All We Need to Know

Jon Brown

Read: John 20:30-31; Romans 11:33-36 But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:31 NRSV)   The Belgic Confession, one of the historic confessions of the church tradition to which I belong, says about the Bible “that everything one must believe in order to be saved” is sufficiently taught in it. Everything we need is right there. …

So I Send You

Jon Brown

Read: John 20:21; Matthew 28:16-20 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” (John 20:21 NRSV) Matthew’s Gospel is where we find the Great Commission, Jesus’ charge to his disciples to “go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). However, John’s mission impulse should not be overlooked. The first thing …

The Eighth Day

Jon Brown

Read: John 20:26; 2 Corinthians 5 Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” (John 20:26 NRSV) There is a theological tradition in the church that refers to the day of resurrection as the eighth day. The eighth day is meant to draw our attention to the seven days of creation. Through the resurrection of Jesus, God began a new creation. As Paul puts it, “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: …

The Lord’s Day

Jon Brown

Read: John 20:19-23; Revelation 1:10 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” (John 20:19 NRSV) Any time a seemingly unnecessary detail is included in a Gospel narrative, it ought to make you ask, “Why is that there?” Beyond the obvious (simply stating that it …

The Power to Forgive

Jon Brown

Read: John 20:1-10; Matthew 6:14-15 So she ran and went to Simon Peter. (John 20:2 NRSV) This is the first time Peter’s name shows up in the Gospel of John following his denial of Jesus. On the dark night we call Good Friday, Peter acted as if he did not know the man. Now, with the crucifixion hanging heavy on the hearts of the disciples and the burial of Jesus’ dead body clearly indicating this had not been just a …

Meeting Our Doubts

Jon Brown

Read: John 20:24-29; Revelation 3:20 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25 NRSV) Jesus met Mary in her grief, and he met Thomas in his doubting. This disciple has gone by the nickname “Doubting Thomas.” We don’t really …