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How many times did Jesus visit Jerusalem?

One of the obvious differences in chronology between John’s gospel and the ‘Synoptics’ (Matthew, Mark and Luke) is that John gives an account of Jesus in Jerusalem on four different occasions, two during a Passover (John 2.13, 12.12), one during an unnamed festival (John 5.1) and one at Hannukah (John 10.22). (The third Passover is […]

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The meaning of martyrdom

Whenever I travel on the train, I have to think carefully about whether I wear my clerical collar, or whether I travel in ‘mufti’. It partly depends on what kind of meeting or event I am travelling to, but it also depends on whether I want to work quietly on the train, or am happy […]

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Is John 17 about unity?

If I was given sixpence every time I heard someone quoted John 17.21 ‘…that they might be one…’ then I’d have a lot of change that I wouldn’t know what to do with. It is commonly suggested that, in this, Jesus’ ‘high priestly prayer’, we see his last desire expressed to his heavenly Father, and […]

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The surprise of the resurrection

Think back to the last time that someone surprised you. What does surprise do to you? Some people love surprises; others like surprises as long as they know exactly what the surprise will be! Our common experience is that surprise is highly disorienting; we don’t know where to turn or what to do next. Even […]

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What do we learn from the foot washing?

On Maundy Thursday, it is traditional to focus on the account of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet in John 13—and possibly to re-enact this within a service. But in rushing to the final example, we miss the most important lesson, which comes in the middle, rather than at the end, of the passage. The passage […]

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Women meeting Jesus in John’s gospel

The latest Grove Biblical booklet is Meeting Jesus in John’s Gospel: Seven Encounters with Women by Bridget Baguley, a curate in Ely diocese. It offers a fascinating set of explorations which could be used as a basis for preaching or small group study. This is the first part of Bridget’s introduction. The Gospel of John […]

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God’s gifts to us at Christmas

It might seem like time to wish everyone ‘A Happy New Year’. But, contrary to our culture’s assumption that Christmas consists of the busyness of consumption and comes to both a climax and a full stop on Christmas Day, for Christians that is when Christmas starts, and we are still in the Christmas season—for another […]

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Preaching Christ the King

This Sunday, the last of the liturgical year, is Christ the king, and comes immediately before Advent. It is a slightly odd festival, since one of the key themes of Advent is not the anticipation of Christmas, but the anticipation of Jesus’ return as king; the Latin adventus is a translation of the Greek parousia […]

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Resurrection as surprise

Think back to the last time that someone surprised you. What does surprise do to you? Some people love surprises; others like surprises as long as they know exactly what the surprise will be! Our common experience is that surprise is highly disorienting; we don’t know where to turn or what to do next. Even […]

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