Who Is It that Conquers the World? – Br. Keith Nelson

For your homiletic dessert I have whipped up 500 words about one word. The word is nīké, if you enjoy New Testament Greek; or Nike, if you have ever heard of basketball. “To conquer.”

The word “conquer” makes me uncomfortable generally, and even more so when it appears in Scripture. But for those of us who place the Johannine witness at the center of our discipleship, it is a word to be reckoned with.

In our reading from the First Letter of John, we heard: “And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:4-5)

Do you think of yourself as a world-conquerer?

This isn’t an isolated use of that word. In John’s gospel, we hear Jesus at the Last Supper say, “I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world, you face persecution. But take courage: I have conquered the world!” (John 16:33). Read More