The Gospel in Miniature

Lou Lotz

Read: John 3:16-21 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (v. 16) Even in this era of biblical illiteracy, when almost half of those responding to a recent survey identified the ark of the covenant as a big boat constructed by Noah, I think we can be reasonably sure that the great majority of people are familiar with John 3:16, especially in the …

Nicodemus

Lou Lotz

Read: John 3:1-10 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. (v. 1) What was Nicodemus’ reaction, do you suppose, to his encounter with Jesus? He does not cry out, like Thomas, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). He does not exclaim, like the centurion at the cross, “Truly this man was the Son of God!” (Mark 15:39). He does not go running back to his village, all excited, like the Samaritan …

Miracles in our Midst

Lou Lotz

Read: John 2:1-11 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. (v. 7) It happened about 25 years ago, and to this day I don’t know what to make of it. One of my parishioners phoned, all excited: “Pastor, can you come to the hospital right away; something has happened!” Late-night visits to the cancer wing at the local hospital seldom end well, and I prepared myself for the worst. …

Here Come the Disciples

Lou Lotz

Read: John 1:35-42 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. (v. 37) They smelled like fish. They almost never missed an opportunity to misunderstand what Jesus was saying. One of them was a thief; ten were cowards. They did not possess education, social status, wealth, or business acumen; some of them probably could not read or write. If Aristotle chose Socrates to be his disciple, and if Socrates chose Plato to be his disciple, couldn’t Jesus …

And the Word Became Flesh

Lou Lotz

Read: John 1:1-14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (v. 1) Of all the hard things the Bible asks us to believe, the hardest of all might be this: that the Word—the divine creative energy that brought the universe into being, and holds it together even today, this very minute—is made flesh in a baby born in a barn in Bethlehem. “He [the Word] was in the beginning with …