Discipleship begins with the spiritual practice of questioning – John 1:35-42, Part 2

After hearing John the Baptist declare two days in a row that Jesus is the Lamb of God, in John 1, verse 37 we read that John’s disciples stop following John, and they start following Jesus.  Jesus hasn’t uttered a word.  And because of that, the scene strikes me as humorous.  The two disciples justContinue reading “Discipleship begins with the spiritual practice of questioning – John 1:35-42, Part 2”

John the Baptist’s mystery friend, and why we need prophets in our lives – John 1:19-34, Part 5

In John 1:19-34, John the Baptist makes a surprising statement that there was someone alive right there, nearby, perhaps even in the crowd that day as John was baptizing people by the Jordan River, someone of whom John is not worthy even to untie his sandals.  Untie sandals…what’s that matter?  In John’s culture, that wasContinue reading “John the Baptist’s mystery friend, and why we need prophets in our lives – John 1:19-34, Part 5”

Was John the Baptist a wild man? – John 1:19-34, Part 3

Did John really go wild? In the previous post, I mentioned that much artwork depicting John the Baptist has him looking like a caveman.  Why?  Because in Matthew 3:4 we read this about John, “John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts andContinue reading “Was John the Baptist a wild man? – John 1:19-34, Part 3”

The backstory of John the Baptist – John 1:19-34, Part 2

Who was John the Baptist? In this post we begin to learn the backstory of John the Baptist. While our current blog series is studying the Gospel of John, and while this week we are learning about John 1:19-34, to get the backstory of John the Baptist, we need to turn elsewhere. The full accountContinue reading “The backstory of John the Baptist – John 1:19-34, Part 2”

The identity of The Word in… – John 1:1-18, Part 4

Who was God in the skin?  In our study of John 1:1-18, we learned in the previous post that John writes in verse 14 that God, who John calls The Word, took on human skin. But John hasn’t told us yet who The Word is, so let me introduce another word. God in the skinContinue reading “The identity of The Word in… – John 1:1-18, Part 4”

The importance of belief – Gospel of John Intro, Part 4

John is not alone in telling the story of Jesus.  The other three Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life have been published long before.   Mark first, then Matthew and Luke soon after.  They are all very similar to one another, so John decides to go in a different direction.  There is nothing wrong with the otherContinue reading “The importance of belief – Gospel of John Intro, Part 4”

How to love deceivers and other difficult people – 2nd John, Part 5

In the previous post, John warned the Christians in the church about deceivers in their midst. But who was he talking about? Open a Bible or read online in 2nd John verses 10-11 to see how John describes them. Some scholars believe that he is talking about itinerant teachers who believed false doctrine.  There wereContinue reading “How to love deceivers and other difficult people – 2nd John, Part 5”

How to respond to deceivers in a church – 2nd John, Part 4

How much should Christians interact with the secular world? I live in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, which is known for our Amish community, a Christian sect that practices a form of separation from the world. As I type this, I can look out my kitchen window and see my Amish neighbors wearing their traditional clothing and ridingContinue reading “How to respond to deceivers in a church – 2nd John, Part 4”

Love is practice? 2nd John, Part 3

Are you a good lover? Many of us when we hear that question, jump in our minds to an erotic understanding of “lover,” but that is not the kind of love I’m referring to. Are you good at being loving? The problem with answering this second question (“Are you good at being loving?”), is illustratedContinue reading “Love is practice? 2nd John, Part 3”