John

The Gospel of John: Seeing is Believing

John 8:31-47

June 26, 2022 • David Schrock • John 8:31–47

In the context of a court case, God’s children and God’s enemies debate liberty, the source of life, and their implications for living. This week in America, this description well-fits the much prayed for decision to overturn Roe v Wade. For that decision, we give thanks to God and we consider now, what further steps can be taken to protect life in our county, our state, and our country. At the same time, this description of a courtroom debate over liberty fits the debate between God’s Son and the children of Satan who oppose his life-giving message. In John 8, Jesus sifts the “believers” to find out who they really are. Are they children of God? Or are they children of the devil? Indeed, going back to the beginning, there has been a cosmic battle between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. And in John 8:31–47 Jesus gives the definitive explanation of this reality. That is to say, he will tell us how to know if we are children of God or not. Even more, Jesus words in John 8 will give us light to understand the darkness around us. When advocates of abortion threaten death and destruction to those who are standing for life, we need to know that something more than a courtroom decision is prompting such rage. There are spiritual forces at work. The devil and his lies are animating such hostility. And this Sunday, we will see from Scripture why this is and what Jesus says about it. Today, let us pray for the peace of our nation, the protection of churches and pregnancy care centers who have been threatened, and let us come to Sunday expectant that the words of Christ will give us the life and liberty we need to know how to walk in a world filled with violence. Jesus says to his true disciples, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” This is the life and liberty which God promises his people. And we need to pray that his infallible promise will continue to uphold his church, no matter what happens in the world around us. As the Lord allows, I look forward to seeing you Sunday, as we worship Christ and learn from him. For His Glory and your joy, Pastor David ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Discussion & Response Questions: John 8:31 - 47 When Jesus speaks about freedom and slavery, he is speaking on the last day of the Feast of Booths, which follows the Day of Atonement, which kicks off the year of Jubilee? How do those OT festivals inform Jesus’s words? How does Jesus speak about and contrast freedom and slavery? What is the truth that sets one free? How does one receive this freedom? What is the relationship between identity and one’s actions? God is Father, Abraham is a father, and the devil is a father. How are these contrasted in this discussion? What does this reveal about the world, the church, and the children whom God gives us? What does Jesus teach about his relationship to the Father? How should this discussion impact our self-understanding? What do we observe about who Jesus is? How ought we to respond to this text?

John 8:12-30

June 19, 2022 • David Schrock • John 8:12–30

During the Feast of Booths, the final festival on the Levitical calendar (see Lev. 23), there were two ceremonies. The first was as water pouring ceremony where waters were poured out from the temple and allowed to flow down hill. The second was a court lighting ceremony, where one of the temple precincts was lit up all night. In John 7, we saw how Jesus spoke on the last day of the festival and decreed that the Spirit he would send would fulfill the water pouring ceremony. Now, still on the last day of the festival, Jesus addresses the Pharisees and he says that he is the light of the world. This too matches the Feast of Booths and sets up a lengthy discussion about judgment, sin, and salvation. On Sunday, we will dig into this debate and with the light of Zechariah 14, we will see how Jesus, as the long awaited king, has come to bring light to the world. But instead of defining light however we choose, we will see that this light has a particular design—namely, judgment and salvation. To prepare for Sunday, take time to read Zechariah 14 and John 8. Remember, John 8:12 is best understood as coming immediately after John 7:52, which puts these two declarations about water (John 7:37-39) and light (John 8:12; cf. John 9:5) on the same day. As we will see, this is not accidental and it helps know more of Christ and how his light give us light for life, decision-making, and rendering judgment about matters that require discernment. As the Lord allows, I look forward to seeing you Sunday, when we will also begin two new Sunday School classes—one on parenting (in the sanctuary) and another on engaging culture (downstairs in Room 4). For His Glory and your joy in Jesus, Pastor David ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Discussion & Response Questions: John 8:12 - 30 1. How well do you do in making judgments? Why is it important that we have a perfect judge? 2. How does John 8:12 (“I am the light of the world”) relate to the theme of judgment that fills John 8:12–30? 3. How does the Feast of Booths provide a helpful background for John 8? 4. What were the Jews looking for, expecting, hoping for when they celebrated the festival with lights? See Zechariah 14 (esp. vv. 6–9). 5. How does Jesus bring light? What does his light do? 6. In what ways does John 8:12–8:30 continue the courtroom motif in John’s Gospel? 7. How does Jesus bear witness about himself? Why does it matter that there are two witnesses (v. 17)? 8. How does this announcement of his death (vv. 21, 28) relate to his kingship? 9. How does that light help us make decisions and judgments today? 10. How can you walk in Christ’s light? What will walking in that light produce?

John 8:1-11

June 12, 2022 • David Schrock • John 8:1–11

Reading the Bible can be difficult. It is even more difficult when our English translations say something like this: The earliest manuscripts do not include John 7:53–8:11. Have you ever noticed this editorial remark? Or given thought to what it means? Have you read what the Preface to the Bible says about this kind of thing? Or noticed other places in the Bible where manuscript questions arise? On Sunday, we will consider this passage, its absence in earlier manuscripts, and its presence in our Bibles. In our time, we will learn a little of how we got the Bible, how we can have confidence in the Bibles we hold, and what this passage in particular illustrates about Jesus Christ. To be sure, Sunday will require an extra shot of caffeine to understand some of the background information to our Bibles, something called textual criticism, but it will help us all know more about God’s word and how God brought us his Word. To prepare for Sunday, take time to read John 7–8, and if you have time, I would encourage you to read one or many of these articles on John 7:53–8:11 Timothy Miller, an article outlining different approaches to John 7:53–8:11 Daniel Wallace, “My Favorite Passage Not in the Bible" John Piper, a sermon John 7:53–8:11 Pastor David, a blogpost on this passage May the Lord open our eyes to see who he is and how he has revealed himself to us. As the Lord allows, I hope to see you Sunday. Pastor David ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Discussion & Response Questions: John 7:53 - 8:11 1. What is textual criticism? And how does it relate to John 7:53–8:11? 2. Does textual criticism strengthen or weaken our confidence in the Bible? 3. What are reasons you can trust your Bible? 4. How can we approach John 7:53–8:11? How should we treat those who disagree with us, or hold a different view? 5. Moving the text, what is the main point of John 7–9? Of John’s Gospel? Hint: See John 1:12 and 20:31. 6. How does John 7:53–8:11 illustrate key truths from John’s Gospel? 7. By this story what do we learn about God? What others truths in Scripture reinforce this picture of God in Christ? 8. What else do we learn from John 7:53–8:11 and the Gospel of John?

Protest, Proclamation, and Debate: How a Dividing Savior Warns and Comforts (John 7:32-52)

June 5, 2022 • Rod Fillinger • John 7:32–52

This Sunday we continue our study of John 7. We considered last week the way Christ divides. The person and the work of Christ continue to divide humanity. Questions of who he is and whether he is who he claims to be, the Messiah, the Savior, the perfect God-man, are prominent themes in John 7 and today. The setting for John 7 is the last day, the great day of the Feast of Tabernacles. This feast, also known as the Feast of Ingathering or Booths, lasted eight days. All through the first seven days water from the Pool of Siloam was carried in a golden pitcher and poured out at the altar in the temple to remind everyone of the water God miraculously provided for a thirsty Israel in the wilderness. It seems that on the eighth day there was no pouring of water – only prayers for water – to remind them that they came into the Promised Land. They lived in temporary shelters, booths, for seven days to remind them of their wilderness sojourn, but the eighth day was a holy convocation to the Lord. (See Lev 23:33—44; Deut 16:13—17.) It is on this last day, the great day of the feast, when there was no pouring of the water, that Jesus stands in the temple area and cries out that if anyone thirsts, they should come to him and drink. He is the source of living water, and he will make living water flow from the hearts of those who come and drink of him. The celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles emphasized how God provided water to Israel in the wilderness on their way to Canaan. Jesus boldly called people to Himself to drink and satisfy their deepest thirst, their spiritual thirst. In preparation for our time together, read John 7. Notice how Christ divides, but how his division is both a source of comfort and anguish depending upon one’s thirst. Pray for our time together that we would thirst for the living water of Christ the living Word, and his written Word. I look forward to seeing you this Sunday and drinking deeply of the living water that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ so abundantly provides. For His Glory and your joy, Pastor Rod -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Discussion & Response Questions: John 7:37-39 As the crowds dispute with one another, what does this reveal about their understanding of Jesus’ identity? How do we know that what Jesus was about to say was of great importance? (v. 37) What is Important about where he said it? What is important about when he said it? What is important about how he said it? (Contrast this to Isaiah 42:2 and the general tone of his ministry.) What does it mean for one to go to Jesus and drink? How are we to do this? What does it mean for rivers of living water to flow from someone? Do rivers of living water flow from you? How does this connect to Ezekiel 47? How does reading Ezekiel 47 and Zechariah 4 and 14 with John 7 help us understand Jesus’s teaching in John 7? How does John’s explanation in verse 39 help us understand Jesus’ invitation in verses 37-38? How is the tension resolved between Prophet vs Christ (vv. 40-41), and Galilee vs. Bethlehem (vv. 41-42)? How do the Pharisees view the crowds in their thinking? Why? (vv. 45-52) What does this text reveal to us about Jesus? How should we respond to these truths?

Jesus' Church Building Strategy: Rightly Dividing the World with Truth (John 7:1-36)

May 29, 2022 • David Schrock • John 7:1–36

If John’s Gospel is a testimony that calls readers to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, it should not surprise us to find witnesses, judgments, trials, and the need for the reader to make a decision: Who do you say Christ is? In the other three Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), the climactic moments of Jesus’s earthly life result in a trial that sentences Christ to the cross. In John’s Gospel, the same trial is recorded, but in actuality, that trial spans the whole book. In John 3, Nicodemus comes to question Jesus. In John 4, it is the Samaritan woman. In John 5, it is the Jewish leaders. In John 6, it is the crowds whom Jesus fed. And now in John 7, it is Jesus’s brothers and the crowds in Jerusalem who question Jesus. Not surprisingly, the life and works of Jesus divide the people, even as the person and work of Christ continue to divide humanity. Who is Jesus? Is he good or evil? Lord or lunatic? Savior or imposter? These are questions that continue to have weight today, even as they did in the days of Christ. On Sunday, we will face these questions head on, to see again that Jesus is the Son who is bringing light into the world. Indeed, such light produces different results, but it is light that we must all come to see and render a verdict on. For in fact, his light is actually exposing our hearts and testing our faith. In preparation for Sunday, take time to read John 7. Notice how it begins with Jesus’s brothers and ends with Nicodemus. Clearly, John is showing us how he is bringing people into the light. And for those of us who live in a world of darkness, we need to see how. Take time to pray for our service and for those who come. May God shine his light upon us, as we gather to gaze at his grace and glory. As the Lord allows, I look forward to seeing you Sunday. For His Glory and your joy, Pastor David ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Discussion & Response Questions: John 7:1-36 How do the characters in these verses respond to Jesus? (his brothers, the crowds, the people of Jerusalem, the chief priests and Pharisees) How does the structure of John 7 help us understand the message? Why does Jesus decline to go to the feast with his brothers? Is he lying? Or is something else going on? How do the people see Jesus? (vv. 11-12) What does Jesus reveal about his teaching? What does this reveal about the mission of the Son? As many are misjudging Jesus, what does Jesus rightly judge about them? What do we learn about our own standing before Jesus? What is the crowds’ misunderstanding of the Messiah’s identity? (vv. 24-27) What is this passage revealing about Jesus’ hour? From what we see of Jesus in these verses, how should we respond to Him? What does the triad of Sabbath, Circumcision, and the Law teach us about the gospel and our response to God in Christ?

Blessed are the Un-Offended: For They Are the Elect of God (John 6:60-71)

May 22, 2022 • David Schrock • John 6:60–71

If the gospel is defined as the good news about Jesus Christ, the message of his death and resurrection should be confused with "soft” news. In other words, the goodness of the gospel is not like K-Love's positive, encouraging new stories. Instead, the good news of God is a message that must deal with the hardness of the human heart and the depravity of the human race. Addressing men and women in such perilous conditions, it is not surprising that Jesus offers words that are hard. Hardened sinners need strong medicine, and Jesus words give us just what we need. Indeed, John 6 might include some of the hardest sayings of Jesus, as many of his disciples say (v. 60). As a result, many of his disciples leave (v. 66). And yet, when they leave, Jesus does not bat an eye or change his approach. Instead, he offers an off ramp to his Twelve too. What is he doing? What kind of Savior is Jesus that he is so willing to let his followers depart? What does it say about God and man that his words come across as so hard? Such questions are the ones that either push people away from Jesus and draw them close. And this Sunday we will consider these kinds of questions. From John 6:60–71, we will learn that the words of Jesus are hard. But in their firmness we will find a solid foundation on which to build our lives. Truly, in a hard world, we need something harder on which to stand. And Jesus gives us that firm foundation. If you want to walk with Jesus for all of eternity, therefore, John 6:60–69 is a passage with which you must come to grips. And this Sunday we will look at it together to bolster our faith. In preparation for Sunday, take time to read John 6 again and pray that God would give us an unswerving commitment to follow Christ, hard sayings and all. For His Glory and your joy, Pastor David --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Discussion & Response Questions: John 6:60-71 What does this text reveal about the words of Jesus? What does this teach us about belief and unbelief? About the Spirit and flesh? What distinctions would you make between the disciples who left Jesus, and the twelve? Why would Jesus teach “hard sayings” knowing that some would turn away and no longer walk with him? Many will decry giving offense, seeing anything that causes division negatively. Some will soften messages to keep people together, rather than addressing different issues. Biblically, how should we consider these things? What does biblical fidelity look like? When is division necessary, and when should unity be preserved? Consider Peter’s confession (vv. 68-69), and your confession. How did the Lord work to bring you to faith in Christ? Compare and contrast the disciples’ question in verse 60, with Peter’s question in verse 68. What makes the difference between them? How is it that Peter is able to confess these things? How do we see Father, Son, and Spirit working in this text? How would you describe Jesus from this text? How should we respond to these truths?

Living Bread from Heaven (John 6:41-59)

May 15, 2022 • David Schrock • John 6:41–59

Cannibalism. Vampirism. And plain old weird-ism. Any one of these -isms could be applied to Jesus’s words in John 6:53–54, which read “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." What does this verse mean? Is it literal? Are the ancient accusations that Christians are cannibals true? Or are Jesus’s words mere metaphor? And if metaphorical, what is the meaning behind the metaphor? This Sunday, we will answer those questions, to show that Jesus is not inviting vampirism (a concern that I recently heard from a Lyft driver), nor is he calling for his followers to be Cannibals. Instead, he is explaining how his followers must come to him and believe in him and the death he died on the cross. Truly, if anyone wants to be in Christ and to have Christ in him, they must “eat” his flesh and “drink” his blood. This visceral teaching indicates how close our spiritual union with Christ is, and how our spiritual with Christ depends upon the blood of his cross. To prepare for Sunday, read John 6. You may also find Numbers 9 and Isaiah 54 two important chapters for understanding Jesus’s words. Let’s pray that God gives us an appetite for Christ, because in fact, our Heavenly Father has prepared a banqueting table in the death and resurrection of his Son. May all who are hungry come and feed on him—the Bread of Life. For His Glory and your joy in Christ, Pastor David ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Discussion & Response Questions: John 6:41-59 Why do the Jews grumble? What does this reveal about their understanding of who Jesus is? (vv. 41-42) Consider Jesus’ instruction in verses 41-51. How does Jesus address their grumbling? What argument is Jesus making from the Old Testament? What is he revealing about himself? Notice how grumbling turns to arguing (v. 52). How will this question be answered? Consider Jesus’ words in verses 53-58. What does he repeat from earlier? What does Jesus emphasize in this teaching? What do these teachings reveal about who Jesus is? What do they reveal about his mission? What do they reveal about the Son’s relationship to the Father in regard to his mission? Why is Jesus called the living bread? How does the Father’s relationship to the Son connect with Jesus being living bread? What does it mean to feed on Jesus’ flesh and drink his blood? How does this go sideways with the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation? How should we respond to Jesus? What do we learn about our own radical dependence on God’s grace? What do we learn about the gospel and its defense today?

Soul Food: When, Who, What, and Why Jesus is the Bread of Life (John 6:25-40)

May 8, 2022 • David Schrock • John 6:25–40

Hunger is a universal experience. So is thirst. And so is seeking to find food and drink in times of need. Importantly, God made us creatures who need food and drink. And he did this not only because that is how organisms live, but that’s how God works. In other words, by giving us thirst, hunger, and the experience of seeking physical satisfaction, God is teaching us something about himself. God is our spiritual food! In John 6, this comes to the forefront as seekers cross the Sea of Galilee to find Jesus and fill their stomachs. Only in this case, Jesus exposes their errant seeking and he in turn leads them to seek food that will not perish. Indeed, so many of our sins, follies, frustrations, and setbacks are caused by not knowing how to live on Christ, to feed on Christ, and to delight ourselves in Christ. But on Sunday, we will learn from Jesus how to come to Jesus and how to find food and drink for our souls. So read John 6 to prepare for Sunday and don’t forget Sunday is also Mother’s Day. So do something nice for your mom and come to church to worship Christ. As the Lord allows, I will see you Sunday! For His Glory and your joy in Christ, Pastor David ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Discussion & Response Questions: John 6:22-40 Why are the crowds seeking Jesus? (vv. 22-26) What is the food that does not perish? (See also Isaiah 55:1-2) What is the work of God? (vv. 28-29) Evaluate the request for a sign, and the crowd’s use of Scripture (vv. 30-31). How does Jesus correct them? How does this mirror the conversation with the Samaritan woman in John 4? Consider Jesus’ teaching in verses 35-40. How does this parallel what Jesus taught Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman? What is Jesus revealing about himself? How should we respond to Jesus? How can we respond to Jesus? Does this teaching give us more or less confidence in evangelism? What else do we learn about God and our salvation in John 6?

The Good Shepherd's Sheep: A Scary Life of Seeing and Seeking Jesus (John 6:16-24)

May 1, 2022 • David Schrock • John 6:1–59

It’s not easy being a sheep. You are not in charge of your own life. You are in constant need of protection. You don’t always know where your next meal will come from. And you are easily injured, downcast, or exploited by others. Such is the life of a sheep. And yet, here we are. In the Bible, God’s people are sheep. Not mustangs. Nor dolphins. Nor canines. But sheep. We are not the fastest, nor the smartest, nor the best friend of man. Instead, we are people desperately in need of a Shepherd to lead, feed, guide, and protect us. And thankfully, in Christ, we have such a Good Shepherd. This Sunday, we will pick up this Shepherd theme again in John 6. Even more, as we watch the disciples struggle in the storm before Jesus walks on the water, we will dig deep into what it means to be a follower of Christ. As you have time, read John 6. And if you want to see some of the background texts for John 6:16–24 take a look at Isaiah 43 and Psalm 107. I am hopeful that Sunday’s message will help make sense of many struggles in our lives and will offer us much grace to embrace our sheepiness as we follow the Good Shepherd. For His Glory and your joy in Christ, Pastor David ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Discussion & Response Questions: John 6:16-24 1. How does knowing the background of the Exodus (Exodus-Numbers) play a key role in understanding John 6? 2. What does this background teach us about Christ? What is the main point of the chapter? 3. John 6:16–24 functions as more than a transition from one place to the next. What do we learn in these verses? 4. How does John 6:1–15 relate to John 6:16–24 and vice versa? In what ways is Jesus like Moses? In what ways is he not like Moses? 5. If Jesus is the Good Shepherd (John 10), how does John 6 teach us to follow him? 6. In your own life, how have you seen God lead you into danger, only to rescue you? 7. Why is it important to understand that part of God’s good shepherding includes danger, affliction, and scarcity? 8. What have you learned about God through your various dangers, toils, and snares? 9. If and when you don’t feel God’s presence, what should you do? 10. What other questions or encouragements does John 6 give you?

Christ Our All-Sufficient Savior (John 6:1-15)

April 24, 2022 • Ben Purves • John 6:1–15

Have you ever sat down to dinner, and when you were finished, there was more leftovers at the end than food at the beginning? This Sunday as we continue in the Gospel of John we will see the great sufficiency of Jesus as he feeds the 5,000. While familiar to many, this sign performed by Jesus should fill us with awe and cause us to marvel at the great all-sufficiency of our Lord. I invite you to read John 6:1-15 in advance, and pay attention to the details. I look forward to gathering with you this Sunday as we gather to worship our risen Lord! Pastor Ben --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Discussion & Response Questions John 6:1-15 Why does Jesus withdraw from the crowds (vv. 1-3, 15)? Why do you think Jesus tests his disciples? How do they respond to this test? Notice the details: Why would John mention the Passover? The amount of grass? How does this event compare with the feeding of Israel in the wilderness following the Exodus? See Ex 16; Num 11; Ps 78; Ps 105. Given the miraculous provision for the crowd, why would Jesus care about the leftovers? How does the crowd respond to this sign (vv. 14-15)? How does this compare to 5:46-47? Why does Jesus reject the crowd’s attempt at king-making? What truths about Christ does this event reveal? How ought we to respond to these truths?

The Three Resurrections You Need, and the One You Don't (John 5:25-29)

April 17, 2022 • David Schrock • John 5:25–29

He is Risen. He is Risen Indeed! On Sunday we will take our service, our songs, and our celebration outside to rejoice in the resurrection of Christ. Come join us at 10:00am, as we gather in our parking lot to declare to the world that Jesus reigns and that our Lord saves. On Sunday, we will return to John 5:25–29 to consider the three resurrections you need, and the one resurrection you don’t. If you know someone who needs to hear the gospel message, this Sunday would be a great time to invite them. Come early. Dress warm. And bring your camping chair. We look forward to worshiping the risen Christ with you on Sunday. For His Glory and your joy in Christ, Pastor David ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Discussion & Response Questions John 5:25-29 What kind of resurrection does Jesus identify as already happening (i.e. the “hour . . . is now here”)? What is the relationship between hearing and resurrection? What has John revealed about eternal life so far? (John 3:15-16; 3:36; 4:14; 4:36; 5:24) What does verse 26 teach us about the life of the Son? How else have we see the Son’s life in the Gospel of John? (See John 1:4, 5:21) What kind of resurrection does Jesus identify as future (i.e. “an hour is coming”)? How is Jesus’ resurrection essential to all these realities? How should we respond to these truths?

What Does Jesus Say About You? Four Witnesses, Four Warnings, Four Marks of Faith (John 5:30-47)

April 10, 2022 • David Schrock • John 5:30–47

Who do you listen to? And how well do you listen? An honest answer to those questions will tell you a lot about who you are and who you will be in five, ten, or fifty (thousand) years. Few things are more important than the voices that we will listen to. And few gifts are more precious than men and women who testify to the grace of God in the gospel. If you are listening to others who speak of Christ, point to Christ, and help you follow Christ, you can know these are not just good friends, they are gifts from God. This Sunday, we will consider a similar line of thought as we listen to five “witnesses” who all tell us something about Christ. At a time when Jesus' identity was in question and his actions were inviting opposition, Jesus turns to a host of witnesses who declare that he is the true Son of God, to whom we should listen and obey. Just the same, if we listen to these witnesses today, we will be in a good position to learn who Christ is and how to follow him. On Sunday’s that’s exactly what we will consider. To get ready, take time to read John 5, especially verses 30–47. And pray that God would give us hearts to receive Christ and believe on him. For His Glory and your joy, Pastor David ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Discussion & Response Questions John 5:30-47 How does Jesus describe his relationship with the Father? Does Jesus bear witness about himself? How is one’s testimony validated? What should we learn from these witnesses who bear testimony about Jesus? a. John (vv. 33-35) b. Jesus’ Works (v. 36) c. The Father (vv. 37-38) d. The Scriptures (vv. 39) e. Moses (vv. 45-47) How did they respond to these witnesses? What is Jesus communicating about his glory (vv. 41-44)? How should we respond to these witnesses?

Life in the Son (John 5:18-29)

April 3, 2022 • Bruce Forsee • John 5:18–29

Sermon Introduction There’s a reason that serial TV shows start out by saying, “Previously on ….” It’s been a week since you saw the last episode, but in order to follow the plot, you need to remember what happened at that warehouse, what was said at that table in the restaurant, and that Max made a significant discovery. If you don’t remember these things, tonight’s episode won’t make any sense. I don’t want to compare Scripture to a TV series, but I do want to point out the importance of following the story line of Scripture. As we study through the gospel of John on Sunday mornings, we see why it is good to “binge,” to simply read a book of the Bible in one sitting. When you read a book in one sitting, it’s easier to remember what has happened and relate it to what you’re currently reading. It’s easier to follow the story or the argument. As we think about John 5:19-29, we can remember that John starts his gospel by showing that the Son of God was sent by the Father into the world to bring life and light. The One who was promised long ago has finally come. Jesus then begins to gather His people; He chooses His disciples. They attend a wedding, where Jesus performs a miracle and presents Himself as the perfect, sufficient bridegroom. This bridegroom imagery is picked up in John 3 and comes to fruition at the well in Samaria (John 4). Throughout, Jesus has been illustrating the insufficiency of the OT cleansing rituals and even worship in the Temple as He emphasizes that these don’t bring life, but Jesus does. Jesus shows His magnificent life-giving power by healing the nearly dead son of an official and then healing a man who had been sick for 38 years. Moreover, by healing him on the Sabbath, Jesus highlights not only the Pharisees’ toxic legalism but also the fact that He is “lord of the Sabbath” (Luke 6:5). In John 5:19ff, it’s time in John’s gospel to hear from Jesus a fuller explanation of who He is and what it is that He’s doing. We look forward to seeing you this Sunday as we look into these magnificent words of Jesus that not only highlight His life-giving power but also give us amazing insights into the nature of God Himself! May God bless our time together as we seek a greater knowledge of our Lord. Bruce Forsee ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Discussion & Response Questions John 5:18-29 How does Jesus describe his relationship to the Father? Why does the Father show the Son what he is doing? How ought we to respond to these works? What does Jesus teach about life, judgment, and honor? What is the relationship between life and judgment? Notice that Jesus says “an hour is coming, and is now here” (v. 25). Do you remember this from John 4:23? What is Jesus communicating by saying this? How is the hour that is now here (v. 25) different from the hour to come (v. 28)? What is different between the “hearing” in verses 24-25, and the “hearing” in verses 28-29? What is the significance of the title "Son of Man" in verse 27, and why does Jesus use this title here? What does Jesus teach about the relationship between his words and life? How ought we to respond to these truths about the Father and Son?

The True Sabbath-Giver: Finding Eternal Rest in Our Secular, Superstitious Age (John 5:1-18)

March 27, 2022 • David Schrock • John 5:1–17

Sermon Introduction Where do you find rest? On the couch? At the beach? On the Sabbath? Or someplace else? This Sunday we will consider what Sabbath rest means and how to find it. Even more we will see how the healing and rebuking of a lame man promises true rest for each of us. As with all the promises of the Old Testament, they all lead us to Christ. And so we will see how Jesus is our Sabbath rest this Sunday—and everyday! Take time to read John 5 and Jeremiah 17, and pray that God might open our hearts to receive his Word this Lord’s Day. For His Glory and your joy in Christ, Pastor David ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Discussion & Response Questions John 5:1-17 What are the feasts of the Jews? What do Jesus’ words to the invalid reveal about the situation? Is faith and repentance necessary for healing? Does this man know and trust in Jesus before he is healed? Should this passage be used to argue that illness is a result of sin? How does Scripture speak about this? How does Jesus call this man to repentance? How should we understand the Sabbath controversy of this story and Jesus’ response in verse 17? What should we learn from the events of vv. 1-17? What truths do these verses reveal to us about Jesus? How should we respond to these truths?

Well, Well, Well: A Marriage, A Mountain, and a Messiah: Part 4 (John 4:43-54)

March 20, 2022 • David Schrock • John 4:43–54

Sermon Introduction From Cana . . . to Cana. This is how the Gospel of John begins and ends chapters 2–4. In John 2, we are brought to a wedding in Cana, where Jesus turned water into wine and performed his first sign. Now, as John 4 returns to Cana, John concludes his three chapters that all show us how Jesus is replacing the old order with the new. That is, after passing through Galilee to Jerusalem to Samaria, and back through Galilee, we arrive in Cana to see Jesus raise the (nearly) dead to life, and to fulfill all we have seen in John 2–4. In this healing of the royal official's son (John 4:43–54), we find the second sign of Jesus, one that points to his final sign—his resurrection from the dead. Indeed, in John’s Gospel there are seven signs, and the eighth, the one that begins a new week (i.e., a new creation) is his resurrection. Putting the whole thing together, John 2–4 explains to us how Jesus can raise the dead to life, how he is making a new bride, and how he is giving faith to those who were once dead in their trespasses and sins. If you want to see how faith comes to life, join us on Sunday, as we look at the work of Jesus raising the dead and granting faith to the living. As we have seen throughout John 2–4, John is doing more than just introducing us to Jesus, he is showing how the Son of God has come to earth to fulfill all the promises of the Old Testament and to bring us eternal life. If that sounds like something you need to hear—and it is something we all need to hear—join us Sunday as we set our gaze on Jesus. To prepare for Sunday, take time to read John 2–4 and pray that God would give us life. As the Lord allows, I look forward to seeing you Sunday. For His Glory and for your joy in Jesus, Pastor David ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Discussion & Response Questions John 4:43 - 54 Why is the location of Cana significant to this narrative? What did Jesus do at the feast? (See John 2:23) What is the relationship in this passage between signs and wonders and faith? How is the official’s faith in verse 50 different from his faith in verse 53? How do you see God use this son’s illness for his glory? How does the prosperity gospel and faith healing movement distort texts like this? How do we guard against such interpretations? How does Scripture speak about God’s purposes in illness? Is healing guaranteed if one has faith? What is the purpose these signs in the Gospel of John? How ought we to respond to these truths?

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