Browsing articles tagged with " John"
Apr 16, 2011

John 11:45-12:11

Today’s Reading is John 11:45-12:11. I preached about it last March. Please refer to my sermon.

Apr 15, 2011

John 11:1-44

Today’s Reading is John 11:1-44. The shortest verse in many English language Bibles is about Jesus mourning the death of his friend Lazarus: “Jesus wept.”

Wikipedia knows significance has been attributed to this phrase for a number of reasons, including the following:
* Weeping demonstrates that Christ was indeed true man, with real bodily functions (such as tears, sweat, blood, eating and drinking—note, for comparison, the emphasis laid on Jesus’ eating during the post-resurrection appearances). His emotions and reactions were real; Christ was not an illusion or spirit (see Docetism). Pope Leo I referred to this passage when he discussed the two natures of Jesus: “In his humanity Jesus wept for Lazarus; in his divinity he raised him from the dead.”
* The sorrow felt by Jesus presages the suffering of his own crucifixion.

Also the Dominus Flevit Church in Jerusalem was fashioned in the shape of a teardrop to symbolize the tears of Christ:

Apr 14, 2011

John 7:25-52

Today’s Reading is John 7:25-52.
The Johannine community produced this gospel in the 90s in Ephesus. That is four generations and one continent away from where it iwas supposed to be set. Now they didn’t know to much about who Pharisees were or what Jesus’ place in Judaism was. Hear Ed Parish Sanders about how common contrasts between Judaism and Christianity miss the mark:

Apr 13, 2011

John 6:60-7:24

Today’s Reading is John 6:60-7:24.
The biggest question in John’s congregation remains: Who is Christ? He has that discussion in novel format by Jesus talking with his disciples. And it is a tough one: Many of his followers heard this and said, “This teaching is too hard. Who can listen to it?”
Looking at Christ’s the human and divine natures you will encounter the following extreme positions:
Arianism: God created the Logos who then created the world
Monophysitism: Christ has only one nature, his humanity being absorbed by his Deity
Dyophysitism: Christ existed as two persons – the human Jesus and the divine Logos
Who is Christ to you?

Apr 12, 2011

John 6:1-59

Yesterday‘s and today‘s Reading were John 6:1-59.
The Gospel of John is an interpretation of the older synoptic gospel material.
The first complex of the feeding the multitude episode and Jesus walking on water stems from Mark 6:30-52. In that gospel it is just two episodes that take place in the region of Capernaum where Jesus started his public ministry. John uses them as an introduction to his Bread of Life Discourse culminating in Jesus repeatedly stating: “I am the bread of life.” Here John’s congregation learns how their celebrating Holy Communion connects them with one another, with Christ and with the hope that Israel had back in the desert. One great food context that John creates here! Is your church centered around potlucks and other eating occasions, too?

Apr 9, 2011

John 5:1-18

Today’s Reading is John 5:1-18.
Here is a miracle: Jesus saw him lying there, and he knew that the man had been sick for such a long time; so he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
That is not really a healing story. It is about change of behavior and perspective. Almost like overcoming an addiction. Take a look at the original Twelve Steps. The man had been stuck on step one for a long time. Now Jesus’ presence enabled him to rush through step two and three during this brief encounter.

Our recovering man makes even more progress: Afterward, Jesus found him in the Temple.
That probably equals steps four and five, maybe even including six and seven. Good God, he’s halfway there!

Mar 20, 2011

2 Chronicles 1:1-17

Today’s Reading is 2 Chronicles 1:1-17.
If you had one wish that God would grant you what would it be?
Solomon chose wisdom. But God didn’t stop just there: “And in addition, I will give you more wealth, treasure, and fame than any king has ever had before or will ever have again.”
That gives some perspective to a couple of new testament references that come to mind:
John 18:38 “And what is truth?” Pilate asked.
Matthew 6:31-33 So do not start worrying: “Where will my food come from? or my drink? or my clothes?” (These are the things the pagans are always concerned about.) Your Father in heaven knows that you need all these things. Instead, be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and with what he requires of you, and he will provide you with all these other things.
It has happened before! It will happen again!

Feb 8, 2011

John 13:21-35

Today’s Reading is John 13:21-35.

During this joyous meal Jesus drops the bomb: “I am telling you the truth: one of you is going to betray me.” The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking. In the other gospels they don’t learn who he is talking about, but ask helplessly: “Is it I, Lord?” without Jesus giving an answer.The gospel of John has a super-special disciple: “One of the disciples, the one whom Jesus loved, was sitting next to Jesus.”

Now it gets weird: Simon Peter motioned to him and said, “Ask him whom he is talking about.” So that disciple moved closer to Jesus’ side and asked, “Who is it, Lord?” Jesus answered, “I will dip some bread in the sauce and give it to him; he is the man.” So he took a piece of bread, dipped it, and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.

Why all that ado? Why not straight-talk? Peter is the Head Apostle at the time. John is what seems to be Jesus’ lover. The ultimate result is the same as in the other gospels: None of the others at the table understood why Jesus said this to him.

Even being the first of all Christians, even being super close to Jesus, does not prevent us from betraying him. When the Lord cleansed us disciples through his foot-washing that didn’t last too long: Tonight’s supper reminds us of our need for forgiveness over and over again.

Feb 7, 2011

John 13:1-20

Today’s Reading is John 13:1-20.
Afraid of germs we teach to wash your hands before a meal, afraid of coming to God unclean a few cultures teach to wash your feet before a meal.
That is an act of purification, not cleanliness.
The entirety of his disciples is not clean, because Judas is part of them.
Each individual is not entirely clean, because we are all partly Judas.
You have hidden sins of the past and unknown sins of the future.
Foot-washing is a visible sign for an inner process of purification: In this moment I am willing to look at myself from God’s perspective. It shows me that I am just human, I’m unclean, and God is ready to cleanse me today.