- About Us
Jesus is the Saviour of the world because the world needs a saviour. We need food for energy, but Jesus is fueled and energised by doing the will of his Father. In initiating a conversation with a Samaritan woman, Jesus breaks down barriers. If we try to pretend to be better than we really are then we don’t appreciate how good Jesus is.
Jesus is not on a par with John the Baptist, but he is the Word made flesh. John is not jealous of Jesus but is pleased that his own disciples are leaving him to follow Jesus. John has an important role as the Best Man at the wedding, but it is not the Best Man’s role to end up with the bride at the end of the day.
Jesus won’t fit into Nicodemus’ existing system as a Pharisee - instead, he tells Nicodemus that he needs a new start. Nicodemus may have had just one conversation with Jesus yet he became a disciple. What can God do with just one conversation?
Jesus demonstrates his divinity by clearing the courts, by architectural arguments and by obvious omniscience. The animals in the temple courts were being sold at inflated prices and were taking up the only space where gentiles were allowed to worship God. The real temple is Jesus’ body, the place where God dwells, and this is why he has authority.
Jesus attended social events. He wants to be involved in the whole of our lives, whether good or bad. He knew that his first miracle would start the ball rolling and that it would lead inevitably to Calvary, and perhaps this is why he doesn’t want to be pressurised by his mother. Running out of wine would have been a social embarrassment, but Jesus takes away the shame of the host, just as he takes away the shame of us all.
John the Baptist is like a sign-post. He has great humility and points away from himself to Jesus. Jesus is the one who takes away the sin of the world. It doesn’t bother John that his disciples leave him to follow Jesus. Jesus doesn’t point to anyone - he is the one to be followed, and the invitation today is to come and know him.
Proverbs is a leadership book, a probability book and a thinking book. The wise person will listen to advice. We should use our understanding but not lean on it. To acknowledge God is to submit to his ways.
Like the two disciples on the Emmaus Road, we need clarity on who Jesus was and what he has done. Jesus proves who he is from the Old Testament - he’s not just a prophet but the Mighty God, God With Us, whose suffering was prophesied. Nothing went wrong with God’s plan - the cross was part of the plan.
Rejoicing doesn’t mean always feeling joyful, but tuning in to what is really there. Paul rejoices even though he’s in prison, because Christ is being preached, because the Philippians are like-minded and because they’re in Christ.
It is good to praise the Lord - it benefits us and causes us to flourish, as it is what we are designed for. Praising God gladdens the heart and stretches the mind. It is good to consider what God has done.
God was faithful to Abraham throughout Abraham’s life and, like Jesus, he lived a life of service. In being buried in the Promised Land Abraham trusted God’s promise to give the land to his descendents, and we can look back and see how God was faithful after Abraham’s death.
Abraham makes plans for Isaac in line with the promises he received from God and has been living with. The first thing his servant does on arriving at his destination is to pray. Isaac’s love for Rebecca reflects Christ’s love for the church.
Abraham mourned the death of Sarah. It is appropriate to grieve. Like Abraham and Sarah, we are aliens in the world who do not really belong anywhere. We are citizens of heaven - it is important to remember where we’re from and where we’re headed.
Unbelievers may think this passage shows a cruel God, but they are missing the bigger picture. Abraham may not have been angry with God, but he would have experienced emotional turmoil, and yet he obeyed God. It was God who miraculously gave Isaac to Abraham in the first place. God did not withhold his only Son. Isaac lived because a ram died in his place; we live because the Lamb of God died in our place.
God makes specific promises to individuals. God provides for us whether we are like Hagar and Ishmael who have reached the end of their resources or whether we are like Abraham who is distressed for others. Abraham entrusts Ishmael’s life to God, just as he later entrusts Isaac’s life to God.