The end of John 11 is very moving. It shows us how very close God is to our sorrow. He is close enough to examine our wounds, smell the stench of rotting humanity and to do something about it. When I read the end of John 11, I want Jesus in my life. Do you want him in your life?
At the end of John’s Gospel, he tells us that Jesus did so many miraculous things that it would be too hard to fit them into a book. John is really specific about the miracles he includes in his Gospel. And, he places the death and resurrection of Lazarus in the very center of the book. Yes, he let Lazarus die. But, he did it to show the world what he can do with death- overpower it! Further, this death and resurrection is not the centerpiece of Jesus’ ministry. There will be another death and this time it will be God allowing Jesus to die instead of rescuing him from the cross. Why? To show his power over death and God’s desire to bring new life to man.
The first part of John Chapter 11 sets us up for the death of Lazarus. In this part of the story, Jesus purposefully waits for Lazarus to die. Why? And what might that mean in relation to our lives and the times that we do not get our way with God? What is Jesus up to when he allows suffering to occur in the lives of his followers?
CS Lewis famously said that you can’t take Jesus merely as some gentle teacher of good moral principles. He is either Lord, a lunatic, or liar. This passage is a classic example of Jesus’ absolute certainty that he is God. Are we ready to worship him or reject him or do we just treat him like a nice example of a moral teacher? Join us this week at Matthew Whipple preaches and invite a friend.
*A video clip is used during the sermon, if you would like to view the clip please visit http://on.cc.com/1IOp15d
Always on a quest to save both his followers and his enemies from straying away from life, Jesus attempts to get his audience to hear the voice of God. He is the shepherd and his sheep hear his voice. To what noises do we give our attention? Will it help us hear our Master?
There is no account of a temptation in the wilderness in the Gospel of John. However, in chapter 10, Jesus gets very explicit about a supernatural enemy and makes it clear that his mission as God incarnate is to rescue sheep from the mouth of the wolf. Without looking for a devil behind every tree, are you still taking seriously the fight that happening in the heavens for the soul of man? Please join us and invite a friend.
Jesus confronts the problem of spiritual blindness after healing a man of physical blindness. Are we sure we see things for what they really are? Or, can the teachings of Jesus open our eyes to see True Reality. Please join us and invite a friend.
In John chapter 9, Jesus heals a man born blind. The inquiry about the meaning of this man's blindness is very contemporary- bad things happen to bad people. But, Jesus gives another reason and it points to the cross, where He will suffer, as a good person, the best person who ever lived. This week we will explore a vital question for every Christian. Why does God allow suffering if He is good and powerful? Reflecting upon this Dorothy Sayers said: “For whatever reason God chose to make man as he is— limited and suffering and subject to sorrows and death—He had the honesty and the courage to take His own medicine. Whatever game He is playing with His creation, He has kept His own rules and played fair. He can exact nothing from man that He has not exacted from Himself. He has Himself gone through the whole of human experience, from the trivial irritations of family life and the cramping restrictions of hard work and lack of money to the worst horrors of pain and humiliation, defeat, despair and death. When He was a man, He played the man. He was born in poverty and died in disgrace and thought it well worthwhile.”
John 8:42-59My friend has a dog who will never leave the yard if left outside. The yard has no walls and the dog is not chained. Invisible to the eye, the dog is restrained by an electric fence. If my friend turned off the electric fence and shouted to his dog, "be free" she would not leave the yard. According to Jesus, we were all born into slavery, fenced in by an invisible evil and unaware that there are opportunities for freedom. John's Gospel declares that we are in darkness and unable to see the light. However, Jesus says in this Gospel that if we make Jesus our master, we will be free. He says things like, believe and be saved, you must be born again, you will know the truth and the truth will set you free, the sheep hears the shepherd's voice..., and if you follow me you will never walk in darkness. In John 8:42-59, Jesus gets really personal and says that we are either children of the Devil or children of God. And, if we are children of God, we are free! Join us this Sunday as we look at the ways in which the lies of the Devil enslave us and how we can live lives "beyond the electric fence" by following our true Master, Jesus Christ.
Jesus is really serious about bringing people freedom. In John 8 he says that if you know the Truth, it will set you free. I think we can all recognize that hiding from the truth or having the truth kept from us can cause us to become slave-like. And, Jesus' message, though an ancient one, is really important for us in the west because we value our freedom so much and yet we often do not experience lives that are "free" from day to day. This Sunday, we will hear what Jesus has to say about living lives where we are free instead of being folks locked up in the prison of untruth and how being people committed to a truth bigger than ourselves can be an incredibly attractive thing to those with whom we work and play. Join us and please invite a friend.
*Our apologies that we were unable to capture the full message, the recording begins a couple minutes into Jay's Sermon and excludes the reading.
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