Category Archives: Gospel of John

Finding the Thread – Listening in John 9-11

In John 9 Jesus heals a man who was born blind…on the Sabbath (9:14). This got the attention of the local authorities who began to question the healed man. After verbally assaulting him the man defends Jesus saying, “We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will.” – John 9:31. The idea is that Jesus would have healed by the power of God and that God wouldn’t work like that through a sinful person or a blasphemer (that is what they are accusing Jesus of in this chapter). If you ever hear someone say God doesn’t hear a sinner’s prayer and quote this verse, always remember the context. If God doesn’t hear a sinner’s prayer we are all doomed. But keep listening.

In the next chapter we get the only parable in the Gospel of John – Jesus the Good Shepherd. In that parable Jesus says,

3The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” – John 10:3-5

Notice all the verbiage about sound – voices and hearing. The sheep hear their true shepherd. They not only hear him, they know him. They recognize his voice, listen and obey as He calls them by name.

Then, in John 11, we get the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. When Jesus raises him Jesus says a few simple words phrased as a command – “Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” – John 11:43. Lazarus recognized his voice, listened and obeyed as Jesus called him by name.

It is important that we are people who can discern the voice of Jesus. We see something similar later in John when Mary meets Jesus in John 20 and thinks he is the gardener. She doesn’t recognize Jesus until he calls her by name (John 20:16). We have so many distractions, it can be hard to hear Jesus’ voice and yet he calls. Maybe we think it is just the gardener calling. He calls us by name and we need to have the ears to hear…to discern His voice from all the other noise so that we can obey and follow Him as He calls us by name.

Three Characteristics of the Love of God and What That Means for Us

Soaking wet, walking across the beach…Peter makes his way toward Jesus. The other disciples are right behind him…as always, Peter found a way to get there first. Maybe it was his youth. Maybe it was his passion. Maybe it was his love for Jesus that he still clung to in spite of his own failuresContinue Reading

Is This The Most Faith-Full Moment in Jesus’ Ministry?

When you say John 4 your first thought probably goes the woman at the well. There is another story in that chapter that I find one of the most moving and faith-full moments in the Gospels. I don’t know that I need to get into the business of comparing people’s faith. That just doesn’t seemContinue Reading

Fascinating Story Order in the Gospels

Sometimes the Gospels have stories that are ordered in such a way that it just blows my mind. Because these connections span multiple stories it can be easy to miss because we often study one unit of the text at a time rather than looking at the whole or at least big chunks to seeContinue Reading

Logos Review: Baker Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel of John (Vol 1 & 2)

This is one of those resources I couldn’t wait to get my hands on. I was prepping to teach a Wednesday night series on the Gospel of John and I just had to have Keener on my team. I have grown to appreciate Craig Keener’s work on Bible backgrounds as well as his book Paul,Continue Reading

Open Tombs, Fight or Flight and Making Sense of Mary in John 20

When you are young you do foolish things…things you look back on and wonder “What was I thinking?” or think about all the bad things that could have resulted from your decisions. We had a youth group that went through a season of seeking out scarey experiences. There were nights we would leave Wednesday nightContinue Reading

Seating charts, the Last Supper and Judas

The world the New Testament was born into was a world where seating charts were everything. There wasn’t a higher form of fellowship than table fellowship at that time and where you sat at the meal was directly related to the honor or shame the host wished to recognize. There was a pecking order. TheContinue Reading

Mind Blown – the Interconnected Narratives of the Gospel of John

As I am studying through and teaching the Gospel of John I am in awe of just how interconnected this book is. I don’t even know where to start but I will take a stab at it. Jesus comes on the scene as the lamb of God who comes to take away the sins ofContinue Reading

You Cannot Be a True Disciple and Be Unloving

Some who claim so stridently to be true disciples based on their obedience to every jot and tittle and even tittes that aren’t there have missed this…I don’t even have any other commentary on this point, just these words from Jesus, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you,Continue Reading

Jesus in Context – One of the Most Helpful Biblical Background Books Around

I recently came across the most helpful resources on the historical backgrounds to the Gospels that I have ever seen. It is called Jesus in Context: Background Readings for Gospel Study by Darrell Bock. This book works through the synoptics and John and pulls just about any relevant extra-biblical text in full quotation to help you seeContinue Reading


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