Friday, October 7, 2016
We continue our series on the I AM statements of Jesus. As we have seen, John’s Gospel cites the phrase “I am” together with different sets of names to record metaphors for Christ. We began with Jesus saying to the Samaritan women (John 4:26) when she spoke of the Messiah, that “I am he.” Last time we saw Jesus saying “I am the bread of life” (6:35, 48) which led to many of His disciples deserting Him; other I AM statements include “the light of the world” (8:12; 9:5), “the gate” (10:7, 9), “the good shepherd” (10:11, 14), the resurrection and the life (11:25), “the way, and the truth and the life” (14:6), and “the vine” (15:1, 5). As I said in my introduction to this series, Mohamed Ali, the boxer who died during the preparation of this series, was fond of saying, “I am the greatest”. For a very brief period of time, in the very limited context of professional boxing,
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Our reading this evening is quite a long one as we pick up from where we left off last time … Acts 23:25 – 24:27. Last time we had Paul in custody and examined by the Sanhedrin. Then on the Sunday which the preacher had to excuse himself from because of a family emergency, we would have looked at a conspiracy to kill Paul which was foiled by Paul’s nephew and which resulted in him being spirited away by the Romans to Caesarea on the coast. Here he appears before his accusers and Felix, the Roman governor. He denies all the charges which the governor eventually realises are baseless, but the governor nonetheless keeps him in prison because he wanted to gain favour with the Jews he governed.