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Showing posts from March, 2023

When Jesus seems to stay away. John 11.1-45

John 11.1-45 Jesus could have saved Lazarus Jesus could have travelled to Bethany, when he heard that Lazarus was ill – and he could have healed him. But he does not: “though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.” John 11:5-6   The thing was that there was something more important that Jesus wanted to do – more important than saving Lazarus, his friend, from death. – more important than allowing Martha and Mary drop into the pit of the abandonment and desertion of death.   Jesus wanted to show them, and he wanted to show us through them, the glory of God. There are many times when we cry out to Jesus to take away our pain, to solve our problems, to rescue us from our despair or sadness Sometimes he answers immediately and wonderfully But many times there is no immediate answer And for us: We’re praying for peace – and there is no peace. In fact the situation just gets worse.

The living water of life. John 4.5-42

John 4.5-42 We are looking today at the woman of Samaria. John does not mention her by name, although Eastern tradition has given her a name: Photine. It is a remarkable conversation It begins when Jesus asks her: Give me a drink of water. She replies, ‘How can you ask me for a drink of water? How can you break all the traditional norms? You are a man and I am a woman. We should not be speaking. There is a story told from the Talmud (a body of Jewish civil and ceremonial law and legend): Rabbi Yose the Galilean was once going on the road when he met Beruriah (wife of Rabbi Meir). He said to her: “By which road do we go to Lydda?” (four words in Hebrew)   She said to him: “Galilean fool! Did not the sages say this: ‘Do not multiply talk with women?’ You should have asked: ‘By which to Lydda?’   (two words in Hebrew). Men should not speak with women You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan. We should not be speaking, let alone asking me to give you a drink. The Jews conside

For God so loved the world. John 3.16

  John 3.16 FOR GOD John 3.16 begins with God Someone wrote to me last week and said that they preferred to speak not of God but of ‘the Universe’. Many others speak of ‘a force’ behind creation, a bit like in Star Wars. But the Bible begins with God. The first verse in Genesis reads, ‘In the beginning, God ..’ John’s gospel begins with, ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.’ John 1:1 That is important It means that what is out there, what is beyond us, is not impersonal, but profoundly personal. Of course, God is completely beyond understanding: Paul writes in 1 Timothy 6.16, “It is he alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see.” And Jesus here in John 3, speaks that only the person who has come down from heaven, who has been there with God in heaven, can speak of heaven. But even if God is beyond understanding – and by the way, the Church has always taught that God is be