John: Come and See
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
John 6:41-71 We finish Jesus’ Bread of Life discourse this week. Jesus goes deeper into what it means to keep coming and keep believing in him. His language is arresting as he talks about ingesting his flesh and blood. The shocking language offends many of his disciples, causing them to turn away. Yet the language he uses speaks to us taking his life into ours so that his life becomes our life, that we may abide with each other and share life together. What an incredible invitation to us – the living God wants to share life with us! And, of course, this text looks forward to our identifying feast, communion. Although it is not the first Sunday of the month, we will take communion together at the end of the service. For those of you at home, I invite you to prepare elements ahead of time which represent the body and blood of Jesus (the elements do not need to be special). For those of you at our live parking lot service, we will serve pre-packaged elements to you.
John 6:22-40 Jesus says, “I am the bread of life.” It sure is a strange way to talk about yourself, isn’t it? I am bread? I could understand if he would have said maker of bread, or baker of bread or giver of bread. But, I am bread? A person is bread? Really? No one ever spoke like this! Come this Sunday as we explore this famous saying by Jesus.
John 6:1-21 As we come to John 6 this week, we are confronted again with our view of God. Jesus goes back to Galilee during Passover, where he finds a great crowd following him. He has compassion on the crowd and feeds them using a small lunch, then collects 12 baskets of leftovers. Jesus seems to be connected to a world of great abundance. Are you connected to this world? Is the God you serve a God of abundance or scarcity? Join us in person for Mornings Together or on our live stream as we explore this well-known text. Communion At the end of Sunday’s service we will again take communion “together.” For those of you at home, I invite you to prepare elements ahead of time which represent the body and blood of Jesus (the elements do not need to be special). For those of you at Mornings Together, we will serve pre-packaged elements to you.
John 5:31-47 The Jewish Authorities have begun prosecuting Jesus on charges of blasphemy because he is “making himself equal with God” (5:18). In turn, Jesus has entered his defense. He and His Father are working together in dependent unity. Some of this work includes giving life and pronouncing judgment, quite audacious claims for any human to make. As you can imagine, everyone standing there would be asking Jesus for evidence for these audacious claims. Knowing this, Jesus now calls to the stand three witnesses for his defense, but also offers a closing argument rebuking these authorities. In the end, we must give our verdict. Will we pronounce Jesus innocent or guilty?
John 5:19-30 After healing the lame man in John 5:1-18, the Jewish authorities begin to bring formal charges against Jesus because he is “making himself equal with God” (5:18). In our extraordinary text this week, Jesus begins his defense of his actions. This is Jesus’ longest exposition on his relationship to his Father, including the authority that his Father has given him to bestow life and render judgment. The culmination of these verses is the Gospel where Jesus invites all people to believe in him and move from death to life, a movement that can happen right now. In these breath-taking verses, Jesus makes himself the core decision for all people for all time. So, what will you do with him?
John 5:1-18 We begin a new section in the Gospel of John this week. In these middle chapters of John, by what Jesus says and does, he sets himself apart from any other person who has ever lived. To begin, he heals a man who was lame for 38 years. Before he heals him, though, he asks him a curious question: Do you want to get well? Instead of answering the question, the man seemingly responds with complaints and excuses. It’s a good question for us to consider. Do we want to get well? Jesus, God with us, stands at the door and knocks, and offers us living water. Do we really want to get well?
John 4:27-45 “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news” (Is 52:7). Evangelism. Sometimes we hear that word and immediately we cringe. Unfortunately the word is heard negatively these days. But, we shouldn’t cringe with this word, for evangelizing is simply “good-news-izing,” telling people in word and deed the amazingly wonderful good news of Jesus. This is exactly what the woman at the well did. She met Jesus, was loved by him, then turned around and loved her neighbors by sharing the amazingly wonderful good news. What can we learn about this essential element of our faith from this woman at the well who became a well? Join our live-stream this Sunday to complete our studies in this profound scene.