After the polarising events of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, John let’s us into an intimate conversation between Jesus and his disciples. Jesus knowing what is about to unfold gives his followers some final instructions. Knowing this context makes the commands Jesus leaves them and us, even more pertinent. To be a disciple of Jesus means serving one another, loving one another, recognising that Jesus is the only way, allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us, staying truly attached to Christ, accepting persecution, being his witnesses, and despite difficulties knowing his peace, power, protection and the unity that comes from being part of his family. This gospel of love has hard edges. Should we be surprised that true discipleship
After the polarising events of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, John lets us into an intimate conversation between Jesus and his disciples.
Knowing what is about to unfold, Jesus gives his followers final instructions which prepare them for kingdom living in the power of the Holy Spirit. He knows the world is about to change for his disciples. Jesus is looking beyond his death, which will appear as the ultimate disaster to the disciples, to his resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit. The impending disaster will prove instead to be the moment of ultimate triumph and victory through his resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit. Jesus prepares his disciples for kingdom living and a step change in the expansion of the Kingdom of God. The disciples are to take Jesus’ mission global.
The power of the resurrection and the enabling of the Holy Spirit should transform our perspective and guide our response in any impending disaster. We don’t have to look far to see disaster around us now: the ongoing impact of Covid, the shockwaves of the war in Ukraine and what this means for global security, the impending economic threat to a way of life we have become used to. Although none of these disasters share the significance or impact of the cross, the death and resurrection of Jesus and the teaching Jesus gives his disciples in these chapters of John’s gospel should shape our response to such situations. Jesus challenges us and his immediate disciples, to stay close to him, trust his authority and final victory, stick with the mission and live the kingdom way in the power of the Holy Spirit. This means serving and loving one another, recognising that Jesus is the only way, allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us and staying truly attached to Christ. It also means accepting persecution and being his witnesses despite difficulties. What is most remarkable is that, even in the face of difficulty and disaster, he promises we can know his peace, love, joy, power, protection and the unity that comes from being part of his family. We can see and know his glory even in the darkness. This gospel of love has hard edges. Should we be surprised that true discipleship means following in the footsteps of Jesus all the way? But praise God that he prepares us and is with us all the way…
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”John 16:33
Our purpose here isn’t to describe the many values which should describe all Christians and churches, but to highlight the things that are core to the personality of Wycliffe. Imagine describing Wycliffe to a friend over coffee or drawing a picture that captures the heart of Wycliffe. These values are the things that describe our culture and we want them to be visible in all that we do. They go deep because they express our particular calling from God as a community of his people in East Reading.
The Core Values notes for Bible group study leaders are as follows:
Week 3 Our Core Values Part One
Week 8 Our Core Values Part Two
Week 12 Our Core Values Part Three
Week 4 Our Core Values Part Four