'John' Tagged Posts

'John' Tagged Posts

“WHODUNIT?”

It’s terrible English grammar, of course, but a good crime novel or movie is often called a “Whodunit.”  We even spoof those corny old movie scenes where the detective assembles everyone in the parlor or the library of the mansion after a murder and announces:  “The murderer is someone in this room!”    And as the background music plays a few tense notes – all of them –  from the maid to the butler, from the millionaire playboy to the…

THE BACKSTORY REVISITED

An old man named John wrote it down in a little letter years later:  “We have heard…we have seen…we have observed….our hands have touched.”   Those days long ago scroll across the old man’s memory.  He was a young man then, maybe all of nineteen.  He was hanging on the words of a rugged preacher named John the Baptist on that day when Jesus came in sight of the Jordan River.   “Look!”  said the preacher, pointing at Jesus, “The Lamb of…

TRANSFIGURATION TRUTHS – A REVIEW

On this Sunday before the start of the Lenten season, the Church has always tipped its hat to the account of Christ’s transfiguration.   The Gospel of Matthew says that Jesus took Peter, James and John up a high mountain by themselves.  “There he was transfigured in front of them. His face was shining like the sun. His clothing became as white as the light.  Just then, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Jesus.”    There are several lessons in…

IT’S ADVENT! EAT UP!

Advent is a season of preparation as we remember Christ’s first coming in lowliness and look forward to His second coming in glory.  The preparation may take the form of reading a chapter or two in the Bible each day, perhaps the opening chapters of each of the four Gospels. But in the hurry and pressure of the season, we might see it as one more time-bandit on our to-do list.    It can all become something we are doing…

A NEW SERMON SERIES – THE GOSPEL OF ST. JOHN

Today we begin a new sermon series – The Gospel According To St. John. During the week of Christmas & New Years, we will break from our series to consider the Christmas accounts from The Gospel According To St. Luke, and then we will return to John’s Gospel. God the Holy Spirit has chosen to record the life of our Savior in four Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  Each of these accounts pursues a different angle.  Even the…

WAITING FOR JESUS

John, chapter 5, calls the place Bethesda – “House of Mercy.”  It was Jerusalem’s hospital for the blind, the lame, the paralyzed – not far from the gate through which shepherds brought their sheep to market.  Five covered porches offered shelter from the heat of the sun, the sandy winds and the occasional cold rain. But that was about it. There were no nurses or attendants to care for these castaways of society.   Historically, it might be noted that our…

LESSONS FROM THE TRANSFIGURATION

On this Sunday before the start of the Lenten season, the Church has always tipped its hat to the account of Christ’s transfiguration.   The Gospel of Matthew says that Jesus took Peter, James and John up a high mountain by themselves.  “There he was transfigured in front of them. His face was shining like the sun. His clothing became as white as the light.  Just then, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Jesus.”    There are several…

“DO NOT HINDER THEM” – A REVIEW OF INFANT BAPTISM

“Baptism now saves you,” says Peter  in his first epistle (1 Peter 3:21).  Baptism is never spoken of as something we do for God, but as something God does for us – an expression of the gospel.  In The Gospel According To St. Mark, we are introduced to John’s “baptism for the forgiveness of sins,” and then to our sinless Savior who comes to Jordan’s bank for baptism as our Substitute to fulfill all righteousness. Understandably, as people were first…

WHO IS THE GREATEST

“Who is the greatest?” asked the disciples.   Jesus is on His grim march to the cross, the sacrifice of His very self in utter servitude to save us all – and His dense disciples want to know who gets the executive office suite with the corner window in the coming kingdom.   Peter, James and John were chosen to accompany Christ to the Mount of Transfiguration.  They were, by Jesus own orders, tight-lipped about what they had seen.  On an…

THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD

Each year, as is our custom, we gather to meditate on what has been called “The Greatest Story Ever Told.” It is not a mere story of course.  It certainly is not fiction.  It is fact.  It is history.  It truly happened.   Nor is this true and greatest story ever told only an academic exercise, a dusty old document detached from your life and mine.  It is, instead, the story of God’s bleeding love for every soul ever born.…

“AS HE WAS PRAYING…”

Transfiguration Sunday is an annual reminder of that moment on the mountain before our Savior set His face toward Jerusalem and the cross.  It is a fitting reminder, on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday, of the glorious and heavenly goal toward which the Savior’s suffering and death led – to the glory of Easter morning.  At the end of the hard path lies heaven itself. Matthew, Mark and Luke all record this event.  “He was transfigured,” is the way Mathew…

THE OFFENSE OF THE GOSPEL

One of our most familiar and time-honored Advent hymns is the hauntingly beautiful Oh, Come, Oh, Come, Emmauel.   It is an old Latin hymn that goes back to the 1100’s, some say even before A.D. 800.  It speaks of ancient Israel longing for the coming of Christ, the Messiah, to set them free from the real bondage of sin, death and hell. It speaks to all those whom Paul calls “the Israel of God,” that is, to the spiritual “Israel”…