Monday, September 21, 2009

John 14-17 (#1)

(My father's house - I grew up in this house on 20th Avenue, Rockford, Illinois)

Yesterday I preached on John 13:31-38. Here Jesus points once again to His imminent glorification, which is the event of the cross. He gives us a command: Love one another, as He has loved us. He tells Peter that Peter will betray Him. Then begins John chapter 14. This will set us off on a great adventure together! Next Sunday morning we begin John chapters 14-16. These chapters are called the "farewell discourses" of Jesus. Jesus is showing His disciples what it all means for their future life, their own sadness and joy and mission in the world. This ends with the great prayer in John ch. 17. Then the story picks up with Jesus’ arrest in the garden.

These chapters (John 14-17) are incredible and beautiful. N. T. Wright says, “These chapters have often rightly been seen as among the most precious and intimate in the NT. They are full of comfort, challenge, and hope, full of the deep and strange personal relationship that Jesus longs to have with each of his followers. We shouldn’t be surprised that they are also full of the richest theological insights, of a sense of discovering who the true God is, and what he’s doing in the world and in us.”

At Redeemer I and Josh Bentley will be preaching on these chapters for the next six months. Personally, I will be using them for my own prayer and devotional life. I’ll be reading them over and over, studying them, and meditating on them. They will be my “spiritual food” for many weeks.

Yesterday morning I invited people who were at our worship service to join me in reading and studying these four phenomenal John-chapters. Here are some suggestions if you want to join with me in doing this.

1. Take time daily to read out of John chapters 14-17.
2. Read slowly, with an open heart and a listening ear.
3. Stay with these chapters until our Sunday morning preaching gets through them. You will probably end up reading through them more than once. I believe there is so much depth and good stuff in them that you will not exhaust them or tire of these words of Jesus.
4. As God speaks to you through these chapters, write down what He says to you in a spiritual journal. (A spiritual journal is a record of the voice of God speaking to you.)
5. As you have insights that you would like to share please send them to me. With your permission, I may pass them on to the 200+ Redeemer people on my e-mail prayer team.

I love reading, studying, and meditating on God’s Word. I felt God say to me, “John, invite the Redeemer family to do this with you. Out of this I will produce deeper, richer understanding and experience.

This coming Sunday: John 14:1-4