Storms and Signs, John 6:14-25


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“Storms and Signs”

John 6:14-25

September 22, 2019

Faith Presbyterian Church – Morning Service

Pr. Nicoletti

 

Our Scripture reading this morning is from The Gospel of John, chapter six, verses fourteen through twenty-five. It comes right after Jesus’s miraculous feeding of over five thousand people, and it opens with the crowd’s response to what Jesus has done.

 

With that context in mind, please listen carefully, for this is God’s word for us this morning.

 

6:14 When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!”

15 Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.

16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, 17 got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. 18 The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. 19 When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened. 20 But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” 21 Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.

22 On the next day the crowd that remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. 23 Other boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.

25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?”

 

This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

 

“All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” [1 Peter 1:24-25]

 

Let’s pray …

 

Lord, you have dealt well with us,

just as you have promised in your word.

Teach us now good judgment and knowledge,

for we believe in your word to us – your commandments and your testimonies.

You are good and you do good,

teach us your ways.

We know that your word to us in the Scriptures is of more value for us

than thousands of pieces of gold and silver.

Help us now to treat it and attend to it as such.

Grant this, we ask, for Jesus’s sake. Amen.

[Based on Psalm 119:65, 66, 68, 72]

 

Last Lord’s Day we read of and considered Jesus’s miraculous feeding of over five thousand people. This Lord’s Day we come to the response and the aftermath of that miraculous sign.

 

And as the text goes on, two different groups are distinguished. We have the crowd, or “the people” on the one hand. And then we have Jesus’s disciples on the other hand. And as we move through chapter six of John’s Gospel, those two groups diverge more and more. And that divergence starts to become noticeable here, in our text this morning.

 

And it begins with a consideration of the crowd and how they responded to Jesus. In verse fourteen we read “When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, ‘This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!’”

 

Now … this would seem like a good start. With the phrase “the Prophet who is to come into the world” the crowd is identifying Jesus with the figure described in Deuteronomy 18:15-19. In that passage Moses writes, “The Lord [Yahweh] said to me, […] ‘I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him.”

 

The crowd is identifying Jesus as the Prophet whom Moses writes about here.

 

Now, back in John chapter five, Jesus told the crowd in Jerusalem that Moses had testified about him, and that they would be found guilty for failing to acknowledge that [John 5:38, 46]. Now this crowd, in John chapter six, on the other side of the Sea of Galilee, seems to recognize what the crowd in Jerusalem failed to recognize. They recognize that Jesus is the Prophet whom Moses wrote of. So in verse fourteen we are given a piece of encouragement about this crowd.

 

But then we come to verse fifteen. And things take a turn. There we read that Jesus perceived that the crowd was “about to come and take him by force to make him king,” and so “Jesus withdrew […] to the mountain by himself.

 

Now – what is going on here?

 

Well, back in verse four of chapter six we were told that all of this was happening at the time of the Feast of Passover. One commentator explains the significance of that like this – he writes: “the Passover Feast was to [First-Century] Palestinian Jews what the fourth of July is to Americans, or, better, what the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne is to loyalist Protestants in Northern Ireland. It was a rallying point for intense, nationalistic zeal.” [Carson, 269]

 

So, let’s back up and recognize the situation. It is Passover, and the first-century Jews, a people living under Roman occupation are filled with nationalistic pride and zeal. And in that context we have a gathering of five thousand men – and now, in that setting, the specification back in verse ten that it was five thousand men who were there takes on a new significance. We have a group of men filled with nationalistic pride and frustration – a group of men that might easily become the beginning of a guerilla force, should the right leader present himself. And then Jesus shows that he has miraculous powers to multiply bread and fish. And if he has those miraculous powers, what other miraculous powers might he have to lead a band of men seeking to overthrow the forces of Rome? [Carson, 270]

 

And so, in that context, the crowd of men is ready to force Jesus into the role of being the leader and king of their nationalistic rebellion.

 

Jesus perceives this – whether it was an ordinary insight or a supernatural one we are not told – but he perceives this, and he withdraws from the crowd. [Carson, 271]

 

Now – those are the details of the situation … and in some ways they might seem pretty specific to the unique time and place that all this occurs in.

 

But in other ways, if we think about it a bit, we should recognize both how twisted what these men tried to do is … and also how very common it is.

 

Think about this: God, the Maker of heaven and earth has come to visit them. The second Person of the Trinity has taken on flesh and dwelt among them! The long-promised Prophet spoken of by Moses, the heir to the throne of David, the Messiah, the Anointed One of God, has come to earth. He has shown his power with a miracle that points to the fact that he is the very One who multiplies the grain that is planted in the earth every year. He is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe.

 

And rather than ask what he might want from them, they immediately decide what they want from him. Rather than ask him who he is to them, they declare who he will be for them. Rather than offer themselves to his service, they prepare to force him to do their will. Rather than ask what his coming has to say about the nature of the universe, the moment of history they are living in, the eternal state of their souls, they decide it’s time to set him to work towards their military and political goals.

 

Their Maker, and Savior, and Lord arrives, and they immediately try to control him – to dictate to him who he will be for them.

 

That’s insane. It’s heinous. And it’s also really mundane and ordinary.

 

It’s what people do every day. It’s what you and I do every day.

 

If you’re here and you’re not a Christian, chances are that to some extent, if you’re honest, you’ve already decided who Jesus is, before even listening to who he says he is. Maybe even in coming here, you already set boundaries in your mind ahead of time of what you’re willing to believe – you’ve declared already who Jesus is allowed to be to you and who he’s not allowed to be. You’ve defined who he can be. You’ve tried to control him before you even listened to him. Maybe not … but be honest with yourself … do you resemble these men maybe at least a little bit?

 

And for the rest of you, who are Christians, you need to pause and be honest with yourself about the ways you have tried to control Jesus and his role in your life too. What are the areas of your life he’s allowed to speak into, and what are the areas of your life you’ve shut him out of? Where do you allow him to confront you, and where do you tune him out? If you’re a Christian, you probably have some things in your life that you will let your allegiance to Jesus threaten … but what are the things he’s not allowed to threaten? What are the things you have decided (consciously or not) are not for him to be in charge of? How have you set the terms and tried to force Jesus into the role you want him to fill in your life? How have you tried to control Jesus?

 

We each do this to some extent. We each try to dictate to Jesus his role in our lives. Sometimes we do it more and sometimes less, but this is a struggle for all of us in this life. So where does it show up for you?

 

Identify a few places in your life where you see this pattern. And if you can’t identify any, you need to think about this more – because it’s probably not because you’ve submitted yourself to him so completely. Where do you try to set the terms of your relationship to Jesus?

 

And then … when we do that … what happens next? How does Jesus respond when we try to control him? – when we try to set the terms for our relationship to him?

 

Well … when that dynamic does play out, Jesus does not always respond to it in the same way.

 

But we do see one element of his response in our text this morning. In our text we see that Jesus withdraws himself from our attempts to control him.

 

Jesus withdraws himself from our attempts to control him.

 

We see that at the end of verse fifteen – when the crowd is getting ready to try to control Jesus, he withdraws to the mountain by himself.

 

We can say a few things about this response.

 

First, it is an act of judgment. It is Jesus’s rejection of our attempts to control him. It is the penalty we deserve for our blasphemous arrogance. He comes to offer us a place in his kingdom, and instead we try to shove him into a place in our own kingdom – and it is a just act of judgment on us for him to refuse that and to withdraw himself from us. [Augustine, 25.2; p. 430; Morris, 346-347]

 

And that must be a warning to us. When you try to lay hold of Jesus and make him who you want him to be, you won’t get the version of him that you wanted or the version of him that he really is. Instead he will often withdraw. He will pull back. And you will find yourself holding nothing.

 

So if you are not a Christian and you are trying to learn about Jesus while insisting that you get to define who he is in the end … you shouldn’t expect to actually get to know him. You shouldn’t expect to really encounter him. Because he will not let you define who he can be.

 

The fact that Jesus withdraws from those who attempt to control him is first a warning to us.

 

Second … in a way … it should also be a comfort to us. Because Jesus is also being merciful as he withdraws. Jesus would not be a real help to the crowd as their earthly warlord. If he stayed, if he accepted their attempts to control him, he would not give them what they most need but what they most want – and those two things are often not the same.

 

And so with us. If Jesus submitted to you and allowed you to set the terms for who he could be, it would not be an act of love on his part, but an act of negligence. Because we are a people who far too often want things that will destroy us. We want things that will undo us. And then, even when we want something good, we usually set our aim too low.

 

The crowd in our text has the Maker of heaven and earth before them, and they want to use him as a political and military tool. That’s the best thing they could come up with. How sad.

 

But our prescriptions for Jesus are often equally sad. Maybe even more sad. We come up with petty job descriptions for him to boost our finances or our career or make to us comfortable in a shallow life.

 

And so Jesus’s withdrawal from such demands on our part is not only an act of judgment … but it can also be an act of mercy. He is withdrawing in order to call us to something better. He is withdrawing in order to call us to relate to him differently. He is withdrawing in order to then call us to truly know him and who he is.

 

How have you chosen to try to control Jesus in your life, rather than seeking to truly know him? How have you tried to dictate his role in your life rather than asking him what your role is in his kingdom? And in what ways has he withdrawn from you in the middle of that? In what ways has he resisted you?

 

Jesus withdraws from our attempts to control him – from our choice of trying to control him rather than seeking to know him.

 

What then is the alternative? How do we come to really know Jesus?

 

Well, once again, Jesus does not work in the same way in each person’s life.

 

But we see here one way that Jesus often reveals himself to his people. We see here one way that Jesus often makes himself known to his people.

 

And we see that in the storm.

 

In the midst of the storm we see that Jesus often makes himself known in ways we would not expect … and in ways we would not choose. That is what we see in verses sixteen through twenty-one.

 

We read in verses sixteen and seventeen: “When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.”

 

The accounts of these same events in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark tell us that Jesus made the disciples get in the boat and go before him. John makes it sound less directive. Of course, the accounts can be harmonized. Before withdrawing to the mountain, Jesus likely directed the disciples to leave on the boat without him by a certain time if he was not back by then. Matthew and Mark stress Jesus’s direction. But John emphasizes Jesus’s absence.

 

Which makes us realize that while Jesus withdrew from the crowd because they tried to control him, he’s also withdrawn from his disciples … though for a different reason.

 

And then, in the second half of verse seventeen, we are told that it was dark, and Jesus had not yet come. And the darkness of the night and the absence of Jesus seem to be linked. [Carson, 274; Augustine, 25.5; p. 434]

 

We read on, from verse eighteen, that the sea became rough because of a strong wind. And they continued to row on – for about three or four miles. And they were somewhere towards the middle of the lake – not the center of it, but a ways on. [Carson, 275] The rowing in that weather would have been very hard work, but they had still made good progress. [Morris, 349]

 

But there they are, in the middle of the storm, struggling and working hard, and then we read: “they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened. But he said to them, ‘It is I; do not be afraid.’ Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.”

 

Jesus performs the fifth sign recorded in the Gospel of John – the fifth mighty work that points beyond itself to who Jesus is and how he relates to his people. Jesus walks on water, and then in what is likely a related miracle, he delivers the disciples from the storm, bringing them suddenly to the shore that is their destination.

 

What we see in this sign is that Jesus reveals himself to his people in the midst of the storm.

 

Jesus revels himself to his people in the midst of the storm – that is the general truth we see … but there are a number of specifics to that that are worth reflecting on together. Let’s consider a few of them.

 

First, in this sign we need to realize that sending the disciples into the storm was an act of love and mercy on Jesus’s part. In fact a number of elements of what happened here were acts of Jesus’s love and mercy to his disciples, even though they didn’t look like it at the time.

 

So first we might consider the storm. Without the storm, there is no sign. Without the storm Jesus would not have revealed himself in this special way to his disciples. The storm was a necessary component if the disciples were to know Jesus better. And not only that, so was the darkness. The darkness and the storm were the necessary setting for Jesus to reveal his power – for Jesus to reveal himself as the Lord of both earth and sea, for Jesus to reveal himself as the True Light. And not only that, but Jesus’s absence prior to the sign was also a necessary piece. In other words, Jesus sent his disciples into a storm, in the dark, without him, and he did it because he loved them, and he did it so that they might know him better.

 

We can see that here … but we have a lot of trouble believing that in our own lives. When you are in the midst of a storm in your life – when the wind is blowing, and your boat is pitching up and down, and you are rowing so hard, and your arms are tired, and the shore still seems far off, then in that moment it does not usually feel like God’s putting you into that situation must have been an act of his love. You might know theologically it is. You might be able to recite a catechism answer that says that it is. But … it doesn’t feel like it is.

 

And in a similar way, when life goes dark, and Jesus feels absent, it doesn’t feel like Jesus must be putting you in that place because he loves you. It doesn’t feel like it is an act of mercy on his part.

 

Which is why, when life is dark, and when Jesus seems distant, and when the wind and the waves and the chaos of the sea seem to be all around us, we need to remember this passage – we need to consider this sign. Because Jesus sent his disciples into that situation out of love – so that they might better know who he is, so that he might more fully reveal himself to them. And without the storm, without the darkness and the danger, without his initial absence, there is no sign. There is no revelation to the disciples here.

 

Take a moment and appreciate that the crowd in this passage – the crowd that lacks true faith, the crowd that will walk away from Jesus by the end of this chapter – that crowd gets smooth sailing. That’s why we included verses twenty-two through twenty-five in our reading this morning. In those verses we read that the crowd has a smooth and easy boat trip across the lake. In the daylight. With the anticipation of heading towards Jesus.

 

It’s the crowd that gets the smooth sailing on a bright day with hopeful expectations. It’s the disciples who get the storm and the darkness and the felt absence of Jesus. And the disciples get that because Jesus loves them. The disciples get that so that Jesus can reveal himself to them, and so that he can do it in the midst of the storm. [Calvin, 236]

 

And so you have to ask yourself which one you’d prefer. Would you prefer the smooth and bright journey of the crowd, who do not know Jesus, who are blind to who he is? Or do you want the storm and the dark and the trouble, if it means that you will know Jesus better – if it means that he will reveal himself to you more truly?

 

Our text tells you that you should choose the storm – that you should choose the dark. Not because you are supposed to like the storm and the dark – we are not called to enjoy those things! But because it is worth it, if that’s what we need in order to know Jesus more deeply.

 

So first, because Jesus often reveals himself to his people in the midst of the storm, the storm and the darkness and the troubles in this life that God’s people face are themselves a mercy – are themselves an act of love, that they might know Jesus better. That’s the first thing we see.

 

The second is that Jesus does not show up in a way that the disciples expected.

 

When we think of Jesus comforting us or revealing himself to us in the midst of trials or struggles, we often have our own ideas of how he will or should do that. But we are reminded here that often Jesus will show up and present himself in ways that we do not expect.

 

He certainly does that here. When the disciples see Jesus walking on the sea and coming towards them in verse nineteen, they’re frightened – and they seem to be especially frightened of him. Which is understandable. They don’t recognize him at first. Because none of them were expecting this.

 

The crowd in verse fifteen had insisted Jesus fit in with their ideas and expectations for him. And Jesus refuses that. And so now, when he reveals himself to his disciples, he does it by showing up in a way none of them expected.

 

Are you open to that?

 

Are you open to the idea that in the midst of the storms or struggles of life, Jesus might suddenly make his presence, or his love, or his holiness, or his identity more real to you in a way that you had not expected? That in an ordinary and mundane devotional time, or worship service, Christ might suddenly impress his presence and who he is to you on your heart? Or that in the middle of some dry theological or doctrinal instruction that you might be struck by something of Jesus’s power and presence in a way that you had not appreciated before? Or that someone you tend to think of as less spiritual than you are might have a word for you, or take an action towards you, that opens your eyes to Christ in a deeper way?

 

Christ through his word and his people and his Spirit and his sacraments makes himself present to his people – sometimes in ways that are more apparent to us than others. And when he does, it is often unexpected. You can’t really anticipate it … but are you prepared to see him when he does draw close to you in an unexpected way? Or like the crowd, do you want to define for him the ways he is allowed to arrive in your life?

 

So the second thing we see as Jesus reveals himself in the storm is that he doesn’t show up in the way we might expect.

 

Third, Jesus revealed who he was through a sign of his power and deliverance. Jesus showed them that he was the Lord and King over nature by walking on the water. Jesus showed them that he was their Savior by delivering them from the storm to the shore.

 

And here it’s worth comparing Jesus’s self-revelation to the crowd’s prescription for Jesus.

 

The crowd wanted to make Jesus king. They wanted by their own power to elevate him to kingship. The fact that they wanted to make him king shows that they didn’t think he already was a king. But when Jesus shows up walking on the water, he is showing his disciples that he already is a king … and not only over a people, but he is king over creation. He is Lord on a level far above that which a crowd could elevate him to. When Jesus reveals himself, he revels himself as Lord of the cosmos.

 

But at the same time Jesus also reveals himself as the Savior of his people. He delivers them. And he delivers them from things far more significant than Roman soldiers. In delivering his disciples from the storm, Jesus shows that he can deliver them from whatever threats this world might send their way.

 

And in our own lives too Jesus shows who he is as our Lord and our Savior – that he will save us from the power not just of the petty frustrations in our lives, but he will save us from the power of sin, and death, and Satan.

 

Jesus shows who he is through a sign that points to how he is Lord of all, and Savior of his people. That’s third.

 

Fourth, Jesus reveals himself in such a way, that the more his disciples knew the Scriptures, the more deeply they’d grasp his self-revelation in their lives. Let me say that one again: Jesus reveals himself in such a way, that the more his disciples knew the Scriptures, the more deeply they’d grasp his self-revelation in their lives.

 

And this is particularly striking, I think.

 

Because first, you could know little to no Scripture and still get a sense of what is going on here. Jesus is powerful – Jesus is powerful over creation. Jesus is Savior of his people. That is all evident from the sign.

 

But the sign gets deeper the more of the Hebrew Scriptures you know.

 

First, there is the first phrase Jesus utters to his disciples, translated in verse twenty of the ESV as “It is I.” That’s an accurate translation, but there is more to it then first meets the eye.

 

The phrase translated here as “It is I” is ego eimi in Greek. And it shows up here as one of the phrases with a “double meaning” in John’s Gospel. On its surface, the words can mean simply “It’s me.” But they can also be translated “I am.” And in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures that was used by many Jews at the time, ego eimi, “I am”, is a phrase that Yahweh, the God of Israel, repeatedly uses to identify himself.

 

The result is that Jesus’s words have two levels of meaning. To the disciple who does not know the Scriptures, Jesus is simply saying “It’s me.” But to the disciple who does know the Hebrew Scriptures, Jesus is taking the identity of the God of Israel and applying it to himself. He is saying “I am the Lord, I am Yahweh, I am the God of Israel.”

 

And it continues, because the next thing he says is “Do not be afraid.” And again, a double meaning is present. Because on one level, and to the disciple who does not know the Scriptures, Jesus is just telling them not to be so scared. But the disciple who knows the Hebrew Scriptures will also know that again and again, when the Lord, when Yahweh,  when the God of Israel reveals himself to his people, he says “Do not be afraid.” And so again, Jesus is revealing himself as Yahweh, as the God of Israel. [Brown, 254, 534-538; Carson, 276]

 

The more the disciples knew the Scriptures, the deeper would be the meaning of Jesus’s self-revelation to them.

 

And it doesn’t stop with those two phrases.

 

Because a disciple who knew Psalm 107 would find himself reflecting on how Jesus sure seemed to resemble the way God is described in that Psalm. Psalm 107 says:

 

23 Some went down to the sea in ships,
doing business on the great waters;
24 they saw the deeds of Yahweh,
his wondrous works in the deep.
25 For he commanded and raised the stormy wind,
which lifted up the waves of the sea.
26 They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths;
their courage melted away in their evil plight;
27 they reeled and staggered like drunken men
and were at their wits’ end.
28 Then they cried to Yahweh in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
29 He made the storm be still,
and the waves of the sea were hushed.
30 Then they were glad that the waters were quiet,
and he brought them to their desired haven.

A disciple who knew that Psalm well might be thinking that night that Jesus sure looks a lot like Yahweh in that Psalm.

 

And along with that, a disciple who knew Psalm 77 might remember that there the psalmist says to God: “Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters; yet your footprints were unseen.” And that would seem to describe Jesus in some ways here as well … even though the Psalm was originally speaking of God’s work in the exodus of Israel centuries earlier. A disciple who had Psalm 77 in mind might see Jesus making his way through the sea and wonder if the One before them was also the One who was before Israel, leading them out of Egypt.

 

And so, on one level, even a new believer with no background in the Scriptures, were he on that boat that night, he would, by Christ’s grace, receive something of Jesus’s self-revelation.

 

But on another level, the more Scripture a disciple on that boat knew, the more significant the words and deeds of Jesus that night would have been to him. They would have received a deeper self-revelation from Jesus, even though they saw the same deeds and heard the same words as everyone else.

 

There are many reasons to dedicate ourselves to the study of God’s word. This is one of them – that when Christ is at work in our lives, we might recognize him at a deeper level. When he acts in our lives, we can say “Wait, I’ve seen this before. He’s done this before. He’s said this before. I recognize in my life the One I have read of in the Scriptures.” And the more we know the Scriptures, the more we see who Jesus is revealing himself to be as he works in our lives.

 

That is fourth: Jesus reveals himself in such a way that the more we know the Scriptures, the more deeply we grasp his self-revelation to us in our lives.

 

Fifth and finally, all Jesus was looking for the disciples to do here was to gladly take him into the boat.

 

And this is important. Because we can trip ourselves up here.

 

The crowd wrongly defined and identified Jesus and his role, and Jesus withdrew from them. And in response to this, we can begin to think that if Jesus is going to draw close to us then we need to make sure we can rightly define and identify Jesus and his role in our lives.

 

But then we are saying that the crowd’s mistake was giving Jesus the wrong job description and our calling is to make sure we give him the right one.

 

But that wasn’t the crowd’s mistake. The crowd’s mistake was trying to dictate a job description to Jesus at all.

 

And by the time we get to the boat on the sea, there is no place for any of that. The disciples do not respond by sketching out better directions for Jesus. They respond in humble acceptance. They were glad to take him into the boat. They didn’t set terms for him. They didn’t set limits for him. They just gladly took him into their boat.

 

And the calling is the same for you. That is the calling for you when you are in the storm. But it is also the calling for you this morning.

 

Because you have seen this sign as well now, with the help of the Apostle John. And in this sign, in many ways, Jesus reveals himself to us as our Lord and Savior – as the Maker and King of the universe.

 

Will you accept him gladly into your boat?

 

If you are a Christian already, will you cease from your efforts to restrict Christ’s role in your life, to dictate his role in your life, and will you instead just gladly take him into your boat and let him do what he will?

 

And if you’re not a Christian, Jesus stands on the waves outside your life. You have heard who he is this morning. Will you gladly take him into your boat? Or like the crowd, will you insist on setting terms until he again withdraws from you?

 

Jesus Christ, our Lord and Maker, our Savior and Redeemer, has revealed himself to us. He has shown us here in his word, who he is. See what he has done. Hear what he has to say. And then let go of your attempts to control him, and humbly, and gladly open your heart and life to him.

 

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This sermon draws on material from:

Augustine. Homilies on the Gospel of John 1-40. Translated by Edmund Hill. Edited by Allan D. Fitzgerald. The Works of Saint Augustine. Hyde Park, NY: New City Press, 2009.

Brown, Raymond E. The Gospel According to John. vol.1. Anchor. New York, NY: Doubleday, 1966.

Calvin, John. Commentary on the Gospel According to John. Vol. 1. Translated by William Pringle. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1847 (2005 Reprint).

Carson, D.A. The Gospel According to John. PNTC. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1991.

Morris, Leon. The Gospel According to John. NICNT. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1971.

Wright, N.T. John for Everyone: Part 1. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004.