All posts by Luella Campbell



“The word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 (NIV)

What a power-packed statement! Not a baby-in-a-manger, once-a-year-at-Christmas-time story but something that really happened and something that changed history and the destinies of millions who believe in Him. Jesus came from the other side, stepped down from His position in glory with the Father, put on a human body and ‘tabernacled’ for a while right among His own people. John adds his own testimony, ‘We have seen His glory…full of grace and truth,’ perfect and complete. Not many people saw His glory. Oh! They saw Him alright, but they didn’t recognise or acknowledge that He was the Son of God or that He came here to display Father’s glory.

The real Jesus, the second Person of the Godhead, the one who was constantly working with His people for thousands of years, the one who spoke with both mercy and severity, came Himself, disguised as a human being, living in the tent of a human body for a little while, like His own people in the wilderness, to show and tell the whole story of redeeming love.

What did John and his fellow-disciples see? They saw in Jesus the perfect balance of grace and truth in action. He Himself was the fulfilment of everything the tabernacle – the ‘mishkan’ – represented. He is the way to the Father; He is the truth about God and He is the life that God gives us when we believe in Him. He takes us to the Father through the blood He spilt on the cross. We are allowed into the Holy of Holies to fellowship with God because Jesus came to earth as a human child.

Through the revelation of grace and truth that He brings in Himself, those who believe in Him are made both clean and holy through the offering up of His own blood which was sprinkled on the mercy seat to make atonement for the sin of the world.

Grace and truth are the whole picture, God acting out of the fullness and perfection of who He is; grace shows us how great His love is, and truth shows us His justice. Because God is both true to Himself and gracious to us, Jesus paid the debt for our sin Himself by becoming God’s sacrificial lamb so that He can cleanse us of sin and accept us into His holy presence.

But every human being must make his own choice. Jesus came, presented Himself to the world and delivered His message by being the message. Everyone who sees and hears the message can either accept or reject what he sees and hears and take full responsibility for his choice. But for John the issue was clear, and he saw and believed.

It isn’t the birth of Jesus we should celebrate. We should remember every day that He came from the other side to be with us and to die for us.



“’You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” John 5:39,40 (NIV).

There is in this passage an indictment against much of popular ‘gospel’ preaching today. Jesus made it clear that He did not come to be popular. He is not interested in collecting many people who will take sides with Him. He came to reconnect people with His Father in a relationship of unity, submission, and trust so that He can make them whole again.

Although John the Baptist’s witness was powerful and spectacular, Jesus said that there was much more convincing evidence of who He was and why He came – His works of compassion and mercy which pointed to the Father from where He came, and who He was, the Son of God. The religious leaders rejected Him because they could not see beyond their own petty laws.

If His enemies were honest about wanting to live God’s way and if they were really listening to Him and thinking about what He said, they would have realised that He was not a fake like they said He was, but really the Son of God. But they so wanted to be right that ignored the facts and chose to believe their own lies which cut them off from ever experiencing God’s life.

They were so busy using the Torah – the Law of God – to prove that they were right that they could not find what they were looking for. They were looking for the Messiah in the Torah, but He was standing right in front of them, and they missed Him. His words, His works, His way of living all pointed to a match between Himself and the Scriptures but they couldn’t see it because they hated Him and lost out on the promise of life.

How can we apply this to ourselves? We are constantly faced with a choice – life or death, but we also must look at the evidence. Whose words will we believe – the words the world keeps telling us, such as, do whatever you like – there are no consequences; you can ignore God; He won’t do anything to you? If we listen to these words, God’s word seems out of place in our lives.

If we choose to listen to God’s words, God’s power steps into our lives and works for us to bring about His will in our lives. Even the bad things that happen are turned to our good when we decide to trust and obey Him rather than what the people in the world are telling us.

Jesus is not interested in gathering followers just to have numbers. He is careful to tell us that being His disciple will cost us something. Not everyone is pleased when we choose to follow Jesus and live His way. We may not be rewarded now but there is a great reward in the life to come – eternal life with God.



“Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me everything I ever did’…They said to the woman, ‘We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Saviour of the world.’” John 4:39,42 (NIV).

Once again John, the writer, drove home his point that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God and that his readers would believe through the record of those who believed through their encounters with Him. The Samaritan woman was the first-fruits of a harvest of villagers from Sychar. Her testimony startled them because she was so different from the woman who slunk out to draw water in the middle of the day because of her shame.

That was enough to alert the people that something radical had happened to her and aroused their curiosity to find out who had influenced her so dramatically. They rushed out to meet them man and, when they heard Him, they urged Him to extend His visit so that they could hear more of the words that quenched thirst and brought new life to their hearts.

Two days in Sychar with the Samaritan villagers was enough to convince them that Jesus was the Messiah. It was her testimony that aroused their curiosity, but it was His words that convinced them that He was, indeed, the Messiah and awakened faith that brought peace and changed their lives as well.

This whole episode must have left the disciples reeling and made a deep impression on them. At least it did to John because it was one of the encounters he included in his story to awaken faith in his readers.

There are many aspects to this story that lifts Jesus above all other human beings. He was totally un-self-absorbed. His human weariness did not hinder Him from recognising the woman’s need and reaching out to her. He was not locked into the racial prejudice of His people. He saw her, not as a Samaritan woman but as a thirsty person who needed to know the truth.

He was not put off by her ignorance and her efforts to dodge her guilt. He kept bringing her back to the issues she had to face. He was not embarrassed to expose her sin, but He did it without judgment or condemnation. He simply stated the fact and left her to deal with it. The fact that He let her know that He knew without condemnation, cracked the nut open and she was won.

The change in her attitude and behaviour must have been so remarkable that her fellow villagers were deeply impressed. Surely it is the evidence of a changed life as much as the words we speak that reveal the truth about who Jesus is. Only Jesus can remove the guilt of our sin and give us the peace that comes from forgiveness of sin and reconciliation to God.



“No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light.” Luke 8:16

According to Jesus, there is a fine line between parading your “righteousness” and allowing your righteousness to be seen. He had issues with the Pharisees because their “deeds of righteousness” were done to impress people. He hated and exposed that kind of thing because it was a cover-up for lives that were full of greed and wickedness.

On the other hand, a sincere and generous heart reflects God’s heart. What’s the point of covering up? Light is meant to expose and reveal and an open-hearted, generous response to people’s need points to attitude that is not eclipsed by selfishness and greed. God’s desire is that lives that are transformed by His grace and power should shine the light back on Him because He is the only source of all goodness.

Jesus urged His followers to become ministers of what they had received. Hearts that have been touched by him have changed their awareness from self to God and have absorbed God’s value system of kindness, generosity, and mercy. In the context of the parable of the seed and the soil, this implies that the fruit that comes from seed sown in fertile soil will be right in line with the nature of the seed. What kind of fruit would one expect to find if one plants the seed of God’s Word? Surely it would be fruit that reflects the nature of Jesus. He is the Living Word, according to the Hebrew way of thinking, a manifestation of the Father in another form.

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” If His way of life, His “yoke”, reflected the life of God, the nature of the Father, His mercy and generosity, then the fruit that comes from the seed that falls into our own hearts should reflect the same attitude towards all people. And that is something that does not need to be paraded because it cannot be hidden.

This conflict between light and darkness, between generosity and greed, taking in all the aspects of unselfishness versus selfishness and all their consequences, is the core of the war that rages in the world. The fruit of every life can be traced back to what is in the heart. The presence of Jesus by His Spirit in a life provides the potential and the power to drive out the darkness by the light that He is, in the heart of the one who believes in Him.

On another occasion Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth; you are the light of the world.” If we, as the children of God, are living lives that show the world who Jesus is, there will be no need to parade our generosity to impress people. It will be seen by our attitude and the way we treat those who are in need around us.



An argument started among them as to which of them would be the greatest. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside Him. Then He said to them, “Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you – he is the greatest.” Luke 9:46-48

What was this “greatness” that the disciples were so diligently pursuing and so persistently quarrelling about? What did they want? Position, power, popularity? Were they associating greatness with an important place in this “kingdom” Jesus talked about? They certainly did not get their ideas of greatness from being with Him. He showed them what gentleness and humility was about, which was not what they understood about greatness.

What was it about a child that fitted Jesus’ idea of greatness? Smallness, weakness, vulnerability, defencelessness, needing the love, protection, and care of a father, carefree and trusting? According to the Message Bible, greatness in the kingdom of God is not about asserting but accepting – receiving because we have nothing to give. This is what is special about this father/child relationship that God offers us. All other religions demand that the worshipper does something and gives something. They must satisfy the often wicked and unpredictable demands of their god to prove their devotion and their worth. Jesus demands nothing. All He asks is for us to trust in the One who makes promises to us and gave His son for us. Elsewhere in the gospels He speaks of “receiving” the kingdom just as a little child eagerly receives a gift.

A child does not know that he is humble. Humility is being aware of how small, weak, and incapable we are of being anything without God. All these other things that the disciples were trying to prove were a vapour, a ghost that did not exist. Jesus was saying, “Just be real, man. Your size or age does not prove anything. Inside you are no bigger or more powerful than a child. You may shout louder or hit harder, but the outcome is the same – zero.”

We humans were in a dilemma. In Romans 5:6ff, Paul said that, when we were powerless (without strength) Christ died for us. We could do nothing and add nothing to His rescue plan. Now that we have been rescued, we can still add nothing. All He asks is that we trust Him and follow His instructions. It’s not about competing with anyone else. “What is that to you? Follow me,” is Jesus’ blunt response to our demand, “What about him?” it’s not your business.

So why should we not compete for “greatness”? God does not measure greatness by how important we are in the eyes of the world, but by how much we care about the people that the world despises and rejects. In His day, children were “nobodies”. And He blessed them and said that they were the “great” ones in the kingdom.