StoneBridge Community Church
Divine Appointments - "John the Baptist"
Guest Preacher Rev. Courtney Ellis
Locations & Times
  • StoneBridge Community Church
    4832 Cochran St, Simi Valley, CA 93063, USA
    Saturday 5:00 PM, Saturday 6:00 PM

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In the "Divine Appointments" sermon series, Jesus' interactions with different characters in the Gospel of John will be examined, so that we can recognize how Jesus interacts with us in our lives.

The Text In Context

To understand this passage, it helps to understand the time period into which John the Baptist arrived...

Who was John the Baptist?

Apart from Jesus Christ, John the Baptist is probably the most theologically significant figure in the Gospels...
John the Baptist in the Gospels

Though we tend to conflate the four gospels, they actually have different presentations of John the Baptist. For instance, in the Gospel of Luke, John the Baptist preaches much more directly to the crowd than in the other gospels. Therefore, more is learned about John's message in the Gospel of Luke. In the Gospel of Matthew, we learn more about Jesus' direct interaction with John the Baptist. For example, when John insisted that Jesus should be baptizing him and not the other way around. And in Mark, we get the clearest glimpse of just how counter-cultural John was in his clothing and demeanor.

The Gospel of John, though, is particularly unique. In the Gospel of John, John the Baptist is actually, more accurately described as, "John the Witness." His primary role isn't as the Baptizer of Jesus. Instead, John points to Jesus as the lamb of God. John the Witness takes whatever authority he has and uses it to testify to Jesus' authority. By doing so, John serves as a model for each and every disciple of Jesus.

As Jesus' disciples, we are to be witnesses to him. Our lives should point to him so that others may know who he is. In what ways does your life point to Jesus?

Annie Dillard Essay

Pastor Courtney mentioned an essay by the writer Annie Dillard, entitled "Total Eclipse." Here is a link to the full essay.

Matthias Grunewald Painting

Here is a link to a picture of the painting Pastor Courtney referenced in her sermon of John the Baptist.

1. Have you ever been asked to be a personal reference for someone? Or, have you ever be called as a witness in a court case or deposition? If so, what was the experience like? Was it comfortable or uncomfortable? Easy or difficult? Why or why not?

2. Though Mathew, Mark and Luke all narrate John baptizing Jesus, the Gospel of John doesn't show us John baptizing Jesus, only that John saw the Holy Spirit descend on Jesus. Why do you think the Gospel of John left out the story of John baptizing Jesus?

3. In what ways and to whom does your life already witness to Jesus?

4. In what ways and to whom could you more clearly witness to Jesus in your life?

1. What does a "witness" do? What does it mean to "witness" something?

2. Can you think of and describe a time when someone convinced you of something?

3. How can you help be a witness to Jesus and convince other people that God loves them?

Tailored for all ages, launch into Lent by driving through StoneBridge’s parking lot. At the drive-thru, you'll learn about Ash Wednesday and Lent, share prayer requests, drop off diapers and donations for James Storehouse, and receive the imposition of ashes. To learn more about James Storehouse and additional donation items, click below.

James StoreHouse donations

Disconnected from Online Worship? We get it. Nearly a year into this pandemic and the novelty that online worship once held is gone. With each passing week, the pandemic tests our spiritual resilience and it feels like our faith is being tested. It’s been a challenge maintaining one’s own spiritual well-being. Although circumstances are less than ideal, StoneBridge is committed to helping you stay connected to God and staying connected to community. In an effort to do just that, we encourage you to take some time for yourself. Get outside. Take a walk. And when you do lace on your walking shoes, plug into StoneBridge’s NEW podcast designed for walking and worshipping. StoneBridge’s NEW podcast provides announcements, the current week’s message, and two worship songs, all in 30 minutes that will elevate your day! Look for the newly branded podcast with the graphic seen above. This week's podcast will be published by Saturday night @ 5:30pm!

Worship Tech Team Looking to Expand StoneBridge is currently recruiting and training new volunteers to help record worship music for weekly podcasts and online services. Audio/Video experience preferred but not necessary. If you’re interested, send Lee Krabbe an email

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