Posts by Shawn Reese

Posts by Shawn Reese

Friend of the Bridegroom

After that deeply theological conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus heads back into the Judean wilderness where John is baptizing.  And, we hear John’s last speech in this Gospel.  He joyfully says he is not the bridegroom; he is the friend of the bridegroom.  Jesus, the one from above, is the bridegroom (implying he is God), while those who receive him become his bride (implying a new people of God).  For John, as the friend of the bridegroom, his job was to…

A Pruning

We have the privilege today to hear from a guest contributor.  Rich Harmon, who is an elder at PBCC, has some encouraging thoughts for us today.  Thanks Rich! I have enjoyed the slower pace of life during these weeks of staying at home.  I have especially enjoyed my early mornings on the back patio with God and a cup of coffee, watching the sunrise and the birds wake up with the day. In fact this has become my most cherished…

The New Birth

In this section of John, we are seeing that Jesus is making all things new.  So far, we’ve seen the gathering of a new people of God, the miraculous new wine at a wedding and the promise of a new temple.  In our text this week, we hear of the necessity for a new birth.  Jesus meets one-on-one with a man named Nicodemus who comes to him by night.  Nicodemus is very smart, very good and very religious.  Yet, Jesus…

What Kind of God?

What is your picture of God?  Before yesterday’s sermon, if you didn’t know where Jesus, God with us, began his public ministry, where would you have imagined him showing up first? It is generally agreed that the first few chapters of John happen before Mark 1:14. In other words, Jesus really does enter the public scene first at the wedding at Cana.  The curtains are drawn back, and we see the living God at a wedding, enjoying himself, enjoying the…

When Jesus is Invited

Up until this point in John’s gospel, Jesus has been mostly moving around privately, gathering his team of followers.  This week, in chapter two, the curtains get drawn back, and God enters the public stage.  And, where does he make himself known first?  At a wedding celebration.  So, what happens when Jesus is invited to a wedding (or into anything in life)?  Come and see!

The Followers

Last week we heard the witness of John the Baptist. This week, Jesus takes center stage as people begin following him. Jesus’ first words of the Gospel are to these followers, “What are you seeking?” It’s an inviting and searching question. If he were to ask you that today, how would you answer it? The first followers then respond with a question, “Where are you abiding Jesus?” It’s a way of saying, “If we come to you Jesus, what will we find?” And, in this text, Jesus…

The Witness

This Sunday we will continue our studies in the Gospel of John. After that magnificent prologue, we now enter into the story with the witness of John the Baptist. Throughout John’s Gospel, the concept of witness is very important. In fact one could read the entire Gospel through the “lens” of witness. Jesus is on trial, and many witnesses are called forward to testify to his nature, character, words and actions. By the end of the Gospel, we, the readers, will need to render our…

Invitation to Life

This Sunday we begin a new series in the Gospel of John. The title of this series will be “Come and See.” The entire Gospel of John is an invitation to all of us to “come and see” who this Jesus really is.  Come is the first word of command spoken by Jesus in John. He invites us to come, and in coming and encountering him, we will see (John 1:39). And, when we do, we will have – LIFE! Life abundant and life eternal!  That’s the ultimate invitation from Jesus…

Raised with Christ!

Like Christmas, Easter is so big that a one day celebration seems inadequate.  Wouldn’t you agree?  After all, Christ has defeated death!  This is why the church throughout the centuries has celebrated “Eastertide” for fifty days, until Pentecost Sunday (May 31st this year).  The point of Eastertide is to allow the implications of Christ’s resurrection to sink in deeper.  Paul says that we have been raised with Christ which means we can begin living “resurrection power” now, as Joel preached…

Lifted Up

As we begin the Passion week, the shadow of the cross begins to take shape over us.  We like to look ahead and focus on Easter, but the path to this great celebration goes through the cross and Good Friday.  The cross was a sign of utter repulsiveness in the Roman world, yet now, we wear it around our neck?  It makes sense that the first disciples did not understand.  Who would have?  I know I wouldn’t have. When Christ…

Life Together

“And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had.” I was planning on writing something completely different today, but I have been absolutely delighted by the response to the need for masks that I expressed yesterday while hosting (just so you know, the need has been met for now). It reminds me of the church in Acts: “And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had” (2:44, NLT). Maybe the hardest part…

Times of Sacrifice

Greetings PBCC Church Family! We pray that you were encouraged by the livestream services the past two Sundays and hope to provide more words of encouragement during the week. To this end, we will have different pastors share daily in this space. Let’s navigate these unprecedented circumstances together as a family. “He loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20). This is one of my favorite verses in the entire Bible. As I have been reflecting on the amount of…