Category Archives: John

The Lord’s Day

Rich Lusk observes that in John’s gospel, the appearance of the resurrected Jesus in successive Sundays to the disciples (John 20:19-31) prove a pattern for worship on the Lord’s Day. He says:

Since the resurrection of Christ every Sunday is the day of the Lord. The switch is symbolically significant. Their special day is the seventh day. Our special day of the week is the first day of the week. The OT saints looked forward to these things, we now possess them.

Hating Your Life, John 12:20-33; Fifth Sunday In Lent

Providence Church (CREC)

Rev. Uriesou Brito

John 12:20-33

Fifth Sunday in Lent


First official sermon as an ordained minister.

20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. 21 So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die.

Prayer: Our Lord, glorify your Name in the preached Word and may these words be acceptable in your sight, Lord our great Redeemer. Amen.

Sermon: We are moving from Jesus’ encounter with Nicodemus in chapter 3 and jumping a few chapters to what many consider to be the center of the gospel of St. John. In chapter 12, instead of the Jews seeking Jesus as Nicodemus had done earlier, now we have the Greeks seeking Jesus. This is a glorious picture of the world flocking to the Messiah. It is a strong contrast to the Jews of that day. While the Greeks came to see Jesus, the Jews sought to show contempt toward the work of our Lord.

This happens in the context of the Triumphal Entry. Christ is greeted by the cries of: Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord.[1] There is great exhilaration at the coming of the Passover Feast. This is not an unfamiliar scenario. In John 2, Jesus had entered this same temple during the Passover and as the great priest He inspected His house and overthrew their furniture because He found false worship. The people may be wondering what he is going to do now. They are drawn to this man who speaks so prophetically, so priestly, and so kingly as He comes to Jerusalem sitting on a donkey’s colt.

In the midst of this, the Greeks are coming to see our Lord. They are intent in having an audience with the Messiah. They come to Philip, since he is a close companion of Jesus in his ministry and they ask him in verse 21 that glorious question: “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” He is the light of the world in John 1, the great cleanser in John 2, the great Savior in John 3, the water of life in John 4, the great healer in John 5 and the bread of life in John 6. Sir, we wish to see Jesus! Philip goes to Andrew, who agrees to bring the matter to Jesus and Jesus in turn addresses the multitude, in particular the Greeks. The answer of our Lord is one that makes the preaching of the cross foolish to the unbeliever: “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.”[2] In John 7:30: “…they were seeking to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come.” But now, our Lord says that the hour has come!  Up to this point the hour was always future, but now throughout His passion week his “hour” is upon Him.[3] But what exactly is this hour? Continue reading Hating Your Life, John 12:20-33; Fifth Sunday In Lent

The Trinitarian Gospel through Cross and Crown, Fourth Sunday in Lent, John 3:14-21

Fourth Sunday in Lent at Providence Church (CREC)

March 22nd, 2009.

Pastor Uri Brito

Eighth Sermon

Title: The Trinitarian Gospel through Cross and Crown, SERMON AUDIO HERE.

Text: John 3:14-21

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

Prayer: Our Lord, you are the light of the world, whoever follows you will not walk in darkness, but will walk in the light of life. Teach us by the light of your revelation to see Christ our Lord and never turn from Him, but walk in Him all our days. In His Name, Amen.

Sermon: The gospel of St. Mark presents Jesus as the great King, whereas the gospel of St. John sees Jesus as the great Priest. It is a priestly gospel. We have seen that the priest cleanses the temple, but the priest also offers humanity as a gift to the Father. The way He does that, in the words of our Shorter Catechism, “is to reconcile us to God.”[1] The mission of our Lord as priest is to reconcile lost humanity to God; to transform a dark heart into a bright new heart of flesh.

The Old Testament priests were sufficient for that time, but they are not sufficient for this new era of the Kingdom. The people need a faithful priest; a mature priest; one who can commune with the Father in perfect harmony.

In chapter 2 of John, Jesus cleanses the temple and promises to bring a new temple on the third day. He spoke of his own body, which would be raised. Christ is the new temple. Christ is the last temple. In fact, there is no more need for a new temple not now, not in the future, not ever, because Christ is the final temple.

In chapter 3 of John, Jesus our Priest is on His mission again to clean. If He cleanses the physical temple, He now is going to clean the spiritual temple. This is the scenario that unfolds in chapter 3. Continue reading The Trinitarian Gospel through Cross and Crown, Fourth Sunday in Lent, John 3:14-21

Leithart on the Book of Signs

The first 12 chapters of John are commonly seen as John’s “book of signs.”  There are seven signs, which may suggest a connection with the creation week. Some starting thoughts:

1. Water to wine, ch 2: Jesus’ manifests His glory, His light in the darkness of Israel.

2. Child raised from deathbed, ch 4: second sign (4:54; again in Cana)

3. Paralytic in Jerusalem, ch 5: Water plays a prominent role in the story.

4. Feeding of 5000, ch 6: They want to make Jesus king (6:15), like the luminaries.

5. Crossing the sea, ch 6: Water again prominent, and the fifth day is the day for sea creature.

6. Blind man receives sight, ch 9: Jesus makes a man new with clay, as in Genesis 2:7.

7. Lazarus raised from the dead, ch 11: Resurrection, new life, Sabbath.

John 3:16

This pericope from 3:16-21 is a cosmic reference. Too much ink has been spilt unecessarily deciphering the meaning of cosmos. Cosmos as the eternally elect or as the entire world are both textually possible exegesis. However, the debate has generally been framed around the idea that the term speaks of a particular group of elect people (Calvinist) or that Christ has made salvation possible for all men based on their belief (Arminianism). Both ideas seem to miss the larger point of John’s Gospel. Perhaps Warfield was the most accurate in his assessment of this passage. It is not only the individual salvation God has in mind, but the renovation/deliverance of the world, which individual salvation is a part of. This world is not meant for judgment, but for glory and salvation.

Zeal for the Father’s House, John 2:13-22; Third Sunday in Lent

Providence Church (CREC)

Pastor Uri Brito

Third Sunday in Lent

March 15th, 2009.

Title: Zeal for the Father’s House —Sermon Audio HERE

Text: John 2:13-22

13 The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. 15 And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. 16 And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

18 So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

Prayer: Teach us, O Lord, what it means to be consumed with zeal for your house, and in doing so, may we believe the Scripture and the word that Jesus has spoken. Amen.


In C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, Wormwood, the senior devil says to his junior correspondent that his greatest ally in the war against the church is religion itself. He wants us to think “that a moderated religion is as good for us as no religion at all.” In other words, he is talking about a religion that calls you to commit yourself only half-way; after all, a little religion is better than no religion. This devilish advice seems to have borne much fruit in the Church of our Lord today. Generations of such churches have led to empty church buildings in Europe and a gospel-less Christianity.

This moderated religion is at the heart of the religion of the Israelites in the first century. They had a self-serving religion. They embraced a religion that only suited their purposes. They had become so accustomed to their rituals and liturgy, that they had forgotten that their worship was for the sake of the world.

Our passage in John 2 flows from a context of great joy in the ministry of our Lord. He is in the beginning of his earthly ministry. In the beginning of chapter 2 Jesus has turned the water into wine. He has brought joy into that marriage feast. There can be no feasting without wine, so Jesus the great host, produces wine for his guests. He delights in the wedding feast, he delights in joyful marriages. In the remaining portions of John 2, we see that Jesus is zealous for His house. We have spoken in previous sermons how Jesus desires to clean his house. In order to clean His house, he needs to cleanse the leper and cleanse the unclean spirit. You cannot live in a dirty home, so Jesus begins to clean His house in his earthly ministry. We will see in chapter 3 that Jesus is interested in the cleaning of lost sinners. He cleanses them by water and the Spirit. He tells Nicodemus that He must be born again. If you are to be born again, you have to be as little children for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Continue reading Zeal for the Father’s House, John 2:13-22; Third Sunday in Lent

The Cleansing of the Temple and Leviticus 14

The cleansing of the temple in John 2 is only one of three separate cleansings. The second cleansing is recorded in the synoptic gospels and the final cleansing occurs in AD70. This parallels the cleansing of the house by the priest in Leviticus 14. The priest inspects the house the first time and quarantines it. The second time, he comes and sees if the leprous plague has permeated the house and the third time he comes to tear the house down. The Jews had made the temple into a house of robbers infecting it with a leprous plague. Jesus as the great priest destroys the house completely 40 years later.

John and Mark/Leprosy and Temple

There is a striking parallel between the cleansing of the leper in Mark 1:40-45 and Jesus’ cleansing of the temple in John 2:13-22. The temple has become a house of leprosy. It is unclean. Unlike the leper in Mark who implored to be cleansed, the temple continually desecrates the house of the Lord. In one case, Jesus acts with compassion, on the other, Jesus beats the temple (John 2:15).