Jesus loves me, this I know... What if that’s actually the key to an identity so free, so abundantly full of life, so solid and lasting that all other identities fade into insignificance? For John, his most defining, grounding, and meaningful identity was found in the simple fact that he was and always would be loved by Jesus. In the end, nothing else mattered. All his accomplishments, connections, titles, writings, and even his very life faded in comparison to the blazing reality that he was loved by Jesus. That's the kind of love that changed John forever. What if the secret to finding ourselves is to be deeply and profoundly loved by Jesus? This series is an invitation to, like John, experience the identity-transforming, life-giving love of Jesus; to discover this Jesus who turned John’s world upside-down and right-side-up. We all want to be pursued, wanted, and loved. Do you realize that the God of the universe loves you; He desires you; He rejoices over you; He is reaching out to you and for you. He’d move heaven and earth to be near you. In fact, He already has. He sent his Logos, not in the abstract, but in the flesh. The "Ultimate Cosmic Reality" and "Agent of Divine Life" has taken up residence among us, making glory, grace, and truth accessible to each one of us. Won't you come and see Jesus?
The book of John is a curated collection (events, interactions, and dialogue) written so that the you may believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that by believing you may have Life in His name. In John 9, the author is again curating the story so that we would more clearly see the person of Jesus. We see four refractions of Jesus as the Light of the World. Each of these refractions shed light on who Jesus is and who we are as well.
On Easter we traditionally look at one of the Gospel accounts of that glorious morning when the disciples discovered the empty tomb and realized that Jesus had risen from the dead. But this Easter we break with tradition. In this sermon we explore at an event that took place just a couple weeks prior to Jesus’ own resurrection when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.
One of the scariest realities in the Gospels is how close you can be to Jesus and miss him entirely. Chapter after chapter, we see that Jesus was right there with the Pharisees, but they missed Him. He was calling, but they didn’t hear Him. He was shining in glory, but they didn’t see Him. On the other hand, there’s Mary, who, as we’ll see in this passage from John, in loving abandon, lavishly anointed Jesus’ feet with a priceless perfume in adoration, gratitude, awe, and worship of Jesus. Everyone can meet the same Jesus, but there can be wildly different responses. Mary truly encountered the glory of Jesus and it deeply changed her. In contrast, the others did not because their encounter was a superficial exposure and not a true encounter.
In this passage from the end of John 8, we catch a glimpse of Jesus’ amazing glory. There are three glorious offers he gives us, but each has a tough reality that we must face. Because when the Son breaks through, we’re either drawn to his beauty or blinded by the light, there really no room in between.