Continuing the final conversation with his disciples in John 14:15-31, Jesus told them how to show their love for him and of the gifts he gives to those who love him. His Spirit, his presence, and his peace enable us to live as his followers these days and every day.
After Jesus gave his disciples very troubling news, he told them in John 14:1-14, “Let not your hearts be troubled.” He went on to say what to do instead and gave them and us three reasons not to be troubled. Although this text is simply the next one in our series on the Gospel of John, it is timely during these days of pandemic.
In John 13:18-38, we pick up the conversation between Jesus and his disciples over dinner. After he had washed their feet, he announced that one of them would betray him. Once Judas had gone out into the night, Jesus gave his followers of every age the New Commandment: to love each other as he loved us.
During a meal with his disciples in John 13:1-17, Jesus did something that shattered social norms. He dressed like a slave and performed a task that was beneath most slaves by washing his disciples’ feet. Although he didn’t explain his actions completely, he gave us enough clues to find three important lessons. The first two lessons are about what he can do for us and the third about what we can do for each other. (sermon notes)
In John 12:27-50, we have Jesus’ final appeal to the world before spending his final days focused on his disciples. After explaining the meaning of his death, he also explained why so many did not believe in him. Then he summarized his teaching in his last words to the crowds, giving them one final opportunity to believe in him. (sermon notes)
All of a sudden, in John 11:55-12:26, Jesus not only permitted but encouraged people publicly to recognize him as king. What had changed? What we have awaited during the whole gospel of John finally happened: his hour to be glorified had come! However, his glorification would be exactly the opposite of what everyone expected. (sermon notes)
In Jesus’ final sign, recorded in John 11:1-54, he raised his friend Lazarus from the dead. As a sign, it was not to be a regular occurrence but an extraordinary event that pointed to Jesus as the only source of life from the dead and of eternal life. In the face of death, Jesus expressed anger and sadness even as he exercised dominance. Jesus’ mastery over death should interest all who lose loved ones or who will themselves eventually die. (sermon notes)
In Jesus’ final public teaching in the Gospel of John (10:22-42), the people of Jerusalem tried to pin him down. They wanted him to declare openly who he was. In keeping with his indirect public style, Jesus pointed them to his words and works. He also boldly declared, “I and the Father are one.” This statement sent them looking for rocks to stone him, since they thought he was a man who made himself out to be God. They grasped that he claimed identity with God, but they got things exactly backwards. (sermon notes)
After the shepherds of Israel mistreated and kicked out the man born blind in chapter 9, Jesus announced in John 10:1-21 that he is the Good Shepherd. While false shepherds sacrificed the sheep for their own benefit, the Good Shepherd laid down his life for the sheep. The question for us is if we know his voice and follow him. (sermon notes)
From Old Testament times, the Jewish people knew that only God and his Messiah could open the eyes of the blind. However, over their long history, it had never happened. Therefore, when Jesus healed the eyes of a man born blind in John 9:1-41, he caused quite a stir. Some rejected the miracle as spurious, but the healed man held firm to what he knew to be true: “I was blind, and now I see.” This is the same testimony of the simplest Christian whose spiritual eyes Jesus has opened to the truth. (sermon notes)