Shine Jesus Shine!

The background of Jesus’ claim to be the light of the world is the Feast of the Tabernacles (John 7:2,37; Leviticus 23:33-43). During this feast, not only did the Israelites live in booths/shelters for seven days as commanded, but the Levites built huge menorahs which they placed in the temple courtyard to illuminate the eveningContinue reading “Shine Jesus Shine!”

Forgiveness, Confession & Commission

John’s gospel reaches its high water mark with Thomas’ confession that Jesus is his Lord and God (20:28). This is where John wants to bring his readers. He ties everything together by stating in v. 30-31 that the signs he had recorded are for that purpose—to bring people to belief in Jesus and the life that comes from suchContinue reading “Forgiveness, Confession & Commission”

“Do You Want To Get Well?”

Who else but Jesus? Would anyone else dare ask a man who had been unable to walk for 38 years if he wanted to get well?  Insulting?  It certainly could be taken that way, but that wasn’t Jesus’ intent Neither was it something spoken in ignorance of the man’s situation.  The text tells us that His question was prompted byContinue reading ““Do You Want To Get Well?””

Worship and a Well

One of the greatest discussions in the Bible about worship takes place at a well in Samaria.  The well was associated with the patriarch Jacob (4:6).  Their discussion causes the woman to question whether Jesus is greater than Jacob (4:12).  This fits right in with one of the features of John’s gospel as he regularly contrasts Jesus withContinue reading “Worship and a Well”

What Sets Us Free

“Truth” is a big word in the Scripture (and life), so it’s no surprise that we find John employing the word a number of times in his gospel (23).  Fittingly, he initially uses it to tell us that Jesus is “full of grace and truth” (1:14).  There was veracity in the covenant that God brought through Moses, but theContinue reading “What Sets Us Free”

What Makes A Best Man (or Woman)

John 3:22-30 is a passage that is tucked away between Jesus’ encounter with Nicodemus and His visit with the women at the well in Samaria. It’s like the U.S. Grant Memorial which sits between the Washington Monument and the U.S Capitol—by  its very location it tends to be overlooked and under-valued. But as we’ll see,Continue reading “What Makes A Best Man (or Woman)”

We Have Seen His Glory

After Israel had completed construction of the tabernacle, “the glory of the Lord” filled it (Ex. 40:34), providing the nation the occasion to once again witness the greatness of God. So majestic was the Lord’s glory that Moses was unable to enter the tabernacle (v. 35)! Wherever Israel went, God’s glory went with them (v.Continue reading “We Have Seen His Glory”

Water into Wine

Numerous contemporaries of Jesus speak of good wine not possessing intoxicating qualities (Pliny, Plutarch, Horace, etc.). In fact, they describe in detail the measures taken to produce such a drink. There’s no reason then, other than cultural bias or biblical ignorance, for insisting that when the master of the banquet spoke of what Jesus made as “choiceContinue reading “Water into Wine”

To Believe or not to Believe

In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don’t. It was the French mathematician and philosopher, Blaise Pascal, who spoke those words. They call to our attention to something that is too often overlooked—God doesn’t force faith on anyone. Nobody is overwhelmed into believingContinue reading “To Believe or not to Believe”