Jesus: Mary’s Lord

Read John 12:1-8 Mary of Bethany lived near Jerusalem with her siblings Martha and Lazarus. She is likely single in a culture where women’s lives were perilous without a husband, brother, or father. Jesus welcomed Mary – an apparently average woman – as a disciple, even as it defied social expectation. (Luke 10) We next…

Jesus: Pivot Point

Read John 11:1-57 In this passage, Jesus is many things—a fellow mourner, a miracle worker, a sacrificial life-giver. Moreover, raising Lazarus is the pivot point of Jesus’ ministry. This miracle, the last of the seven signs in John’s gospel, is the point of no return. It hardens the religious leaders’ resolve to kill him. The…

Jesus: Good Shepherd

Read John 10:1-21 I recently watched a documentary about first century shepherds. I realized how little I previously knew about them. One of the main tasks of a shepherd was to protect his flock from predators and thieves – sometimes at the risk of his own life. During the day, a shepherd could use his…

Jesus: Light of the World

Read John 9:1-41 “Who sinned?” The question is philosophical, as if the blindman isn’t there to answer. Society’s leaders see a blind man — a beggar, sinner, outsider, bad person. Jesus sees differently. He sees through assumptions and labels. He is Light. In fact, he is the only one who truly sees. Society stumbles in…

Jesus: Defender of the Condemned

Read John 8:1-11 I’d been caught in the act. The underlying anger and bitterness I harbored against all humanity had finally, irrefutably manifested itself. I’d been called out by two co-workers within a week for my attitude in two different situations. I felt like the woman of this passage – dragged to the Temple courts,…

Jesus: Bread of Life

Read John 6:1-15, 27-40 The enormity of this miracle is almost lost on me because I can’t recall a personal experience of such a large gathering. Entering into the story The place where I can enter into this story is smaller. I identify with the boy. He handed his lunch to Jesus only to watch…

The Difference of Jesus: “Christ is Our Prophet”

Passage: Hebrews 1:1–2; 2:1–3; 4:12–13 Guide for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection Sermon Summary The book of Hebrews presents Christ as our prophet. Prophets spoke forth God’s word to his people, and as prophet, Jesus both speaks God’s word to us and is God’s word to us—everything God wants to disclose about himself, in a…

Jesus: Life Changer

Read John 5:1-10 I’ve always had a tough time with those Magic Eye pictures. You’ve probably seen them. You start looking at a regular two-dimensional scene and then try to relax your focus. Suddenly a three-dimensional horse or dragonfly shows up. Everyone in the room exclaims “Oh, I see it now.” Except for me. I’m…