Sermons on John

Sermons on John

The Greatest Miracle Never Seen

John 20:1-18 Order of Worship For a story that we think we know so well, there is a lot we don’t know about Easter. What we believe about the resurrection of our Lord ultimately comes down to a matter of faith. There is no dossier of facts that would stand up to scientific scrutiny or legal standards of evidentiary procedure. Easter is literally, the “Greatest Miracle Never Seen.” After all, there was not a single eyewitness to the blessed event…

Before And After

Before and After Ephesians 2:1-10 Few things manage to pull off being brutally honest and powerfully motivational at the same time, the way before and after pictures can. Which is something the advertising industry has recognized for a long time. Nothing sells gym memberships faster than pictures of love handles spilling over the waistband of a bikini, split screened to a shot of the same person with tight abs and slender hips frolicking on a beach before an audience of…

Come and See! Pass it on.

Psalm 139: 1-6, 13-18 and John 1:43-51 One night I was passing through the living room while Sue was on the couch watching television. “Do you want to sit and watch this show with me?” she asked. “It’s really good.” I glanced at the TV screen. The period costumes and British accents told me right away that it was Downton Abbey she was watching. Which struck me as being about as interesting as a watching a documentary on collecting backscratchers.…

A Justifiable Hope

Isaiah 64:1-9 and John 1:1-18 Newsflash. Sometimes, even the most church-goin’, Bible-knowin’, down-on-their-knees-prayin’ people lose patience with God. Take Isaiah, for example. Isaiah was a prophet of Israel during one of the darkest periods of that people’s history. Actually, the Book of Isaiah had at least two, and probably three different authors. One section of Isaiah was written to Jews who had been conquered and taken from their homes to live in exile in Babylon. Much of what is contained…

The Illogical Essence of Being

John 1:1-5, 10-14, 18 and Genesis 1:26-31 There are certain days on the Church calendar that present preachers with the daunting challenge of having something to say about a well known passage that the congregation has not already heard many times before. These are the days like Christmas, Easter and Pentecost. Then there are days like Trinity Sunday, where the challenge is not so much to say something fresh and new as it is to simply say anything relevant to…

Untroubled Hearts in Troubled Times

John 14:1-14 and 1 Peter 2:2-10 It was the evening before the last earthly day of Jesus’ life. He had been preparing his disciples for this moment for some time, but they stubbornly refused to listen. So, this night, with the final grains of sand in of the hourglass of his life running out, he tried one more time. The conversation he had with them began after their last supper together, when Jesus took a basin of water and a…

Selfies

John 20:19-31 All the communicating I’ve been doing lately through teleconferencing and zoom meetings has got me thinking about how different the resurrection of Jesus would have been if there had been smartphones around. I mean, a lot of incredible stuff took place that day and it would have been such an advantage to have been able to record what was happening in pictures rather than having to rely on eyewitness testimonies. Beginning with when Mary Magdalene woke everyone up…

Glorifying God

John 11:1-45 The messenger arrived where Jesus and his disciples were staying with the kind of news no one wants to receive. “Lord, the one whom you love is ill.” It was a simple statement of fact, but an unspoken hope hovered in the silence that followed. An expectation that Jesus, who had healed countless strangers, would surely rush to cure his good friend Lazarus. Jesus, though, seemed remarkably nonchalant about his friend’s condition. He said, “This illness does not…

If You Only Knew

John 4:5-42 Back in 2004, a guy named Frank Warren had an interesting idea for an art project. He made up some postcards that were blank on one side and on the other side were printed with his address and a simple invitation. The invitation was this: “You are invited to anonymously share a secret. Your secret can be a regret, fear, betrayal, desire, confession, or childhood humiliation. Reveal anything—as long as it is true and you have never shared…

Trick Answers

John 3:1-17 A random group of people on the street were asked to solve this word problem: “At a wedding, there were seventy-five guests and sixty-eight pieces of cake. How many didn’t” Everyone was confused because the question didn’t logically follow the information given. That’s because the question set them up to make a false assumption about what was being asked by using something called a homophone. In case you don’t remember your grammar school grammar lessons, homophones are words…

Infancy Divided by Infinity

John 1:1-20 From the most ancient myths about the world’s beginnings to the Big Bang Theory, people have always craved explanations for how the universe functions. Especially when the universe presents us with what seem to be paradoxes. That same quest for truth concerning whatever boggles the human mind is reflected in the approaches taken by the Gospels with regards to Jesus. The Christmas stories tell us that the child born to Mary was both truly God and truly human.…

This Is Your Brain on Gratitude

Deuteronomy 26:1-11 and John 6:25-35 Back when the War on Drugs was front page news, there ran a memorable Public Service Ad, where a guy stood in front of a stove with an egg in his hand, saying “This is your brain.” Then he drops the egg into a hot skillet on the stove. The camera zooms in on the egg sizzling in the pan, as the man’s voiceover says “This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?” And the…

Anointed

Preached FCCW, April 7, 2019 John 12:1-8   In the town of Bethany in Judea there was a party going on. You could say that it was a welcome home party, but what an understatement that would be! I dare say that there has never been a homecoming to compare with what was being celebrated that evening. Lazarus sat at the dinner table. He had returned from a unique journey. Not from a trip to some far-off land, but from…

No Greater Love

Preached FCCW May 13, 2018 (Mothers’ Day) John 15:9-17 A young woman – who had just graduated from college – was going on her first interview to try and launch her new career, when her mother called her to wish her success on her interview. Before she hung up she asked her to be sure to stop over on her way home. The interview went well and the young woman got the job. She went right from the interview to…

Snapchat Discipleship

Preached FCCW on April 29, 2018 (Confirmation Sunday) John 15:1-8 Have you ever noticed that whenever you are about to part company with someone you really care about, and it’s going to be a long while before you see them again, there just doesn’t seem to be enough time to say everything you want to tell them? It must have been like that for Jesus and his disciples on the night before he was crucified. In John’s gospel Jesus has…

Love in Action

1 John 3:16-24 and John 1-:11-18 Preached FCCW April 22, 2018 In the immediate aftermath of World War II, London was a royal mess. Many buildings had been reduced to little more than piles of rubble. But the worst damage was not to structures but to families. Many children had become orphans, some of them starving in the streets. Early one cold, foggy morning, an American soldier was returning to his barracks in London. As he rounded a corner in…

Trade-Offs

Preached April 15, 2018 Acts 3:12-19 and 1 John 3:1-7   A woman was driving toward home in Northern Arizona when she saw a Navajo woman hitchhiking. Because the trip had been long and monotonous, she stops the car and the Navajo woman climbs in. In the course of their small talk, the Navajo woman glances surreptitiously at a brown bag on the front seat between them. “If you’re wondering what’s in the bag,” says the woman, “it’s a bottle…

Life-Marks

Preached FCCW, April 8, 2018 John 20:19-31 When I was in junior high I had a friend who had a prominent birthmark. It was one of those strawberry colored stains and it covered the entire lower half of one side of his face. While I don’t recall anybody making a big deal about it then, it’s hard to imagine him making it through childhood without having to endure a lot of teasing and humiliation. There are many old wives’ tales…

We Would See Jesus

John 12:20-33 Preached FCCW March 18, 2018   The time for the festival of Passover was approaching, and as was typical on the eve of such an important holy day, Jerusalem was swarming with people. Many in the crowds that filled the streets were faithful Jews who had made the pilgrimage to worship at the city’s great Temple. Many, but not all.

Following Jesus

Preached FCCW, January 14, 2017 John 1:43-51 How do you define the word “Christian?” If I asked you to complete this sentence: A Christian is someone who _________, how would you fill in the blank? Given the number of people here, I bet we would could come up with a whole gamut of responses before we were through.

By Truth Set Free

Preached October 26, 2017           Reformation Sunday John 8:31-36   Jesus said to some Jews who believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” By his own admission, the people he was talking to believed in him, which probably meant they accepted on an intellectual level that he was the Messiah that the Jewish people had been waiting for. But that…

Touchy Feely

John 20:19-31 Preached FCCW, 4/23/2017   The Sunday after Easter is sometimes referred to as Holy Humor Sunday. The reason for that is, on Good Friday, when Jesus died, the Devil thought he had won. But on Easter Sunday, God played the biggest joke ever by raising Jesus from the dead. So, the Holy Humor Sunday tradition has been to include some humor in worship on that day. Actually, the title of this sermon – Touchy Feely – is itself…

Thirst Quencher

Text John 4:5-42 Preached FCCW 3-19-2017 The anthem that the choir just sang is based on this morning’s gospel story, which tells of Jesus’ encounter with a woman at a well in Samaria, where Jesus offers her “living water.” “Living Water” sounds like it could be the brand name for any of the varieties of H₂O on our grocery shelves, these days. It used to be that if you wanted a drink of water you turned on the tap, right?…
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