We continue our series on the I AM statements of Jesus. As we have seen, John’s Gospel cites the phrase “I am” together with different sets of names to record metaphors for Christ. We began with Jesus saying to the Samaritan women (John 4:26) when she spoke of the Messiah, that “I am he.” Last time we saw Jesus saying “I am the bread of life” (6:35, 48) which led to many of His disciples deserting Him; other I AM statements include “the light of the world” (8:12; 9:5), “the gate” (10:7, 9), “the good shepherd” (10:11, 14), the resurrection and the life (11:25), “the way, and the truth and the life” (14:6), and “the vine” (15:1, 5). As I said in my introduction to this series, Mohamed Ali, the boxer who died during the preparation of this series, was fond of saying, “I am the greatest”. For a very brief period of time, in the very limited context of professional boxing,
Friday, October 7, 2016
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Our reading this evening is quite a long one as we pick up from where we left off last time … Acts 23:25 – 24:27. Last time we had Paul in custody and examined by the Sanhedrin. Then on the Sunday which the preacher had to excuse himself from because of a family emergency, we would have looked at a conspiracy to kill Paul which was foiled by Paul’s nephew and which resulted in him being spirited away by the Romans to Caesarea on the coast. Here he appears before his accusers and Felix, the Roman governor. He denies all the charges which the governor eventually realises are baseless, but the governor nonetheless keeps him in prison because he wanted to gain favour with the Jews he governed.
Friday, September 23, 2016
We continue our series on the I AM statements of Jesus. You can read the Introduction here and I AM the Messiah here.
I have chosen as my text what are for me the saddest words on Jesus' lips in the Gospels John 6:66-67
From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
‘You do not want to leave too, do you?’ Jesus asked the Twelve.
Sad, sad words. They bring to my mind the picture of a child all excited about her birthday party until one by one her friends phone up and say: "We're not coming after all" until eventually she turns to the few who are still there and says ‘You do not want to leave too, do you?’
Friday, September 9, 2016
John’s Gospel cites the phrase “I am” together with seven sets of names to record metaphors for Christ. Jesus says “I am the bread of life” (6:35, 48), “the light of the world” (8:12; 9:5), “the gate” (10:7, 9), “the good shepherd” (10:11, 14), the resurrection and the life (11:25), “the way, and the truth and the life” (14:6), and “the vine” (15:1, 5). These are often called The Seven I Am Statements. Some however, speak of The Eight I Am statements of Jesus and include John 8:58 “Before Abraham was, I am.” Others include Jesus’ statement to the Samaritan woman in John 4:26 where, in response to her talking about the Messiah, Jesus says: “I am he.” Still others go beyond John’s Gospel and look to Revelation 1:8 for another I am statement: “I am the Alpha and the Omega” which is repeated in 22:13 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Friday, August 26, 2016
Just after Easter we began our series on The Nature Of God, and since then we’ve looked at 21 aspects of God’s nature: Love Holiness Mercy Grace Friendship Parenthood Justice Faithfulness Forgiveness Power Creativity Authority Providence Protection Hope Promise Keeper Good Comfort Omniscient Omnipresent Compassion Healer
These characteristics also describe the Christian, particularly the Christian born again of water and Spirit (omniscience and omnipotence are of course the exceptions which prove the rule). In my introduction to the series I reminded us that we humans are created in God’s image and as such we