Abide and Thrive

May 10, 2015

Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA

The 6th Sunday of Easter 
Acts 10:44-48; 1 John 5:1-6; John 15:9-17

(Gospel text is provided at the bottom of this post)

During the first few Sundays of Easter we heard stories of encounters with the resurrected Jesus – outside the empty tomb; on the road to Emmaus; and in the upper room. Now, like a television show that gives us a “flashback scene” we’ve gone back in time, before the arrest and crucifixion. We’re getting a glimpse into what Jesus might have said to the disciples just before he was going to leave them. It’s a different picture of Jesus. Through these private conversations, we see a pastoral, caring and supportive Jesus – much different than the image of Jesus during his public ministry.

In his public ministry in John’s gospel, we have a Jesus that is compelling people to a new way of being. He’s turning over the tables in the temples to get them to re-claim their purpose; daring to break down barriers by talking with outsiders, like the Samaritan woman; exhibiting the spirit of God’s command of love for others by healing the blind man, even if it breaks the rules of tradition that tells them they can’t work on the Sabbath.

But now, we find Jesus secluded with his disciples; his inner circle. He knows what’s about to happen. He shifts from being their teacher, preacher and prophet, and is now focused on being their pastor. One of the last acts as a teacher was conveying the importance of servanthood. And now, as Jesus knows what lies ahead, he’s serves them even more, by preparing them for what’s coming next.

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