"HE DWELT AMONG US"
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
Chapter 1: 1-18
Jesus said "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him,
and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him." John 14:23
When we love the Lord, we want to live in close fellowship with Him. We treasure His love and His presence in our lives. Jesus tells us that our love is evidenced by "keeping His word." We must know His word in order to keep it. That is the goal of this study, to learn God's word in such a way that we first know what it says. When we realize what the Bible says, then we can proceed to understand its meaning and lessons. Then, and only then, can we gain insight into how the Bible applies to our life. God begins speaking to our hearts in a personal and powerful way. There will never be a richer reward than the abiding presence of God in your life! "Belief, you see, can only come from hearing the message, and the message is the word of Christ." Romans 10:17 (Phillips translation). Take a moment to pray right now. The Lord will help you to open your heart and mind to what He has to teach you.
KEYS TO BIBLE STUDY
Ask God, Himself, to be your teacher and to guide as you seek to understand what He has to say. "Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God." I Corinthians 2:12. He is very interested in your growth in faith and your knowledge of Him. Pray with expectancy. You can be confident that He will reveal Himself through His word.
Our life in Christ is more precious than gold. We must be nourished to be healthy and to grow. God's word is our spiritual food. I Peter 2:2 tells us, "As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby." Many Christians are weak and starving because they are not reading and personally studying. Jesus said, "Thou shalt not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." Matthew 4:4
As with any loving Father, God has so much that He wants to teach us. He wants to assure, guide, warn, enlighten and encourage. Stop and pray that you will have a desire and hunger to feast on His word.
King David once said, "I will not give to the Lord that which costs me nothing." There is absolutely no doubt that there is a price to pay when we commit ourselves to spend the time for study. There will be days or weeks when many other things will distract us and vie for our time. Our commitment must be from our heart and given unto God. "Choose this day whom you will serve." Joshua 24:15
Find a certain time that is best for you to set aside each day. Early in the morning before responsibilities of the day begin, or alone at lunch time, or in the quiet of the evening are best for most. The enemy of our souls will make it his goal to distract. Pray and persevere! The rewards will be great.
INTRODUCTION: THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
The apostle John was the writer of this gospel. He identified himself in the book only as, "The disciple whom Jesus loved." (John 21:20, 24) John was a son of a fisherman from Galilee named Zebedee. He was the younger brother of another apostle named James. The brothers were also known as the "sons of thunder." John had an especially close relationship with Jesus and was included in the "inner circle." John was seated next to the Lord at the Last Supper.
The Gospel of John was the last of the four written. The early church fathers believed it was written when John was an old man. Therefore, a date between 85 A.D. and 95 A.D. is assumed.
"Many other signs, therefore, Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written that you may believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name." John 20:30, 31. John clearly states that his purpose was not to record every detail, miracle and teaching of the ministry of Jesus. His purpose was to present a clear picture, with miracles as signs to support belief in Jesus as the Christ and Son of God. John recorded seven sign-miracles to reveal the person and mission of Jesus.
JESUS' SEVEN "SIGNS" in the Gospel of John
1. Changing water into wine in Cana. (2:1-11)
2. Healing an official's son in Capernaum. (4:46-54)
3. Healing an invalid at the Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem. (5:1-18)
4. Feeding the 5,000 near the Sea of Galilee. (6:5-14)
5. Walking on the water of the Sea of Galilee. (6:16-21)
6. Healing a blind man in Jerusalem. (9:1-7)
7. Raising dead Lazarus in Bethany. (11:1-45)
When the Gospel of John is compared with the other three gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke), the emphasis is clearly different. John does not include Jesus' genealogy, birth, baptism, temptations, casting out of demons, parables, transfiguration, the Lord's Supper, His agony in Gethsemane or His ascension. John does stress the ministry of Jesus in Jerusalem, the feasts of the Jewish nation, Jesus' private conversations with individuals and His ministry to His disciples.
The gospels were not meant to be complete biographies of Jesus. Each gospel writer, through the Holy Spirit, chose certain facts, teachings and actions which would serve the goal of that particular book. Each gospel records certain miracles and omits others. Since the ministry of Jesus lasted about three years, it's clear that many things were left unrecorded. The focus of the gospels is the Good News of Jesus' death and resurrection.
Deity and Humanity, "He Dwelt Among Us" is the wonderful message of this gospel. God was manifest in the flesh. God became a man, lived in a body and walked on the earth. Jesus was fully God and fully man.
The key word in the Gospel of John is "believe," which occurs 98 times. John wanted to stress an active, continuous and vital trust in Jesus.
Inductive Bible Study
This study will be written with a format geared to encourage you as the student to go through a process to more thoroughly understand God's Word. We will be using the tools of the Inductive Bible Study method. The three basic steps of this method are:
1. OBSERVATION: Discovering the basic facts is the first step; the who, what, when, where, why, and how. As you read through the text, observe and record the facts that are key to understanding what is really happening or being taught. This will help you to accurately determine what the portion of scripture says. At this stage, you will not try to determine an interpretation or application. You will merely be reporting the facts.
2. INTERPRETATION: The second step is to read through the facts to understand the meaning. What did that event or teaching mean to the people of that time? What is it teaching? What can we learn? What does it mean to us today? Many of the questions in the homework portion of the lesson will be used to help you discover answers and insights.
3. APPLICATION: The final step is rich and rewarding. After you learn what God's word says first and then what it means by what it says, you will truly be able to apply it effectively and powerfully to your life! This is where the transforming effect of the Word of God is applied, resulting in renewed thinking and actions. Questions in the homework that ask you how you can grow or change from what you have learned are directed toward application.
Begin the study this very first day and every day with prayer. Look to the Lord as the Instructor and view yourself as His student.
Read John 1: 1-18. Read through again and list the important facts. You might want to go verse by verse and list the facts you find by the number of the verse. Sometimes you will want to group several verses together and pick out one or more facts in the grouping of verses. At this stage, observe what is being said, who is saying it, what are the key statements, ideas, actions, and people.
DAY #2 Read John 1:1-3 Begin your study today, as always, with prayer.
1) We see as we read through these verses that Jesus and "The Word" are the same. When we speak, we express ourselves with words. We make our thoughts known. When our thoughts are known, we are known. In light of this, why do you think Jesus was called "The Word?" Share additional insights you gain from reading John 1:18, focusing on the statement "He has declared Him" (New King James version). Also read Hebrews 1:1-2.
2) "In the beginning was the Word (Jesus)" John 1:1. Notice that "was" is past tense. What does this tell us about the existence of Jesus before His birth in Bethlehem? (Also refer to John 17:5).
"Just as His death was not the end of Him, His birth was not the beginning of Him"
3) Read John 1:3 and Colossians 1:16. List all of the things that were created by and through Jesus.
4) Thousands of years ago, Job made a remarkable, scientifically accurate description of the universe (Job 26:7-14). From this passage, write down some of the amazing things God does that we take for granted.
Creation is not only more complex than we think it is. It is more complex than we can think.
5) There is a controversy between those who believe in the theory of evolution and those who believe that God is the Creator of all that exists. The Bible says that God is the intelligent master planner of the heavens and earth (Genesis I). Many choose to believe that the universe evolved from a series of accidents, mutations and explosions. It is interesting to note that when we observe this happening today, the result is not progress or improvement, it is chaos. In Romans 1:18-22, we learn that man's refusal to acknowledge their Creator is not new with our generation. Describe in your own words why people choose to have "blind faith" in theories that reject God. Use the passage from Romans to help explain your answer.
DAY #3 Read John 1:4-5 LIGHT AND LIFE
1) What two things does Jesus offer in verse 4?
2) Since many people are physically alive without Jesus, explain the "Life in Him" spoken of here. You may write of your own personal experience.
Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life,
and that they may have it more abundantly." John 10:10
3) The "light" in verses 4 and 5 is not mere physical light. Write down as many benefits of light that you can think of. Then describe how these features have a spiritual application. Add scriptures if possible to your applications.
A. Light helps us see where we're going. God's Word is a Light to our lives.
He gives us insight and wisdom.
DAY #4 Read John 1:6-13 JOHN THE BABTIST, A MAN WITH A MISSION
1) From John 1:6-8 and verse 15, what do you learn about the mission, goals and attitudes of John the Baptist?
*DIGGING DEEPER* Read the account of John the Baptist in Luke 1:5-25 and Luke 1:57-80. This gives some interesting background.
2) Read John 1:9. We learn in this verse that the light is offered to every man on the earth. Many people worry about people in remote parts of the world where there are no missionaries. And yet, we hear from missionaries that even in darkest Africa or communist China, they find people who believe in God. They have responded to the "light" of the evidence of a great and powerful God who created the world. Read Psalm 19:1-3. From these verses, explain how people from remote areas come to the knowledge of God and thus respond to the "light."
3) Describe, in your own words, the sad response of some as stated in John 1:10-11.
4) After reading verses 12 and 13, explain what happens when someone "believes" and "receives" the light.
5) When we receive Him, God adopts us. He is our Father and He loves us more that any earthly father could. Maybe we struggle with the concept of a positive father image because our own fathers let us down. We must not carry these negative concepts over to our relationship with God. Psalm 27:10 tell us, "When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up." He wants to make it up to us. He wants to be the father we never had.
A. What are the advantages, privileges, and benefits that a loving father would bestow on a daughter?
B. What are some duties, responsibilities and actions a devoted daughter would love doing to please her father?
C. Summarize your thoughts from A and B and apply them to your relationship with God your Heavenly Father. Make your response as personal as possible. Pause and pray that the Lord will imprint the truth of all He is and wants to be to you on your heart.
DAY #5 Read John 1:14-18
1) Read and ponder the concept of the fact that "He dwelt among us" as stated in John 1 verses 14 and 18. One of the struggles we have in our faith is that we cannot physically see God. From these verses, explain why it was important that God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world in the form of a human man and how it helps us understand God better. This is an important concept and truth, ponder deeply as you answer.
"He is the image of the invisible God" Colossians 1:15
2) One of the reasons for studying the Gospel of John is so that, at completion, we will truly know Jesus. We will behold Him and see His glory (verse 14). We will know what He did, what He said, what He views as important and unimportant. The apostle John's life was definitely changed by his close, personal time with Jesus.
A. What was the goal for writing this gospel as stated in John 20:31?
B. What are your goals in this study?
3) What does John 1:16-17 tell us we have received through Jesus?
A. From a dictionary (preferably a Bible dictionary) write out the definition of "grace."
B. Write out the definition of "truth."
C. Why are grace and truth important to your life? Really ponder this question and be as descriptive as possible.
4) Read John 1:16-17. The Law, which was written on tablets of stone and given to Moses, gave the people of Israel rules which provided order for their lives and society. The problem with the Law is that sinful man has a very hard time obeying it. What wonderful change has God made for us as stated in Hebrews 10:16-17?
DAY #6 APPLICATION
1) Read through John 1:1-18 again. Write down five personal applications of what these verses mean to you. How do they apply to your life? Is there an example you can follow, a promise you can accept, an exhortation or warning you need to heed? Look back on page 2 of this lesson for the explanation of application. This part can be stated in the form of questions you ask yourself.
A. Lesson from verse 4- "In Him is Life" Am I living the full free life He has intended? How can I be filled more with His Life?
2) Prayerfully star three lessons from question one that you especially desire to apply to your life. Ask the Lord to help you grow in these areas. Jesus tells us in John 15:5, "Without Me, you can do nothing." The Lord is ready, willing and able to work those changes in you as you yield to Him.
"Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6
*Most Bible quotations in this lesson are from the New King James version
"HE DWELT AMONG US"
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
The Beginning of Jesus' Public Ministry
Very little is recorded about Jesus' childhood in the scriptures. We are told, "the Child grew and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon Him" Luke 2:40. Then the time came for Jesus to begin His public ministry. It was John the Baptist who prepared the people for their introduction to Jesus. His role was "to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe" John 1:7. John 1:19-51 records for us the first few days of the public ministry of Christ. As it is today, the Good News of Jesus was proclaimed to groups, as well as to individuals. John the Baptist preached to crowds. Others, like Andrew, witnessed to their friends and family and personally brought them to Jesus.
DAY #1 *Pray before you start your lesson each day*
*Note* The "John" referred to in this portion of scripture is John the Baptist.
Read John 1:19-51. Then go back and verse by verse look for the basic facts (who, what, when, where, how, and why). As you read this section, you may want to group several verses together to find one or two facts. Be careful to accurately report only the facts.
The following is an example of grouping verses to find one or two facts:
(verses 19,20,21,24) Priests and Levites from Jerusalem (Pharisees) question John
John is not Christ, Elijah or Prophet
Give a brief title to this section:
DAY #2 Read John 1:19-28
**BACKGROUND** Jerusalem was and still is today the capital and religious center of the Jewish nation. Jesus was born a Jew, and it was to the Jewish nation that Jesus first came and ministered.
John's ministry had stirred a tremendous religious revival among the Jewish people. This caused the religious leadership, the Sanhedrin to take notice. The Sanhedrin was a council of 71 members which included priests, elders of the people, Pharisees, scribes and Sadducees.
PHARISEES were teachers of the law. They were very strict and continually added more and more requirements to the law. They were very careful about cleanliness and wouldn't eat with sinners lest they be contaminated. Their prideful loyalty to truth produced arrogance and hypocrisy. Jesus criticized this perversion of the ideal.
SCRIBES were professional religious lawyers and copiers of the Law (there were no copy machines). They came to be regarded as the authorities on the Scriptures and therefore exercised a teaching function. Their opinions were usually akin to those of the Pharisees.
SADDUCEES were the priestly aristocratic group. They opposed the Pharisees. The Sadducees held only to the written law while the Pharisees put the long development of traditions alongside the written law. The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection of the dead, angels or future punishment and reward.
JOHN THE BAPTIST
1) Matthew 3:1-6 gives us more information about John the Baptist. From these verses answer the following:
A. Describe his activities.
B. What was his lifestyle?
C. What was his message (Matthew 3:2)?
D. Who came to hear John's message, and how did they respond?
E. In what way do you think his message of repentance prepared the people to be ready to receive their Savior Jesus?
2) For many of the religious leaders, position and authority were all important. John the Baptist had one focus, to point attention to Jesus only, never to himself.
A. As you read the dialog between John and the Jewish leaders (John 1:19-27), what stands out to you that marks his ministry as an example to you?
B. In light of John's example, read Philippians 2:3. How can wrong motives hinder our service? Give as much explanation as possible.
3) From reading Matthew 15:7-9, describe how Jesus made it clear that religious "actions" are not what God is looking for. What is important to Him?
4) In Matthew 3:7-10, John the Baptist gave some harsh warnings.
A. What must accompany repentance?
B. Look up the word repentance. Explain what "fruits of repentance" means.
Repentance means not only a heart broken for sin but from sin.
AY #3 Read John 1:29-34
1) In verse 29, Jesus is called the "Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world." Because man is sinful, God set up a system in the Law given to Moses whereby man could offer animal sacrifices for his sin. The animals were taken to the priest, slain and the blood was offered in sacrifice. To try to understand why Jesus had to be offered for our sin, we must understand what was lacking in the current system.
A. From Hebrews 10:1-4, explain why the Law and the sacrifices of the Old Testament needed improvement.
B. Hebrews 10:10-14 describes the benefits we have because of Jesus' sacrifice for us. Explain what they are. Share any additional thoughts or insights.
C. Some people have a difficult time accepting complete forgiveness for their sins. We often feel guilty and unworthy. It is true, we can never be worthy of the price Christ paid for us. However, we need to accept, by faith, His great love. He forgives us and cleanses us so we can be close to Him and have the kind of relationship He created us for. Read Hebrews 10:19-22 slowly and carefully. What encouragement do you personally draw from this?
D. As with any gift, we must first accept it to receive it. Stop and thank God for His great "gift" of forgiveness. Ask Him to help you confidently accept His forgiveness and draw close to Him.
"Behold the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world." John 1:29
2) John 1:32-34 describes "the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven" and remaining on Jesus. In the Gospel of Matthew, we are given more details of this occurrence. After reading Matthew 3:13-17, briefly tell about what happened as if you were there in the crowd observing.
3) Up until this time in history, the Spirit came upon men in the Old Testament for a certain work and then departed. Since the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to "empower," what do you think "the Spirit remaining on Jesus" would signify to John and the others who saw this happen? (*Hint* This occurred at the very beginning of Jesus' public ministry before He had performed any recorded miracles.)
DAY #4 Read John 1:35-42 THE DISCIPLES
1) In John 1:35-42, we read about a man named Andrew who was first a disciple of John the Baptist. The definition of the word "disciple" is pupil or learner. Andrew left to follow Jesus. Most leaders like to have followers. Do you think John was hurt or upset when Andrew left? Why or why not?
2) When Jesus first met Simon, he was a simple fisherman from the country. But Jesus saw potential. He saw the man that He knew he could be. Jesus even changed Simon's name to Peter which means the rock. When Jesus looks at us, He also sees potential and wants to do a great work in and through us. Read Jeremiah 29:11 and Philippians 1:6. Describe the encouragement you personally find in these promises.
3) Andrew's brother, Peter, is mentioned many times in all four Gospels and throughout the rest of the New Testament. Peter even wrote two of the New Testament books (1st and 2nd Peter). Yet, Andrew is seldom mentioned. Many Christians are like Andrew. They never become famous, write books, or get much attention. They just faithfully serve, telling others about Jesus. How does Hebrews 6:10 encourage those quiet workers in His Kingdom?
In God's eyes it is a great thing to do a little thing well.
4) After Peter's first meeting with Jesus, he went back to work as a fisherman. Read Luke 5:1-11, then describe what Jesus meant by His offer to Peter to become a fisher of men (verse 10). Share any insights you have on Peter's response (verse 11). Include in your answer the fact that he had to give some things up for what he viewed as greater.
DAY #5 Read John 1:43-51
*Note on Messiah* Andrew told Peter, "We have found the Messiah, the Christ." Messiah is the Hebrew term for "the anointed one." The Greek word "Christ" comes from chrio, "to anoint." The Messiah or Christ was the One appointed and anointed by God to be the Savior.
1) Philip's testimony to Nathanael stressed that Jesus was "the One" who had been promised through Moses and the prophets. Fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy is an important validation of Jesus being the Son of God. There are over 300 prophecies foretelling Christ's coming. The odds are 840,000,000,000 (followed by 89 more zeros) to one that all these predictions could occur in the case of one person. And yet Jesus was the perfect fulfillment of every prophecy. Read Isaiah 52:13-53:12 and list some of the prophecies that apply to Christ that are especially meaningful to you.
DAY #6 Review John 1:35-51
1) Describe what you see in the ministry of John the Baptist that is an example to you. Share how you would desire to follow his model.
A. How can you be actively working to "prepare the way" to help others learn about Jesus?
B. Do you point others to Jesus as John the Baptist and Andrew did? Share some ways you can do this.
2) Are you fully accepting the forgiveness provided by the "Lamb of God?" Read 1 John 1: 9 for further encouragement. If you struggle with guilt and unforgiveness, write out and memorize this scripture. (It is helpful to write the scripture on a 3x5 card to carry with you so you can practice reciting it often.)
3) Using Andrew as an example, prayerfully write down the names of three people who you will pray for. Pray that you will have opportunity to bring them to a Bible study, to church or that you will be able to share Jesus with them.
*Words to Ponder* Jesus told Nathanael, "you will see greater things than these." John 1:50 Are you living in expectation of seeing the Lord's hand in every aspect of your life? Are you expecting great things as God reveals Himself to you daily? It has been said; "they that see God's hand in everything, find it easier to put everything in God's hands."
"HE DWELT AMONG US"
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
Jesus' First Sign in Cana and First Ministry in Jerusalem
Jesus' first miracle in the Gospel of John was turning water into wine. John used the word "signs" because he was seeking to draw attention away from the miracles as such and to point to their significance. His first miraculous deed was performed in response to a sudden crisis in the lives of simple country people at a wedding. Few even knew He had provided for their need. If you have a map at the back of your Bible, turn to it and find some of the places mentioned in John 2:1-25. Notice the distances between towns and understand that most travel was done on foot.
Jesus' first official public act of ministry was to cleanse the temple, His Father's house, of commercial activities which distracted from its true purpose.
DAY #1 Read John 2:1-25 Pray before you start your lesson each day.
Read through a second time looking for all the important facts. It will be helpful to divide this chapter into the two main occurrences: "Wedding in Cana" (verses 1-11) and "Temple in Jerusalem" (verses 12-25). List the verses and facts under each division.
*FACT FINDING HELPS* When looking for the key facts, it is helpful to ask yourself the following questions. Remember, not every question will be answered in every passage. These are just guidelines.
1. Who are the persons mentioned and involved in this passage? Who is speaking? About whom is he speaking? Who is involved in the action?
2. What action or event is taking place?
3. Where is this happening? Where did they or will they go?
4. When did this happen? When will something happen?
5. Why did this happen?
WEDDING IN CANA OF GALILEE:
TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM:
DAY #2 Read John 2:1-11
MARRIAGE CUSTOMS AND TRADITIONS IN NEW TESTAMENT TIMES
Marriage: Marriages were arranged by the young couples' fathers, often by the time boys and girls reached puberty (12 1/2 for a girl and 14 for a boy). Marriage was preceded by a year's betrothal before the actual wedding. The betrothal period was a more binding relationship than contemporary engagements. Couples were not permitted to have sexual relations during this time.
The Wedding: A wedding and the feast that accompanied it were a welcome bright spot from the daily grind in a world which generally lacked lavish entertainment and a variety of foods. Oxen and fat calves were killed and cooked. The festivities and feasting often lasted a week. First the bridegroom went to the bride's home to receive his bride and observe certain religious ceremonies. Then he took his bride to his own home for a resumption of the festivities. A special room in the bridegroom's house was prepared where the bride and bridesmaids (who also wore white) could spend the night. For people to refuse the invitation was unpardonable, as was the appearance of a guest without the appropriate festive clothing.
*Digging Deeper*(Optional) Jesus held weddings and marriage in high esteem. He used both in parables throughout the New Testament to teach spiritual truths. We, as believers, have a glorious wedding feast to look forward to in heaven. Read Revelation 19:1-9 for some of the details.
At this time, the disciples who went with Jesus were just learning about Him. In comparison to the miracles they later saw Jesus perform, turning water into wine was not very difficult. But, it must have seemed amazing to them then, as it would to us had we been there. Jesus took something very ordinary and common and transformed it into something valuable and "good" (verse 10).
1) Jesus was on a mission, directly sent by God to save the lost. And yet, He took time to attend the festivities of a wedding with His mother. Was He taking time off? Share any thoughts or insights you might have on this.
"Miracles are not merely superhuman events, but events that demonstrate God's power."
2) Read John 2:11, and answer the following:
A. What was manifested by this first miracle?
B. Look up in a dictionary the word glory and write out the definition that would apply as used in verse 11 when it states, "His glory was revealed."
C. The response of the disciples was, "they believed." Write out and ponder the definition of believe.
3) Seeing Jesus provide for the need produced faith and awe in the disciples. The same should be true in us today. When we turn to the Lord for help, let us then turn to Him with thanks as He responds. When we continue to remember past help from the Lord, it reinforces our faith and trust in God's future help and provision in our lives. Share one or more answered prayers and how they are an encouragement to your faith. Then pause and thank Him.
DAY #3 Pray as you begin this day's lesson, and then read John 2:12-13.
The Passover was an important Jewish feast and holiday (Holy-day). It was celebrated once a year to remind them of God's grace in delivering them from the bondage in Egypt.
1) God used one final plague to force Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, to release the Jews from slavery in Egypt. After reading Exodus 12:3-13, answer the following questions:
A. Describe the animal to be used (verse 5).
B. What were they to do with the blood? (verse 7)
C. Explain from verses 12 and 13 why this feast was called "the Passover."
2) Read Exodus 12:29-37 and briefly summarize the "Exodus" (meaning exit).
3) Go back and read what John the Baptist called Jesus in John 1:36. How does the Passover lamb paint a picture of what Jesus has done for us?
4) Passover is an important event in Jewish history. In Exodus 12:24-27, they were instructed to take the time to remember it and teach their children about the deliverance God gave them.
A. Why do you think this was important?
B. Why do you think it is important for us to take the time to share with our children and those around us about the deliverance and victories the Lord has given us?
Day #4 Read John 2:14-17
As you look at the diagram at the left, you will see the Temple area. The temple courts refer to a large courtyard called the Court of the Gentiles which surrounded the temple enclosure. The buying and selling of animals in the outer area was probably rationalized as a convenience provided for those worshippers who had traveled long distances. They could buy the animals they needed for sacrifice after they arrived, but were charged inflated prices.
Temple dues had to be paid in a certain type of coin called Tyrian. Money changers were also in the outer courts. They took advantage of the people by charging unreasonably high rates to convert other currencies into Tyrian shekels.
1) As you read John 2:14-15, imagine the scene that Jesus first saw as He entered the outer court. Instead of an atmosphere of reverence and awe, He found a hub-bub of activity. Picture a busy day at an outdoor market, with animals, manure, and vendors and bartering. People had come many miles to worship because of Passover, and yet they probably could barely squeeze in.
A. Whose house was the temple?
B. What had it become?
C. Why do you think that Jesus responded as He did?
2) Jesus purged the temple again later in His ministry. Read the account in Matthew 21:12-13. Judging from the title Jesus gave the temple, explain what should have been foremost in intent and action by all who entered? Also consider Psalm 27:4 as you answer this question.
*Definition* Temple-a sacred place, any place in which God dwells.
3) From the following passages, comment on the attitude we are to have as we enter the temple (presence) of God.
A. Psalm 95:6
B. Psalm 99:1-3
C. Psalm 100:4-5
4) Today's English Version phrases John 2:17, "My devotion for Your house, O God, burns in Me like a fire." Is this your fervency? Should it be? Share your thoughts and heart on this.
Day #5 Pray as you begin this day's lesson, and then read John 2:18-25.
1) In verse 18, we see the Jewish leaders questioning the authority of Jesus just as they questioned John the Baptist in John 1:19-25. Why did they want to see a sign as evidence of His authority? Include in your answer the fact that even though Jesus provided many signs and miracles, many still did not believe.
2) Jesus knew that even though He would perform many wonderful miracles and healings, there would be many who would say it wasn't enough. They would still ask for one more convincing "sign." In John 2:19-21, what did Jesus cite as the one final "sign" that would validate who He was once and for all?
3) The reality that Jesus rose from the dead and is alive affects every aspect of our faith. If Jesus had not risen, He would be like Buddha and Mohammed. They are dead. Jesus is alive! From these passages, ponder and share how you benefit by the fact that Jesus is your LIVING SAVIOR.
A. I Corinthians 15:17-23
B. Hebrews 7:25
C. I Peter 1:3-4
4) In John 2:22, what did the disciples remember and how did this affect them?
5) *Optional Digging Deeper* From Luke 24:1-8, recount how they were reminded of the prophecy that Jesus gave in John 2:19. *Note* This prophecy was also given by Jesus to the disciples while they were in Galilee.
*Definition* Prophecy-the foretelling or prediction of what is to come.
Day #6 Read John 2:23-25
1) We will see in the Gospel of John that the popularity of Jesus varied according to whether the people liked or disliked what He said or did. Jesus chose to do right and please God always, no matter the response of others. Amy Carmichael was a devoted missionary to children in India. Read this powerful statement from her book If. Let us, as Christ's disciples, also be committed to acting and speaking in true love.
"If I am afraid to speak the truth, lest I lose affection,
or lest the one concerned should say, 'You do not understand,'
or because I fear to lose my reputation for kindness;
if I put my own good name before the other's highest good,
then I know nothing of Calvary love."
2) Review John, chapter 2. Pray and ask the Lord to open your heart and mind to what He has to teach and how you can apply it to your life. As you ponder how to apply the lessons you learned in this chapter and also in the rest of the chapters of the Gospel of John, it will be helpful to consider the following questions:
A. Does this passage contain any commands for you to obey?
B. Is there a promise for you to claim?
C. Are there any instructions for you to follow?
D. Was sin revealed for you to confess and forsake?
Write out three personal applications in light of the instructions above.
AFTER GOING OVER YOUR APPLICATIONS, PRAY AND ASK GOD TO GUIDE YOU AND HELP YOU TO GROW IN HIM.
"HE DWELT AMONG US"
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16
Can we experience all that God has for us by being religious and knowing the scriptures? Many have tried. Many are still trying. In John, chapter 3 we will meet a man named Nicodemus who was surprised at the answer that Jesus gave to him. "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" John 3:3.
Begin this day of study and every day with prayer, asking God to teach you by His Holy Spirit.
Read John, chapter 3. Now read the chapter a second time, looking for all the important facts. As you read through this chapter, you will see that it can be divided into two main sections. Find the division, and give a title to each section. The title can be as simple as just the names of the main character or characters. Or the title can re-cap in a few words the action, story or lesson.
Fact Finding: When looking for the key facts, it is helpful to ask yourself the following questions although you will not find an answer to each in every verse:
1. Who are the main characters in this passage? Who is speaking? About whom or what is he speaking?
2. What action or event is taking place?
3. What is being said?
4. Where is this occurring?
5. When did this happen?
6. How or why did this occur? (Be careful at this stage to only give the "why" as stated in the text.)
Give a brief title to this section:
DAY #2 Read John 3:1-3. Jesus' interview with Nicodemus
Nicodemus was a Pharisee, a teacher, and a ruler of the Jews (review the background information on Pharisees from lesson #2). He was also a member of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling council. The Sanhedrin consisted of 70 to 72 members who were responsible for religious decisions and, under the Romans, civil rule. It was the majority of these rulers who hired Judas to betray Jesus (Matthew 26:3-4 and Matthew 26:14-15) and who put Jesus on trial and brought Him before Pilate (Luke 22:66-71, 23:1-2). But if we read through the gospels carefully, we will see that there was a minority who occasionally spoke out as a voice of reason and restraint (John 7:44-51).
1) John 3:1-2 introduces Nicodemus. From our previous studies, we can see that the Jewish Religious leadership was not happy with the teachings and actions of Jesus. Considering Nicodemus' position, why do you think he came at night to speak with Jesus?
2) Considering the opinion of his peers, what could you say that is positive about Nicodemus' actions even though he came to Jesus at night?
3) Nicodemus didn't see the whole picture of Jesus' identity, but he was willing to acknowledge what he did see. What two conclusions did he make about Jesus in John 3:2?
4) Nicodemus had dedicated his life to the study of the Word of God as revealed in the Old Testament and as interpreted by Rabbis down through the centuries. He knew and obeyed the law to the extreme. He held a leadership position in guiding others. But it appears that he sensed in Jesus a dynamic power and direct connection to God that he lacked.
As you read John 3:3, take note that Jesus starts out with the adamant words "most assuredly" (New King James Version). Jesus wanted him to know that what He was about to say was absolutely true and important. In this verse, Jesus states a fact that gives us insight into the difference between being religious and truly knowing God.
A. What was the very clear statement Jesus made in verse 3? Explain what this means.
B. In light of this, are there exceptions or other ways to know and understand God? Describe any insights you might have regarding this.
5) The kingdom of God is the sphere of God's absolute rule in which He exercises dominion and royal authority. This earth is the scene of almost universal rebellion against God, however He will someday return to rule. Until that time, God calls upon men to submit voluntarily to His rule and dominion. The primary evidence of this submission is belief in God and His Word. Belief in God is in turn evidenced by obedience to God. State what you learn from these verses about the benefits and responsibilities we have:
A. Romans 8:5-8
B. I Corinthians 2:12, 13
C. I Corinthians 2:15, 16
6) Read John 1:12, 13 and Romans 8:15, 16 carefully, then answer the following:
A. How do you become born again?
B. Whose child are you when you become born again? Take a moment to grasp the meaning of your answer and share the blessings you receive.
DAY #3 Read John 3:4-13
1) In John 3:4, we can see that Nicodemus is naturally struggling with the second birth concept. In verse 5, Jesus assures him that the spiritual birth is necessary to enter the kingdom of God. After reading John 3:6,7 and I Corinthians 15:50, explain in your own words the spiritual truth you learn.
2) Read John 3:7-8. There are many things in the natural realm that we don't really understand like wind, thunder and earthquakes. However we see their effect. In the same way, the work of the Spirit is invisible and mysterious like the blowing of the wind. The unsaved person can go to church or read the Bible, but not get much out of it.
A. I Corinthians 2:14 gives us insight into this. Comment on what is stated in this verse. You might also give a personal example.
B. *Personal* After reading II Corinthians 5:17, explain how the new birth has made changes in your own life. If you have not experienced the new birth, stop and pray now that the Lord will receive you by faith into His wonderful family and give you His spirit to live within you.
3) Read John 3:9-13. In John 3:9, we see that Nicodemus still does not understand. Is it possible that he is struggling with the authority from which Jesus is speaking?
A. In verse 11, Jesus uses the pronouns "We" and "Our." Of Whom is He speaking? Also see John 8:17-18.
B. Read John 3:12, 13 and Job 11:7-9. *Quote* "Divine wisdom belongs to the Son of Man, Jesus. He has not had to go up to heaven to acquire it, but He has come down from heaven to impart it." F.F. Bruce. Describe the wonder of the fact that Jesus has opened the door of "heavenly things" to us when we become born of the Spirit.
4) Read John 3:14-15. Verse 14 compares the serpent that Moses held up to Jesus. Read Numbers 21:5-9. The people sinned and God provided a remedy.
A. Briefly recap the story.
B. What is the similarity of Christ being lifted up on the cross and the serpent being lifted up in the wilderness?
DAY #4 Read John 3:15-21
John 3:16 is one of the dearest and most cherished verses in the Bible. It clearly presents the "Good News" of the gospel. Let's take a closer look at this profound statement of God's love as expounded by Martin Luther in what he called "the Gospel in miniature."
God Þ The greatest Lover.
so loved Þ The greatest degree.
the world Þ The greatest number.
that He gave Þ The greatest act.
His only begotten Son Þ The greatest gift.
that whosoever Þ The greatest invitation.
believes in Him Þ The simplest condition.
should not perish Þ The greatest deliverance.
but Þ The greatest difference.
have Þ The greatest certainty.
everlasting life Þ The greatest possession.
1) John 3:16 was written as a love letter from God to you. Write this verse out and in place of the pronouns write your name: For God so loved (your name) ......that He gave to (your name)....etc.
2) Read Romans 5:8.
A. What does God demonstrate through Jesus?
B. Does this verse show us that we deserve or that we can earn this great love? Explain why or why not in your own words, as you would share with someone who does not yet know Christ.
Salvation is not something we achieve, it is something we receive.
3) So often people view God as the "Big Traffic Cop in the Sky." They think He is just out to catch them sinning so He can punish them. How does John 3:17 give a correct view of God's intentions? This is an important verse to commit to memory.
4) Contrary to how some choose to portray God as the one responsible for condemning the lost, John 3:18-20 reveals where the real responsibility lay. In your own words explain why some people are under condemnation.
5) When we are born again, we choose to live our lives in the light as stated in John 3:21. What do the following verses instruct us in this regard?
A. Ephesians 5:8
B. I John 1:7
C. Philippians 2:14-16a.
DAY # 5 Read John 3:22-36
1) In verse 24 we read "John had not yet been thrown in prison." John had a very important "preparing the way" ministry which involved being very frank about sin and the need to repent. Sin has never been a popular subject. Read about the tragic response of Herod the tetrarch (the governor of Galilee) when he was confronted by John for adultery. (Mark 6:17-29)
A. As you read this sad account, describe the tangled web woven by sin that entrapped Herod because he chose to not repent.
B. CHOICES! The substance of any life is the end result of .....choices. Record the account of Herod as he was influenced again by others and made a tragic choice as stated in Luke 23:8-11. Share any insights you have as you read this.
2) Two lives couldn't be more opposite, Herod's and John the Baptist's! John 3:29-30 could be quoted as John's life theme. Joyful submission to serving as God calls! Share how following John's example of verse 30 could affect you if you make it your goal every day.
3) John the Baptist, in his witness, keeps pointing to Jesus and the authority given to Him from God the Father. When we share our faith, we need to share what God has to say, not just what we think. Then when someone accepts the Lord, they have believed Him, not us.
A. How does John 3:33-34 state this truth.
B. Briefly describe the gospel as stated in verses 35 and 36.
DAY #6 Applications
Isn't this exciting? You now know more about Jesus than you have ever known before! When sharing with a non Christian, you can open to the third chapter of John and share! But before we can share the Word of God with others, let's always be eager to yield to its cleansing work in our own lives.
Let us look forward to this final stage in our study of applying God's Word personally. Go back over John, chapter 3. Pray and ask the Lord to show you what this portion of scripture teaches you that you can apply to your life. Write out four applications. Writing them in the form of a question is sometimes helpful. "Do I ........? Will I.......? How can I .......?"
After going over your applications, commit your growth to Him! He gave you your new birth in Him. And like a loving Father, He will nurture you and care for you. Just pray and ask Him.
" For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6
"HE DWELT AMONG US"
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
"Open mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy word."
The Holy Spirit is our teacher. He will lead us, guide us and teach us as we study God's wonderful Word. The Bible is called "The Word of God" because God is actually speaking through the written word. It is very important that we pray and ask the Lord to help us to hear what He is saying. Take time right now, before you begin, to seek His guidance so that He might prepare your heart and mind to receive.
Read John, chapter 4. Now, go back and record the important facts from verses 1-30. Refer back to "Fact Finding Helps" from lesson 4, day #1 to remind you how to find the key facts. Then write a brief title for this section.
Day #2 *Pray before you start your lesson each day.*
In John, chapter 3, Nicodemus came to Jesus with questions (John 3:1-21). In chapter 4, we see a woman who meets Jesus, not by her own plan or doing, but just in the course of her everyday activity. After reading John 4:1-28, respond to the following:
1) Describe the many differences between Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman.
2) Identify any similarities you see between these two people.
**Historical Background** Jews, as a whole, despised the Samaritans. The Samaritans were considered half breeds (1/2 Jewish, 1/2 Gentile), with a polluted form of religion. The normal prejudices of the day prohibited public conversation between men and women, Jews and Samaritans, and especially between strangers. The typical Jewish Rabbi would rather go thirsty than violate these proprieties.
3) Read John 4:10. Picture yourself there. Jesus was aware of all the pain and disappointment this woman had experienced in her life. He knew of her failed attempts to be fulfilled. Imagine the look of compassion as He spoke. Read A-E on the left below, as you carefully look at each statement in this verse.
The truth is, there are thousands of women around us with the same emptiness. They need to know what Jesus told that women by the well. In the A-E spaces on the right below, explain as if to one of these women, what each of the phrases from John 4:10 can mean to them. Example: A. Explain the fact that God has gifts of grace, love, mercy, strength and comfort to bestow upon us.
What people need to hear today
A. "If you knew the gift of God.
B. And Who it is Who speaks
C. You would ask
D. He would give to you
E. Living water."
4) In light of John 4:15, do you think that the woman understood the message Jesus was conveying? Explain your answer, with any insights you might have.
5) We see in John 4:17-18 that this woman had been involved in relationships with many men, in and out of marriage. We know that God instituted marriage and wants us to honor it. But if a relationship with a man could totally satisfy the innermost needs of a woman (and visa versa), she would not have felt a need to keep moving on to new relationships. Whether you are married or single, reflect on and answer the following questions:
A. How and with whom do we find fulfillment for that innermost longing and emptiness? Share scriptures that support your answer, if possible.
B. Write a prayer of request to the Lord that He would help you to draw from the "Well that Satisfies."
"God can take the place of anything, but nothing can take the place of God."
DAY # 3 Read John 4:19-24
The conversation now turns to religion. The woman referred to the fact that her people had their own religion. History tells us that their religion was a mixture of Jewish beliefs with other forms of worship.
**Quote** Billy Graham was once asked to give his opinion on a certain subject. His response was: "The issue isn't what I think, but I'll tell you what God thinks as stated in the Bible."
1) We would do well to follow the example of Mr. Graham. When questions arise about how to know and worship God, there is no better authority for us to rely upon than God Himself. Share from the following scriptures how you can respond with God's opinion when someone says, "I have my own concept of God."
A. John 4:23-24
B. John 14:6
C. John 3:16-18
2) Write out and commit one of the three above scriptures to memory.
**Scripture Memorization** The secret of memorizing scripture is review, review, review. It is helpful to write the scripture verse on a 3 X 5 card and carry it or post it in a place where you will see it regularly. Be sure to practice quoting the reference of the book, chapter and verse. The next most important step is to pray and look for opportunities to use and share the scripture. Then it becomes yours!
3) Carefully read again John 4:23-24. Describe in your own words what Jesus meant when He said there are two vital factors of true worship, spirit and truth. Explain the importance of each.
4) Share what it means to you personally that the Father actually is seeking you to worship Him.
Read John 4:31-54. Now go back and list the important facts in this section. Give a short title to this section.
The encounter of Jesus with the woman at the well was a
1) After reading John 4:6-27, list as many reasons as you can which could have kept Jesus from sharing with this woman.
2) What are the reasons which keep you from sharing with a neighbor, person you happen to sit next to in a doctor's office, or someone at work?
3) Often we don't speak out because we don't feel others will listen. We often judge by external factors. But be confident! Everyone needs Jesus! Sometimes we don't speak because we don't know what to say. Say a prayer right at that moment and ask for His words to speak. From studying the first few chapters of John, you now have "Words of life" stored in your heart. Describe how the encouragement found in John 14:26 and Luke 12:11-12 can help you remember the Lord is there to help.
4) Stop and pray that the Lord will give you a "divine appointment" to share with someone about Jesus this week. When He does, come back and describe the encounter in the blank below. Remember, even just a few words are like a small seed that can flourish and grow.
5) Read John 4:32-34. In light of the context, what did Jesus mean by "His food" in verses 32 and 34?
6) From John 4:35-38, describe the opportunities and blessings that await us as we become laborers in God's field to reach out to the lost.
**Point to Ponder** In verse 35, we are told that the fields (of souls) are ripe for harvest. This reminds and encourages us that often people are more ready to hear than we are to share. We have the words of "LIVING WATER" and the world is dying of spiritual thirst!
7) Explain the snowball effect of the "Good News" spreading to others as described in John 4:28-30 and verses 39-42. What insights do you gain as you ponder this?
DAY #6 Read John 4:42-54
1) From verses 44-46, we see that word was spreading about the uniqueness of the teaching and abilities of Jesus. Unlike Nicodemus, who came with religious questions, and the Samaritan woman, who had a moral and emotional need, why and with what attitude did this nobleman come to Jesus?
2) Unfortunately things like position (as with the nobleman), power, and possessions can sometimes buffer people from knowing their need for God. Many feel that they have the resources and ability to handle life. Those who have previously had no "felt" apparent need or time for God often call out to Him in time of crisis. It's been said, "There are no atheists in fox holes." Share from your own experience or the experience of others, how you have seen this to be true.
3) Notice from verse 50, the nobleman took Jesus at His word even before he heard that his son was well. We need to be careful not to put words into God's mouth and claim promises that He hasn't promised. But we should always be absolutely confident in the promises He has given us and count on them even before we see the finished proof.
"GOD SAID IT...I BELIEVE IT...AND THAT SETTLES IT!"
Claim the following promises for your life, and describe how having the assurance that God keeps His Word can affect your life.
APPLICATION IN YOUR LIFE
A. Hebrews 13:5b
For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
B. Luke 12:29-32
"And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."
C. James 1:5
"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him."
"All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"HE DWELT AMONG US"
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you." John 14:26
As you start each lesson, you might think, "I need to do my homework." Perhaps as you begin each day with time in prayer, you will see that the lesson could also be thought of as "heart-work." Because God loves you and you are His child, He is very interested in what and how you learn. He assures us that He Himself will be our patient and loving instructor. Picture yourself as an empty vessel that He is about to fill with wisdom and knowledge of Himself. Stop and pray now as you begin day one.
Read John, chapter 5 all the way through. Now go back and record the important facts from verses 1-18. Remember, you may want to group several verses together. This first step of looking for the facts sometimes seems dry and routine. It might seem that because you just read through the whole chapter that the facts were all self evident. But when we make the effort to record them on paper, we see them more clearly and we also remember them. Until we know what the Bible is really saying (the facts), we will never know what it means and how it applies to our lives.
As you begin, give a title to this first section......Example "Man Healed."
DAY #2 Read John 5:1-9
We see that Jesus has returned to Jerusalem. Around the city of Jerusalem, there is a very high and thick wall. This wall was built for protection from enemy attack. There were numerous gates in the wall through which people could enter and exit the city. The scene of chapter 5 is set near the gate that was frequently used for livestock known as the Sheep Gate.
1) As we read about the man with an infirmity, we see a situation that was hopeless by human standards. Using verses 1 through 7, list as many things as you can that would have made his chances for restored health highly unlikely.
2) When we have a problem, we often calculate all the obstacles and feel overwhelmed. We see no solution in sight. These obstacles can be a physical or emotional problem, a sin, a spiritual problem, or a difficult situation. List one or several things in your life that are like an infirmity that limits you.
3) From verse 6, we learn that he was one among many and yet Jesus saw him and knew his need. Read Luke 12:6-7 and comment on the Lord's knowledge and concern for your needs.
4) Read John 5:6-7. Jesus asked the man "Do you want to be made well?" A simple yes or no would have been appropriate. Explain how the man responded. Why do you think he responded as he did?
5) Jesus gives an amazing instruction to this man..."Rise, take up your bed and walk." How cruel this would have been if He did not have the power to back up this command. He was asking a man who couldn't walk.... to walk. After 38 years, his muscles would have completely atrophied. But Jesus did have the power regardless of the condition. From verse 9, record the result and any insights you might have.
6) Sometimes we are similar to this man with an infirmity. We may be able to walk and appear to be fine on the outside. But we are often handicapped on the inside. We are limited by fear, worry, unforgiveness, or doubt. You may have been struggling with a certain issue for many years and you see no hope of breaking free. But be sure of this....Jesus sees and knows! And He has the power to heal...completely. Take that burden to Him right now, in prayer and ask for His healing. He says to you, "Do you want to be made well?" Don't give him excuses, just say "Yes!" Record the encouragement you receive from these verses:
A. Psalm 146:5
B. Psalm 147:3
C. Hebrews 4:16
D. II Corinthians 10:3-4
DAY #3 Read John 5:10-18
1) Notice the response of the Jews to the healing of this man who had been sick for 38 years.
A. What was the focus of their concern?
B. What should have been their reaction to this wonderful miracle? Explain your answer.
***BACKGROUND ON THE SABBATH*** The Sabbath was the source of many conflicts between Jesus and the Jewish leaders. The Law required that work cease on the seventh day, Saturday. Additional laws which became very complicated and burdensome were added later by the religious authorities. These human traditions often obscured the divine intention of God's Law. Jesus stated "The Sabbath was made for man" (Mark 2:27) so that he could have a day of rest and a time for worship, rest and joy. The Pharisees were so concerned with the extreme that they questioned whether it was right to eat an egg that a chicken had laid on the Sabbath. This seems trivial to us, but they were very serious. The Jew's rigid tradition taught that if anyone carried anything in public, he deserved death by stoning.
2) Christians today can also become overly concerned with laws and details and lose sight of the things that are most important to God. We never want to lower our standards of godly living. But godly living isn't just abstaining from doing wrong, it also involves caring about others and doing good.
A. Read and comment on the instruction and correction given by Jesus concerning the balance in Matthew 23:23-28.
B. Also share any insights you receive from I Corinthians 13:1-8.
3) Read Psalm 121:3-4 along with John 5:17. Record the thoughts and comfort you receive by knowing that the Lord of the universe is constantly "on the job."
Read through John 5:19-47. Go back and record the important facts. If you have a red letter edition of the Bible, the verses in this section are written in red indicating that Jesus is the speaker. Pray as you record, that the Lord will give you "ears to hear."
**Attention** The phrase "most assuredly" (New King James version) is used to begin the statement which Jesus makes in verse 19. Other translations use the words verily, verily or truly, truly. John quotes Jesus as using these phrases of emphasis 25 times in this gospel. Each time you see this, be attentive to the teaching that follows.
1) We learn in John 5:19 that Jesus is not independent. In love, He was focused on doing the will of the Father. He chose this humble position. Read this verse again several times. Explain the lessons we can learn from Jesus' example. Share how this speaks to you personally.
Read John 5:21-23. Only God has the right to grant life and the right to judge.
A. Since Jesus has the power to do both, as stated in these verses, what does this tell us about the deity of Christ?
B. Explain, in your own words, what is being said in verse 24.
3) Many around us are spiritually dead, as we also were at one time. God gives the invitation "Incline your ear, and come to Me; hear, that your soul may live." (Isaiah 55:3) Read John 5:24, 25 again, and explain how the Spirit of God can use you to bring life giving words to others. Pray that He will give you a "Divine appointment" to be able to share.
4) Judgment day is something many people fear. Those outside of Christ should fear, it is a sobering event. We, as Christians, need to have a proper view of that day. To help us form an accurate picture, read the following verses and explain what you learn.
A. John 5:27 (Who will judge?)
B. John 5:28, 29
C. Daniel 12:2
D. Revelation 20:11-15
E. These verses speak of being judged by what we have done. What is the one all important thing that we need to do to assure that our name will be written in the book of life as stated in John 5:24 and Romans 10:9, 10?
"He who doesn't fear God, should fear everything else."
1) Read John 5:37-40. Jesus was speaking to very religious people, in fact to religious leaders. Their minds were full of information about God.
A. From these verses (37-40) describe what they lacked.
B. These people were so close and yet so far away. Read John 5:40 again and explain the one step that they were unwilling to make.
C. Why do you think so many do not make this last vital step? Take a moment to ponder this before you answer.
D. *Personal* Maybe this has been you, as described in verse 40. You don't know the Savior personally. Jesus says simply, "Come to Me that you may have life." That is all it takes. He is just a prayer away. Will you stop and pray right now? You'll be eternally glad you did.
2) Look back over this week's lesson, and write out three or four applications that are meaningful to your life.
Then prayerfully take these lessons to the Lord for His help. "He is the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2). He is the one Who transforms. Don't try to change yourself without Him. But let's always seek to grow as we abide in Him and His precious and powerful Word.
The conversion of a soul is the miracle of a moment;
The growth of a saint is the work of a lifetime.
"HE DWELT AMONG US"
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
"Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him." John 6:27
At times, we feel overwhelmed with the cares and concerns of our daily lives. We often worry if we will have enough of the things that we want and need. And then a crisis comes along, and we feel like we are sinking. Our lesson this week gives us insight into the perspective that the Lord encourages us to have during these experiences. There are many lessons in this chapter that apply as much to our lives today as they did to the disciples' lives.
DAY #1 *Pray before you start your lesson each day.*
As we begin this lesson on "the Bread of life," let us view our study time as a time of spiritual feasting. Our physical bodies need food, so also, our spiritual life needs the nourishment that comes from the Word of God. Stop and pray that you will hunger to learn all He has to teach you this week. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." Matthew 4:4
Read John 6:1-21. Read through the first 21 verses of this chapter again, and list the important facts. Give a brief title to this section.
DAY #2 Read John 6:1-13
1) Jesus already knew "what He would do" about feeding the hungry multitude. Explain why you think He asked Philip "Where shall we buy bread?"
2) List the obstacles to their ability to feed the people, i.e. lack of grocery stores near by. Name as many as you can discover. Comment on any insight you may have on the situation.
3) Do you believe that God knows the solution to every problem? Why or why not? Back up your answer with scripture, if possible.
4) Life is full of challenges, problems, crises, closed doors and seemingly insurmountable circumstances. Share how the following scriptures teach us to view these things with a renewed perspective (God's).
A. Psalm 20:7-8 "Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the LORD our God. They have bowed down and fallen; But we have risen and stand upright."
B. Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths."
C. Romans 5:3-5 "And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us."
5) In John 6:8-9, we see Andrew, Peter's brother, bringing someone to Jesus, as in John 1:41-42. This time it was a little boy.
A. What impresses you about the fact that even though the resources offered were far from enough to meet the need, Andrew still brought them to Jesus?
B. The little boy who gave up his lunch is an example to us all. Share in what areas his actions are an example to you.
6) In John 6:10-13, we read the miraculous conclusion of this story. What encourages you personally as you read about the multitude fed with plenty to spare?
DAY #3 Read John 6:14-21
1) In verses 14 and 15, we see that the people were impressed because they were fed. Why do you think the people wanted to make Jesus their earthly king?
2) At this point the popularity of Jesus with the people was the highest. They offered to make Him "king." He could have had the kingdom without the cross. How did Jesus respond to the favor of men and the offer of exaltation in the eyes of men in the following verses?
A. John 2:23-25
B. John 6:15 and Matthew 14:23
C. Matthew 4:1-3 and Matthew 4:8-10
D. John 18:36
*NOTEWORTHY* When we ask two people to tell about a book they have read or an event they have observed, they will each focus on different aspects. It doesn't mean they are in conflict. Their emphasis is merely different. The same is true with the four gospels. Often two or even all four will recount a particular event. But the same details will not always be given in each gospel story. This does not mean they contradict, but instead they compliment each other. As we read about the storm tossed boat and Jesus walking on water, we will also refer to Matthew to gather additional interesting details.
3) Combining the details given in John 6:16-19 and Matthew 14:24-27, what would have been the emotional, mental, and physical state of the disciples? It is helpful to mentally put yourself in their position as you ponder.
4) Jesus said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid" John 6:20. Carefully ponder these important words. What assurance and comfort did they communicate in the midst of troubling circumstances to the disciples then and to you today?
5) Read Matthew 14:28-33. Peter must have been excited to see Jesus. He was the bold one. He got out of the boat and kept his eyes on Jesus. What was his "downfall" shown in verse 30? How can you relate to this experience?
6) What was the response of the disciples when they realized that Jesus was in control of and not subject to the natural elements?
DAY #4 Read John 6:22-71
Record the facts in the second section of chapter 6. From this portion of the chapter, take particular notice of the statement of Jesus "I tell you the truth" (New King James version). This is stated four times in this last section of chapter 6 (vs. 26, 32, 47, 53). He was saying, "this is important, pay attention." Also note the many times the words believe, not believe, bread of heaven, and bread of life are mentioned.
*BIBLICAL HISTORY BACKGROUND* When God delivered the Jewish nation out of slavery, they had to pass through the desert on their way to the promised land, a trip that needlessly lasted 40 years. God (not Moses), provided food for them on their journey. Every morning, a wafer type food fell from heaven. *Optional* Read the account in Exodus 16:4, 16:14-15 and 16:31.
In John 6:26 we see that Jesus understood that the true desire of the people was for a "free lunch." The priority of Jesus was in feeding the spiritual, not the physical.
"Man does not live by bread alone, but on every word that
proceeds out of the mouth of God." Matthew 4:4
1) *Eating the Bread of Life* In the Middle East, having a meal with someone is viewed as actually becoming one with that person because the shared food becomes part of each person's body. When Jesus spoke about "eating His flesh and drinking His blood," He was speaking of feeding us through His Spirit. He gave Himself so that we might live! Apply the following scriptures with the spiritual application of partaking of the "life" Jesus is offering. Share personal insights.
A. John 6:56
B. Galatians 2:20
C. John 6:63
2) Read John 6:28-29. God is not looking for us to perform mighty works or for us to perfect ourselves. We cannot build a bridge to Him by our own efforts.
A. From verse 29, what is the "work" of God?
B. Write out a dictionary definition of "believe." It is helpful, but not necessary to use a Bible dictionary if you have one.
C. In your own words, write out the definition of faith as given in Hebrews 11:1.
D. We often cause the "belief" process to be more complicated than it is. Jesus valued faith that showed a surrender of self efforts. He even honored an admission of someone who needed Jesus to help him believe. Read Mark 9:24 and share how the example of this man can help us when our faith is weak. Is there an area in your own life that you have had difficulty surrendering to God in complete trust? Pause and pray now that the Lord will increase your faith.
1) Read John 6:66-69.
A. What was the sad response of some?
B. The teachings of Jesus only seemed to reinforce Peter's commitment. What was his response, and how do you relate to his "no turning back" attitude?
C. Blend the statement that Paul makes in Philippians 3:13-14 with Peter's in John 6:68. Share how this can encourage and be an example to you.
2) Look over this week's lesson, and share three areas that the Lord ministered to your heart. What did you learn? What encouraged, prompted, or exhorted you? Is there any area in your life that you will commit to Him to change?
Take time in prayer now as you finish this lesson. Ask Him to feed you and help you to grow in Him. Thank Him for His provision of the "Bread of Life."
"For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world." John 6:31
"HE DWELT AMONG US"
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." II Timothy 2:15
As we study chapter 7 of the Gospel of John, we will be one third of the way through this wonderful book. God encourages us to be diligent students. The rewards are great. Each chapter we study carefully becomes ours in the sense that we understand and can apply the truth to our lives. This is exciting because as the Gospel of John becomes ours and we own its truths, a wonderful thing happens. It begins to own us! God's truth transforms us into His image.
Begin this day's study as you do every day, in prayer. "For it is God who works in you to will and to do of His good pleasure." Philippians 2:13
Read John, chapter 7. Now, read John 7:1-18 once again and record the important facts and actions. Give a brief title to this section.
Can a person be neutral about Jesus? Many people would like to think they can. They don't want to submit to Him as Savior and Lord, but they don't really want to be thought of as against Christ. However, a decision must be made! Jesus said, "He who is not with Me is against Me." (Luke 11:23) Putting off the decision to follow Him is really a decision by default. At that point in time, those with supposedly no decision have decided not to follow Him.
Many new Christians are surprised that once they turn their life over to the Lord, they encounter some opposition. There will even be some family and friends who mock or belittle their faith.
1) Record the varied responses that Jesus Himself faced in the following verses of John 7.
2) Jesus clearly taught that the stand we make for Him will not be without cost. Read Matthew 10:34-36. Explain what Jesus meant and how it might apply to your life.
3) Read John 7:3-5. The half brothers of Jesus are mentioned. They were the sons of Mary and Joseph born after Jesus. In their unbelief and worldly thinking, they encouraged Him to advertise His works for personal recognition (to be known openly). The timing and goals of Jesus were not His own. He was committed to the Father's plan. In your own words, share what you learn as lessons for us today from these scriptures:
A. John 5:19
B. John 6:38
C. John 7:7
D. John 7:16
E. John 7:18
1) Read John 7:14-18. The people were surprised that even though Jesus was raised in a mere carpenter's home, His teaching was profound. He was teaching God's truth in the power of God. Record the humble occupations of the following people who were used powerfully by God.
A. Peter (Matthew 4:18)
B. Paul (Acts 18:1-3)
C. Matthew (Matthew 9:9-10)
2) Read John 7:15-17. Those questioning Jesus represented the most informed and educated in religion among the Jewish people. And yet, they did not recognize Jesus as being from God. They did not understand Him.
A. What appeared to be lacking that caused them to not understand the doctrine (teachings) of God?
B. How do you think a desire to do God's will help us understand God's Word? Prayerfully ponder this concept and share how it applies to your life.
*Quote* "We learn more by five minutes' obedience than by ten years' study."
Oswald Chambers (1874–1917)
3) When we have "the desire to do God's will," God rewards us in many ways. From the following passage, first of all explain how we can discover what God's will is (this is not complicated, it is often just a desire to please Him, and then doing whatever He sets before you). Then describe the benefits of surrender of our imperfect will to His perfect will. Make your responses personal if possible.
Rewards in My Life
Colossians 1:8, 9 "For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;"
4) Through the entire Bible and the history of the Church, there are recorded accounts of people with unlikely backgrounds who became great vessels of God. Two features usually stand out as we read of such people. They were yielded to God and empowered by Him. Describe the things you learn from the following verses as they apply to you and the potential you have to be used.
A. Yielding to God: Romans 12:1-2 "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."
B. Empowered by God: Acts 1:8 "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
Outside God's will there is no true success;
In God's will, no failure.
Read John 7:19-53. Record the facts, actions, and characters which are important in this section. Write a brief title.
The fact that Jesus healed on the Sabbath was one of the main issues that the religious leaders continued to dispute. They viewed this as breaking God's law.
1) From John 7:19, how many of Jesus' accusers always kept the law perfectly?
2) The Jewish leaders were "majoring in minors." Explain how Jesus viewed their priorities in John 7:23-24 and Matthew 23:23.
3) Read John 7:33-34 and II Corinthians 6:2. Explain what Jesus was telling the people then and what He wants people to know today about the need to respond while there is still time.
***HISTORICAL BACKGROUND*** The Feast of Tabernacles was one of the three great Jewish feasts. It was a happy time of thanksgiving for the harvest. The people lived in outdoor booths made of tree branches for seven days. This was a reminder of the time they lived in temporary shelters as they traveled in the desert in their trek from Egypt to the promised land.
During the feast of the Tabernacles, the priests filled pitchers of water and poured them out on the alter. This symbolized the time when God caused water to flow out of the rock in the desert (Exodus 17:5-6). Jesus chose to use this symbolic action to paint a word picture to explain spiritual water.
4) "On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying,....." (John 7:37-38).
A. What is the thirst Jesus refers to? (vs. 37)
B. Explain what, "Come to Me and drink" means to a thirsty soul. (vs. 37)
C. Explain the meaning to you personally of "from his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water." (Vs. 38)
D. In your own words, how would you explain verses 37-38 to someone who did not yet know Christ?
Listen to the invitation from God given through Isaiah the prophet:
"Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters;
And you who have no money, come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to Me, and eat what is good,
And let your soul delight itself in abundance." Isaiah 55:1-2
Many of the religious leaders and people in the higher ranks seemed angry with and jealous of Jesus. But the common people often responded with eagerness.
1) Record what you discover in the following verses and what it means to you:
A. Matthew 18:2-3 "Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.'"
B. I Corinthians 1:26-27 "For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty"
C. Matthew 5:8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God."
2) Read John 7:50-53. Once again, we meet Nicodemus, who came to Jesus by night in chapter 3. Summarize this last portion of chapter 7 and share any thoughts and insights you have.
3) From this study of John, chapter 7, share three lessons, encouragements, warnings or blessings you desire to apply to your life. Pray that God will empower you and transform you.
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled." Matthew 5:6
"HE DWELT AMONG US"
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
"The people who sat in darkness saw a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned." Matthew 4:16
The study of John, chapter 8 is a study in contrasts: judgment vs. mercy; light and darkness; truth and lies; man's judgment vs. God's witness; and children of God vs. children of Satan. Before you begin, pray that the Lord will continue to teach and guide you in His truth and into His path of "light."
DAY #1 Read John 8:1-29. *Pray before you start your lesson each day.*
Read through again and record the important facts. Also look for and highlight the following:
1) Contrasts or opposites: Light/dark.....etc.
2) Terms of conclusion or condition: Therefore, finally, because....etc.
3) Expressions of time: Next, after, until.....etc.
DAY #2 Read John 8:1-11 JESUS, COMPASSIONATE AND WISE
1) In chapter 7, we read about a lengthy debate Jesus had with the Jewish leaders. In verse 7:53, we learn that at the end of intense discussions everyone went to his own house. You can imagine they went home to relax or even discuss the day with family members or neighbors. Jesus had no house. He retreated to a quiet location, a hill with a grove of olive trees that overlooks the city of Jerusalem.
A. Read and ponder John 8:1. Describe how you think Jesus might have spent His evening and why.
B. State how this could be a example to you after a stressful day of challenges.
2) Read John 8:1-6. Answer the following questions, adding your own thoughts and insights to your answers.
A. Who brought the woman to Jesus?
B. What was her sin? According to the law of Moses, was her sin worthy of death? Why or why not? You may refer to Leviticus 20:10 for you answer.
C. What were her accusers' real motives in bringing her to Jesus?
3) Since the accusation of the woman was a test, intended by the Pharisees for Jesus to fail, the results could not have been more surprising. F.B. Meyer beautifully summarized this incident, "It reveals in our Savior's character a wisdom so profound, a tenderness to sinners so delicate, a hatred of sin so intense, an insight into human hearts so searching that it is impossible to suppose the mind of man could have conceived...." Record the answers found in John 8:6-11.
A. Why do you think Jesus knelt down instead of confronting these men eye to eye? Do you learn anything from His way of dealing with these men?
B. Why do you think the oldest were the first to leave?
C. Pause and prayerfully ponder this amazing account. What was Jesus teaching us through His actions? What lessons are important to you personally and why?
4) What can we learn from this account? Is Jesus lenient with sin? Does this teach that it is not important to deal with sin? The scriptures listed below give us insight and understanding. Describe how they apply to this incident.
A. John 3:17
B. I John 1:8-9
C. Luke 7:47
D. John 8:11
DAY #3 John 8:12-29 JESUS IS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
1) From John 8:12, we discover the benefits of "following Jesus." Those who chose not to follow Jesus are actually choosing to live a life in darkness. Compare the dark and light as shown in these scriptures:
A. Proverbs 4:19 A. Proverbs 4:18
C. Psalm 107:10-12 C. Psalm 107:13-14
B. I John 2:11 B. I John 2:10
D. John 3:20 D. John 3:21
"I am the light of the world. He (she) who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." John 8:12
2) One way to reinforce and remember what we learn is to share it with someone else. Taking the principals and insights from the scriptures on light and darkness, write a short paragraph of how you would describe these truths to an unbeliever.
3) What is the serious consequence of refusal to believe in Jesus as stated in John 8:24?
4) *Personal, sharing is optional.* Read John 8:29 several times. In this verse, Jesus states His commitment to pleasing the Father. Will you follow Him in this, choosing to please the Father in all that you do and say? What are the benefits? Share your thoughts and heart on this.
DAY #4 Read John 8:30-59
Record the important facts, characters, events, ideas, times and contrasts. Give a title to this section.
1) Read John 8:30-36. Jesus tells us the qualification for discipleship.
A. Explain the meaning of "abide in My word" (New King James version). You might want to look up the word "abide" for more understanding. In your explanation, give practical examples of how this can be done in everyday life.
B. From the dictionary, write out a definition of "disciple" as it applies to verse 31.
C. *Personal, sharing is optional* Are you a disciple of Jesus? Why or why not? How can you personally put into practice the actions that this title implies?
2) John 8:32 is a wonderful verse to commit to memory. Write it out on a 3x5 card and place it where you will see it often. Pray for an opportunity to share it with someone else. When we use scripture to minister to or encourage others, we remember it.
"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
3) John 8:32-36 with Romans 6:16-18 explain the type of freedom that Jesus offers. After reading the verses below, describe this freedom. How does truth set us free from the bondage of sin?
"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered Him, 'We are Abraham's descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, "You will be made free"?' Jesus answered them, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.'" John 8:32-36
"Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?
But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.
And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness" Romans 6:16-18
"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed." John 8:36
1) The Jews claimed Abraham as their father, and so he was physically. But they were not like Abraham. Abraham was a man of deep faith and trust in God. His actions showed this. What do you learn as you read John 8:39-44? How did their actions show a connection with their true spiritual father?
2) John 8:51 states the promise, "Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death."
A. Share the added clarification you gain as you read John 11:25-26.
B. What comfort do you gain from the fact that Jesus is the one speaking? He says "to you" and "most assuredly."
3) Jesus told them, "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." John 8:56. In the scriptures, Abraham is often used as an example of one who had faith. Abraham looked forward to the fulfillment of the promises of God. We look forward also, to the promise of eternal life.
A. What is the "blessed hope" as stated in Titus 2:13 and I John 3:2?
B. What are we to do as we wait for that hope and promise to be fulfilled? Read I John 3:3 and share your thoughts.
4) Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you , before Abraham was, I AM." John 8:58 The "I AM" denotes absolute eternal existence, not simply existence prior to Abraham. The Jews understood by this statement that He was claiming to be Yahweh of the Old Testament.
A. Explain their reaction in John 8:59.
B. What is your reaction? Do you understand and believe that the same gentle Savior who walked this earth, and forgave ruined sinners (John 8:3-11) is the mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace? Do you honor Him like you do? Or do you pick and choose which of His words you will remember and obey? Pause and prayerfully worship Him for all that He is! He is "I AM."
C. *Optional background reading* God told Moses "I AM." If you have the time, read of this in Exodus 3:13-15.
"HE DWELT AMONG US"
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
"I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." John 8:12
In chapter 8 of the Gospel of John, Jesus proclaimed Himself as "the light of the world." As a public confirmation of that statement, we see that, in chapter 9, He gives sight to a man who had never seen before, who had been born blind. Let us pray as we read of this wonderful miracle that the Lord will also open our eyes and ears to all He has for us to learn.
Read John, chapter 9. Read John 9:1-23 again and record the important facts, characters, events etc.. Give a title to this section.
DAY #2 Read John 9:1-3 WHY WAS THIS MAN BORN BLIND?
1) From reading John 9:2:
A. What was the assumption that the disciples made concerning the cause of the man's blind condition?
B. What answer did Jesus give to correct them in John 9:3a? ("a" refers to the first portion of the verse.)
2) We must be careful that we, like the disciples, don't make false assumptions about the cause of the sufferings or troubles of others. The same principal should apply to our own suffering for that matter. Sometimes God does chastise us for our sin because He loves us. But there are many other causes. We may never see the entire picture until we are in Heaven and "know even as we are known." (I Corinthians 13:12) Sicknesses and hardships come into all of our lives. We can always be assured that whatever the cause, God will use it for our good and His glory if we trust in Him. Share what you learn from the following verses, adding your own personal applications.
FRUIT OF SIN
A. Galatians 6:7-8
B. Hosea 10:12, 13
CHASTENING OF THE LORD
A. Hebrews 12:5-6
B. Hebrews 12:9-11
"Being punished isn't enjoyable while it is happening-----it hurts! But afterwards we can see the result, a quiet growth in grace and character." Hebrews 12:11 (Living Version)
BUFFETING OF SATAN
A. Job 2:7
B. II Corinthians 12:7
TRYING AND PERFECTING OF OUR FAITH
A. I Peter 4:12-13
B. James 1:2-4
USED BY GOD FOR GOOD
A. II Corinthians 12:9-10
B. James 1:2, 3
C. John 9:3b
DAY #3 Read John 9:4-15 BLINDNESS
1) How unusual! Mud made out of spit was used to heal blind eyes. Read and briefly record the methods used by Jesus to heal in these additional accounts:
A. Mark 7:32-36
B. Mark 5:25-29
2) What do you learn about the methods that God uses to minister to needs? Think about this before you answer. It's been said, "The Lord works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform!" Do you have limited concepts of how He can and will work? Share your thoughts?
3) The neighbors were surprised to see the blind man they had known to beg for a living was healed. Why do you think they took the man with this wonderful testimony to the Pharisees?
*Point to Ponder* Jesus dared to break the law of the Sabbath again in order to keep the higher law "to do the works of the Father." In the eyes of the Pharisees, this healing offended the law of the Sabbath in two ways: the healing itself and the making of mud which was considered work. Instead of excitement, thankfulness and awe, we see an atmosphere of hostility as the Jewish leaders interrogate the healed man.
4) John 9:16-17 describes three varied opinions. State what they were and who held them.
Read John 9:18-23.
5) In verse 18, we learn that the Jews had decided they would not believe until they had called the man's parents.
A. Do you think any doubt should have remained after the parents' statements that a profound miracle had occurred? Why or why not?
B. Why do you think the Pharisees still doubted? Why do you think there are many skeptics today?
C. What conclusions about this mighty healing were the parents afraid to state? Why?
Fear of man limits our awe of God
DAY #4 Read John 9:24-41
Read through again, listing the important facts. Then give a title to this section. When we take the time to give a title to a portion of scripture, it helps us focus on the main point of the passage. It also helps us to remember it longer.
DAY #5 Read John 9:24-34
1) At this point, the Jews had all the facts confirmed by neighbors, the parents, and the man himself. They still continued to decide not to believe. Since they couldn't deny the evidence, they attacked the obvious conclusion, that Jesus must be from God to be able to perform such a powerful healing.
A. What were the arguments the Pharisees used?
B. How did the healed man respond? Notice and record the progression of his boldness and clarity as to the origin of his healing.
C. What was the result of his boldness?
2) What a day! The man had started out as a blind beggar and ended the day a seeing outcast. From John 9:35-38, state in your own words the wonderful conclusion to this man's story. Share what impresses you.
Amazing grace-how sweet the sound-That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see.
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved;
how precious did that grace appear, the hour I first believed!
Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come.
'Tis grace has brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.
When we've been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun,
we've no less days to sing God's praise, than when we'd first begun.
This beloved hymn was written by John Newton, who lived the first part of his life in the depths of a dark sinful life. After his conversion to Christ, he wrote this hymn in response to his continued thankfulness for spiritual sight.
3) Read John 9:39-41 and Matthew 13:13-16. Describe the continued blind state that some chose.
This is a wonderful chapter! We have witnessed a supernatural healing. But more importantly, we have seen a man make the choice of spiritual sight. Stop and pray that the Lord will help you to be encouraged, warned, blessed and transformed as you ponder the things you have learned. Write three or more lessons that you see you need to apply to your life.
Salvation is not something we achieve, it is something we receive.
*BLESSED SIGHT* Fanny Crosby was the author of more than 8,000 gospel hymns written in the 1800s. She was also blind from birth. Once, a well-intentioned man remarked to her, "I think it is a great pity that the Master, when He showered so many gifts upon you, did not give you sight."
Her rebuke came quickly, "Do you know that if at birth I had been able to make one petition to my Creator, it would have been that I should be born blind?"
"Why?" asked the surprised gentleman.
"Because, when I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Savior."