Archive for August, 2015

Who Is Jesus? #3: The Gate for the Sheep!

Sermon Notes (Sunday August 23rd, 2015)

Rev. Mouris Yousef, Pastor

 

Who Is Jesus? #3: The Gate for the Sheep!

Matthew 7:13-14; John 10:1-10

 

Listen to Rev. Yousef as he preaches this sermon – Click here:

A few weeks ago, we began a study on the self-descriptions of Jesus found in the gospel of John known as the “I am” discourses or statements. Eight times in the gospel of John, Jesus said “I Am.” Seven of those times He added a divine attribute and then explained what He meant. Jesus is opening up a new understanding of who He is through these verses so our faith and trust in Him is deepened. In these seven statements made by Jesus, He uses a language that was so familiar to the Jewish audience. Jesus claims divinity. He claims to be God’s equal. He claims to be part of the eternal Godhead. He is the great “I am” of the Old Testament.

 

We’ve already covered the first two “I am” statements, I am the Bread of Life and I am the Light of the World. This morning we will be looking at the third “I am” statement, “I am the gate for the sheep.” Please notice that Jesus does not say that He is a gate but that He is the gate. In John 10:7 we read, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.” In other words, if we are to get to God, we must deal with Jesus. Access to God comes no other way.

 

The Context of the Third “I am” Statement

In order to understand this metaphor, we must first understand a Middle Eastern sheepfold. We picture a corral or a barn but that’s not an accurate comparison to an ancient sheepfold. The well-known Old Testament Scottish theologian Sir George Adam Smith (1856-1942) once related a story of an incident that happened to him as he travelled through the Middle East. As he travelled he came across a shepherd with his sheep. After talking with the shepherd for a while the man took him to the place where he kept his sheep at night; a place with four low walls and a narrow opening. Smith asked, “This is where they go at night?” The shepherd replied, “Yes, and when they are in there they are perfectly safe.” Smith replied, “But there is no door.” With a twinkle in his eye, the shepherd responded, “I am the door.”

 

Of course, the shepherd was not a Christian; he was simply speaking from a shepherd’s point of view. Smith asked, “What do you mean you are the door?” The shepherd replied, “When the light has gone, and all the sheep are inside, I lie in the open space, and no sheep ever goes out but across my body, and no wolf, no lion, no bear, no thief can enter by the sheepfold unless he crosses my body; I am the door. I am a good shepherd: I give my life for the sheep.” To prove his point, the shephard draws back his eastern robe, and sure enough, there are scars on his arms and body. He explains that these are wounds which he has suffered as he has fought off animals while defending his sheep.

 

The Blessings of Entering Through the Gate

With that as our background, let’s take a closer look at these few verses of John 10. Jesus as the gate, Jesus gives us some wonderful blessings. In John 10, Jesus lists three benefits for those who come through Him; three benefits for those who enter through the gate: salvation, safety, and satisfaction.

 

First: Salvation

In John 10: 9 we read, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.” We see that those who enter through Christ will be saved. We are saved from sin’s penalty, the anger of God that separates us from Him and makes us His enemies instead of His sheep. Throughout our lives as Christians, we are increasingly delivered from sin’s power. And someday, when we pass into God’s holy presence through death, we will be saved from the actual presence of sin. Those who enter through the gate will be saved.

 

Second: Safety

“I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.” Those who enter through Christ will be safe. That’s what Jesus meant by “going in and out.” It’s the thought of being at peace, being so secure, so well protected, that there is no fear in coming and going. The Good Shepherd has placed His body across the entrance in order to make us safe. At the cost of His life, we are secure.

 

Nothing in all of creation can separate us from God’s purposeful and loving plan for our lives – not war or terrorism, not cancer, a stroke or a seizure, not a lost job or financial distress, not a broken relationship, nothing. Nothing will separate us from the love of God. Psalm 121 says, “The Lord will keep you from all harm – He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”

 

Third: Satisfaction

That leads us to the third benefit, satisfaction, finding good pasture. “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.” And that was a challenging feat in Palestine. The skills of a good shepherd were needed to find fresh grass for the sheep to graze. In Psalm 23:2, the Scriptures tell us that our Good Shepherd makes us lie down in green pastures, He leads us beside quiet waters.” That’s what Scripture means by the abundant life. Jesus says that He came that you and I may have life, and have it to the full. The abundant life is not a life without problems. That is what false teachers want you to believe. A full and abundant life is one of being led by the One who knows us by name. It means life that is full, overflowing, with grace that is more than sufficient for every need. It is a life of contentment and rest, even in the midst of challenging circumstances, because we have a shepherd. We can do that only when we know by faith that we are cared for by the Good Shepherd. Jesus is the only way to abundant life.

 

“I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.” Salvation, safety, and satisfaction, are three important blessings of being in Christ. This is exactly what Jesus is saying to us here in this text. To go into the fold, we must go through Christ, the gate for the sheep. To go out to pasture, we must go through Christ. As the door, Jesus is the protector and provider of the sheep. So, when we come in the door, we are not only saved, but you are safe and secure. When we go out to pasture, we are nurtured and satisfied. Friends, let’s not seek that kind of life through thieves and robbers who promise good pastures, but really plan to fleece or destroy the sheep. Their version of the abundant life is a lie . . . because they do not enter through the gate. In the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen!

Who Is Jesus? #2: The Light of the World!

Sermon Notes (Sunday August 16th, 2015)

Rev. Mouris Yousef, Pastor

 

Who Is Jesus? #2: The Light of the World!

Exodus 13:20-21; John 8:12-20

 

As a boy, the Scottish novelist and poet, Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) was intrigued by the work of the old lamplighter who went about with a ladder and a torch, setting the street lights ablaze for the night. One evening in Edinburgh, Scotland, as young Robert stood watching with childish fascination, his parents heard him exclaim, “Look, look! There is a man out there punching holes in the darkness!” With one statement of childish wonder, Robert Louis Stevenson summed up the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus came into this world and accomplished many great and miraculous wonders, yet His primary purpose was to punch great gaping holes in the spiritual darkness that shrouded this world. He came to be “The Light of the World.”

 

Last Sunday we started a new series that focuses on the question: Who is Jesus? John’s gospel contains seven great statements of Jesus that begin with the statement “I am.” In these statements Jesus uses various metaphors to describe His person, His character, and His mission. Seven times in the gospel of John, Jesus declares: I am the Bread of Life (John 6:35, 48); I am the Light of the World (8:12, 9:5); I am the Gate for the Sheep (10:7); I am the Good Shepherd (10:11); I am the Resurrection and the Life (11:25); I am the Way, the Truth and the Life (14:6); and I am the True Vine (15:1). Who is Jesus? This is the most important question in life. Last Sunday we studies the first claim, “I am the Bread of Life.”

 

In John 8:12 Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” This is the second of seven great “I Am”. This is quite a powerful statement, rich with all sorts of symbolism and meaning. This second claim challenges each Christian to ask whether the Master’s light illuminates his or her life. Before I share a couple thoughts based on John 8:12-20, let me very briefly give you the background of Jesus’ second “I am” statement.

 

The Context of the Second “I am” Statement

The gospel of John gives us both the location and the occasion of this second statement. In John 8:20 we read, “He spoke these words while he was teaching in the treasury of the temple.” The temple of Jesus’ day was Herod’s temple—an extravagant complex that was said to shine so brilliantly in the sun that it could be seen miles away from Jerusalem. The treasury of the temple was a Jews-designated area, so Jesus is speaking to the Jews who have come into the temple to worship.

But the location of Jesus’ teaching isn’t all that John tells us. Back in John 7:2, John tells us “Now the Jewish festival of Booths was near.” We see from John 7 that Jesus said these words during the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths. You may recall that this feast was celebrated by the Jews to remember God’s care for them during their 40 years of wanderings through the Sinai Desert after leaving Egypt. They celebrated this feast once a year. Each night of the celebration, after the sun went down, two great lamps were lit in the courts of the Temple. These lamps would cast their light over every part of the city of Jerusalem. Not a single quarter in the city escaped their light. These great lamps were meant to recall the pillar (or column) of cloud and the column of fire that had accompanied the Israelites during their 40-year wanderings in the wilderness. God dwelt in the cloud and fire. They appeared when Israel left Egypt and guided them through the Red Sea and every day of those 40 years. It gave them shade by day; and light and warmth at night. When Jesus said to the Jews, “I am the light of the world,” He was making a claim to be the same God who was in the cloud and fire. Those who heard Jesus speak that day in the Treasury of the Temple would have thought immediately of the pillar of fire and cloud that led Israel during their passage through the wilderness after leaving Egypt. Jesus claims divinity. He claims to be God’s equal. He claims to be part of the eternal Godhead. In Him, the presence of God, the protection of God, and the guidance of God came to full fulfillment. A couple observations for this morning:

 

First: The World Walks in Darkness

“I am the light of the world.” Jesus said this in a rather dark time of Israel’s history. The Romans occupy Israel. An army of occupation was encamped in Jerusalem. God’s people were oppressed and persecuted in their own land. Roman symbols and gods were seen all over the place. Taxes were forcibly collected for a heathen emperor many miles away. Yes, it was a dark and dismal time. In the midst of Israel’s darkness and despair, Jesus announces that God’s new and glorious age has dawned.

 

Friends, as we look around us today, we see how our world walks in darkness. We continue to push Jesus to the curb more and more everyday. Less people do care about God and the things of God in our society everyday. To “walk in darkness” means to live for, to regulate one’s life according, to conduct one’s life by, the darkness. In other words, the world wants nothing to do with the light. In John 1:5 John says, “The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” In John 3:19 the Bible says, “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.”

 

Second: Jesus is Our Light

“I am the light of the world.” Jesus declares He is the light that shines in the darkness. You and I need this light as we face life, as we face choices, as we face difficult situations. Many times it seems that a heavy fog of indecision, confusion, and uncertainty surrounds us. Our minds are darkened and we need the Light. As the years go by we remember foolish choices and wrong decisions. If only we had the Light. Discovering our direction, discerning God’s will, and making our decisions ~ all begin with living and walking in His light. Jesus does for us what light does to the darkness: He illumines, and guides.

 

In Christ’s light we see God as He is. Indeed God makes Himself known in the world He has created, in the commands He has given, but most importantly, in Jesus – because when we look at Jesus, we are looking at God – His love, His mercy, His goodness. In fact, without Jesus it is impossible to know God. We might know something about God, but that doesn’t mean we know Him. But as we put our trust in Jesus, we begin to understand what God is really like. Listen to these great words from John 1:18, “No one has ever seen God, but the One and only Son, who is Himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made Him known.”

 

In Christ’s light we also see ourselves as we are. Look in the mirror in the dark, what can you see? Not much. Look in the mirror in the daytime, in the light, what can you see? Everything. You will get to see hair that needs brushing or combing, make-up that needs applying or a face that needs shaving. When Jesus shines into our lives, we begin to realize how messed up we really are. But we also realize that He loves us and has the power to change us, too. In Christ’s light, we see God as He is, we see ourselves as we are, and we see life as it is.

 

Friends, God’s will is that we live in the Light, in Christ, and not darkness. God’s will is that we do the deeds of Light and not the deeds of darkness; the things that Christ has called us to do and to accomplish in life. God’s will is that we live as daytime people. “Lord, the Light of Your love is shining, in the midst of the darkness shining, Jesus, Light of the World, shine upon us, set us free by the truth You now bring us, shine on me. Shine on me.” May these words become our prayers this morning. In the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen!

Who Is Jesus? #1: The Bread of Life!

Sermon Notes (Sunday August 9th, 2015)

Rev. Mouris Yousef, Pastor

 

Who Is Jesus? #1: The Bread of Life!

Exodus 3: 13-14; John 6: 35-40

 

The gospel of John is very different from any of the other three gospels. In John you never really know what’s what. Water is not really water. Wind is more than wind. A door is more than wood and hinges. Bread is not only bread; it is life. Blindness is more than losing one’s sight. Jesus loves to use double-speak in the gospel of John. His words always meant deeper than what they seemed. Today’s reading from John chapter 6 is a great example of what I mean by Jesus’ double-speak.

 

John contains seven great statements of Jesus that begin with the statement “I am the . . .”. Each of these images gives us a different and important understanding of who Jesus is. In these statements Jesus uses various metaphors to describe His person, His character, and His mission. Seven times in the gospel of John, Jesus declares: I am the Bread of Life (John 6:35, 48); I am the Light of the World (8:12, 9:5); I am the Gate for the Sheep (10:7); I am the Good Shepherd (10:11); I am the Resurrection and the Life (11:25); I am the Way, the Truth and the Life (14:6); and I am the True Vine (15:1). These statements will be the focus of our study over the next few Sundays.

 

Why are we spending a few weeks studying the seven “I am” statements of Jesus? I think it is important to do so because in the world today, you will hear a number of ideas about Jesus.  There will be those who teach that Jesus was God in human form (like we do) and there will be others who teach that Jesus was simply a good man who parlayed His popularity into a new religion. Some teach that Jesus never claimed to be God but was elevated to that state by His followers. There are some who have pushed Jesus to the side. They have marginalized Jesus. There are others who live their lives today as if the Son of God never came to our world. Who is Jesus? This is the most important question in life.

 

Since we believe the Bible is the Word of God and is an accurate and trustworthy record of the life and teaching of Jesus, we are going to look into the gospel of John to see what Jesus said about Himself. This morning we are going to look at the first of these claims.  In John 6:35 Jesus refers to Himself as the Bread of Life. Before I underscore a couple challenges based on John chapter 6, let me say something very briefly about the language of these seven statements.

 

I am Who I am

In these seven sayings of John’s gospel, Jesus uses a special form of the words that doesn’t particularly come out in our English translations. They are the Greek words “Ἐγώ εἰμι” (Ego eimi) and they are used particularly in the Greek Old Testament when God is speaking about Himself. For example, when the Lord appears to Abraham in Genesis 17:1, He says “I am God Almighty.” Again, in Exodus 3 when the Lord appears to Moses in the burning bush and Moses asks what His name is, He says “I am who I am” – which is the origin of the name Yahweh or Jehovah. The point I simply want to show is that in these seven statements, Jesus isn’t claiming just to be a wise teacher or good man. He is claiming to be God Himself. Jesus is the bread of life. What was He trying to get us to think?

 

First: Bread Nourishes

I think the first thing that comes to mind when we think about bread is that bread nourishes. This is a simple yet the most profound truth we encounter here in John chapter 6. Bread nourishes. It works. It satisfies. It eases the pangs of hunger. It gives us nourishment that we need day in and day out. Back then, in the days of Jesus, as it is the same today in the Middle East, bread was the stuff of life; it formed the basis of every meal. You can hardly eat a meal without bread.

 

“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” There is no substitute for Jesus. If He is in our lives, He is feeding our lives with joy, peace, and love. But if He’s not in our lives, an unceasing hunger pervades. There’s an emptiness that can’t be satisfied. There’s a steady sense of anxiety and unease and confusion. The problem is that we seek to satisfy our hunger in the wrong way. We search for things to satisfy the yearning of our souls. And that is something, only the Bread of Life, Jesus of Nazareth, can do.

 

There is a very inspiring note on our church’s sign that Cindy Strang posted this week; one side is a quote from the Christian theologian and apologist C. S. Lewis from Mere Christianity and it reads, “A man (a person) can eat his/her dinner without understanding exactly how food nourishes him/her.” The other side is the refrain of the old hymn, “Trust and Obey.” It reads, “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” C. S. Lewis continues to say, “A man (a person) can accept what Christ has done without knowing how it works: indeed, he/she certainly would not know how it works until he/she has accepted it. That is the formula. That is Christianity. That is what has to be believed.” When I ask people why they come to church Sunday after Sunday, a good number of them say, “I’m here to get nourished to make it through the week.” We believe that Jesus is alive and continues to nourish our souls, like ordinary bread nourishes the body. Jesus is the bread of life that satisfies like nothing else.

 

Second: Food that Spoils versus Food that Endures Forever

In John 6:2 &14, we are told that the feeding of the five thousand was a “sign.” And, as a sign, it pointed beyond itself. Listen to what Jesus says to the crowds that came searching for Him in John 6:27, “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.” Jesus points the crowd in a different direction. Instead of food for hungry stomachs, Jesus points to food for hungry hearts. Instead of food that spoils, Jesus points to food that endures. Instead of food that satisfies for a couple of hours, Jesus points to food that satisfies eternally. There is a lesson here about materialism, about focusing all our efforts and energies on physical things. Jesus reminds us that the things of this earth and this life ultimately cannot satisfy or quench or fill – because this is “food that spoils”, that only fills the stomach, that satisfies for only a time. Jesus is more enduring than the Manna. He is more enduring than anything that gets our attention today. It was the North Africa theologian Augustine of Hippo (354-430) who wrote these words after his conversion, “You have made us for Yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they can find rest in You.”

 

Friends, Jesus is the “Bread of Life.” He feeds us. He fills us. He satisfies us. But this does not happen automatically. You know the saying: “You can bring a horse to water but you cannot make it drink.” All the water in the world does no good if the horse refuses to guzzle what is in front of it. When it comes to feeding on Christ, what we need is faith. It is faith that joins us to Christ and His suffering and death. Faith is the spoon and fork of the Christian religion. Faith is the mouth of the soul. I would like to encourage you today to come closer and find full nourishment on Christ, the Great I am, the Bread of Life, not for a day or an hour but for eternity. My hope in the next few Sundays is to help us as individuals and as a congregation to discover or rediscover Jesus in a fresh way. He is the Bread to feed upon, the Light to follow, the Door to enter, the Shepherd to guide, the Resurrection upon which to wait, the Way of salvation to trust, and the Vine in which to abide. In 1745 William Williams, the Welsh composer and Calvinist theologian, wrote, “Bread of Heaven, Bread of Heaven, Feed me till I want no more; Feed me till I want no more.” May this line become your cry and mine today. In the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen!

The Grace of God in Baptism!

Sermon Notes (Sunday August 2nd, 2015)

Rev. Mouris Yousef, Pastor

 

The Grace of God in Baptism!

Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Matthew 3:13-17

 

The story is told about a father who went to church one Sunday morning with three of his young children, including his five-year-old daughter. As was his customary, he sat in the very front row so that the children could properly witness the service. During this particular service, the minister was performing the baptism of a tiny infant. The little five-year-old girl was taken by this, observing that the minister was saying something and pouring water over the infant’s head. With a quizzical look on her face, the little girl turned to her father and asked: “Daddy, why is the preacher brainwashing that baby?”

 

Today we celebrate the two Sacraments, the Sacrament of Baptism and the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. Liam Miller is getting baptized this morning and I want to spend sometime thinking about this Sacrament. As you can tell, the word “baptism” has become a foreign word in this time and age. The Greek word baptizo was a term that was used in the first century for dipping a light-colored garment into a dye. Once the fabric was dipped into the dye, it would be changed in its identity from its original color to a new color. It is from this Greek term that we derive our English word “Baptism.” So it is that the word baptism has come to identify us as one with a new identity, as one of God’s people. Truth be told, it is suppose to be a “brainwashing” as the young five-year-old put it so well. The question I would like to ask this morning is: What is this Sacrament all about? Two important observations:

 

First: In Baptism, the Love of God Comes to Us Before We Are Even Aware of It

As you may know, some Christian traditions have raised many objections about infant baptism. In the Presbyterian Church we believe baptism can happen at any age. But the question is: Can an infant understand the meaning and depth of this Sacrament? To be honest, they may not. Then, why we get them baptized? The answer is: because in baptism the love of God comes to us before we are even aware of it. The baptism of a child reminds us that God’s love does not depend on our understanding. This is why Jesus welcomed children into the kingdom of God. This is why the Scripture says in Acts 2:39 that the promise is for the believers and their children. Infant baptism, therefore, is a pure act of God’s grace.

 

Baptism as an act of grace is the opposite of the way we usually do things in life. Our New Testament reading this morning was the story of the baptism of the Lord Jesus Christ as it is recorded in Matthew chapter 3. It is very important to note the timing of Jesus’ baptism. It comes before Jesus has done the first great act of God. And, by all means, this is not the way we usually do things. We usually congratulate people when they have done something well. God gives this moment before Jesus has done the first great thing. In our normal, human way of doing things, God might have waited until after Jesus had turned the water into wine and then opened the heavens and said, “That’s my Son!” Or God might have waited until Jesus healed the blind man and then said, “That’s my Son, I am so pleased with Him.” Or God might have waited until after the feeding of the multitude or walking on water or after the Sermon on the Mount and then said, “Good job! That’s my Son!” But that is not the sequence. God says, “I love you” before Jesus chooses His disciples, before He does the first miracle. And, in a human way, as earthly parents, we understand this. We don’t start to love our children when they make decisions to do the right things. We love our babies before they are born. We hope that our love helps them make the right decisions as they grow – but our love is not contingent on their good decisions. We love our children because they are ours. While we live in a world that applauds our achievements and accomplishments, the glory of this day is the reminder that God loves us from the beginning—not because of what we have done, but because of who we are. And when that unconditional love and grace sinks in on our souls, something very important happens that equips us for everything that comes next. Our accomplishments can’t win God’s love for us and our failures and sin can’t keep God’s love from us.

 

Second: The Sacrament of Infant Baptism and the Huge Task Before Us

Infant baptism puts before us as parents and as a congregation a huge responsibility. For parents, baptism is an act of commitment. Not only do the parents commit their child to the Lord, but they also commit themselves to the Lord. Parents take vows in which they pledge before God and the congregation to raise their child “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” as Paul says in Ephesians 6:4. Louise and Jonathan: my prayers are with you today as you commit Liam to the Lord and at the same time you also commit yourselves. I tell you the truth, I have officiated baptisms that I have never seen the parents in church since. It breaks my heart to say that. This is why I told you Tuesday night that being baptized does not mean we have nothing further to do. Rather, baptism is a one time event that takes a lifetime to finish. Every day is a day of baptismal conversion, of dying and rising again with Christ, of taking new steps towards becoming more fully, what, by the grace of God, we most truly are. God challenged his people in the past in Deuteronomy 6:6-9 saying, “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

 

Baptism also touches the life of the local congregation at basically two levels. We share the parents the same responsibility. As you may know, the practice of naming particular godparents for a child is not common in the Presbyterian tradition. The reason is because all adult church members act as godparents for the children in the covenant community. All adults are spiritual guardians of all the children and share—to some degree—with the physical parents the awesome responsibility of raising the children in the training and instruction of the Lord. That is why all communicant members take a vow to assist the parents in the Christian nurture of their child. And as this responsibility is faithfully carried out, there is a great blessing for the congregation.

 

There is another level that touches the life of the local congregation and that is the level of remembrance. As the congregation witnesses the baptism of Liam today, we are reminded of the vows we have previously made. Therefore we need to ask ourselves, “Have I been faithful as a steward for the gift of life that God has entrusted to me? Have I fulfilled my duties and obligations as a parent and as a spiritual guardian?” If the answer is no, confession of sin and prayer for grace to improve is in order. But if the answer is yes, gratitude for God’s enabling grace is appropriate. In this sense, it is a blessing to be reminded again of our duty as Christian parents.

 

Friends, let me conclude by saying that the grace of God and the love of Christ are the two central themes of Christian baptism. The great Swiss Reformed theologian, Karl Barth (1886-1968) was asked late in his life if he could summarize the entirety of his theological work in one sentence. You have to know that Barth is regarded as the greatest Protestant theologian of the twentieth century. His Church Dogmatics runs to over six million words and 8,000 pages ~ one of the longest works of systematic theology ever written. So, the question he was asked if he could summarize the entirety of his theological work in one sentence. Barth thought, smiled, and replied, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” Whether we are children or adults, what matters the most are these two important foundations: the grace of God and the love of Christ. In the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen!