The Gospel as alive and victorious.

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John 20:1-18. If Jesus’ prayer in John 17 can be described as “one of the mountain peaks of revelation in this gospel”, then the resurrection is another one – the main one that stands high above all others! There really should be no more room for doubt or disbelief as the full revelation of the […]

The Gospel as prayer-filled and self-giving.

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John 17: 1 – 26. One biblical scholar has described this chapter of John as “perhaps the most sacred passage in the four gospels” (W Temple), and another as “one of the mountain peaks of revelation in this gospel” (B Milne). Jesus, on the way to the cross, pauses to pray. He includes his own […]

The Gospel as comfort and hope.

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John 12:12-19; 14:1-31; 16:5-23. In moments of distress and bewilderment, John shows us Jesus as the giver of comfort and hope. Jesus showed His own distress as He approached Jerusalem (see Luke 19:41), yet was soon surrounded by crowds of people jubilantly celebrating that He was there. Soon after, emotions would swing back to distress […]

The Gospel as confusion and rejection.

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Caused by others: 6:60-71; 9:35-41; 10:22-42; 11:45-57; 12:37-50; 18:15-18; 18:25-27 Predicted by Jesus: 5:16-47; 12:20-36; 13:18-38; 15:18 – 16:4 This is the first theme in John that focuses on something negative. So many of those around Jesus rejected Him, His ways, His teaching and the fullness of life that He was offering. It’s perhaps easier […]

The Gospel as directive and instructive.

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John 6:25 – 59; 7:1 – 8:59; 10:1 – 21; 12:1 – 11; 15:1 – 17. With our modern-day mantra that we are free to be people of our own making through a freedom to choose being so prevalent, it’s perhaps challenging for some to hear that themes of direction and instruction are included in […]

The Gospel as inclusive and healing.

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John 3:1-21; 4:1-42; 4:43-54; 5:1-15; 9:1-34; 11:1-44 John uses two contrasting examples of a person’s standing in community to make a point. The first is Nicodemus (chapter 3), a member of the social elite of the time, the Sanhedrin, and a respected teacher. He came to Jesus under the cover of darkness so that his […]

The Gospel as miraculous and holy.

John 2:1 – 25; John 6 1 – 24. John very quickly moves from introducing the person of Jesus, to emphasising the miraculous power of Jesus. In doing that he confronts his readers early on with an understanding of Jesus through a revelation of his glory. Yes, the miracles are a sign of power as […]

Commendations and Instructions.

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Romans 16: 1 – 27. There’s plenty that we can see in this final chapter that goes beyond it being just a list of names! Paul is still instructing us how to keep on “living the gospel” here. His list of names cuts across social divisions as he includes Jews, Gentiles, freed slaves and the […]

Living a personal mission.

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Romans 15: 14-33 It feels as though this section of Romans is the start of Paul bringing things to a conclusion, but he still has plenty to say. He uses his own example, his own working out of what it means to be “living the gospel” to encourage us to be: priestly (vs. 14-17); powerful […]