In what may seem like an awkward add-on to John’s Gospel, we see in chapter 21 Jesus reminding Peter of his sin, but showing him grace and restoring him to a life of ministry, discipleship and, ultimately, sacrifice that we can identify with him in.
As we celebrate the resurrection, we cannot forget its purpose for our lives and think of it as a really nice ending for the crucifixion story. There are many arguments to persuade people that it actually happened, but beyond that we must live our lives in light of the resurrection. Jesus said that He is the resurrection, but what does that mean? What did the resurrection itself actually accomplish?
A lot of us have heard of the crucifixion and maybe know the whole story from memory, but to really get the point of it, the real focus of what the Spirit is communicating to us through John, you have to see it—the cross—through the eyes of faith.
As John’s gospel transitions from a focus on Jesus’ teaching to a narration of the events surrounding Christ’s death and resurrection, it’s good to take a fresh look at the story to get a better understanding of all of the circumstances and grasp better how we can identify with such players in the story as Peter, Pilate and Barabbas.
Ryan Stanley from Mercy Hill Church in Dayton preached from Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer and reflected from it on what Jesus’ mission is, the goal of the mission and how what we do as a church and as believers impacts that mission.
Looking at the ends of chapters 15 and 16 we see Jesus both convict us and comfort us in that when our identity is in Him that we will be rejected, but it is Christ that they are rejecting first, as Israel had rejected God’s lordship throughout history. Further, while rejection and hatred hurt deeply, Jesus reassures us that we have the hope of a greater joy to come and to not be afraid because though the world hates us, He has overcome the world.
This week, Nick continued preaching on the roles of the Holy Spirit. As our Advocate, the Spirit witnesses to Christ, convicts us of our sin, and guides us through life and to righteousness in Scripture and prayer.
Taking a step back from chapter 15 to this section, we start to break down the mysteries we put up about the Holy Spirit by seeing His roles of abiding in us, advocating for us and assuring us of our adoption as children of God.
The first section of John 14 calls us to look to Jesus for who He is. Jesus says that He Himself prepares a place for us, He Himself is the way there and that when we see Him we see the Father. Rather than looking around Jesus for a greater way, a greater truth or a greater life, we need to look right at Him and know that we are there.
This dramatic section of John 13 is book-ended by two crushing betrayals, but in the midst of them, Jesus makes a call to abide in His love. We see from Judas and Peter the issues that drive us to betray Christ everyday in sin and to stop living for Him completely. Finally, it is in this context that Jesus calls us to return to abide in Him and in His love.