Dean’s Lent Addresses 2018: The Passion according to St John – Tried for his Kingdom

On this page you can find details of the fourth of the Dean of Melbourne’s Lent Addresses 2018, The Passion according to St John: Tried for his kingdom. You can find the first Lent Address here, the second address here and the third here.

For Christians, Lent is a period of renewal and growth.

In this address, the Dean of Melbourne, the Very Revd Dr Andreas Loewe, reflects on Jesus’s trial before the Roman authorities as told in the Passion of St John, and on the German composer Johann Sebastian Bach’s reflection in a moving chorale that it Jesus’ arrest and suffering is what has set us free.

You can read the readings Dean Andreas reflects on in his talk, and you can watch his talk.

When you have done so, you may wish to use the questions for group reflection our congregations are using for their Lent discussion.

Readings for the Fourth Sunday in Lent:

You first may wish to read the Bible readings on which this talk is based 1 Timothy 6.11-16, and John 18.28-36.

Dean’s Address:

Questions for Group Discussion or Individual Reflection:

Reflecting on Dean Andreas’s sermon and our readings today:

  • The religious leaders feared defilement if they entered the Praetorium to hear Jesus’ trial before Pilate? In their eyes, being taken there defiled Jesus.  Consider whether Jesus could actually be defiled in the way they feared for themselves.  What is it that truly defiles a person?
  • Note the religious  leaders’ response to Pilate’s question concerning the charge brought against Jesus. ‘If this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you’.  What is the implication behind this rather unusual statement?
  • What is the true nature of Jesus’s kingdom? (Consider John 18:33 – 37).
  • In his sermon, Dean Andreas highlights the irony of Pilate asking the One who is ‘Truth Incarnate’, and ‘Truth made Flesh’, the now famous question, ‘what is truth’? In his Gospel, John leaves this as a rhetorical question. How might you answer it?
  • In Johann Sebastian Bach’s chorale heard at the end of the sermon, he suggests that Jesus sets all people free by letting himself be imprisoned, making the Praetorium the throne of mercy where we are released from slavery. In what ways is this so?

Dean Andreas’s invitation for the Week ahead:

In the week ahead I encourage you to reflect on what the slavery may be from which we need to be set free, what the truth would be that we need to hear to be released. I encourage you to listen to that truth through the words of Jesus, and to re-commit yourself to seeking to follow that truth by bringing before him all that stops us from being open to his word of liberation. I invite you to give thanks for Jesus the Truth, and to pray with me that in him, we may also find our way, and our life.

© The Dean and Chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral Melbourne, 2018

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