From the monthly archives:

December 2010

John 14:15-31

by Lon on December 28, 2010

Continuing our exploration of the book of John

15 “If you love me, keep my commands.16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”

23 Jesus replied, ”Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

25 “All this I have spoken while still with you.26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

28 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe.30 I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me,

31 but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me.
“Come now; let us leave.

What does it mean to love Jesus?  Really?  What kind of God appeals to us to follow him, not simply because he is mighty, but out of our own love for him?

You don’t see Jesus trying to get people to love him in this passage.  It’s more of a question of what do you do, and how do you show that love you already have.

What does it mean for Christ to reside within us?  Is it a binary condition?

Judas asks quite a simple and poignant question – Why does Christ not show himself to the entire world?  Jesus doesn’t seem to even remote answer him.  Could there be a possibility that somewhere in this passage, in the thrust of obeying his teaching, and doing as Christ did – Christ is revealing himself to the entire world?

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Jesus in the bread line

by Lon on December 26, 2010

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John 14:5-14

by Lon on December 22, 2010

Continuing our journey through the gospel known as john

5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

6 Jesus answered, ”I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

9 Jesus answered: ”Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Christ audaciously proclaims himself as ‘the way and the truth and the life’ in this passage.  If we believe this let’s be precise in our convictions that it is Christ himself who is the way – not ‘christianity’, not ‘religion’, not your ‘devotionals’, not a ‘charismatic leader’, and not even ‘the church’.

We shouldn’t be surprised when people have a hard time understanding this; look at Philip in this passage – how many times did Jesus have to repeat himself in both his words and his seemingly obvious deeds.  Yet this truth is so confounding it can mystify even the most devout of ‘believers’.

What does it mean for Christ to be ‘the way and the truth and the life’?  What does it mean for us to ask for something in his name?

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Underground Chinese Church Goes Public

by Lon on December 20, 2010

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John 14:1-4

by Lon on December 17, 2010

Continuing our journey through the gospel of john

1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Jesus says a string of blasphemous things here.  What does it mean to believe in God, one ultimate being, and yet have a person call God his Father, and request that we believe in him as well?

Isn’t it outrageous the level of intimacy this person in flesh and blood is suggesting between God and himself?  And isn’t it equally outrageous the intimacy he invites us to as well?  A place to rest within the house of God himself?  Could we ever deserve such a thing?

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Head’s Up Next Week @ Mosaic

by Ian on December 13, 2010

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John 13:31-38

by Lon on December 7, 2010

Continuing our journey through John

31 When he was gone, Jesus said, ”Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him.32 If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once.

33 “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

36 Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, where are you going?”
Jesus replied, ”Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.”

37 Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”

38 Then Jesus answered, ”Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!

What was Christ doing before God was Glorified?  Bending down and serving humanity.

There are somethings that only Christ can do and we cannot; However there are somethings Christ has called for us specifically to do which we always can do.

Love one another.  It’s such an easy simplistic statement to overlook and ignore.

Love one another.  What does that mean? to me, to you, specifically?

Love one another.  What’s stopping us?

How will the world know that we follow Christ?  If we ‘love one another’.

That doesn’t sound too hard does it?  No multi-faceted 20-year strategy, just simply love one another.

This passage ends with a declaration many of us have made – God we will lay our lives down for you!  And yet, Christ continues to press it back to how we interact with one another.  Will we love one another.  Will we deny his presence in one another.  Will we deny the hope we have with one another and to another?

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