Sunday, June 10, 2018

jesus comes out: john 7

Today I preached in a place that has been going through the gospel of John chapter by chapter.  This mean that unlike many of my friends and colleagues, I preached on the 7th chapter of John today.  I didn't record the sermon, but have a couple of visuals that I'll comment on after the gospel if you're interested in checking them out.  Visually you can get a sense of my sermon by paying attention to the pieces that stood out to me and the pieces that felt problematic to me in the gospel, combined with what showed up in the final visual version of my sermon.

John 7
After this Jesus went about in Galilee.
   He did not wish to go about in Judea
      because the religious leaders were looking for an opportunity to kill him.
2Now the Jewish festival of Booths was near.
   3So Jesus’ brothers said to him,
      “Leave here and go to Judea
           so that your disciples also may see the works you are doing;
              4for no one who wants to be widely known acts in secret.
          If you do these things,
               show yourself to the world.”
                  5(For not even his brothers believed in him.)
   6Jesus said to them,
      “My time has not yet come,
           but your time is always here.
       7The world cannot hate you,
           but it hates me because I testify against it
              that its works are evil.
      8Go to the festival yourselves.
           I am not going to this festival,
               for my time has not yet fully come.”
9After saying this,
   Jesus remained in Galilee.
   10But after his brothers had gone to the festival,
       then he also went,
           not publicly but as it were in secret.
      11The religious leaders were looking for him at the festival and saying,
           “Where is he?”
      12And there was considerable complaining about him among the crowds.
           While some were saying,
               “He is a good man,”
           others were saying,
               “No, he is deceiving the crowd.”
                   13Yet no one would speak openly about him
                       for fear of the religious authorities.

14About the middle of the festival Jesus went up into the temple and began to teach.
   15The Judeans were astonished at it, saying,
      “How does this man have such learning,
           when he has never been taught?”
16Then Jesus answered them,
   “My teaching is not mine
      but is of the one who sent me.
           17Anyone who resolves to do the will of God
              will know whether the teaching is from God
              or whether I am speaking on my own.
                  18Those who speak on their own seek their own glory;
                      but the one who seeks the glory 
                           of the one who sent them is true,
                           and there is nothing false in them.
   19“Did not Moses give you the law?
      Yet none of you keeps the law.
           Why are you looking for an opportunity to kill me?”
20The crowd answered,
   “You have a demon!
      Who is trying to kill you?”
21Jesus answered them,
   “I performed one work,
       and all of you are astonished.
   22Moses gave you circumcision
      (it is, of course, not from Moses,
           but from the patriarchs),
      and you circumcise a child on the sabbath.
       23If a child receives circumcision on the sabbath
           in order that the law of Moses may not be broken,
               are you angry with me
                   because I healed a person’s whole body on the sabbath?
   24Do not judge by appearances,
      but judge with right judgment.”
25Now some of the people of Jerusalem were saying,
   “Is not this the man whom they are trying to kill?
      26And here he is, speaking openly,
           but they say nothing to him!
      Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Messiah?
           27Yet we know where this man is from;
              but when the Messiah comes,
                  no one will know where he is from.”
28Then Jesus cried out as he was teaching in the temple,
   “You know me,
   and you know where I am from.
       I have not come on my own.
           But the One who sent me is true,
              and you do not know Them.
              29I know Them,
                   because I am from Them,
                  and They sent me.”
30Then they tried to arrest Jesus,
   but no one laid hands on him,
      because his hour had not yet come.
    31Yet many in the crowd believed in Jesus and were saying,
       “When the Messiah comes,
          will they do more signs than this man has done?”
   32The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering such things about Jesus,
      and the chief priests and Pharisees sent temple police to arrest him.
33Jesus then said,
   “I will be with you a little while longer,
      and then I am going to the one who sent me.
           34You will search for me,
              but you will not find me;
          and where I am,
               you cannot come.”
35The Judeans said to one another,
   “Where does this man intend to go that we will not find him?
      Does he intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks 
           and teach the Greeks?
       36What does he mean by saying,
           ‘You will search for me and you will not find me’
           and ‘Where I am, you cannot come’?”

37On the last day of the festival,
   the great day,
      while Jesus was standing there, he cried out,
           “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me,
          38and let the one who believes in me drink.
               As the scripture has said,
                   ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’”
                      39Now he said this about the Spirit,
                           which believers in Jesus were to receive;
                      for as yet there was no Spirit,
                           because Jesus was not yet glorified.
      40When they heard these words,
          some in the crowd said,
               “This is really the prophet.”
       41Others said,
          “This is the Messiah.”
      But some asked,
           “Surely the Messiah does not come from Galilee,
              does he?
               42Has not the scripture said that the Messiah is descended from David
              and comes from Bethlehem,
                  the village where David lived?”
      43So there was a division in the crowd because of him.
           44Some of them wanted to arrest him,
               but no one laid hands on him.

45Then the temple police went back to the chief priests and Pharisees,
   who asked them,
      “Why did you not arrest him?”
46The police answered,
   “Never has anyone spoken like this!”
47Then the Pharisees replied,
   “Surely you have not been deceived too,
      have you?
    48Has any one of the authorities
    or of the Pharisees believed in him?
       49But this crowd,
          which does not know the law—
              they are accursed.”
   who had gone to Jesus before,
   and who was one of them, asked,
       51“Our law does not judge people
           without first giving them a hearing
              to find out what they are doing,
                  does it?”
52They replied,
   “Surely you are not also from Galilee,
       are you?
           Search and you will see that no prophet is to arise from Galilee.”
53Then each of them went home,

Some context: this weekend was Pride weekend where I currently live and preach in Des Moines Iowa's metro area. The congregation where I was preaching is undergoing some construction on their facilities and so worship was in the fellowship hall.

Through one of the open Sunday school rooms I could see the sun shining through this fabric, creating God's very own bi pride flag for me.

This is the visual for my sermon:
The yellow traced queer experiences through the sermon and Jesus' experiences in John 7.
After preaching I learned about this tragic event, which put Jesus' experience of having to keep his identity a secret and then going to a party when people want to arrest and kill him into very real terms.

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