Sermons on John

Sermons on John

Love Made from Scratch

John 1:1-18 Carl Sagan once said, “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” The Apostle John never met Carl Sagan – but when it comes to God’s love, he was in full agreement! God loved us “from scratch”! Come find out this second Sunday of the Advent season what that means for us and for our families as we look at the beginning of John’s Gospel together.

Thankful to be Swimming with Elephants

John 1-12 The Gospel of John is like a pool that is “shallow enough for a child to wade and deep enough for an elephant to swim.” As we enter into the Thanksgiving holiday, we are thankful to be swimming with elephants in the Gospel of John. In the past two years, we have explored chapters one to twelve of this Gospel. And, what we have seen is the unparalleled majesty of Jesus. Indeed, no one has ever said the things he said, and no one has ever done the things he’s done. And, through it all, we’ve discovered how thankful we are for who Jesus is and what he has done! “We give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his steadfast love endures forever” (Ps 136:1). Join us this Sunday as we review some of the highlights from the first twelve chapters of John, while combining the service with elements from our typical Thanksgiving service.

Love’s Last Appeal

John 12:23-50 Two weeks ago, we saw Jesus enter Jerusalem, the text we associate with Palm Sunday. Jesus publicly claims kingship, but in an upside-down way. He rides on a donkey demonstrating his humility, gentleness, and desire for peace. That text ended with some Greeks saying they wanted to see Jesus, meaning they want to know what Jesus is all about. In response, Jesus gives his final public appeal for belief in him and his kingship, our text for this Sunday. This is love’s last appeal, summarized best in the phrase “a grain of wheat” (John 12:24). Join us this Sunday as we explore the final public appeal from Jesus in the book of John.

The True King Comes

John 12:12-22 Jesus now enters Jerusalem as the great king. However, he rides on a donkey, not a war horse. He is not surrounded by an army or by captured slaves, and yet, the crowds still lay down palm branches and shout “Hosanna.” They think he will be a national liberator. Yet he rides in on a donkey, fulfilling Zechariah’s prophecy as one who brings “peace to the nations,” not who conquers the nations (Zech 9:10). Indeed, here comes our king, and he will be a kind of king the world has never seen. Join us this Sunday as we celebrate Palm Sunday in October.

Extravagant Devotion

John 12:1-11 In John 12, Jesus goes back to the place of hostility, to Bethany near Jerusalem, where he has an intimate meal with his friends Mary, Martha and Lazarus. In the middle of dinner, Mary anoints Jesus’ feet with very expensive perfume, worth an entire year’s wages. Out of extravagant love, joy and thanksgiving for Jesus, Mary acts with abandon in her worship of him, and she fills the entire house with the aroma of life. Authentic worship of Jesus, our Savior and King, is never merely private. It always spills over onto others. Join us this Sunday to explore this amazing scene.

The Ugliness of Religion

John 11:45-57 This week we see the fallout of the raising of Lazarus, and it is not good. The Religious Authorities meet to decide the fate of Jesus. And what we see are defining characteristics of “religion,” and they are ugly: a desire for power, a desire for control and a desire to exalt self. John interprets the response of the Religious Authorities by pointing us in the right direction, we are not children of religion, rather we are “children of God.” Over against the ugliness of religion, we are invited into a beautiful relationship of love as children of a good, good father.

The Good Shepherd

John 10:1-18 It is amazing how the language of shepherd and sheep still connects across cultures and across generations. Even in the hyper-high-tech world of California, the image of shepherd and sheep has not lost its captivating power. This Sunday we will continue our studies in John where Jesus claims, “I am the good shepherd.” He then explores the relationship he has, as the good shepherd, with his sheep. Join us as we study this famous discourse and appropriately respond by taking communion together as his sheep.

I AM

John 8:21-58 Although this week is Palm Sunday, we will stay in the Gospel of John, chapter 8 this week.  And, we come to holy ground.  As Moses took off his shoes when he stood on holy ground, so should we as we enter this text.  Jesus has already claimed to be the giver of living water and claimed to be the light of the world.  In this text, he claims to be the great I AM – during the Feast of Tabernacles!  Come this Sunday as we explore the background to this great claim as well as the implications of this great claim.

The Light of the World

John 8:12-20 The Feast of Tabernacles is now over.  After a week of joyful festivities, including the morning water drawing ceremony and the evening lighting ceremony, the focus now shifts to the following day.  Jesus has just poured a shower of grace and mercy over a woman caught in adultery.  Presumably that evening, where the lights of the Temple had been ablaze each night of the previous week, Jesus makes another great claim, “I am the light of the world.”  Into that dark night and into this dark world, Jesus says he is the light.  Come and join us this Sunday as we explore this extraordinary claim.

I Do NOT Condemn You

John 7:53-8:11 Last week we heard Jesus’ invitation to come and drink his living water. This week, we get an example of how this living water washes over someone. The religious leaders bring a woman caught in adultery to Jesus to have him pronounce his verdict on her. What will he do? Will he condemn her to death or will he let her go free? Join us this Sunday as we explore this ugly-turned-beautiful scene.

Come and Drink

John 7:25-52 We enter back into our studies in John this week in the middle of the Feast of Tabernacles. As we explore the details of this feast, we continue to see conflict and division over the identity of Jesus. The authorities even send officers to arrest Jesus. And, on the last day of the feast, above the joyous crowd celebrating the feast, Jesus shouts his great invitation, “If you are thirsty, come to me and drink! And, if you do, out of your innermost being will flow rivers of living water!” It’s a stunning and remarkable invitation, which is why those officers come back without arresting Jesus. And why? In their words, “Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks.” Indeed, no one has ever spoken like Jesus did.

Is He Good?

John 7:1-24 This Sunday we enter back into the amazing Gospel of John. Over the next five weeks, we will explore chapters 7 and 8, the very heart of the book. Hostility and conflict surrounding the identity of Jesus characterize almost every scene in these two chapters. The instant pot is building pressure. Who is he anyway? Is Jesus “a good man,” meaning is he really connected to God, the source of all goodness (John 7:12)? Or is he an imposter? These two chapters invite us to decide for ourselves, and a lot hangs in the balance.