mere man, claim to be God. Jesus replied, It is written in your own scriptures that God said to certain leaders of the people, I say you are gods. And you know that the scriptures cannot be altered.

Rick Warren: So if those

Intro Narrator: people who received God's message were called gods, why do you call it blasphemy when I say I am the Son of God?

Intro Narrator: After all, the Father set me apart and sent me into the world. Don't believe me unless I carry out my father's work, but if I do his work, believe in the evidence of the miraculous works I [00:25:00] have done. Even if

Rick Warren: you don't believe me, then you

Intro Narrator: will know and understand that the father is in me and I am in the father.

Intro Narrator: Once again, they tried to arrest him. But he got away and left them. He went beyond the Jordan River, near the place where John was first baptizing, and stayed there a while. And many followed him. John didn't perform miraculous signs, they remarked to one another, but everything he said about this man has come true.

Intro Narrator: And many who were there believed in Jesus. A man named Lazarus was sick. He lived in Bethany with his sisters, Mary and Martha. This is the Mary who later poured the expensive perfume on the Lord's feet and wiped them with her hair.

Rick Warren: Her brother,

Intro Narrator: Lazarus, was sick. So the two sisters sent a message to Jesus telling him, Lord,

Rick Warren: your dear friend is very sick.

Rick Warren: But when Jesus heard about [00:26:00] it, he said, Lazarus sickness will not

Intro Narrator: end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God, so that the Son of God will receive glory from this. So, although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and

Rick Warren: Lazarus, He stayed where

Intro Narrator: He was for the next two days. Finally, He said to His disciples, Let's Judea.

Intro Narrator: But his disciples objected. Rabbi, they said, only a few days ago the people in Judea were trying to stone you. Are you going there again? Jesus replied, there are 12 hours of daylight every day. During the day, people can walk safely. They can see because they have the light of this world. But at night, there is danger of stumbling because they have no light.

Intro Narrator: Then he said, our friend Lazarus. Has fallen asleep, but now I will go and wake

Rick Warren: him up. [00:27:00] The disciples said, Lord, if he is sleeping,

Intro Narrator: he will soon get better. They thought Jesus meant Lazarus was simply sleeping, but Jesus meant Lazarus had died. So he told them plainly, Lazarus is dead. And for your sakes, I'm glad I wasn't there, for now you will really believe.

Intro Narrator: Come, let's go see him. Thomas, nicknamed the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, Let's go, too, and die with Jesus. When Jesus arrived at Bethany, he was told that Lazarus had already been in his grave for four days. Bethany was only a few miles down the road from Jerusalem, and many of the people had come to console Martha and Mary in their loss.

Intro Narrator: When Martha got word that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him. But Mary stayed in the house. Martha said to Jesus, [00:28:00] Lord, if

Rick Warren: only you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even

Intro Narrator: now I know that God will give

Rick Warren: you whatever you ask. Jesus told her, Your brother will rise again. Yes.

Intro Narrator: Martha said, He will

Rick Warren: rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.

Rick Warren: Jesus told her,

Intro Narrator: I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will

Rick Warren: live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha? Yes, Lord, she told him, I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of

Intro Narrator: God, the one who has come into the world from God.

Intro Narrator: Then she returned to Mary. She

called

Rick Warren: Mary aside from the mourners and told her, the teacher is here and wants to see you. So

Intro Narrator: Mary immediately went to him. [00:29:00] Jesus had

Rick Warren: stayed outside the

Intro Narrator: village, at the place where Martha met him. When the people who were at the house consoling Mary saw her leave so hastily, they assumed she was going to Lazarus grave to weep.

Intro Narrator: So they followed her there. When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at his feet

Rick Warren: and said, Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.

Intro Narrator: When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within

Rick Warren: him and he was deeply troubled. Where have you put him?

Intro Narrator: He asked them.

Rick Warren: They told him, Lord, come and see. Then Jesus wept.

Intro Narrator: The people who were standing nearby said, see how

Rick Warren: much he

Intro Narrator: loved him. But some

Rick Warren: said, this man healed a blind man.

Intro Narrator: Couldn't he have kept Lazarus from dying? Jesus was [00:30:00] still angry as he arrived at the tomb. A cave with a stone rolled across its entrance.

Intro Narrator: Roll the stone aside, Jesus told them. But Martha, the dead man's sister, protested.

Rick Warren: Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be

Intro Narrator: terrible. Jesus responded, Didn't

Rick Warren: I tell you that you would see God's glory if you believe? So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, Father, thank you for hearing me.

Intro Narrator: You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake

Rick Warren: of all these people standing

Intro Narrator: here, so that they will believe you sent me. Then Jesus shouted, Lazarus,

Rick Warren: come out! And the dead

Intro Narrator: man came out, his hands and feet bound in grave

Rick Warren: clothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, Unwrap him, [00:31:00] and let him go.

Rick Warren: Many of the people who were with Mary

Intro Narrator: believed in Jesus when they

Rick Warren: saw this happen. But some went to the

Intro Narrator: Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. Then the leading priests and Pharisees called the High Council together. What are we going to do?

Rick Warren: They asked each other, this

Intro Narrator: man certainly performs many miraculous signs.

Intro Narrator: If we allow him to go on like this, soon everyone will believe in him. Then the Roman army will come and destroy both our temple and our nation. Caiaphas, who was high priest at that time,

Rick Warren: said, You don't know what you're

Intro Narrator: talking about. You don't realize that it's better for you that one man should die for the people than for the whole nation to be destroyed.

Intro Narrator: He did not say this on his own. As high priest at that time, he was led to prophesy that Jesus would die for the entire nation, and not only for [00:32:00] that nation, but to bring together and unite all the children of God scattered around the world. So from that time on, the Jewish leaders began to plot Jesus death.

Intro Narrator: As a result, Jesus stopped His public ministry among the people and left Jerusalem. He went to a place near the wilderness, to the village of Ephraim, and stayed there with His disciples. It was now almost time for the Jewish Passover celebration. And many people from all over the country arrived in Jerusalem several

Rick Warren: days early so they could go through the purification

Intro Narrator: ceremony before Passover began.

Rick Warren: They kept looking for

Intro Narrator: Jesus, but as they stood around in the temple,

Rick Warren: they said to each other, What do you think? He won't come for Passover, will he? Meanwhile,

Intro Narrator: the leading priests and Pharisees had publicly ordered that anyone seeing Jesus must report it

Rick Warren: immediately. So they could arrest him. Six days

Intro Narrator: before the Passover [00:33:00] celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus, the man he had raised from the dead.

Intro Narrator: A dinner was prepared in Jesus honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate with him. Then Mary took a 12 ounce jar

Rick Warren: of

Intro Narrator: expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus feet with it. Wiping his feet with her

Rick Warren: hair, the house was

Intro Narrator: filled with the fragrance. But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, That perfume was worth a year's wages.

Intro Narrator: It should have

Rick Warren: been sold and the money given to the poor.

Intro Narrator: Not that

Rick Warren: he cared for the poor. He was a

Intro Narrator: thief. And since he was in charge of the disciples money, he often stole some for himself. Jesus replied,

Rick Warren: Leave her alone. She did this in

Intro Narrator: preparation for my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not [00:34:00] always have me.

Intro Narrator: When all of the people heard of Jesus arrival, they flocked to see him. And also to see Lazarus, the man Jesus had raised from the dead. Then the leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too, for it was

Rick Warren: because of

Intro Narrator: him that many of the people had deserted them and believed

Rick Warren: in Jesus.

Intro Narrator: The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city.

Intro Narrator: A large crowd of Passover visitors took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted, Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name

Rick Warren: of the Lord! Hail to the King of

Intro Narrator: Israel! Jesus found a young donkey and rode on it, fulfilling the prophecy that said, Don't be

Rick Warren: afraid, people of Jerusalem.

Intro Narrator: Look, your king is coming, riding on a donkey's colt. His disciples didn't understand at the time that this was a fulfillment of prophecy. [00:35:00] But after Jesus entered into his glory, they remembered what had happened. And realize that these things had been

Rick Warren: written about him.

Intro Narrator: Many in the crowd had seen Jesus call Lazarus from the tomb, raising him from the dead, and they were telling others about it.

Rick Warren: That was the reason so many went

Intro Narrator: out to meet him, because they had heard about this miraculous sign. Then the Pharisees said to each other, There's nothing we can do. Look, everyone has gone after him. Some Greeks who had come to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration paid a visit to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee.

Rick Warren: They said, Sir,

Intro Narrator: we want to meet Jesus. Philip told Andrew about it, and they went together to ask Jesus. Jesus replied, Now the time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory. I tell you the truth. Unless a kernel of wheat

Rick Warren: is planted in the soil and [00:36:00] dies, it remains

Intro Narrator: alone. But its death will produce many new kernels, a plentiful harvest of new lives.

Rick Warren: Those who love their life in this world

Intro Narrator: will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me. Now,

Rick Warren: my soul

Intro Narrator: is deeply troubled. Should I pray, Father,

Rick Warren: save me from this hour?

Rick Warren: But this is the very reason I came. Father, bring glory to your name. Then a voice spoke from heaven, saying,

Intro Narrator: I have already brought glory to my name, and I will do so

Rick Warren: again. When the crowd heard the voice,

Intro Narrator: some thought it was thunder, while others declared an angel had [00:37:00] spoken to him. Then Jesus told them, The voice was for your benefit.

Intro Narrator: Not mine. The time for judging this world has come, when Satan, the ruler of this world, will be cast out. And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself. He said this to indicate how he was going to die. The crowd responded, We understood from scripture that the Messiah would live

Rick Warren: forever.

Rick Warren: How can you

Intro Narrator: say the Son of Man will die? Just who is this son of man anyway? Jesus replied, My light will shine for you just a little longer. Walk in the light while you can, so the darkness will not overtake you. Those who walk in the darkness cannot see where they are going. Put your trust in the light while there is still time.

Intro Narrator: Then you will become children of the light. [00:38:00] After saying these

Rick Warren: things,

Intro Narrator: Jesus went away and was hidden from them. But despite all the miraculous signs Jesus had done, most of the people still did not believe in Him. This is exactly what Isaiah the prophet had predicted. Lord, who has believed our message?

Intro Narrator: To whom has

Rick Warren: the Lord revealed His powerful arm? But the people

Intro Narrator: couldn't believe.

Rick Warren: For, as Isaiah

Intro Narrator: also said, The Lord has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts so that their eyes cannot see and their hearts cannot understand and they cannot turn to

Rick Warren: me. And have me

Intro Narrator: heal them. Isaiah was referring to Jesus when

Rick Warren: he said this because he saw the future

Intro Narrator: and spoke of the Messiah's glory.

Intro Narrator: Many people did believe in him, however, including some of the Jewish leaders. But they wouldn't admit it for fear that the Pharisees would [00:39:00] expel them from the synagogue. For they loved human praise more than the praise of God. Jesus shouted to the crowds, If

Rick Warren: you trust me, you are trusting not only

Intro Narrator: me, but also God who sent me.

Intro Narrator: For

Rick Warren: when you see me, you are seeing the

Intro Narrator: one who sent me. I have come as a light to shine in this dark world,

Rick Warren: so that all who put their trust in me will

Intro Narrator: no longer remain in the dark. I will not judge those who hear me but don't obey me, for I have come to save the world and not to judge it. But all who reject me and my message will be judged on the Day of Judgment by the truth I have spoken.

Intro Narrator: I don't speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it, and I know His commands lead to eternal life, so I say whatever the

Rick Warren: Father tells me to

Intro Narrator: say. [00:40:00] This concludes today's Immerse Reading experience. Thank you for joining us.