Scripture: John 4:7-15, 5:1-18
We are back to our sermon series Church and State: The Rise of Early Christianity. We completed the second part of this series back in February where we were tracking the second generation of Christians who were transforming the church from 70-90 A.D. The bulk of the second part of this series focused on the various efforts used by Jewish-Christians to convince their Jewish brothers and sisters why they should believe Jesus is the Messiah.
These efforts were unsuccessful and by 90 A.D., some 60 years after Jesus’ death and resurrection, the schism between the Christians and the Jews was becoming much more defined. Indeed, the third part of this series, which spans from 90-120 A.D., is designed to tell the story of how Christianity established its identity as a completely separate religion from Judaism.
Until about 90 A.D., these two movements were intermingled with each other. This Sunday we begin the story of where these two paths diverge from one another through examining the gospel of John, the fourth and final gospel to be included in the New Testament. John’s gospel was composed about 90 A.D., which means that of the four gospels, John was composed the furthest from Jesus’ actual life.
Interestingly, if you’ve ever read the four gospels in the New Testament, you probably know that John stands out as being very different from the others. Our goal is to examine why John is so incredibly different from the other gospels and how the people who created John’s gospel represent a critical juncture in how the church thinks about Jesus. Enjoy the warm weather while it lasts! I think spring might finally be making its way to Arlington Heights. I look forward to seeing you all on Sunday!