How supernatural does our faith need to be? – John 6:1-24, Preview

Over a decade ago, Faith Church sent a mission team to work with sister churches in another country, during which time we attended worship services in a couple local churches.  In the middle of the first worship service, the entire congregation was vigorously singing praise to God, and a worshiper one row in front ofContinue reading “How supernatural does our faith need to be? – John 6:1-24, Preview”

Did Jesus win his trial? You get to choose! – John 5:31-47, Part 5

The situation is bleak.  The religious leaders refuse to believe Jesus.  Even after such rock-solid witnesses, four of them, which you can read about here, here and here, who each give powerful testimony about Jesus, most of the religious leaders are not convinced, and they leave plotting how to take him down.  What about us?Continue reading “Did Jesus win his trial? You get to choose! – John 5:31-47, Part 5”

Jesus on trial calls his fourth witness – John 5:31-47, Part 4

Now we arrive at the fourth and final witness that Jesus calls to the stand in his defense.  In John 5, verses 38-39 we read, “…nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternalContinue reading “Jesus on trial calls his fourth witness – John 5:31-47, Part 4”

Jesus on trial calls his first witness – John 5:31-47, Part 2

Jesus is on trial. The religious leaders have accused him of breaking the Sabbath law and of blasphemy. They want to kill him. So they ask him to provide authentication of the authority by which he broke the law. The religious leaders don’t believe Jesus had any authority. The crowd watching feels the tension inContinue reading “Jesus on trial calls his first witness – John 5:31-47, Part 2”

What we can learn from Jesus’ ominous warning to a man he has just healed – John 4:43-5:15, Part 5

Jesus heals a man, and then he says something ominous to the man. John 4, verse 14: “Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” Woah. What got into Jesus? Why so dark after healing the man? IContinue reading “What we can learn from Jesus’ ominous warning to a man he has just healed – John 4:43-5:15, Part 5”

The important reason Jesus asked permission before healing a man – John 4:43-5:15, Part 3

In Tribe, Sebastian Junger points out that in our nation’s history, there were plenty of English people who for one reason or another became part of Native American tribes.  What might be shocking is to learn that when English people acclimated to tribal life, they almost never wanted to go back to colonial life.  EvenContinue reading “The important reason Jesus asked permission before healing a man – John 4:43-5:15, Part 3”

Why Jesus said a prophet isn’t honored in his home town – John 4:43-5:15, Part 1

I learned something about miracles in Faith Church’s worship service yesterday. Each week we have a volunteer host/ess, and they guide the service, welcoming everyone, making announcements, leading the prayer time and providing other transitional elements. Yesterday, our hostess, Chris, in her transition to the sermon, talked about how many albums, songs and movies haveContinue reading “Why Jesus said a prophet isn’t honored in his home town – John 4:43-5:15, Part 1”

We can’t be Jesus’ disciples without helping others also become his disciples – Becoming Disciplemakers, Part 5

When Jesus commissioned his disciples to make disciples, they did so. Their disciples continued the mission, making more disciples. 2 Timothy 2:2 is a wonderful vision of this cycle, as Paul tells Timothy to teach people who will be able to teach more people. That’s four generations of disciples in just one verse! We ChristiansContinue reading “We can’t be Jesus’ disciples without helping others also become his disciples – Becoming Disciplemakers, Part 5”

Why believing is just the beginning – Becoming Disciplemakers: Preview

How do we help people who are not currently followers of Jesus become followers of Jesus?  I ask that question admittedly making the assumption that being a follower of Jesus is the best possible way of life, holding hope for both abundant life now and eternal life in the future. I recognize that many peopleContinue reading “Why believing is just the beginning – Becoming Disciplemakers: Preview”

God has an important role for you in his mission – John 4:27-42, Part 5

In the previous post, Jesus taught his disciples that they should see themselves as harvesters. He wasn’t referring to harvesting in the farming world, but harvesting for God’s Kingdom. Jesus was saying that just as they were his disciples, their mission was to help more people become his disciples. Just then, something happened to illustrateContinue reading “God has an important role for you in his mission – John 4:27-42, Part 5”