ST-John Ep 10 – John 4: The Samaritan Woman part 2 – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast


Episode 10 – John 4:  The Samaritan Woman pt.2  

As we continue our journey through the Gospel of John, Sharon looks back at John 3, showing how the bridegroom imagery flows into chapter 4.  With the fall of mankind, marital discourse entered the world and has persisted ever since, as demonstrated in the stories of Adam and Eve and of Abraham and Sarah.  Living by the flesh, Abraham and Sarah conspire to preserve his heritage by having her servant Hagar bear a son, Ishmael.  As punishment, God is silent for 13 years until in an act of obedience, Abraham lives by the Spirit, trusting the Lord to bless his aged wife with a son, Isaac.  Sharon then teaches us about the Samaritans, whom the Jews consider to be apostates.  Believing they preserve the authentic faith, the Samaritans practice the ritual of circumcision and observe the Sabbath, but they only follow the five books of the Torah.  Contrary to the Jews who worship at the temple in Jerusalem, the Samaritans believe that Mt. Gerizim is the original holy place and center of worship.  The Samaritan faith traces its origins to the Assyrian exile of 722 BC.  After conquering the northern 10 tribes of Israel, the Assyrian king imported people from five different countries to live and intermarry with the people of the northern kingdom, which effectively diluted their culture and religious practices.  In 120 BC, the Maccabees from the southern kingdom destroyed the Samaritan temple at Gerizim.  In 9 BC, the Samaritans retaliate by desecrating the temple in Jerusalem at the required Passover time.  Clearly, there was bad blood between the Jews and the Samaritans.  This background sets the stage for the dramatic interaction between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well.  Her story is an intimate encounter with the person of Christ, yet it can also be seen as symbolic of the story of the northern tribes.  She represents northern Israel, the unfaithful bride that intermarried with five different countries (husbands).   Later in John 8, we will hear the story of the adulterous woman in Jerusalem who represents the unfaithful southern tribes of Israel.  Jesus fully reveals himself as Messiah to this Samaritan woman, offering to her the living water that she thirsts for.   Through her spiritual betrothal to Jesus, her final, seventh, perfect, bridegroom, the Samaritan woman undergoes a radical transformation and brings Christ to her own people.  We learn more about this woman, who is identified by the Church as St. Photina:  she became a bold witness to Christ throughout the region, ultimately suffering a martyr’s death at the hand of Nero when she dies at the bottom of a well.

 

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 9 – John 4: The Samaritan Woman part 1 – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast


Episode 9 – John 4:  The Samaritan Woman pt.1  

As we continue our journey through the Gospel of John, Sharon looks back at John 3, showing how the bridegroom imagery flows into chapter 4.  With the fall of mankind, marital discourse entered the world and has persisted ever since, as demonstrated in the stories of Adam and Eve and of Abraham and Sarah.  Living by the flesh, Abraham and Sarah conspire to preserve his heritage by having her servant Hagar bear a son, Ishmael.  As punishment, God is silent for 13 years until in an act of obedience, Abraham lives by the Spirit, trusting the Lord to bless his aged wife with a son, Isaac.  Sharon then teaches us about the Samaritans, whom the Jews consider to be apostates.  Believing they preserve the authentic faith, the Samaritans practice the ritual of circumcision and observe the Sabbath, but they only follow the five books of the Torah.  Contrary to the Jews who worship at the temple in Jerusalem, the Samaritans believe that Mt. Gerizim is the original holy place and center of worship.  The Samaritan faith traces its origins to the Assyrian exile of 722 BC.  After conquering the northern 10 tribes of Israel, the Assyrian king imported people from five different countries to live and intermarry with the people of the northern kingdom, which effectively diluted their culture and religious practices.  In 120 BC, the Maccabees from the southern kingdom destroyed the Samaritan temple at Gerizim.  In 9 BC, the Samaritans retaliate by desecrating the temple in Jerusalem at the required Passover time.  Clearly, there was bad blood between the Jews and the Samaritans.  This background sets the stage for the dramatic interaction between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well.  Her story is an intimate encounter with the person of Christ, yet it can also be seen as symbolic of the story of the northern tribes.  She represents northern Israel, the unfaithful bride that intermarried with five different countries (husbands).   Later in John 8, we will hear the story of the adulterous woman in Jerusalem who represents the unfaithful southern tribes of Israel.  Jesus fully reveals himself as Messiah to this Samaritan woman, offering to her the living water that she thirsts for.   Through her spiritual betrothal to Jesus, her final, seventh, perfect, bridegroom, the Samaritan woman undergoes a radical transformation and brings Christ to her own people.  We learn more about this woman, who is identified by the Church as St. Photina:  she became a bold witness to Christ throughout the region, ultimately suffering a martyr’s death at the hand of Nero when she dies at the bottom of a well.

 

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 8 – John 3: Born Again part 2 – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 8 – John 3:  Born Again pt. 2

Before focusing on John 3, Sharon gives us a teaching on how Catholics approach scripture study.  We are encouraged to use a canonical approach when studying the Bible; that is, we should consider the entire canon of the Bible whenever trying to understand a particular passage.  The Bible is not meant to be a collection of isolated stories.

In addition, we learn about the senses of scripture: literal and spiritual, with the spiritual sense further divided into allegorical (a foreshadowing of future events and people), moral (virtues that can be learned) and anagogical (referencing eternity or the eschaton).

We then turn our attention back to John 3 and learn about Nicodemus, whose spiritual journey is a beautiful example of progressive growth in faith.  Nicodemus was a member of the Great Sanhedrin, the Jewish Supreme Court of first-century Israel.  At the time of Jesus’ adult ministry, the president of the Sanhedrin was Rabbi Gamaliel, the teacher of Paul.  Gamaliel also advised his fellow members of the Great Sanhedrin to reduce their scrutiny over Jesus’ followers lest they find themselves fighting against God himself.   Tradition holds that both Nicodemus and Gamaliel converted to Christianity.   Nicodemus and Deacon Stephen the martyr of Acts 7 were buried together at Gamaliel’s estate outside of Jerusalem.  Gamaliel and his son ultimately shared this same grave.  Turning back to John 3, Sharon then focuses on the interaction between Jesus and Nicodemus, who struggles with understanding the meaning of being born from above by water and spirit.  Nicodemus, a teacher of the law, would have understood the significance of his earthly lineage, yet he failed to recognize the divine lineage of Jesus Christ, who was born from above, by the Holy Spirit overshadowing a pure earthly creature named Mary of Nazareth.  Being in the form of God, Jesus did not think equality with God was something to be grasped so he lowered himself and took on human form (Phil 2).  By taking on human form he showed us the face of God the Father and by His humble obedience made a way for us to get back to the Father and partake once again in our divine nature in the heavenly beautiful vision.

John 3 concludes with nuptial imagery, as John the Baptist identifies himself as the best man to Jesus, the bridegroom.  Sharon teaches us about a traditional Jewish wedding, shedding light on the significance of John as the best man, whose role was to bear witness to the consummation of the marriage.  Jesus the bridegroom had come and the best man’s job was done.  John would decrease and allow Jesus to increase.

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 7 – John 3: Born Again part 1 – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 7 – John 3:  Born Again pt. 1

Before focusing on John 3, Sharon gives us a teaching on how Catholics approach scripture study.  We are encouraged to use a canonical approach when studying the Bible; that is, we should consider the entire canon of the Bible whenever trying to understand a particular passage.  The Bible is not meant to be a collection of isolated stories.

In addition, we learn about the senses of scripture: literal and spiritual, with the spiritual sense further divided into allegorical (a foreshadowing of future events and people), moral (virtues that can be learned) and anagogical (referencing eternity or the eschaton).

We then turn our attention back to John 3 and learn about Nicodemus, whose spiritual journey is a beautiful example of progressive growth in faith.  Nicodemus was a member of the Great Sanhedrin, the Jewish Supreme Court of first-century Israel.  At the time of Jesus’ adult ministry, the president of the Sanhedrin was Rabbi Gamaliel, the teacher of Paul.  Gamaliel also advised his fellow members of the Great Sanhedrin to reduce their scrutiny over Jesus’ followers lest they find themselves fighting against God himself.   Tradition holds that both Nicodemus and Gamaliel converted to Christianity.   Nicodemus and Deacon Stephen the martyr of Acts 7 were buried together at Gamaliel’s estate outside of Jerusalem.  Gamaliel and his son ultimately shared this same grave.  Turning back to John 3, Sharon then focuses on the interaction between Jesus and Nicodemus, who struggles with understanding the meaning of being born from above by water and spirit.  Nicodemus, a teacher of the law, would have understood the significance of his earthly lineage, yet he failed to recognize the divine lineage of Jesus Christ, who was born from above, by the Holy Spirit overshadowing a pure earthly creature named Mary of Nazareth.  Being in the form of God, Jesus did not think equality with God was something to be grasped so he lowered himself and took on human form (Phil 2).  By taking on human form he showed us the face of God the Father and by His humble obedience made a way for us to get back to the Father and partake once again in our divine nature in the heavenly beautiful vision.

John 3 concludes with nuptial imagery, as John the Baptist identifies himself as the best man to Jesus, the bridegroom.  Sharon teaches us about a traditional Jewish wedding, shedding light on the significance of John as the best man, whose role was to bear witness to the consummation of the marriage.  Jesus the bridegroom had come and the best man’s job was done.  John would decrease and allow Jesus to increase.

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 6 – John 2: The Wedding At Cana part 2 – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 6 – John 2:  The Wedding Feast at Cana pt. 2

Picking up from where we left off last week, Sharon takes us to John 1, where we count the days as described by John.  Day 1:  the Jewish leaders come to visit John in the wilderness wondering if he is Elijah returned or the prophet or even the Messiah.  Day 2:  Upon seeing Jesus, John cries out, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!”  The image of a lamb immediately makes us recall Genesis 22, Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac.  As they climb Mt. Moriah, Isaac notices that they do not have a lamb to sacrifice.  Abraham reassures him, promising that God himself will provide the lamb.  Just as Abraham is about to kill his son, God stops him and provides a ram for sacrifice. Israel and the rest of the world will have to wait for God’s promise of a sacrificial lamb to be fulfilled by Jesus.  The image of a sacrificial lamb can be found elsewhere in scripture:  the Passover lamb of Exodus 12; the messianic silent lamb led to slaughter in Isaiah 53; the marriage feast of the lamb in Revelation 19.  Day 3:  the call of the first disciples, including Andrew and his brother Simon, whom Christ renames Peter.  Day 4:  the call of Phillip and Nathanael.  Sharon breaks open the symbolism behind Jesus’ home town of Nazareth, which means “branch town”, fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah 11 which predicts that a branch will spring forth from the root of Jesse, and the Spirit of the Lord will rest upon him.   Branch imagery is also found in Zechariah 3 which describes “my servant the Branch” who will the remove the guilt of the land in a single day.  Then, on the third day after the fourth day, we come to Day 7:  the wedding feast of Cana.  The verb form of Cana is translated “to create” and it is the same word spoken by Eve when she exclaims that with the Lord’s help, she has created a man, Cain (Gen 4).   The wedding feast at Cana is a symbol of a new creation, a new covenant and serves as the backdrop of the mystical marriage:  Jesus, the new Adam, enters into a spiritual marriage with Mary, the new Eve, and the fruit of this marriage is the Church.  The marriage is consummated at the cross and the church is birthed at Pentecost.  By calling his mother “woman”, Jesus brings us back to the woman of Genesis 3:15, whose offspring will crush the head of Satan.  Jesus later again calls Mary “woman” as he hangs on the cross, telling her and John the apostle: “Woman behold your son.”    John represents the Church and Mary, the woman, is our mother.  In this chapter, we are introduced to another of John’s themes:  the hour.  When Mary tells Jesus that the wine has run out, Jesus responds that his hour has not yet come.  Jesus, in his humanity, anticipates the hour of his passion, and knows that this first miracle of turning water to wine will mark the beginning of his road to Calvary.  Another theme that runs through John’s Gospel are the Jewish feast days.  In this the first of three Passovers found in John’s Gospel, Jesus clears the Temple of merchants and money changers.  The true presence of God had been missing from the Temple since the Ark of the Covenant was hidden away by Jeremiah (2 Mac 2).  The true presence of God has now returned to the temple and Jesus predicts his passion:   Jesus’ body, the new temple, will be raised in three days after his death.

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 5 – John 2: The Wedding At Cana part 1 – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 5 – John 2:  The Wedding Feast at Cana pt. 1

Picking up from where we left off last week, Sharon takes us to John 1, where we count the days as described by John.  Day 1:  the Jewish leaders come to visit John in the wilderness wondering if he is Elijah returned or the prophet or even the Messiah.  Day 2:  Upon seeing Jesus, John cries out, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!”  The image of a lamb immediately makes us recall Genesis 22, Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac.  As they climb Mt. Moriah, Isaac notices that they do not have a lamb to sacrifice.  Abraham reassures him, promising that God himself will provide the lamb.  Just as Abraham is about to kill his son, God stops him and provides a ram for sacrifice. Israel and the rest of the world will have to wait for God’s promise of a sacrificial lamb to be fulfilled by Jesus.  The image of a sacrificial lamb can be found elsewhere in scripture:  the Passover lamb of Exodus 12; the messianic silent lamb led to slaughter in Isaiah 53; the marriage feast of the lamb in Revelation 19.  Day 3:  the call of the first disciples, including Andrew and his brother Simon, whom Christ renames Peter.  Day 4:  the call of Phillip and Nathanael.  Sharon breaks open the symbolism behind Jesus’ home town of Nazareth, which means “branch town”, fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah 11 which predicts that a branch will spring forth from the root of Jesse, and the Spirit of the Lord will rest upon him.   Branch imagery is also found in Zechariah 3 which describes “my servant the Branch” who will the remove the guilt of the land in a single day.  Then, on the third day after the fourth day, we come to Day 7:  the wedding feast of Cana.  The verb form of Cana is translated “to create” and it is the same word spoken by Eve when she exclaims that with the Lord’s help, she has created a man, Cain (Gen 4).   The wedding feast at Cana is a symbol of a new creation, a new covenant and serves as the backdrop of the mystical marriage:  Jesus, the new Adam, enters into a spiritual marriage with Mary, the new Eve, and the fruit of this marriage is the Church.  The marriage is consummated at the cross and the church is birthed at Pentecost.  By calling his mother “woman”, Jesus brings us back to the woman of Genesis 3:15, whose offspring will crush the head of Satan.  Jesus later again calls Mary “woman” as he hangs on the cross, telling her and John the apostle: “Woman behold your son.”    John represents the Church and Mary, the woman, is our mother.  In this chapter, we are introduced to another of John’s themes:  the hour.  When Mary tells Jesus that the wine has run out, Jesus responds that his hour has not yet come.  Jesus, in his humanity, anticipates the hour of his passion, and knows that this first miracle of turning water to wine will mark the beginning of his road to Calvary.  Another theme that runs through John’s Gospel are the Jewish feast days.  In this the first of three Passovers found in John’s Gospel, Jesus clears the Temple of merchants and money changers.  The true presence of God had been missing from the Temple since the Ark of the Covenant was hidden away by Jeremiah (2 Mac 2).  The true presence of God has now returned to the temple and Jesus predicts his passion:   Jesus’ body, the new temple, will be raised in three days after his death.

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 4 – In the Beginning pt 2 – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 4 – John 1:  In the Beginning pt. 2

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 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