Seventh Sunday of Easter 12.5.13 John 17.20-end

1 05 2013

Sharing Unity

The words of Jesus invite us to explore the depths of unity and to become reconciling people.

John 17.20-end

Jesus said,  ‘I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, 21that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, 23I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

25 ‘Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. 26I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.’

Reflection

To help give shape to the reflection here are three types of question: head questions, heart questions and hand questions. They are about our intellectual response, our emotional response and our practical or behavioural response. I hope that you will want to work at all three levels.

Head Questions

  1. Who are ‘these’ in verse 1?
  2. How do you explain the idea of ‘unity’ expressed here in plain English?
  3. To what extent does the word ‘unity’ do justice to the mutual indwelling described here?

Heart Questions

  1. Do you find the idea of unity liberating or constricting?
  2. In verse 24 Jesus expresses his desire in prayer. Do you?
  3. What does it feel like to be at one with others?

Hand Questions

  1. To whom can you take the word of the Gospel?
  2. What practical action of yours might facilitate Christian unity?
  3. What are the qualities of a reconciling person?

Finally

These questions are intended to challenge you to engage more closely with the passage and to hear and feel what it has to say to you.  That’s more than a five-minute task. And so is the follow-up, working out what you might want to say to others as a result of engaging with the passage with head, heart and hands.  Take your time.





Sixth Sunday of Easter 5.5.13 John 5.1-9

27 04 2013

I Have No One

Here we  see compassion triumph over law and healing as a stepping stone to trouble. In these ways this passage is typical of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

John 5.1-9

After this there was a festival of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

2 Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes. 3In these lay many invalids—blind, lame, and paralysed. 5One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. 6When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, ‘Do you want to be made well?’ 7The sick man answered him, ‘Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.’ 8Jesus said to him, ‘Stand up, take your mat and walk.’ 9At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk.

Now that day was a sabbath.

Reflection

To help give shape to the reflection here are three types of question: head questions, heart questions and hand questions. They are about our intellectual response, our emotional response and our practical or behavioural response. I hope that you will want to work at all three levels.

Head Questions

  1. Jesus is off to Jerusalem again. How many times is that so far in this gospel?
  2. Why did Jesus ask the man that question in verse 6?

Heart Questions

  1. What would it be like to be ill for 38 years?
  2. How does it feel to ‘have no one’?

Hand Questions

  1. Jesus noticed those who needed to be healed. Who do you need to notice?
  2. Who is waiting for you to take them to a place of healing?

Finally

These questions are intended to challenge you to engage more closely with the passage and to hear and feel what it has to say to you.  That’s more than a five-minute task. And so is the follow-up, working out what you might want to say to others as a result of engaging with the passage with head, heart and hands.  Take your time.





Fifth Sunday of Easter 28.4.13 John 13.31-15

22 04 2013

Glory and Love

In this passage Jesus emphasises two realities that lie at the core of Christian living, spirituality and ethics: glory and love. And so while very short, it is also very rich.

John 13.31-35

When he had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. 33Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, “Where I am going, you cannot come.” 34I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’

Reflection

To help give shape to the reflection here are three types of question: head questions, heart questions and hand questions. They are about our intellectual response, our emotional response and our practical or behavioural response. I hope that you will want to work at all three levels.

Head Questions

  1. How can you explain the word ‘glorified’ in plain English?
  2. Why does Jesus need to tell the little children that they cannot go without him?
  3. Love is a very complex and muddled word in English. What is its core meaning here?

Heart Questions

  1. What is the emotional tone of the word ‘glory’?
  2. How do the disciples feel about not being able to go with Jesus?
  3. What’s it like to be told that you should love someone?

Hand Questions

  1. What action or effort of yours might glorify God?
  2. What does the commandment to love suggest to you as a priority action today?
  3. What might make the love within your fellowship a clearer witness to the world?

Finally

These questions are intended to challenge you to engage more closely with the passage and to hear and feel what it has to say to you.  That’s more than a five-minute task. And so is the follow-up, working out what you might want to say to others as a result of engaging with the passage with head, heart and hands.  Take your time.





Fourth Sunday of Easter 21.4.13 John 10: 22-30

16 04 2013

A Request for Straight Talking

Jesus frustrates the Jews’ desire for plain speaking, and instead starts to speak about sheep and spirituality.  

John 10: 22-30

At that time the festival of the Dedication took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, 23and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon. 24So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, ‘How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.’ 25Jesus answered, ‘I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me; 26but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. 27My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. 29What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. 30The Father and I are one.’

Reflection

To help give shape to the reflection here are three types of question: head questions, heart questions and hand questions. They are about our intellectual response, our emotional response and our practical or behavioural response. I hope that you will want to work at all three levels.

Head Questions

  1. Why does location matter here?
  2. Does time matter too?
  3. Why does Jesus not answer directly?

Heart Questions

  1. How do you think the Jews feel about Jesus’ answer?
  2. How do sheep feel about being sheep?
  3. How do you feel about the unity of the Father and  Jesus (included or excluded)?

Hand Questions

  1. Is it more important to know who Jesus is, or to hear his voice?
  2. What ethical obligations come with the gift of eternal life?
  3. What is the greatest gift you have ever given?

Finally

These questions are intended to challenge you to engage more closely with the passage and to hear and feel what it has to say to you.  That’s more than a five-minute task. And so is the follow-up, working out what you might want to say to others as a result of engaging with the passage with head, heart and hands.  Take your time.





Third Sunday of Easter 14.4.13 John 21. 1-19

7 04 2013

Fish and Sheep

This beautiful passage begins with the disciples going fishing together and ends up with Peter being commissioned for discipleship and ministry. All the while the movement is from work to love, from old to new, but the constant across the whole gospel is the call to follow.

John 21.1-19

After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way. 2Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. 3Simon Peter said to them, ‘I am going fishing.’ They said to him, ‘We will go with you.’ They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

4 Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5Jesus said to them, ‘Children, you have no fish, have you?’ They answered him, ‘No.’ 6He said to them, ‘Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.’ So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. 7That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord!’ When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the lake. 8But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off.

9 When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. 10Jesus said to them, ‘Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.’ 11So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. 12Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’ Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ because they knew it was the Lord. 13Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ 16A second time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Tend my sheep.’ 17He said to him the third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ And he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep. 18Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.’ 19(He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, ‘Follow me.’

Reflection

To help give shape to the reflection here are three types of question: head questions, heart questions and hand questions. They are about our intellectual response, our emotional response and our practical or behavioural response. I hope that you will want to work at all three levels.

Head Questions

  1. It all begins with a fishing trip – why?
  2. Charcoal fire – what does this remind us of?
  3. Why did the third question grieve Peter?

Heart Questions

  1. Can you plot Peter’s emotional journey from verse 9-19?
  2. The beloved disciple was quick to see, but Peter was quick to act. Which are you more like?
  3. How would you describe the feeling experienced in verse 12: when they knew but did not dare to ask?

Hand Questions

  1. The disciples went back to work. Was this good or a distraction from their calling?
  2. Jesus is hospitable. Are you? If so, how and when?
  3. Peter’s pastoral commission is ultimately a call to discipleship, ‘follow me’. Is yours?

Finally

These questions are intended to challenge you to engage more closely with the passage and to hear and feel what it has to say to you.  That’s more than a five-minute task. And so is the follow-up, working out what you might want to say to others as a result of engaging with the passage with head, heart and hands.  Take your time.





Second Sunday of Easter 7.4.13 John 20.19-end

1 04 2013

Spirit, Doubt and Life

We read here the story of two evening encounters.  The first tells us about the explosive, forgiving newness that is released at Easter. The second takes a little deeper into the question of what happens when human beings like us are encountered by the resurrected Christ.

John 20.19-end

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.’ 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ 22When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’

24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25So 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.’

26 A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ 27Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.’ 28Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ 29Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.’

30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31But 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.

Reflection

To help give shape to the reflection here are three types of question: head questions, heart questions and hand questions. They are about our intellectual response, our emotional response and our practical or behavioural response. I hope that you will want to work at all three levels.

Head Questions

  1. How would the story be different if the door had not been locked?
  2. Does Thomas put his finger in Christ’s wounds?
  3. The result of faith is ‘life in his name’ (v 31).  How do you understand this: consequence, conclusion, reward…?

Heart Questions

  1. What impact would Jesus’ gift of the Holy Spirit have on the eleven?
  2. To what extent can you identify with Thomas in his doubting?
  3. To what extend do you feel the power of Thomas’ proclamation: ‘My Lord and my God!’?

Hand Questions

  1. Do you need to empower someone to forgive?
  2. Can you?
  3. Will you?

Finally

These questions are intended to challenge you to engage more closely with the passage and to hear and feel what it has to say to you.  That’s more than a five-minute task. And so is the follow-up, working out what you might want to say to others as a result of engaging with the passage with head, heart and hands.  Take your time.





5th Sunday of Lent 17.3.13 John 12.1-8

12 03 2013

Judas and Mary

This simple account of an all-too-imaginable incident can take us to the place of deep devotion, or make us recoil with horror at the meanness of human nature. Maybe we need to do both.

John 12.1-8

Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 2There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. 3Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, 5‘Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?’ 6(He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) 7Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. 8You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.’

Reflection

To help give shape to the reflection here are three types of question: head questions, heart questions and hand questions. They are about our intellectual response, our emotional response and our practical or behavioural response. I hope that you will want to work at all three levels.

Head Questions

  1. ‘Six days…’ v1 what is the significance of this? Why is the story so precisely located in time?
  2. ‘Three hundred denarii’ v5 How much is that? On what other occasions is a large quantity of money mentioned in John’s gospel?
  3. Why do we always have the poor with us?

Heart Questions

  1. Imagine you had seen Mary do this. How would you feel?
  2. Can you imagine wanting to do just what Mary did?
  3. Is there a Judas inside you somewhere saying ‘tut-tut’?

Hand Questions

  1. Whom could you give a dinner for?
  2. Whom might you anoint?
  3. Is there anyone who needs some special attention from you before they die?

Finally

These questions are intended to challenge you to engage more closely with the passage and to hear and feel what it has to say to you.  That’s more than a five-minute task. And so is the follow-up, working out what you might want to say to others as a result of engaging with the passage with head, heart and hands.  Take your time.





A Better Booze-Up (A Sermon on John 2.1-11)

20 01 2013

Sermon for the 3rd Sunday of Epiphany

John 2.1-11

We are supposed to wonder what they saw… the people at the wedding at Cana where Jesus got involved and things started to change in unexpected and yet profoundly positive ways.

The steward – we know that he was a bit affronted. This crowd had clearly got the wedding wrong. And as the master of the house he didn’t like that. He had worked hard to get the reputation as a properly traditional place.  He saw the danger if word got out: this is the place where tradition is stood on its head. You can’t market weddings on that basis. Nor religions. Topy-turvy spirituality is always going to be a tough sell. When it comes to things of the spirit we need to rely on order to keep it safe. For the steward there was threat in the sign of new wine. And the chief steward was probably right.

Then there are the servants. We don’t know anything of their response.  They are silent. But they are also ‘knowing’. The story tells us that they knew something that the chief steward did not know.   That’s an interesting thought: the nameless and voiceless ones being the knowing ones. This is a another angle on the Christian idea that it is the little ones, the poor, the vulnerable, the nobodies who are God’s insiders.

We could think too about the other guests, among them Jesus disciples.  There is nothing to suggest that they have a clue what is going on. They want to be close, they are trying to follow, they have enlisted in Jesus’ eternal-life coaching course but they are distant, ignorant spectators in this the first sign. Maybe this is where we are doomed to be – those of us who opt into the Christian thing – at a frustrating arm’s length from the action which Jesus shares with those whom he loves and for whom he came – the lowest of the low.

Then there is his mother. She not only knew what was going on but was ahead of the action and initiated it. It seems that Mary was woman of real intuitive power, as well as of considerable inner strength and courage.  She calls her son to step up to the plate. She knows that his time has come before he does.  That’s often the way with spiritual vocation – those who have known us a long time and attend to us closely can see where it going better than we can ourselves. Not even Jesus was the master of his own vocation, his calling, his timing. That’s a lesson to the rest of us.  We are not all control-freaks of course. But we are all would-be control freaks when it comes to the story of our lives – wishing we could write an admirable autobiography by making the right decisions at the right time. Except that we can’t – because when we look back over our lives we realise how little our own opinion, our own motivation, our own desire to control outcomes had to do with what ended up happening.

And what of Jesus’ perspective? Is he really the play-maker here – or is he – as I am suggesting, making a difference by being obedient rather than by making a decision and delivering a plan.  He took the nod from his mother – after a brief, if spirited, protest – and then just did as he was asked. And it was transformational.  Then, at the end of his story, when the steward challenged the groom … we hear nothing of his answer  and nor did Jesus step in.  It seems that he said nothing. As he did when Pilate got round to asking what he thought was his killer question: ‘what is truth?’. I love Jesus’ silence at this point. I imagine a knowing shrug.  There is no answer to the question because the crudeness of the question corrupts the language so much that to continue the argument is pointless. I see this too in the rebuke of the steward.  ‘Too bad’, thinks Jesus. The new wine is here. You might want to argue the toss with me but, well. there’s no point. You might as well just enjoy a glass – or two. We seem to have about 1,400 pints to go at.

Jesus turns water into wine and inaugurates a new celebration, a new way of looking at things, a new reality.  The jargon word for that newness is ‘kingdom’. It’s become a very much more important word in Christian preaching and teaching over the last generation or so.  That’s unfortunate in some ways, as it is impossible to rid the word of its tinge of worldliness, patriarchy and its hierarchical and royalist associations. It seems to suggest something traditional but given a modest twist.  But the story of the wedding of Cana blows all of this away: the kingdom of God is a better booze up. When Jesus answers the call and begins to act then tradition goes out of the window, the stuffed-shirts get affronted and the nobodies suddenly find themselves very close to the action – the outsiders become the insiders and water becomes wine. The ordinary becomes extraordinary, the mundane the very special.

We are used to calling this a miracle. It’s certainly quite a stunt. But John calls it a sign. We need to read this sign, or maybe even allow it to read us – to challenge and impinge on us deeply. We need to let it get under our skin, into our minds and hearts, to slip surreptitiously into our soul. We need to let it inform our actions and our attitudes, to let it shape our mind-set.

The sign of Cana is a sign of transformation, a sign of newness, a sign that God’s agenda subverts and transcends the world’s agenda, just as it subverts and attends our own personal agenda, our personal expectations, our personal hopes.

There lies the challenge for us. Not that we should seek to emulate the actions of Jesus, but that we should, like him, try to be obedient to the call to serve the purpose of God: the purpose of working with the ordinary stuff of reality, and the people who are in touch with it, to make a sign and give a foretaste of the eternal celebration of generous newness which is God’s plan and destiny.

Fundamentally, the story of the wedding at Cana is one of transformation initiated by Jesus obedience to God’s call as articulated by his mother.

So here’s a question:  What is God calling you to do?  And who is he using as his messenger?

If you don’t know – listen more carefully to others.

If you do know – obey!





3rd Sunday of Epiphany 20.1.13 John 2.1-11

12 01 2013

The Sign of New Wine

This story is told every Epiphany season. John calls it the first sign. It is itself a revelation, a disclosure. But who learns what on this happy occasion?

John 2.1-11

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ 4And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.’ 5His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ 6Now standing there were six stonewater-jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the jars with water.’ And they filled them up to the brim. 8He said to them, ‘Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.’ So they took it. 9When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom 10and said to him, ‘Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.’ 11Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

English: Icon of the wedding at Cana

English: Icon of the wedding at Cana (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Reflection

To help give shape to the reflection here are three types of question: head questions, heart questions and hand questions. They are about our intellectual response, our emotional response and our practical or behavioural response. I hope that you will want to work at all three levels.

‘Head Questions’

  1. What does ‘twenty or thirty gallons’ look like? How many buckets, pints or litres… go, on work it out.
  2. What do you make of the miraculous?  Was this simply a sign or more than a sign?
  3. What does it means to say that Jesus ‘revealed his glory’ here?

‘Heart Questions’

  1. How do you feel about the mother of Jesus in verses 1, 3, 4 & 5? (Notice she disappears after that.)
  2. What did the chief steward make of all this? Why not tell the story from his perspective?
  3. What do the two words ‘good wine’ mean to you? What is their flavour?

‘Hand Questions’

  1. Who in the story gives an example of behaviour to be followed?
  2. Is your habit to serve your ‘best wine’ first, or do you slowly reveal what you have to offer?
  3. His disciples believed because they saw the sign and perceived the glory. Why do you believe? With whom can you share this?

Finally

These questions are intended to challenge you to engage more closely with the passage and to hear and feel what it has to say to you.  That’s more than a five-minute task. And so is the follow-up, working out what you might want to say to others as a result of engaging with the passage with head, heart and hands.  Take your time.





Christ the King 25.11.12 John 18.33-37

18 11 2012

The Voice of Truth

This passage is a really charged exchange. Jesus and Pilate in a face-off.

In my opinion it’s an outrage that the the Lectionary stops at verse 37. The drama is not complete until we hear verse 38: ‘Pilate asked him, “What is truth?”‘

By the way, I wrote about this passage in my book ‘Barefoot Discple’, reporting on a time when I got people to act this dialogue out. It was amazing. People found many different ways of doing Pilate – but the voice of Jesus was always calm.

John 18.33-37

Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ 34Jesus answered, ‘Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?’ 35Pilate replied, ‘I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?’ 36Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.’ 37Pilate asked him, ‘So you are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.’

Reflection

To help give shape to the reflection I am going to suggest three types of question: head questions, heart questions and hand questions. They are about our intellectual response, our emotional response and our practical or behavioural response. I hope that you will want to work at all three levels. You might prefer to stay in one area. But beware of staying in your comfort zone. That’s rarely where profound preaching comes from.

‘Head Questions’

  1. Why did Pilate start with the question,’are you the king of the Jews?’
  2. Where is Jesus’ kingdom from?
  3. What does it mean to ‘testify to the truth’?

‘Heart Questions’

  1. How do you imagine the tension between Pilate and Jesus?
  2. What do you feel when you read Jesus’ words about hearing his voice?
  3. Do you like Pilate’s final question (v38)?

‘Hand Questions’?

  1. What personal responsibilty flows from following Jesus?
  2. What can you do to help yourself and others hear Jesus’ voice?
  3. Why have you come into the world – what, as far as you understand it, is your personal vocation?

Finally

These questions are intended to challenge you to engage more closely with the passage and to hear and feel what it has to say to you. That’s more than a five-minute task. And so is the follow-up – working out what you might want to say to others as a result of engaging with the passage with head, heart and hands. Take your time.