A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Upcoming Sunday Scripture Commentary - April 26

Sermon (April 26) – “Use Your Hands”

I John 3:16-24

Verses 12-15 give us an illustration of how we should NOT love. Our scripture passage then offers a positive meaning of how we should love.

Loving means:
vv. 16-18 – Christ is the model
vv. 19-22 – God is more than ready to forgive than we are!
vv. 23-24 – We are to believe and love.

The command to love is directed primarily to showing love to people in the church, but we can also see this applying to the community and world.

It’s clear that Jesus Christ is the model of what it means to show love. Love puts others first. It is unselfish. Love is more than lip service. This is all possible when we are in a loving relationship with Jesus Christ.

John 10:11-18

There are six dimensions found in this text:

1) Definition of a Good Shepherd
2) The problem with the hired hand
3) essential characteristics of the Good Shepherd
4) Future oriented words about the future of the sheep
5) An explanation of the Father's love
6) The Good Shepherd's relationship to the Father

This is a passage that shows us Christ's freedom and self-giving in his relationship to the Father. We will see this most supremely through the suffering, death, and resurrection of Christ toward the end of the Gospel.

The hired hand sees no devotion to the flock. Self-interest is the motivation.

This text also emphasizes the importance of oneness in the Christian community - v. 16b
It is Christ, the Good Shepherd who unifies the flock. Even though we are different, we find our oneness in Christ.

[Note: The resources used for these scripture reading commentaries are based on the Everyone series by NT Wright, Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary, The Wesley Study Bible, and the “Montreal-Anglican”lectionary commentaries.]

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