John 11:38-44: Lazarus, Come Out!

Ezekiel 40-41, Job 15:1-16, John 11:38-44, 1 John 4:1-6   John 11:38-44: The emotion that Jesus feels at death is not yet ended. He is “deeply moved” again. Mourning comes in waves—sometimes wave after wave after wave. Even the strongest Christian can be hit by such “deep emotions,” for even Jesus experienced them. Take comfort, you who mourn:…

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John 11:17-37: I Am the Resurrection and the Life

Ezekiel 38-39, Job 14, John 11:17-37, 1 John 3:19-24 John 11:17-37: No doubt, one of the hardest things to believe and accept is that we rise again from the dead. After all, who has been through death and come back again to tell us? As the atheist Bertrand Russell famously said when he was asked what he believed…

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John 11:1-16: Two Days Longer

Ezekiel 35-37, Job 13, John 11:1-16, 1 John 3:11-18 John 11:1-16: Lazarus, a friend of Jesus, close to him by personal connection, is sick (11:1). But, says Jesus, this sickness is not a disaster but a disseminator, not a defeat but an ascent, not a disgrace but a revealer of glory: “It is for the glory of God,…

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John 10:22-42: No One Can Snatch You from His Hand

Ezekiel 33-34, Job 12, John 10:22-42, 1 John 3:1-10 John 10:22-42: John loves to throw in the evocative detail: “It was winter” (10:22). Yes, in so many ways. The winter of discontent, as Shakespeare called it; here we might call it the winter of disbelief. The Jewish leaders gather around Jesus and ask him to tell them plainly…

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John 10:11-21: The Good Shepherd

Ezekiel 31-32, Job 11, John 10:11-21, 1 John 2:24-29 John 10:11-21: Jesus is not just a shepherd, not merely a ruler. Nor is he only a good shepherd, a particularly good ruler. No, Jesus is the Good Shepherd. How do we know that Jesus is who he claims to be? How do we know that he fulfills the…

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John 10:1-10: Life to the Full

Ezekiel 29-30, Job 10, John 10:1-10, 1 John 2:18-23 John 10:1-10: One of the most well-loved images in the whole of the Bible is now before us: Jesus as the Good Shepherd. The “figure of speech” that Jesus is using is drawn from the imagery of the Old Testament shepherd king, David. We are the sheep. Jesus is…

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John 9:26-41: Blind Seeing; Seeing Blind

Ezekiel 27-28, Job 9:21-35, John 9:26-41, 1 John 2:12-17 John 9:26-41: Tragedy and glory, sadness and empathy, passion and compassion—all bleed together into this closing section of this most extraordinary story of the man being born blind healed by Jesus. The disciples had asked whether the blind man or his parents had sinned (9:2). Jesus replied that neither,…

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John 9:13-25: I Was Blind but Now I See

Ezekiel 24-26, Job 9:1-20, John 9:13-25, 1 John 2:1-11 John 9:13-25: John Newton’s most famous hymn, Amazing Grace, takes as its inspiration one line from this story: “One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see” (9:25). Or as Newton put it: Amazing Grace how sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me!…

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John 9:1-12: Seeing

Ezekiel 22-23, Job 8, John 9:1-12, 1 John 1 John 9:1-12: The story begins with a terribly serious situation into which Jesus intervenes, and ends with an almost humorous disbelief on the part of those who had known the blind beggar before he was healed. Even in the most serious of ministry work there is humanity, and humanity,…

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John 8:48-59: The Choice

Ezekiel 20-21, Job 7, John 8:48-59, 2 Peter 3:10-18 John 8:48-59: The attacks continue. Stunningly, the Jewish leaders who are opposing Jesus associate being a “Samaritan” with having a “demon”! Not only does Jesus have a demon, he’s also a Samaritan! Perhaps they are remembering his success among the Samaritans. At any rate, they cast at Jesus two…

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