Why Believe

Do You Love Me? - John 21:1-25


Date:  02/15/15
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  Do You Love Me?
Scripture:  John 21:1-25

Description:  This conclusion to John’s Gospel does more than tie up a few loose ends. It illustrates the faithful, patient love of Jesus toward those who have failed him. And it shows us the only power that can transform our lives and sustain our faith to the end. Do you love Jesus?

It Is Finished - John 19:16-37


Date:  01/25/15
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  It Is Finished
Scripture:  John 19:16-37

Description:  This text tells the story of Jesus’s death by crucifixion, one of history’s cruelest forms of torture. Yet John spares us all the brutal details. He focuses instead on all the signs that Jesus died on his terms for his purposes. So why did Jesus have to die? What did his death accomplish?

Behold Your King - John 18:28-19:16


Date:  01/18/15
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  Behold Your King
Scripture:  John 18:28-19:16

Description:  John gives us more detail about Roman governor Pontius Pilate than all the other Gospel writers combined. And John tells us that everything he’s included is meant to persuade us to believe that Jesus is the Christ. So how does looking at Pilate help us see the beauty of Jesus?

Courage, Cowardice, And Compassion - John 18:1-27


Date:  01/11/15
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  Courage, Cowardice, And Compassion
Scripture:  John 18:1-27

Description:  The opening scenes in the story of Jesus’s death tell a story of great courage, as Jesus faces his captors with unflinching resolve and in absolute control. They tell a story of great cowardice, as Peter faces his own examination and denies Jesus repeatedly. And they tell a story of great compassion: Jesus dies on purpose because he knew Peter would deny him, and he knew we’d deny him, too.

The Light Shines - John 1:4-5


Date:  12/14/14
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  The Light Shines
Scripture:  John 1:4-5

Description:  The Advent season is an opportunity to reflect on why we need Jesus, on why the news of his coming is such wonderful news. John frames our need and what Jesus offers us in the images of light and darkness. We need Jesus because we are the people walking in darkness—the darkness of sin and the darkness of sorrow. And Jesus has come to us as the light no darkness can overpower.

Love, Hate, And Life In The World - John 15:18-16:4


Date:  10/26/14
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  Love, Hate, And Life In The World
Scripture:  John 15:18-16:4

Description:  In this text Jesus implies that understanding and anticipating the hatred of the world for Jesus and his followers is crucial for faith that lasts. But what does Jesus mean by the hatred of the world? And how should we deal with the hatred of the world?

If You Love Me - John 14:12-31


Date:  10/12/14
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  If You Love Me
Scripture:  John 14:12-31

Description:  Jesus teaches that if we love him we will obey him, and if we don’t love him we won’t obey him. The key to our behavior—what we do—is in the affections, what we love. That’s why Jesus’s promise of a Helper, the Holy Spirit, is such good news. The promised Spirit is also a promise of a new heart moved by love for Jesus.

The Conquering Lamb - John 11:45-12:19


Date:  08/31/14
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  The Conquering Lamb
Scripture:  John 11:45-12:19

Description:  These three stories point us to the irony we have to recognize if we want to understand Jesus and what it means to follow him: he is the death-defeating king who conquers by dying, the champion who wins by losing, the one who gains his glorious throne by embracing the shameful cross.