The God Who Comforts: A Forty-Day Meditation on John 14:1–16:15
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The God Who Comforts is a spiritual reading of Jesus’ upper room discipleship sermon. What started out as a Passover meal became an inspiring and spiraling manifesto of comfort and challenge. Jesus propels the conversation forward into our hearts and minds. When Jesus got up off his knees and resumed his place of authority, he framed this strategic discourse in the Truth that cannot be packaged as a consumer product or programmed to fit the secular mind. Four distinct comings shape Jesus’ sermon in the upper room: his final coming, the Parousia; his gift of the Spirit, the Paraclete; his death and resurrection, the Passion; and his abiding fellowship, the Presence. These four comings are the ways in which Jesus draws near to his disciples, reassuring them that they are not alone. Throughout this conversation we are in the company of the eleven, hearing Jesus speak to us as he spoke to them. This discourse continues to reset twenty-one centuries of discipleship according to the revelation of Jesus Christ.
“With illuminating quotes from Ignatius to Bono, Webster prods us to see the events of the upper room through fresh eyes. Be prepared to be enlightened, challenged, and changed by this scholarly yet very personal examination of John 14-16.”
–John H. Wilkinson
Executive Coach and Strategist, Youth Unlimited Toronto
“In his comforting and challenging forty-day devotional, we see Doug Webster at his very best! A wise pastor/scholar, Webster challenges his readers to consider that if we will put our weight down on the person of Jesus Christ, we will meet ‘the God who comforts.’ I highly recommend this volume for the faithful exegesis and distilled wisdom on each page. But watch out: taking Webster’s words about Jesus seriously might just change your life!”
–Thomas K. Tewell, Executive Director and Founder of Macedonian Ministry
“Douglas Webster’s meditations on John 14-16 shatter our illusions that following Jesus secures a comfortable life in this troubling world. Christ, the God who comforts, gives his disciples something better: through his sacrificial death and resurrection, his Holy Spirit and abiding presence, and the certain promise of his glorious return at history’s end, Jesus is and will be with those who trust him. Ponder Christ’s promises, and you will taste his joy.”
–Dennis E. Johnson, Professor of Practical Theology, Westminster Seminary California
“Imagine hearing and learning Jesus’ final sermon (in the upper room, John 14-16) through the teaching of a warmhearted, Christ-loving pastor and careful biblical scholar-teacher speaking to us in a this-worldly, earthy way. I came away from this experience saying, ‘Lord, I want to be a Christian–in my heart.'”
–Frederick Dale Bruner, Wasson Professor of Theology Emeritus, Whitworth University; author of commentaries on the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of John and A Theology of the Holy Spirit
Douglas D. Webster is Professor of Pastoral Theology and Preaching at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama.