In the final week of the series, Pastor Don tells the story of Jesus' last days. He shares about the events from Jesus' arrest, His trial before Pontus Pilot, His crucification, and His resurrection. Without these final days, we would have no Gospel. Jesus came to take the pain of the whole world. "It wasn't the nails that held Him on that cross, it was His love for you and me. Jesus died that day to split Heaven wide open for you and for me." But it cannot stop at us. We must go into all the world and share the Gospel.
This week, Pastor Don teaches from John 17 that "We are not here to retreat from the world, but to change it. We were not made to isolate ourselves from the world, but to insulate ourselves." Jesus took who He was and shifted it in a way that was inviting to everyone else. He cared for the sinner. The biggest opposer to His tactic was The Church. As the body of Christ we need to do as Christ did and take care of those consumed by the world.
In John 13 Jesus washes the feet of His disciples. Even though He knew who He was, knew where He was going, and knew what He was going to do, He got down on His knee and did the job of a servant. Jesus taught the disciples the importance of lovingly serving others. Pastor Don points out that the biggest tragedy in the world today is selfishness, but Jesus has called us to be different. "The greatest person will be one that knows how to bring value to another person."
John 13:1-17; Philippians 2:3-9
The First Stone
In John 8, a woman is caught in the act of adultery. Traditionally, this would result in the woman being stoned to death, but Jesus says to the woman's accusers, (the Pharisees) "He who is without sin, cast the first stone." No one could. He then told the woman, "Go and sin no more." Pastor Don emphasizes that we cannot love Jesus and not love people. Do we come to church with rocks and look for those who don't belong? We must strive to become disciples of Christ and not become like the Pharisees. None of us are perfect, but perfection has come to rescue us.
John 8:1-12; John 8:58-59
Bread of Life
Pastor Don takes us through the second half of John 6, pointing out our dire need for Jesus. We reduce God down to our way of thinking and then wonder why nothing changes. However, Jesus declares that He is the "Bread of Life." He is more than enough for us and He is all we need.
Loaves and Fishes
This week Pastor Don takes us through the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 in John 6. He emphasizes that just like the boy who only had 5 loaves and 2 fish, what we have in our hands God can use! He will make plentiful even our smallest sacrifice to Him! Just as the disciples did, we must trust in God.
The Woman at the Well
Pastor Don preaches on John 4: "The Woman at the Well." Jesus needed to go through Samaria for the purpose of ministering to this woman. Sometimes we go through difficult situations (our Samaria) and we try to understand why. Most often, we think the purpose will eventually surface to have been about us... but it is possible that the reason you are going through what you're going through is not about you at all, but it is about serving someone else. Pastor Don also points out that in this chapter Jesus defines worship using two words: Spirit and Truth.
John 4: 1-42
Jesus, Son of God
In John 5, Jesus heals a man at the Pool of Bethesda. "Jesus said to him, 'Rise, take up your bed and walk.' And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath." Jesus comes under attack by the Pharisees for healing on the Sabbath. Donny Karpinen, our Creative Pastor, points to Jesus' love and compassion in contrast with the Pharisees' rules regulations. Jesus has a lengthy response for them, boldly declaring that He is equal with God, by calling Him "My Father." This is the first instance of Jesus publicly declaring that He is the Son of God.
In the 3rd chapter of John, Jesus explains what it means to be reborn. He says, “Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” In week 3, Pastor Don helps unpack the mystery of how faith in Jesus Christ brings the hope of new life to believers.
The gospel of John highlights seven miracles that bear witness to the fact that Jesus was divine. This week Pastor Don shares the importance of these signs and reminds us to start giving more credit to the power of God than the power of evil in this world.
In the Beginning
Jesus was before all things. Though He was fully God, He took on flesh and came to this world to fulfill the Law and declare that the Kingdom of God is available to all men. Week 1 highlights the truth that the Light of the World came to earth with a mission. This is the gospel.