It’s New Years and we are all thinking about new beginnings. Well, so is the apostle John. “In the beginning…” he starts this famous gospel. As we prepare for another year of life and ministry together let us look to John to grab a few pointers.
In an encounter with Nicodemus, Jesus seeks to expose what the most important issue is: the need for rebirth. Like all of us, Nicodemus was preoccupied with the things on the surface, but real change and real relationship with God starts with a new heart.
The announcement that Jesus will send the Holy Spirit signals the coming of the last days, in which we now live. This is the age of the Holy Spirit. But who is this Spirit and what does he do? While the Spirit does many things, he is content to live in the background and give glory to Jesus.
We often forget that after Easter, Jesus remained on the earth for 40 days and then ascended. In John 17 Jesus prays because he is leaving and is burdened for his followers. Contrary to what we might expect, Jesus is not concerned so much for our food and shelter as he is that we remain in the truth.
Last week we saw that Jesus was the true vine; the one who gives good and lasting fruit to those who abide in him. This week we look at the fruit itself. Pastor Josh focuses on six specific fruits drawn from this passage. Those who have them are true, abiding, followers of Jesus.
After Easter once all the excitement and festivities are over many Christians slide into cruise control during the summer. Vacations, trips, longer days, nice weather equal time off from Kingdom work for many. But the risen Jesus sends out his disciples saying “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” Spring and Summer are a time for kingdom work.
Midst the fray of a quickly approaching Passover festival John points out “some Greeks” who wanted to see Jesus. Against all odds and expectations, it is often those we least expect who come to Jesus. John shatters some of our deepest expectations in this passage.
We expect outsiders to belittle the Bible, but too often Christians do as well by their ignorance or indifference to its teachings. Jesus and his disciples on the other hand, exalted the word of God. When all was said and done it was the words of Scripture that remained after Jesus died and ascended and it is the words of Scripture that the Holy Spirit uses to mature us in faith.