ST-John Ep 3 – In the Beginning – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 3 – John 1:  In the Beginning pt.1

What is your deepest identity?  As we begin our study of John, Sharon poses this fundamental question:  Who are you?  What is your identity?  The answer can be found in scripture:  you are a beloved son or daughter of God.  This powerful theme runs deep in this lecture.  Beginning at the beginning, Sharon focuses on John 1 and Genesis 1, illuminating the nature of Jesus, the Word, who was with God, was in God, and was God before the beginning of time.  Central to the nature of Christ is his humanity, and specifically his identity as a man.  Jesus’ maleness is inherent to his personhood.  Sadly, Satan attempts to distort the reality of who we are as male or female, and our current culture has been bombarded with so-called “gender identity ideology”, which Pope Francis describes as a negative trend, a profound falsehood, ideological colonization by wealthy countries, and demonic.  Gender used to be a binary choice:  male or female.  Now gender is used to describe social and cultural differences as opposed to biological.  With the fall, confusion entered the world and we lost our identity as beloved sons and daughters of God and the fatal wound of sin entered the world.  But, thanks be to God, with the Incarnation of Christ, we now have a way back to the Father.  Jesus has given us the power to be children of God and reclaim our truest identity.  Sharon then goes on to talk about John the Baptist, whose purpose was to bear witness to Christ.  The Jewish leaders venture into the desert and question John about his identity:   Are you Elijah?  Are you the prophet?  Are you the Messiah?  John explains that he is the voice in the wilderness preparing the way for the Lord as prophesied by Isaiah.    While not Elijah returned, John indeed is the new Elijah as predicted by the prophet Malachi, who the Lord will send before the anointed one.  Sharon focuses on typology:  John, the new Elijah and Jesus, the new Moses.  She concludes her lecture with the first of several examples of bridegroom imagery found in John’s Gospel.  John states he is unworthy to unfasten the ties of Jesus’ sandals.  More than a statement of humility, John is reaffirming his role.  He is not the bridegroom of redeemed Israel.  He is the witness, the best man of the marriage between Jesus, the groom, and the Church, his bride.

Sharon Doran serves as the teaching director of “Seeking Truth.” An experienced Bible Study teacher, Sharon has a passion for scripture that will motivate and challenge you to immerse yourself in God’s Word and apply His message to your everyday life.

For more in this series visit the Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran Discerning Hearts page

“Seeking Truth” is an in-depth Catholic Bible Study, commissioned by the Archdiocese of Omaha in response to John Paul II’s call to the New Evangelization as well as Pope Benedict XVI’s exhortation for all Catholics to study scripture. To learn more go to www.seekingtruth.net

ST-John Ep 1 – Overview – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 1 – The Gospel of John Overview

We begin our study of the beautiful Gospel of John with an overview lecture.  John the Evangelist wrote this powerful book for a specific purpose:  “So that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name (Jn 20:31).”  Sharon starts off with some background information about John, son of Zebedee, who with his brother James, are surnamed by Jesus as the Sons of Thunder.  Salome, their mother, petitions the Lord on behalf of her sons that they be granted a seat beside him in heaven.  Salome is also one of the myrrh bearing women who prepare the crucified Lord’s body for burial.  John, the youngest of the Apostles, refers to himself as the one whom Jesus loved, illuminating the intimate relationship they shared.  John was an eye witness to the defining events of Christ’s ministry, including the Transfiguration as well as the resurrections of Lazarus, Jairus’ daughter and, most importantly, Jesus himself.    John, the only Apostle present at the foot of the cross, was entrusted with the care of Mary, bringing her to safety in Ephesus where she lived until her assumption.  John’s Gospel differs from the synoptic Gospels, presenting a highly theological perspective of the life of Christ.  Unlike the synoptic writers who begin with historical facts surrounding the life of Christ, John begins at the beginning, drawing us back to Genesis and the creation of the world.  His Gospel is rich with imagery, irony, symbolic themes.  It contains the seven signs and the seven “I am” statements.  John’s Gospel contains unique stories not found elsewhere:  the Samaritan woman at the well, the wedding feast at Cana, the raising of Lazarus, the woman caught in adultery, the doubt of Thomas.  His bread of life discourse lays the foundation for our understanding of the Eucharist.  Highly sacramental, the Gospel of John reveals the nature of baptism, reconciliation, Eucharist, confirmation, matrimony and Holy Orders.

Sharon Doran serves as the teaching director of “Seeking Truth.” An experienced Bible Study teacher, Sharon has a passion for scripture that will motivate and challenge you to immerse yourself in God’s Word and apply His message to your everyday life.

For more in this series visit the Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran Discerning Hearts page

“Seeking Truth” is an in-depth Catholic Bible Study, commissioned by the Archdiocese of Omaha in response to John Paul II’s call to the New Evangelization as well as Pope Benedict XVI’s exhortation for all Catholics to study scripture. To learn more go to www.seekingtruth.net