The Gospel of John #13
John 6:60-71 (NIV)
Many Disciples Desert Jesus
6 60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”
61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. 64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. 65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”
66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.
68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
70 Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!” 71 (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.)
The Gospel of John #12
John 6:16-21 (NIV)
616 When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, 17 where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. 18 A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. 19 When they had rowed about three or four miles,[a] they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened. 20 But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” 21 Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.
16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, 17 where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. 18 A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. 19 When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened. 20 But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” 21 Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.
Why Covid? Why a global pandemic? I don’t know but I do know what Jesus does in storms like this. He sets us out amid the storm to learn a lesson. He allows us to feel alone and frightened. He eventually restores us. But why? Why do we have to go through these cycles? Why do we have to go through a storm? Jesus has a goal for us. He desires that we would always rely on the Holy Spirit. He does this because as he was growing up, he too learned obedience to the Father by being guided by God’s Spirit. He learned obedience through suffering. And now, for his disciples, he calls us to know him more, know the Father more, know the Spirit more. He desires that we would become fully mature sons and daughters of God. And to be like God is to serve with firmness and patience even through the chaos of a storm.
Please do consider joining us on Sunday. Join us as we all seek to know how Jesus is guiding us today. Join us as we look through the account of Jesus sending his disciples into a storm. A very short account but one with an important message.
The Gospel of John #11
John 6:1-15 (NIV)
1 Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), 2 and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick. 3 Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. 4 The Jewish Passover Festival was near.
5 When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” 6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
7 Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up,9 “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there).11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.
14 After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” 15 Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.
First Draft, 29 September 2021, Updated 7 & 22 October 2021
The protocols below will apply until the “Traffic Light” system is enforced.
The revised requirements will be posted as the situation clarifies.
COVID LOCKDOWN PROTOCOLS
These protocols will apply at Milford Baptist Church (MBC) should a lockdown be imposed by government. They will be amended/updated and promulgated if required, and as experience dictates.
LOCKDOWN LEVEL 4 (L4)
“At Alert Level 4, places of worship cannot open to the public for faith-based ceremonies or services. This includes weddings, civil unions and funerals and tangihanga.”
MBC L4 ALL SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES ARE SUSPENDED
– Virtual Service arrangements will be developed and implemented
– Anyone visiting the church to provide an essential service (which may include necessary maintenance on the building (exceptional circumstances only), livestreaming of services etc) must wear a face covering and maintain social distancing of at least 2 metres)
LOCKDOWN LEVEL 3 (L3)
“At Alert Level 3, places of worship can only open to members of the public for weddings, civil union ceremonies, funerals and tangihanga. These services are limited to 10 people — this includes the faith-based leader officiating the wedding, civil union, funeral or tangihanga.” See: Funerals, tangihanga and last rites | Unite against COVID-19 (covid19.govt.nz)
At Alert Level 3, we still need to stay in our household bubbles. Gathering together for faith-based celebrations and festivals is not permitted.
MBC L3 ALL SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES ARE SUSPENDED
– Virtual Service arrangements will be maintained
– Anyone visiting the church to provide an essential service (which may include necessary maintenance on the building, livestreaming of services etc) must wear a face covering and maintain social distancing of at least 2 metres)
LOCKDOWN LEVEL 2 (L2)
The government will determine and promulgate maximum numbers that are permitted to assemble in places of worship and other public places. In the MBC protocols these will be designated ‘XX’ for gatherings inside and “OO” for those outside to allow for changes that may be announced to these numbers.
“At Alert Level 2, places of worship can host services and ceremonies to a maximum of “XX” people if the service is indoors, and “OO” people if the service is outdoors. The indoor and outdoor gathering limits do not include staff — for example, clergy.”
MBC L2 SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES RESUME SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING CONSTRAINTS
– Virtual Service arrangements will be maintained so that those who are unable, for any reason – including personal preference – to participate in physical services may continue to be connected to the church
– If the “XX” limit is 50 or more, one service at normal time on a Sunday
If the “XX” limit is 49 or less, two services will be implemented.
Times and arrangements will be advised.
(These arrangements may be amended with experience)
– LT will make arrangements (such as door attendant) to ensure that the limits are not exceeded. Regrettably, those arriving after the XX limit is reached must be denied access.
– Access to the church is to be through the main doors only. Dodson Avenue door will remain locked
– Face coverings (masks) are to be worn at all times inside the building unless a valid certificate of exemption is produced to the attendant, or when actually leading the service
– Social distancing of 2 metres is to be maintained with those who are not in the same ‘bubble’ at all times (including in foyer, queuing to enter the meeting, in the car park etc).
– Physical contact (hugging, hand shaking etc) is not permitted
– QR code and/or sign in sheet is to be used on entering the building
– Hand sanitiser use is encouraged
– Morning Tea is cancelled
– There will be no hymn singing but it is intended that one musician will be rostered to play during assembly, and at the end of the service. Videos will be used for music and songs/hymns during the service.
– Members who are concerned for any reason, or who have any respiratory symptoms should stay away
– Anyone refusing to follow these protocols will be refused entry, or will be asked to leave.
Small Groups and other activities may resume as long as social distancing measures are taken, the XX limit is not exceeded and the general arrangements above are observed.
The Gospel of John #10
John 5:30-47 (NIV)
30 “By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.
Testimonies About Jesus
31 “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid. 32 There is another who testifies in my favour, and I know that his testimony about me is valid.
33 “You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. 34 Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved. 35 John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light.
36 “I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the very works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, 38 nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. 39 You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
41 “I do not accept praise from men,, 42 but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. 43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. 44 How can you believe if you accept praise from one another yet make no effort to accept the praise that comes from the only God?
45 “But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. 46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. 47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”
The Gospel of John #9
John 5:16-23 (NIV)
The Authority of the Son
16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. 17 In his defence Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” 18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. 22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honour the Son just as they honour the Father. Whoever does not honour the Son does not honour the Father, who sent him.
The Gospel of John #8
John 5:1-15 (NIV)
The Healing at the Pool
1 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.  5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
7“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”
11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ”
12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?”
13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.
14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.
The Gospel of John 7
John 4:27-42 (NIV)
The Disciples Rejoin Jesus
27 Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?”
28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him. 31 Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.” 32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”
33 Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?” 34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35 Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37 Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labour.”
Many Samaritans Believe
39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers. 42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Saviour of the world.”