Concern, Common Sense, and Faith in Christ—John 6:16-21



16 And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea, 17 And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. 18 And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. 19 So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. 20 But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. 21 Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went. (John 6:16–21)


Like the disciples on the dark and dangerous sea, we live in a dark and dangerous time. The coronavirus, or COVID-19, is now regarded as a pandemic. Our nation is now under a national emergency. 


The coronavirus crisis has people on one side scoffing and saying “Who’s afraid of a little flu?” and people on the other side saying that it’s time for government-run healthcare. It has excited those who love conspiracy theories and panicked many into buying toilet paper.


The coronavirus has caused much fear, and I won’t try to discount it—it’s something to be concerned about.

Continue reading

The Light Rejected, The Light Received—John 1:9-13



So far, in the Gospel of John, we’ve seen Jesus Christ described using two words. The first was simply, “the Word,” and the second, “the Light.” The first emphasizes God’s desire to communicate with His creation. The second displays God’s ability to shine in our hearts, reveal our sin and point us in the true way. 


Now, in the next verses, we are challenged to respond to the Word and the Light. There are two possible responses—and only two—rejection and reception. 


9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:9–13)

Continue reading

Jesus Is Light And Life—John 1:3-8



3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. (John 1:3–8)


In this passage, it seems that verse 5 stands as a key verse, so let’s start with it. 




John 1:5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended [overcame] it not.


What is this “light” and what is the “darkness” that it is shining in? 


The light is Jesus Christ Himself. Later in the Gospel of John, Jesus says—


…I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (John 8:12)

Continue reading

Jesus Christ Is The Eternal God—John 1:1-2



John 1:1 IN the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God. 


To our modern ears, it might be strange to call another person “the Word” (logos). But while it might be strange to us, it wasn’t strange to either the Jews or the Greeks. 


The Jews shied away from using God’s name at all, lest they accidentally use it in vain. They would substitute other titles—like “Heaven”—instead of pronouncing the divine name. Another title they would have used was, “the Word.” Any Jew reading this would have known from the first phrase who John was talking about. 


The Greeks also used this title, “the Word,” but not in the same way as the Jews. They would have used it to refer to the ultimate reason or the purpose of the universe. They would have used it more in an impersonal sense or philosophical sense rather than a personal sense.


Both Jews and Greeks reading the Gospel of John would have been hooked from the very first line. For both Jews and Greeks, John points them to a specific person. Who is the Word? John makes that clear in later verses:


14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. (John 1:14–15)


The Word made flesh? John being His forerunner and witness? This can only be referring to Jesus. For the Jewish reader, their own God was made flesh. For the Greek reader, the impersonal reason behind the universe was, in fact, a person!

Continue reading

Are You Thirsty For God?—John 7:37-39



37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) (John 7:37–39)


The story is told of a man crawling through the Sahara desert, thirsty and desperate for water. Another man, riding a camel, appears out of nowhere and approaches him. The thirsty man, his lips parched, whispers, “Water…please…can you give me water?”

Continue reading

Fighting Our Jealousy By Focusing On Jesus—John 3:22-30

20150823FBCPM & 20150903FBCTH

Levi Durfey




Jealousy. Itʼs been around since Adam and Eve. In fact, when Adam came home each night, Eve used to count his ribs. 


Why should we be concerned about jealousy? Because jealousy (and it’s twin, envy) are dangerous, as an ancient Greek legend illustrates:


It seems a young Greek athlete ran in a race and placed second. In honor of the winner his village erected a large statue in the town square. 


Envy and jealousy attacked the runner who came in second to the degree that he made plans to destroy the statue. Each night, under cover of darkness, he went out and chipped away at the foundation of the statue, expecting it to fall on its own some day. 


One night, however, he chipped too much. The statue’s weakened base began to crack until it popped. The huge marble statue came down upon the disgruntled athlete. He died under the crushing weight of the one he had come to hate.


The truth is he died long before the statue fell on him. In giving up his heart to envy and jealousy he had ceased to live for himself. He became a slave to the giant of jealousy. His heart had become a picture of the Greek word “envy,” which means “to boil within.” (Jeremiah, 118)


What do we get jealous about as Christians?


  • We might get jealous when another church has more attendance or more kids at their youth program. 
  • We might get jealous when someone else is elected deaconess or deacon and weʼre not. 
  • We might get jealous when someone else is more liked than we are.
  • We might get jealous when someone else intrudes into our ministry. 


I could say more, but you see the point: every church is a fertile field where the weed of jealousy can grow. 


Weʼll see it happen in our passage and weʼll see the way to kill jealousy in our church and in our lives.


Before we do, it might be helpful to distinguish between jealousy and envy—they are very much related, in fact, they’re twins, but they are also different. How are they different? One explanation I found said:


To envy is to want something which belongs to another person. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house, his wife or his servant, his ox or donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” 


In contrast, jealousy is the fear that something which we possess will be taken away by another person. (Collins)


But another person said:


(1) Jealousy is what makes us act in a certain way.

(2) Envy is what we may passively feel. (Kendall, 360)

Continue reading

Freedom—John 8:31-36

20150705FBCAM [Independence Day]

Levi Durfey




A More Important Kind Of Freedom


We are living in a time and place where it seems like a Christian’s freedoms are systematically being threatened and taken away. We are being forced, in violation of our conscience, to accept immoral behavior as normal behavior. 


One example of this is the plight of county clerks who are Christians being forced to write out marriage certificates for same-sex couples. I guess it’s a case of one more job that Bible-believing Christians will not be free to have.


We are greatly concerned about this loss of religious freedom of conscience in America, and certainly we should be praying hard about it. 


There is, however, another freedom that is far more important—one that deserves our attention every moment of every day. It is a freedom that no mortal man can take away, even if we are tortured and killed.


The freedom I’m talking about is the freedom from sin. In John 8, we find Jesus speaking to a group of believing Jews:


31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 


33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? 


34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. 36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. (John 8:31–36)


If you believe in Jesus, what you should want to be is to be like Jesus. I am certain most Christians would agree with me. We want to love like Jesus; we want to be wise like Jesus; we want to glorify the Father like Jesus. 


But what keeps us from doing so? Why donʼt we seem to be free to be like Jesus? Continue reading