Our Identity in John’s Gospel Part VI: Unmasking Darkness

I do desire to walk in the light of Jesus, at least I do sometimes. When I read the gospels I want to stand up and declare that I will obey Jesus wherever I go, but obedience is a hard thing in John, and in life. Jesus doesn’t just shatter the teachers, the leaders, and the Samaritans. He even confronts those closest to him. Peter boasts he will lay down his life for Christ, but when that looks like it might become a reality he denies with words completely antithetical to the “I am statements.” I … [Read more...]

Our Identity in John’s Gospel Part V: Unmasking Hunger

After Jesus feeds the five-thousand in chapter six he delivers a chilling address to those who follow him. The people look to him as a new Moses, one who will feed them and take care of their needs. Jesus rejects this idea and delivers a statement that sends discontent throughout the crowd, “I am the Bread of Life,” he says. This is one of the famous “I Am statements” in John. Through this he demonstrates that his identity is that of God’s.The people come hungry for a feeding like they got on the … [Read more...]

Our Identity in John’s Gospel Part IV: Unmasking the Women at the Well, Among Other Things

By the time we get to chapter four we’ve seen Jesus shatter the ego of the Temple establishment in chapter two and a member of the Jewish ruling council in chapter three. In chapter four Jesus goes after someone that seems the antithesis of power and prestige, a Samaritan woman. He confronts both the attitudes toward her, and her own crisis of Identity.By talking to this women Jesus was assaulting the ego of his own followers. Both women and Samaritans were seen as at the bottom of the social l … [Read more...]

Our Identity in John’s Gospel Part III: Unmasking Nicodemus

The most famous unmasking encounter is in the conversation with Nicodemus. Here Jesus confronts the darkness directly and calls a man to a new kind of truth. In this passage a member of the ruling council named Nicodemus comes to talk to Jesus. It is notable that he comes at night. In fact it’s to him that Jesus says, “Men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” Speaking to a man who would only come to him under the blanket of night gives this passage a new ferocity. In th … [Read more...]

Are we actually called to live “The Sermon on the mount??” – 10 Views

Have you read The Sermon on the mount: the modern quest for its meaning By Clarence Bauman? You can at Google Books HERE I find the study VERY interesting...Here are 10 of the perspectives you can find in the book.... Leonhard Ragaz argued the Sermon on the Mount is no utopia or fantasy. It is realistic.It is to be fulfilled here and now. The kingdom is a political and social matter. He sought to use the Sermon to develop a comprehensive plan for social reform. He labeled the Sermon on the Mount … [Read more...]


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Our Identity in John’s Gospel Part II: Unmasking the Temple

Perhaps the first way we see Jesus unmasking is in the cleansing of the temple. In this passage, found in John chapter two, we see Jesus confronting the temple as an institution.The Jewish festival פֶּסַח (Passover) is the occasion for Jesus’ visit to the temple in John chapter two. This is a festival that commemorates the freedom of the Israelites from their slavery under the Egyptians. The Egyptian government was essentially an institutionalized religion. The citizens all worshiped the Pharaoh … [Read more...]

The Conservative Bible Project

Have you heard the news about the conservative bible project?http://conservapedia.com/Conservative_Bible_ProjectThe "Ten Guidleines" are as follows:1.Framework against Liberal Bias:providing a strong framework that enables a thought-for-thought translationwithout corruption by liberal bias2.Not Emasculated: avoiding unisex, "gender inclusive" language, and othermodern emasculation of Christianity3.Not Dumbed Down: not dumbing down the reading level, or diluting theintellectual force and logic of … [Read more...]

Our Identity in John’s Gospel Part I: The Light and the Darkness

I was raised in an ecumenical community in Ann Arbor, Michigan called The Word of God. It began as a Catholic Charismatic movement, but soon attracted people from around the world with a large variety of backgrounds and rituals. As these customs began to be synthesized, some organic expressions of faith emerged within the community. The ritual that has stayed with me the most is one my family used to do every week. It was called Celebrating the Lord’s Day. The material was created by a Rabbi in t … [Read more...]