John



by Ken Cayce



Ken Cayce All rights reserved.


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John Explained





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Book of John Explained

This begins the study in the most spiritual book in the entire Bible, the Book of John. This is one of my own personal favorites of all the sixty-six books of the Bible. The Book of John is not like the Book of Matthew, Mark, or Luke which cover the same period of time.


Matthew, Mark, and Luke tell of the birth, life, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, but they stress more what Jesus did than who He is. In John, the entire book is showing that Jesus was, is, and always will be deity. It shows that God took on the form of flesh and dwelt among us.


Title: The title of the fourth gospel continues the pattern of the other gospels, being identified originally as "According to John". Like the others, "The Gospel" was added later.


Author - Date: Although the author's name does not appear in the gospel, reinforcing early church tradition strongly and consistently identified him as the Apostle John. The early church father Irenaeus (ca. A.D. 130-200), was a disciple of Polycarp (ca. A.D. 70-160), who was a disciple of the Apostle John, and he testified on Polycarp's authority that John wrote the gospel during his residence at Ephesus in Asia Minor when he was advanced in age (Against Heresies 2.22.5; 3.1.1). Subsequent to Irenaeus, all the church fathers assumed John to be the gospel's author. Clement of Alexandria (ca. A.D. 150-215), wrote that John, aware of the facts set forth in the other gospels and being moved by the Holy Spirit, composed a "spiritual gospel" (see Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History 6.14.7).


A process of elimination may reveal his identity. Surely, he was one of the inner three disciples (Peter, James, John), who were with Jesus at the Transfiguration, the healing of Jairus' daughter, and in the Garden of Gethsemane. He is distinguished from Peter in 21:20 (compare 13:23-24); and since James was slain about A.D. 40 (Acts 12:2), long before this gospel was composed, this leaves only John as the "beloved disciple".


Reinforcing early church tradition are significant internal characteristics of the gospel. While the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke), identify the Apostle John by name approximately 20 times (including parallels), he is not directly mentioned by name in the Gospel of John. Instead, the author prefers to identify himself as the disciple "who Jesus loved" (13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7, 20). The absence of any mention of John's name directly is remarkable when one considers the important part played by other named disciples in this gospel. Yet, the recurring designation of himself as the disciple "whom Jesus loved", a deliberate avoidance by John of his personal name, reflects his humility and celebrates his relation to his Lord Jesus. No mention of his name was necessary since his original readers clearly understood that he was the gospel's author. Also, through a process of elimination based primarily on analyzing the material in chapters 20 and 21, this disciple "whom Jesus loved" narrows down to the Apostle John (e.g., 21:24; compare 21:2). Since the gospel's author is exacting in mentioning the names of other characters in the book, if the author had been someone other than John the apostle, he would not have omitted John's name.


The gospel's anonymity strongly reinforces the arguments favoring John's authorship, for only someone of his well-known and preeminent authority as an apostle would be able to write a gospel that differed so remarkedly in form and substance from the other gospels and have it receive unanimous acceptance in the early church. In contrast, apocryphal gospels produced from the mid-second century onward were falsely ascribed to apostles or other famous persons closely associate with Jesus, yet universally rejected by the church.


John and James, his older brother (Acts 12:2), were known as "the sons of Zebedee" (Matthew 10:2-4), and Jesus gave them the name "Sons of Thunder" (Mark 3:17). John was an apostle (Luke 6:12-16), and one of the 3 most intimate associates of Jesus (along with Peter and James, compare Matthew 17:1; 26:37), being an eyewitness to and participant in Jesus' early ministry (1 John 1:1-4). After Christ's ascension, John became a "pillar" in the Jerusalem church (Gal. 2:9). He ministered with Peter (Acts 3:1; 4:13; 8:14), until he went to Ephesus (tradition says before the destruction of Jerusalem), from where he wrote this gospel and from where the Romans exiled him to Patmos (Rev. 1:9). Besides the gospel that bears his name, John also authored 1, 2 and 3 John and the book of Revelation (Rev. 1:1).


Because the writings of some church fathers indicate that John was actively writing in his old age and that he was already aware of the synoptic gospels, many date the gospel sometime after their composition, but prior to John' s writing of 1, 2 and 3 John or Revelation. John wrote his gospel ca. A.D. 80-90, about 50 years after he witnessed Jesus' earthly ministry.


Background - Setting: Strategic to John's background and setting is the fact that according to tradition John was aware of the synoptic gospels. Apparently, he wrote his gospel in order to make a unique contribution to the record of the Lord's life ("a spiritual gospel"), and, in part, to be supplementary as well as complementary to Matthew, Mark, and Luke.


The gospel's unique characteristics reinforce this purpose: First, John supplied a large amount of unique material not recorded in the other gospels. Second, he often supplied information that helps the understanding of the events in the synoptics. For example, while the synoptics begin with Jesus' ministry in Galilee, they imply that Jesus had a ministry prior to that (e.g., Matthew 4:12; Mark 1:14). John supplies the answer with information on Jesus' prior ministry in Judea (chapter 3), and Samaria (chapter 4). In Mark 6:45, after the feeding of the 5000, Jesus compelled his disciples to cross the Sea of Galilee to Bethsaida. John recorded the reason. The people were about to make Jesus king because of His miraculous multiplying of food, and He was avoiding their ill-motivated efforts (6:26). Third, John is the most theological of the gospels, containing, for example a heavily theological prologue (1:1-18), larger amounts of didactic and discourse material in proportion to narrative (e.g., 3:13-17), and the largest amount of teaching on the Holy Spirit (e.g., 14:16-17, 26; 16:7-14). Although John was aware of the synoptics and fashioned his gospel with them in mind, he did not depend upon them for information. Rather, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he utilized his own memory as an eyewitness in composing the gospel (1:14; 19:35; 21:24).


John's gospel is the second (compare Luke 1:1-4), that contains a precise statement regarding the author's purpose (20:30-31). He declares, "these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name" (20:31). The primary purposes, therefore, are two-fold: evangelistic and apologetic. Reinforcing the evangelistic purpose is the fact that the word "believe" occurs approximately 100 times in the gospel (the synoptics use the term less than half as much). John composed his gospel to provide reasons from saving faith in this readers and, as a result, to assure them that they would receive the divine gift of eternal life (1:12).


The apologetic purpose is closely related to the evangelistic purpose. John wrote to convince his readers of Jesus' true identity as the incarnate God-Man whose divine and human natures were perfectly united onto one person who was the prophesied Christ ("Messiah"), and Savior of the world (e.g., 1:41; 3:16; 4:25-26; 8:58). He organized his whole gospel around 8 "signs" or proofs that reinforce Jesus' true identity leading to faith. The first half of his work centers around seven miraculous signs selected to reveal Christ's person and engender belief: Then the eighth shown below, was after Jesus' resurrection.


(1) Water made into wine (2:1-11);


(2) The healing of the royal official's son (4:46-54);


(3) The healing of the lame man (5:1-18);


(4) The feeding of a multitude (6:1-15);


(5) Walking on water (6:16-21);


(6) Healing of the blind man (9-1-41);


(7) The raising of Lazarus (11:1-57);


(8) The miraculous catch of fish (21:6-11), after Jesus' resurrection.


Historical - Theological Themes: In accordance with John's evangelistic and apologetic purposes, the overall message of the gospel is found in 20:31: "Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God". The book therefore, centers on the person and work of Christ. Three predominant words ("signs", "believe", and "life"), in 20:30-31), receive constant reemphasis throughout the gospel to enforce the theme of salvation in Him, which is first set forth in the prologue (1:1-18; compare 1 John 1:1-4), and re-expressed throughout the gospel in varying ways (e.g. 6:35, 48; 8:12; 10:7, 9; 10:11-14; 11:25; 14:6; 17:3). In addition, John provides the record of how men responded to Jesus Christ and the salvation that He offered. Summing up, the gospel focuses on:


(1) Jesus as the Word, the Messiah, and Son of God;


(2) Who brings the gift of salvation to mankind;


(3) Who either accept or reject the offer.


John also presents certain contrastive sub-themes that reinforce his main theme. He uses dualism (life and death, light and darkness, love and hate, from above and from below), to convey vital information about the person and work of Christ and the need to believe in Him (e.g. 1:4-5, 12, 13; 3:16-21; 12:44-46; 15:17-20).


There are also 7 emphatic "I AM" statements which identify Jesus as God and Messiah (6:35; 8:12; 10:7, 9; 10:11, 14; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1, 5).


There is such a love oozing from every word in this book. We see a young man so devoted that he laid his head upon Jesus' breast. John was the very first of the men to realize that Jesus had truly risen from the grave.


The name of John translated is "Jehovah is merciful", or "the grace of Jehovah".


He received the information for the Book of Revelation while he was banished to this island. He loved Jesus so much that even though he was alone, he was in the spirit on the Lord's Day. I could write this whole series about this penman, but we are not looking at John, but at his work.


The Book of John shows a beautiful relationship between Jesus and the Father. In the Book of John, Christ speaks of God as the Father over 100 times. In the Book of John, we find that Jesus' ministry altogether was approximately 3-1/2 years.


In the Book of John, that we do not see in the other gospels is the conversation of Jesus with Nicodemus, the conversation with the woman of Samaria, and many more.


There are eight miracles of Christ recorded (see above under Background - Setting), and all of them show Jesus' Godhead. Six of these are mentioned only in the Book of John. John's information is all first-hand knowledge. He was there when it happened. This is a book also, that shows the opposites of Jesus our Lord to Satan. We see light and darkness, good and evil, truth and lies.


We see Jesus as the Light of the world, the Truth, the Way, the Life. We will see Jesus as God in man's flesh in John. The divineness of Jesus was more apparent in John's writings. I believe this partially was because of John's close association with Jesus, and because of the occasion when he heard the voice of the Father saying, "This is my beloved Son".


John had also seen Jesus with His divine nature at the mount of transfiguration. The one message that I see clearly throughout the Book of John which all the Scriptures focus upon is "the Word was made flesh" (see John 1:14).


In the first 18 verses, we find that these verses constitute the prologue which introduces many of the major themes that John will treat, especially the main theme that "Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God". Several key words repeated throughout the gospel such as life, light, witness, and glory, appear here.


The remainder of the gospel develops the theme of the prologue as to how the eternal "Word" of God, Jesus the Messiah and Son of God, became flesh and ministered among men so that all who believe in Him would be saved. Although John wrote the prologue with the simplest vocabulary in the New Testament, the truths which the prologue conveys are the most profound.





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Chapter Selection



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John 1 John 8 John 15
John 2 John 9 John 16
John 3 John 10 John 17
John 4 John 11 John 18
John 5 John 12 John 19
John 6 John 13 John 20
John 7 John 14 John 21

John 1





John Chapter 1

John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”


In contrast to (1 John 1:1), where John used a similar phrase (from the beginning), to refer to the starting point of Jesus’ ministry and gospel preaching, this phrase parallels (Genesis 1:1), where the same phrase is used. John used the phrase in an absolute sense to refer to the beginning of the time space material universe.


The verb “was”, highlights the eternal pre-existence of the Word, “i.e. Jesus Christ”. Before the universe began, the Second Person of the Trinity always existed meaning He always was. This word is used in contrast with the verb “came into being” (in verse 3), which indicates a beginning in time. Because of John’s theme that Jesus Christ is the eternal God, the Second Person of the Trinity, he did not include a genealogy as Matthew and Luke did. While in terms of Jesus’ humanity, He had a human genealogy, in terms of His deity, He has no genealogy.


John borrowed the use of the term “the Word”, not only from the vocabulary of the Old Testament but also from Greek philosophy, in which the term was essentially impersonal, signifying the rational principle of “divine reason,” “mind,” or even “wisdom”.


John however, imbued the term entirely with Old Testament and Christian meaning (e.g. Genesis 1:3), where God’s Word brought the world into being (Psalm 33:6; 107:20; Prov. 8:27), where God’s Word is His powerful self-expression in creation, wisdom, revelation and salvation. And made it refer to a person, Jesus Christ. Greek philosophical usage therefore, is not the exclusive background of John’s thought.


Strategically, the term “Word” serves as a bridge word to reach not only Jews but also the unsaved Greeks. John chose this concept because both Jews and Greeks were familiar with it.


There are two kinds of Word. One is the written Word which is the Bible. This written Word is God breathed. John was not the author of John, God was. John was the penman, moved upon by the Holy Spirit of God.


The entire Bible was authored by God. Each book had a penman moved upon by the Holy Spirit of God. I believe the written Word (the Bible), is the face of Jesus that we are looking in. Jesus is the Word.


In (John 1:14), we learn that this Word was Jesus, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”


In the first Book of the Bible, Genesis 1:3, we see the spoken Word, “And God said …”


God said is the spoken Word. This spoken Word creates, as we see (in Genesis and in John 1:3), “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”


You see, the Word spoken or written is powerful. It contains the power of life and death. The Word of God gave everything the power to exist. This Word is the one we know as Jesus.


What was before the beginning? Nothing. This Word who became Jesus was there at the foundation of the world. Word “In the beginning was the Word… ” is Logos. It means divine expression. It even includes divine thought. It can also mean divine work.


He (the Word), was divine intelligence. “… the Word was with God …”. God here is taken from a word which means supreme Divinity or supreme God.


This Logos (Word). was not only with God but was God, as well. (Proverbs 8:23), speaks of this Divine Intelligence as Wisdom. This Eternal Existence is difficult for man to comprehend, but it is true. God is the place that everything else starts from.


The Word was with God”: The Word, as the Second Person of the Trinity, was in intimate fellowship with God the Father throughout all eternity. Yet, although the Word enjoyed the splendors of heaven and eternity with the Father, He willingly gave up His heavenly status, taking the form of a man, and became subject to the death of the cross.


The Greek construction emphasizes that the Word had all the essence or attributes of deity, i.e., Jesus the Messiah was fully God. Even in His incarnation when He emptied Himself, He did not cease to be God but took on a genuine human nature/body and voluntarily refrained from the independent exercise of the attributes of deity.


John 1:2 “The same was in the beginning with God.”


We could say then, that from the Word (Jesus), all things start. You can see very well from this why Satan’s latest trick is to get God’s people disinterested in the spoken and written Word. The church is doing everything except studying the uncompromised Word.


There is a great effort on the part of the enemy of God to bring new Bibles on the market which distort the Word of God. One of the most common ways to distort is to make Jesus (the Word), something less than God.


John 1:3, “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”


We see here that the Word (Jesus), was Creator God. He made it all. Let us look back in Genesis again. At the beginning of each thing created there was the expression “God said, Let there be”, then it goes on to mention everything: the skies, the world, the sun, the moon, etc. You see from this, the Word (who we call Jesus), was at the beginning Creator God.


John 1:4, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.”


In verse 4 above, life means the power to exist. In (Genesis 2:7), we read how God gave life to man, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”


Man was but a clay doll until the breath of life was breathed in to it. Then he became alive. The Word (Jesus), made him alive.


The word translated life here means make manifest or illuminate. This light gives everything the power to be. If a person receives this Light, it gives them the power to receive eternal life.


John introduces the reader to contrastive themes that occur throughout the gospel. “Life” and “light” are qualities of the Word that are shared not only among the Godhead, but also by those who respond to the gospel message regarding Jesus Christ. John uses the word “life” about 36 times in his gospel, far more than any other New Testament book. It refers not only in a broad sense to physical and temporal life that the Son imparted to the created world through His involvement as the agent of creation, but especially to spiritual and eternal life imparted as a gift through belief in Him.


In Scripture, “light and darkness” are very familiar symbols. Intellectually, “light” refers to biblical truth which “darkness” refers to error or falsehood. Morally, “light” refers to holiness or purity which “darkness” refers to sin or wrongdoing.


“Darkness” has a special significance in relationship to Satan and his demonic cohorts who rules the present spiritually dark world as the “prince of the power of the air” promoting spiritual darkness and rebellion against God. John uses the term “darkness” 14 times (8 times in the gospel and 6 times in 1 John), out of its 17 occurrences in the New Testament, making it almost an exclusive Johannine word. In John, “light” and “life” have their special significance in relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Word.


John 1:5, “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”


The word shineth means to continually shine. The first thing God applied to the earth was Light which gave all other things the power to be. Nothing can live without light. Plants won’t grow and people will die without light.


Darkness symbolizes Satan or evil. When the Light (Jesus), shines, it does away with darkness (Satan). The darkness mentioned (in verse 5), is speaking of spiritual darkness. Darkness has to receive the Light to do away with the darkness.


In Genesis, just before God applied the Light, there was darkness upon the face of the deep. Let God light His Light in your heart and do away with darkness and give you eternal life.


The better meaning of the term comprehended in context is “overcome.” Darkness is not able to overcome or conquer the light. Just as a single candle can overcome a room filled with darkness, so also the powers of darkness are overcome by the person and work of the Son through His death on the cross.


John Chapter 1 Questions


1. What does the name John translate to?


2. Who was his brother?


3. Name two other names he was known by?


4. What other books of the Bible did he pen?


5. In the Book of Revelation, what do they tell us happened to him because of his loyalty to Jesus?


6. What was John doing on the Lord’s day?


7. How many times is the Father mentioned in John?


8. How long was Jesus’ earthly ministry?


9. Name two people Jesus had conversations with that are recorded in John and not the other three gospels?


10. How many miracles are recorded in the other books?


11. How many of these are not recorded in the other books?


12. What are some of the opposites of Jesus and Satan mentioned in this book?


13. Name five things John shows us Jesus as besides God and the Word?


14. Who is the only penman in the Bible which calls Jesus the Lamb of God?


15. Why do you think John showed more of the divinity of Jesus than any other writer?


16. What is the main message that comes forth throughout John?


17. What is symbolized by the four headed beast?


18. Which of the heads does John symbolize?


19. What are the two kinds of Word?


20. Who was the author of John?


21. What moved upon the penman to write it?


22. What is the written Word?


23. What is the spoken Word?


24. Who is the Word?


25. The Word is powerful, it contains the power of _____________ or __________________________.


26. What is the Word in verse 1?


27. What does Logos mean?


28. Who is the place from where all things begin?


29. What is Satan’s latest trick in the church?


30. Who was Creator God?


31. “In him was _______; and the ______ was the ________ ____ of men”.


32. What does life mean?


33. What does shineth mean?


34. Who is the Light?


35. Verse 5 is speaking of what kind of darkness?




John Chapter 1 Continued

John 1:6 “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.”


We see here a man not like the Logos in the last lesson but a real man. This is a man with a mission from birth. John the Baptist, we know, is no ordinary man. Jesus, Himself, would say of John that there had never been a man born of woman who was greater (Matthew 11:11).


We also know that John’s birth was a miracle. His parents were old when they had him, and his father was a high priest in the temple. Zachariah and Elisabeth were from priestly families. We also know that the Holy Ghost entered John while he was yet in his mother’s womb (Luke chapter 1).


John the Baptist would be spoken of as the promised Elijah spoken of in Malachi (Matthew 11:14). We read very little of John the Baptist’s youth. He was sent to the earth for one purpose by God and that was to proclaim the coming of Messiah. His only purpose was to make the way clear for Jesus Christ the Messiah. His message was repent.


As forerunner to Jesus, John was to bear witness to Him as the Messiah and Son of God. With John’s ministry, the “400 silent years” between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament period, during which God had given no revelation, ended.


“John”: the name “John” always refers to John the Baptist in this gospel, never to the Apostle John. The writer of this gospel calls him merely “John” without using the phrase “the Baptist,” unlike the other gospels which use the additional description to identify him. Moreover, John the apostle authored the gospel and that his readers knew full well that he composed the gospel that bears his name. For more on John the Baptist (see Matt. 3:1-6; Mark 1:2-6 and Luke 1:5-25 and 57-80).


John 1:7, “The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.”


From Isaiah until Malachi the prophets had been prophesying the coming of the Light (Jesus Christ). John the Baptist was to warn that the Light was here. Be ready to receive it. John’s one job was to make ready for the Light.


John was the climax to all the Old Testament prophets telling of this glorious Light, but we will see that not all believed. The world and the so-called pleasures thereof, had too much of a hold on the people.


The terms “witness” or “to testify” receive special attention in the gospel, reflecting the courtroom language of the Old Testament where the truth of a matter was to be established on the basis of multiple witnesses. Not only did John the Baptist witness regarding Jesus as Messiah and Son of God, but there were other witnesses:


(1) the Samaritan woman (4:29);


(2) the works of Jesus (10:25);


(3) the Father (5:32-37);


(4) the Old Testament (5:39-40);


(5) the crowd (12:17); and


(6) the Holy Spirit (15-26-27).


John was the “agent” who witnessed of Christ. The purpose of his testimony was to produce faith in Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world.


John 1:8, “He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.”


John knew from the beginning that he was not the Light. While John the Baptist was the agent of belief, Jesus Christ is the object of belief. Although John’s person and ministry were vitally important, he was merely the forerunner who announced the coming of the Messiah.


Many years after John’s ministry and death, some still failed to understand John’s subordinate role to Jesus. He was just a messenger running ahead telling people to prepare to receive the Light. We would see that many esteemed the messenger of the Light above the Light.


Even when Jesus was questioned by those of the church, they were careful not to say anything bad about John the Baptist.


John 1:9, “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”


This is the Light which was applied first in Genesis which gave all matter the power to be. This Light determines whether you have life or not. If you do not have this Light within you, then you have death and not Life.


“The true Light … cometh into the world”: This phrase highlights the incarnation of Jesus Christ. “Lighteth every man”: Through Gods sovereign power, every man has enough light to be responsible. God has planted His knowledge in man through general revelation in creation and conscience. The result of general revelation however, does not produce salvation but either leads to the complete light of Jesus Christ or produces condemnation in those who reject such “light”. The coming of Jesus Christ was the fulfillment and embodiment of the light that God had placed inside the heart of man.


The World: The basic sense of the Greek word meaning “an ornament” is illustrated by the word “adornment”. While the New Testament uses it a total of 185 times, John had a particular fondness for this term, using it 78 times in his gospel (24 times in 1-3 John and 3 times in Revelation).


John gives it several shades of meaning:


(1) the physical created universe;


(2) humanity in general and


(3) the invisible spiritual system of evil dominated by Satan and all that it offers in opposition to God, His Word, and His people.


The latter concept is the significant new use that the term acquires in the New Testament and that predominates in John. Thus, in the majority of times that John uses the word, it has decidedly negative overtones.


John 1:10, “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.”


Here again, just as in our last lesson (in verse 3), we see that this Light (Jesus Christ; Word), made everything. He was Creator God.


The Creator of all the world came to this earth to save His creation, and His creation had no idea who He was.


John 1:11, “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.”


“His own … his own”: The first usage of “His own” most likely refers to the world of mankind in general, while the second refers to the Jewish nation. As Creator, the world belongs to the Word as His property but the world did not even recognize Him due to spiritual blindness.


The chosen people (Israelites), whom God had made covenant with, were the very ones who would not receive Him. They had the Scriptures which spoke of His coming, and yet when He came, they rejected Him.


John used the second occurrence of “His own” in a narrower sense to refer to Jesus’ own physical lineage, the Jews. Although they possessed the Scriptures that testified of His person and coming, they still did not accept Him. This theme of Jewish rejection of their promised Messiah receives special attention in John’s gospel.



Verses 12 and 13 stand in contrast to verses 10 and 11. John softens the sweeping rejection of Messiah by stressing a believing remnant. This previews the book since the first 12 chapters stress the rejection of Christ, while chapters 13-21 focus on the believing remnant who received Him.


John 1:12, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”


Notice even here, He did not do it for them. They had their own free will. He made it available to them and gave them power to receive it; but they had to of their own free will, accept it.


“As many as received Him … to them that believe on His name”. The second phrase describes the first. To receive Him who is the Word of God means to acknowledge His claims, place one’s faith in Him, and thereby yield allegiance to Him.


“Gave” is a term emphasizing the grace of God involved in the gift of salvation. Those who receive Jesus, the Word, receive full authority to claim the exalted title of “children of God.”


“His name” denotes the character of the person himself.


The secret to becoming sons of God is in believing in His name. In Romans 10:9, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”


It is so simple and yet so many miss out. The confession is that He is our Lord and Savior. Jesus means Jehovah Savior. The belief cannot be surface either. It must truly be in our heart.


John 1:13, “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”


The divine side of salvation: ultimately it is not a man’s will that produces salvation but God’s will (3:6-8; Titus 3:5 and 1 John 2:29).


Jesus told them later, “Marvel not that I say ye must be born again”. This is a spiritual birth not a birth of the flesh.


I Peter 3:18, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.”


We also read (in John 3:5-6), “Jesus answered, Verily, Verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”


You see, then to be sons of God we must be born of His Spirit, The Holy Spirit of God. If we are never reborn of the Spirit, then we remain flesh; and flesh cannot inherit the kingdom of God.


1 Corinthians 6:9, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?”


John 1:14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”


The Word (Jesus Christ), took on the form of flesh and dwelt here on this earth with us. He is called Immanuel (God with us), in Matthew.


His flesh was man (inherited through Mary), His Spirit was God. God is a Spirit. The Holy Spirit of God hovered over Mary and she conceived of the Holy Spirit of God.


Jesus took on the flesh of Mary, but was in fact, God within that flesh. The spirit and the body are part of every person. The flesh is made in the image of man, but the spirit within each of us is the image of God (our life).


“The glory as of …the Father”: Jesus as God displayed the same essential glory as the father. They are one in essential nature. “Only Begotten”: The term “only begotten” is a mistranslation of the Greek word. The word does not come from their term meaning “beget” but instead has the idea of “the only beloved one”.


It therefore, has the idea of singular uniqueness, of being beloved like no other. By this word, John emphasized the exclusive character of the relationship between the Father and the Son in the Godhead. It does not connote origin but rather unique prominence; e.g., it was used of Isaac who was Abraham’s second son (Ishmael being the first).


God is a Spirit; and to be His image (likeness), we would have to be spirit. The spirit within is our being that will live eternally in heaven or hell. We will shed this body we dwell in now and will have a new body. This body you live in here on this earth will return to dust from which it came, but the real you will have vacated that body and taken on a new heavenly body.


Everyone who has been clinically dead and revived will tell you that they left their old body in the hospital. This is exactly what the Scripture teaches. Even Jesus’ resurrected body was different than the one that went into the tomb. It was a body because He ate and because the nail prints were there; but in His new body, it was not necessary to open doors. He just appeared.


Our spirit dwells in a body while we are here on the earth. Our spirit or our body will control our will. This determines whether we are controlled by God or the lust of the flesh.


“Full of grace and truth”: John probably had (Exodus 33 and 34 in mind). On that occasion, Moses requested that God display His glory to him. The Lord replied to Moses that He would make all His “goodness” pass before him, and then as He passed by, God declared “The Lord … compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loving kindness and truth”.


These attributes of God’s glory emphasize the goodness of God’s character, especially in relationship to salvation. Jesus as Yahweh of the Old Testament (8:58; “I am”), displayed the same divine attributes when He tabernacled among men in the New Testament era.


John 1:15, “John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.”


John here is speaking of the eternity of Jesus. Jesus is six months younger than John in the flesh. John is aware that Jesus created John. Here John the Baptist’s testimony corroborates John the apostle’s statement regarding the eternality of the Incarnate Word (verse 14).


The things that confuse people are the different names of Jesus. He did not use the name Jesus, until He came to the earth. Jesus means Savior.


He took on that name while He was here on the earth because that was what He was here for. Jesus is called by whatever name describes what He is doing at that time. Word was His name in heaven.


John the Baptist keeps reminding the people that he is not Messiah. He tells them Jesus is their Messiah.


John 1:16, “And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.”


We must remember here that Jesus is the Word. The Old Testament teaches Jesus just the same as the New Testament. John here is saying, “He has been filling us with His Word since Genesis”.


The phrase “grace for grace”, emphasizes the superabundance of grace that has been displayed by God toward mankind, especially believers.


John 1:17, “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”


Even the law came from God, through Moses. Grace and truth are not only from Jesus but through Jesus, as well. We will read further in this book of John that Jesus not only brought the truth but is in fact, the Truth.


Corroborating the truth of verse 14, these verses (17 and 18), draw a closing contrast to the prologue. The law, given by Moses, was not a display of God’s grace but God’s demand for holiness.


God designed the law as a means to demonstrate the unrighteousness of man in order to show the need for the Savior, Jesus Christ. Furthermore, the law revealed only a part of truth and was preparatory in nature.


The reality or full truth toward which the law pointed, came through the person of Jesus Christ.


John Chapter 1 First Continued Questions


1. Who was the man sent from God?


2. What high praise did Jesus give John the Baptist?


3. Who were John the Baptist’s parents?


4. Who would Jesus say John was?


5. What was John the Baptist’s mission?


6. When did the Holy Ghost enter John the Baptist?


7. What was John to bear witness of?


8. How long had Messiah been prophesied by prophets?


9. Was John ever deceived into believing he was the Light?


10. What is said about the Light in verse 10?


11. Who was this Light, this Word, this Jesus Christ?


12. Why did He come to this earth?


13. Who were the chosen people of God?


14. They had the Scriptures that spoke of His coming and yet they _____________Him.


15. As many as received Him, He gave them the power to be what?


16. What was the requirement?


17. What are we told in Romans 10:9?


18. Jesus really means what?


19. In verse 13, we learn these are born of what?


20. In I Peter 3:18, we find that we must put to death the ________ _______ but be quickened by the ______________.


21. In 1 Corinthians, it tells us who will not inherit the kingdom of God?


22. Verse 14 says, “And the Word was made __________, and dwelt ________ _____,”


23. Who does verse 14 say this Word is?


24. What two things was He full of in verse 14?


25. What does Immanuel mean?


26. Who did Jesus come to first and they would not receive Him?


27. In John 3:6-7, we find the difference between what?


28. God is a Spirit and to be in His likeness we must be ________ _______________.


29. In the flesh, who was the oldest, John or Jesus?


30. John said, “He that cometh after me is ___________before me.”


31. What fullness’s had they all already received in verse 16?


32. Who was the law given by?


33. Where did the law come from?


34. Who brought grace and truth?




John Chapter 1 Second Continued

John 1:18. “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”


This statement “no man hath seen God” is correct. Many of the apostles had seen visions and had dreams of God. Some had even been in His presence like Moses on the mountain, but the closest Moses ever came to seeing Him, was to see His back side as He passed by.


Even in Jesus they would not look upon His godhead, but upon His flesh. Of course, Jesus had seen Him, because He had been in heaven with Him. In fact, Father, Word, and the Holy Ghost make up the godhead.


“Declared”: From this word theologians derived the term “exegesis” or “to interpret” from this word. John meant that all that Jesus is and does interprets and explains who God is and what He does.


1 John 5:7 “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”


We will read in John later on in this lesson series that Jesus said “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father”. Jesus is a reflection of the Father.



In verses 19-37, John presented the first of many witnesses to prove that Jesus is the Messiah and Son of God, thus reinforcing his main theme. The testimony of John the Baptist was given on 3 different days to 3 different groups. Each time, he spoke of Christ in a different way and emphasized distinct aspects regarding Him. The events in these verses took place (in 26/27 AD), just a few months after John’s baptism of Jesus.


John 1:19 “And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?”


John, born into a priestly family, belonged to the tribe of Levi. He began his ministry in the Jordan Valley when he was approximately 29 or 30 years old and boldly proclaimed the need for spiritual repentance and preparation for the coming of the Messiah. He was the cousin of Jesus Christ and served as His prophetic forerunner.


These priests and Levites knew that Messiah was promised. This John the Baptist they knew was a very special man. They even thought that perhaps this was Messiah. The only way they can find out is to ask him.


John 1:20 “And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.”


Some thought that John the Baptist was the Christ, but as we said before, John the Baptist knew he was not Messiah; and when he was ministering, he was careful to tell them that he was not the Christ (Messiah).


John 1:21 “And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elijah? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.”


(Malachi 4:5), promises that the prophet Elijah will return before Messiah establishes His earthly kingdom. If John was the forerunner of Messiah, was he Elijah, they asked? The angel announcing John’s birth said that John would go before Jesus “in the spirit and power of Elijah” (Luke 1:17), thus indicating that someone other than literal Elijah could fulfill the prophecy. God sent John who was like Elijah, i.e., one who had the same type of ministry, the same power and similar personality. If they had received Jesus as Messiah, John would have fulfilled that prophecy.


Jesus had said on another occasion that John was that Elijah that was prophesied in Malachi. What He was saying was that John was of the same spirit as of Elijah. Jesus was not speaking of Elijah being reincarnated in John, but that John came in the spirit and power of Elijah.


John was the fulfillment of the Scripture in Malachi. He truly did come before Messiah, six months earlier. John was telling them here that he was not in fact Elijah.


The problem with those people then, and many Christians today, is they look at the physical side of everything rather than the spiritual.


John the Baptist is come in the spirit of Elijah and thus does fulfill the Malachi prophecy. He is not, in fact, Elijah reincarnated. So, he answers “No”.


When asked “art thou that prophet”, was a reference to (Deut. 18:15-18), which predicted God would raise up a great prophet like Moses who would function as His voice. While some in John’s time interpreted this prophecy as referring to another forerunner of Messiah, the New Testament applies the passage to Jesus. (Acts 3:22-23; 7:37).


John 1:22 “Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?”


John is stirring up the whole countryside telling people to repent for Messiah is coming. This word has gotten back to the rulers of the temple and they have sent someone to find out just who this is that’s stirring up such a fuss. The big question was “Who are you?”


John 1:23 “He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Isaiah.”


The prophecy of John the Baptist being “a voice crying in the wilderness” is found (in Isaiah 40:3). John was a messenger, but he was much more. He was preparing their hearts to receive the Lord.


In the original context of (Isa. 40:3), the prophet heard a voice calling for the leveling of a path. This call was a prophetic picture that foreshadowed the final and greatest return of Israel to their God from spiritual darkness and alienation through the spiritual redemption accomplished by the Messiah (Romans 11:25-27).


In humility, John compared himself to a voice rather than a person, thus focusing the attention exclusively upon Christ. When asked who he is, John replies that who he is matters less than what he says. John underscores his message.


This wilderness is a physical wilderness but can also be thought of as a wilderness of sin. John tells them, it was told you by the prophet Isaiah and the time is here.


John 1:24 “And they which were sent were of the Pharisees.”


These Pharisees were supposed to be very knowledgeable of the Bible. They probably already knew of this prophecy in Isaiah and of the one in Malachi.


John 1:25 “And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elijah, neither that prophet?”


It appears from what they said to John, that they expected Elijah to come and cleanse them and get them ready to receive the Messiah. If John was baptizing for this reason, they approved; but if he is not Elijah, they want to know where he got his authority to do this. They wouldn’t argue too much with John the Baptist because his father was a priest.


“Why baptizest thou then”: Baptism could only be performed by prophets, or other authorities. It was the rite of Gentile entrance into Judaism.


Since John had identified himself as a mere voice, the question arose as to his authority for baptizing. The Old Testament associated the coming of Messiah with repentance and spiritual cleansing. John focused attention on his position as forerunner of Messiah, who used traditional proselyte baptism as a symbol of the need to recognize those Jews who were outside God’s saving covenant like Gentiles. They too needed spiritual cleaning and preparation (repentance).


John 1:26-27 “John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;” “He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose.”


John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. John answers their question by saying “I am not Messiah or Elijah, but my baptism is to prepare you to receive Messiah”.


John recognizes Jesus standing among those listening. He doesn’t point Him out yet. He just says He is here in this crowd. John says “He is much greater than I am.


John the Baptist’s words here continue a theme of the pre-eminence of Messiah in the prologue and demonstrate extraordinary humility. Each time John had opportunity to focus on himself in these encounters, he instead shifted the focus onto Messiah. John went so far as to state that he, unlike a slave that was required to remove his master’s shoes, was not even worthy of performing this action in relationship to Messiah.


John 1:28 “These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.”


Bethabara means house of the desert, so we know this is a desert place near Jordan.


The NASE bible version calls this place Bethany. Other translations render this word as “Bethabara.” Some feel that John incorrectly identified Bethany as the place of these events. The solution is that two Bethanys existed, i.e. one near Jerusalem where Mary, Martha and Lazarus lived and one “beyond the Jordan” near the region of Galilee. Since John took great pains to identify the other Bethany’s close proximity to Jerusalem, he most likely was referring here to that other town with the same name.



The (verses 29-34), deal with John’s witness to a second group of Jews on the second day regarding Jesus. This section forms something of a bride. It continues the theme of John the Baptist’s witness but also introduces a lengthy list of titles applied to Jesus: Lamb of God (verses 29 and 36); Rabbi (verses 38 and 49); Messiah/Christ (verse 41); Son of God (verses 34 and 49); King of Israel (verse 49); Son of Man (verse 51); and “Him of whom Moses in the Law, and also the Prophets wrote” (verse 45).


John 1:29 “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”


This is a very broad statement here. We know of the sacrificial lamb that was killed, and the blood sprinkled over the door in the time of Moses to save the first born of all the Hebrews when God destroyed the first born of Egypt.


We know that the lamb is the Passover animal sacrificed once a year in memory of that night when death passed over the Hebrew homes because of the blood of the lamb. This is saying then “This is your Passover sacrifice” speaking of Jesus. The blood of the animal could do nothing but cover the sin.


The precious blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ, does away with sin. In fact, not for just that occasion, but for all of eternity. “Taketh”, means to continually take away. It is so interesting how every little word is so important in Scripture.


John the Baptist used the expression “the Lamb of God” as a reference to the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus on the cross to atone for the sin of the world. A theme which John the apostle carries throughout his writings and that appear in other New Testament writings.


John being filled with the Holy Spirit from before birth looks to Jesus, and sees Jesus’ own precious blood cleansing all of His people from unrighteousness. Notice sin is singular in this mention here.


The use of the singular “sin” in conjunction with “of the world” indicates that Jesus’ sacrifice for sin potentially reaches all human beings without distinction. John makes clear however, that its efficacious effect is only for those who receive Christ.


Jesus took on sin on the cross, and sin (for the believer), died on the cross. Not just covered, but done away with. Animal’s or man’s blood could never do away with sin.


Hebrews 9:12 “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” The blood had to be pure from God, Himself.


John 1:30 “This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.”


This (verse 30) here, is just saying “This is the one I was talking about that is the Messiah, He is greater than I am”.


John 1:31 “And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.”


John knew that Jesus was a relative of his in the flesh, because John’s mother and Jesus’ mother were cousins. It appears from this Scripture above that John was saying “I haven’t been around Him a lot, and in the flesh, I do not know Him”. Although John was Jesus’ cousin, he did not know Jesus as the “Coming One” or “Messiah” (verse 33).


In the Spirit, John knew that Jesus was the promised Christ (the Messiah). Manifest means, in this instance, to render apparent (to be made visible). John’s job is to make the coming of Messiah apparent to His people, Israel.


To prepare them for meeting their Messiah, John is baptizing them, cleansing them from their sins. This is not the type of baptism for Christians. When a Christian is baptized, it is not for the remission of sin, but an outward expression of being dead, buried (in water), and resurrected with Jesus Christ our Lord.


The Jews had the law and had not kept it. They had to repent for breaking Moses’ law.


John 1:32 “And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.”


At this baptism John is speaking of here, some of the other gospels go into more detail and tell of the voice from heaven saying “This is my beloved Son” (Matthew 3:16-17). The thing John would have us see here is the Spirit remaining.


We can see here the Father (voice from heaven), Son of God (Word), and Holy Spirit (dove), present at the baptism of Jesus. They are all in agreement.


God had previously communicated to John that this sign was to indicate the promised Messiah, (verse 33), so when John witnessed this act, he was able to identify the Messiah as Jesus.


John 1:33 “And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.”


(Matthew chapter 3), tells a little more about this baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire.


“But Jesus answering said to him “Permit it now; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” The “He” permitted Him.


Christ was here identifying Himself with sinners. He will ultimately bear their sins; His perfect righteousness will be imputed to them (2 Cor. 5:21). This act of baptism was a necessary part of the righteousness He secured for sinners. This first public event of His ministry is also rich in meaning.


(1) It pictured His death and resurrection, Luke. 12:50;


(2) It therefore prefigured the significance of Christian baptism;


(3) It marked His first public identification with those whose sins He would bear, Isaiah 53:1-12; and


(4) It was a public affirmation of His Messiahship by testimony directly from heaven.


The baptism of Jesus is the baptism of fire of the Holy Ghost.


John 1:34 “And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.”


Not just because of the Holy Spirit descending, or the voice from heaven, but on all knowledge of Jesus and on what God had told him, John the Baptist proclaimed Jesus to be the Son of God.


Although, in a limited sense, believers can be called “sons of God (verse 12; Matt. 5:9; Rom. 8:14). John uses this phrase with the full force as a title that points to the unique oneness and intimacy that Jesus sustains to the Father as “Son.” The term carries the idea of the deity of Jesus as Messiah.


John Chapter 1 Second Continued Questions


1. No _______ hath seen God at any time.


2. Who hath declared Him?


3. What was the closest anyone had been to seeing God in the Old Testament?


4. Who make up the godhead?


5. Jesus is a ______________ of the Father.


6. Who did the Jews send to John the Baptist to find out who he was?


7. Who did they believe John might be?


8. What did John the Baptist confess in verse 20?


9. If he was not Messiah, who did they think he was?


10. What had Jesus meant when He said John the Baptist was Elijah?


11. Where had it been prophesied that Elijah would come?


12. What answer did John give when they said, then who are you?


13. What had John the Baptist been telling everyone that got them all stirred up?


14. Who had prophesied in the Old Testament about John the Baptist?


15. Where was John ministering?


16. Who are the Pharisees?


17. What did they ask John, seeing that he was not Elijah nor Messiah?


18. What was different about the baptism of John and the baptism of Jesus?


19. How does John the Baptist compare his unworthiness to Jesus?


20. Where did all this happen?


21. John called Jesus what in verse 29?


22. What does Bethabara mean?


23. What does this Lamb do that no lamb can do?


24. Who was Jesus to be made manifest to?


25. What physical tie did John and Jesus have?


26. What was the Spirit symbolized by in verse 32?


27. What had God told John about the Holy Spirit remaining on someone?


28. Who baptizes with the Holy Ghost and fire?




John Chapter 1 Third Continued

The rest of chapter one deals with John’s witness to a third group of his disciples which is on the third day (see verses 19-28 and 29-34), for the first and second groups regarding Jesus. Consistent with John’s humility (verse 27), he focuses the attention of his own disciples onto Jesus (in verse 37).


John 1:35-36 “Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;” “And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!”


These disciples here are speaking of John the Baptist’s. This proclamation is not the same as in the last verse. Here Jesus is going away from John, and John is telling his disciples “There goes the Lamb of God”. As we said before, in the Spirit, John could see Jesus as the sacrifice for our sins.


John 1:37 “And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.”


The verb “follow” usually means “to follow as a disciple” but it can also have a neutral sense meaning the “following here does not necessarily mean that they became permanent disciples at this time.


The implication may be that they went after Jesus to examine Him more closely because of John’s testimony. This event constituted a preliminary exposure of John the Baptist’s disciples to Jesus, e.g. (Andrew in 1:40). They eventually dedicated their lives to Him as true disciples and apostles when Jesus called them to permanent service after these events. At this point in the narrative, John the Baptist fades from the scene and the attention focuses upon the ministry of Christ.


These disciples had been John the Baptist’s disciples, but on hearing who Jesus is, they stop following John the Baptist and began following Jesus (The Messiah).


John 1:38 “Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?”


Jesus possibly heard their footsteps behind Him and turned to them. Jesus was asking them why they were following Him. Rabbi or Master has to do with a teacher. It is so strange that is who so many people of today believe He was (a great teacher). They ask Him where He lives, because they are drawn to Him and would follow Him.


John 1:39 “He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.”


John is reckoning time by the Roman method of the day beginning at midnight. This would make the time about 10.00 a.m. John mentions the precise time most likely to emphasize that he was the other disciple of John the Baptist who was with Andrew (verse 40). As an eyewitness to these events occurring on 3 successive days, John’s first meeting with Jesus was so life changing that he remembered the exact hour when he first met the Lord.


The Scripture is not explicit about where He dwelt. In another Scripture, He says “I have not where to lay my head”. It is to no advantage to try to figure out where this is. At any rate, wherever it was, they stayed with Jesus.


John 1:40 “One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.”


We may assume from this that John (the beloved), was one who wrote this gospel and Andrew the other. John would not have mentioned himself on purpose to keep them from thinking he was conceited. These two liked what they heard and now are Jesus’ disciples.


John 1:41 “He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.”


Simon is Peter. This is quite a proclamation. After several hundred years of waiting for Messiah, Andrew has found Him. Most brothers would hurry with this news to their brother. Andrew wants Simon saved.


The term “Messiah” is a transliteration of a Hebrew or Aramaic verbal adjective that means “Anointed One.” It comes from a verb that means “to anoint” someone as an action involved in consecrating that person to a particular office or function.


While the term at first applied to the king of Israel (The Lord’s anointed’ (verse 15a and 16:6), the High Priest (“the anointed priest,” Lev. 4:3), and, in one passage, the patriarchs (“my anointed ones,” Psalm 105:15), the term eventually came to point above all to the prophesied “Coming One” or “Messiah” in His role as prophet, priest and king.


The term “Christ,” a Greek word (verbal adjective), that comes from a verb meaning “to anoint”, is used in translating the Hebrew term, so that the terms “Messiah” or “Christ” are titles and not personal names of Jesus.


John 1:42 “And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.”


Perhaps, Simon didn’t believe and Andrew took him so he would, or perhaps, Simon was just excited and wanted to see Messiah. The Lord Jesus immediately tells Simon who he is and what his strength in Jesus will be. He says you will be like a rock. His name also is Peter.


This next section introduces the fourth day since the beginning of John the Baptist’s witness.


John 1:43 “The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.”


Jesus has now begun to gather the twelve to Him. Just “follow me” is enough to cause Philip to come to Jesus. He will now quickly gather His twelve.


John 1:44 “Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.”


These men were probably previously friends, being from the same town. Bethsaida means fishing house which would be appropriate since they were fishermen. James and John had been fishing acquaintances of Peter and Andrew. This makes it even more probable that the one who was not named was John.


While Mark locates Peter’s house in Capernaum (Mark 1:21 and 29). John relates that he was from Bethsaida. Resolution centers in the fact that Peter (and Andrew), most likely grew up in Bethsaida and later relocated to Capernaum in the same way that Jesus was consistently identified with His hometown of Nazareth, though He lived elsewhere later.


John 1:45 “Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”


Philip wants Nathanael to know too, and finds him to tell him of the Messiah, the Christ. He reminds Nathanael that the Messiah had been promised by Moses and the prophets. Even though Philip believes Jesus is Messiah, he is looking at the flesh side of Jesus, because he says Jesus is the son of Joseph of Nazareth.


“Of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write” is a phrase that encapsulates the stance of John’s whole gospel: Jesus is the fulfillment of Old Testament Scripture.


Nathanael was an early disciple of Jesus and possibly one of the twelve. At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry Philip brought Nathanael to Him. Both were Galileans: Nathanael from Cana, Philip from Bethsaida. Nathanael was skeptical about the Messiah coming from Nazareth, but followed Him.


Nathanael is mentioned only in John’s gospel, but the following evidence supports his identification with Bartholomew: Nathanael is mentioned only in John’s Gospel and Bartholomew is mentioned only in the listing of the Twelve (in Acts 1:13), and the synoptic Gospels (Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14).


Philip brought Nathanael to Jesus, and Bartholomew is listed together with Philip. Finally, John associates Nathanael with the Twelve (21:2). It seems at least plausible to identify Nathanael and Bartholomew as the same man.


John 1:46 “And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.”


All of them believed before that no prophet would rise up out of Galilee, and this is probably what he is referring to here. They thought Messiah would probably be from Jerusalem. Philip will not take no for an answer and says “Come and see for yourself”.


Nathanael was from Cana, another town in Galilee. While Galileans were despised by Judeans, Galileans themselves despised people from Nazareth. In light of (7:52), Nathanael’s scorn may have centered in the fact that Nazareth was an insignificant village without seeming prophetic importance. Later, some would contemptuously refer to Christians as the “sect of the Nazarenes” (Acts 24:5).


The Jews would not call the believers Christians, the people of Christ (Messiah). They used other terms like the sect of the Nazarenes. This nickname was derived from Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth


John 1:47 “Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!”


Jesus of course, knows everything about everyone. Nathanael is no exception. To prove to Nathanael who He is, He greets him in this manner.


Jesus’ point was that Nathanael’s bluntness revealed that he was an Israelite without duplicitous motives who was willing to examine for his self, the claims being made about Jesus. The term reveals an honest, seeking heart.


The reference here may be an allusion to (Genesis 27:35), where Jacob, in contrast to the sincere Nathanael, was known for his trickery. The meaning may be that the employment of trickery characterized not only Jacob but also his descendants. In Jesus’ mind, an honest and sincere Israelite had become an exception rather than the rule.


John 1:48 “Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.”


Nathanael is alarmed because how did Jesus know that he was an Israelite? Nathanael thinks this to be very strange, but wait until he hears the rest of Jesus’ answer. Here again, Jesus knows everything all the time, and He knew where Philip found Nathanael.


Nathanael was under the fig tree literally and spiritually. Israel is the fig tree symbolically and that is the teaching Nathanael was under at the time. Of course, literally Philip had found him sitting under the fig tree as well.


This was a favorite place used by the Jews for meditation. Jesus evidently meant a specific time which Nathanael understood. And if Nathanael had been praying concerning the promised Messiah (verse 45), this would explain his remarkable response (in verse 49), where he confesses Jesus’ deity and messiahship.


John 1:49 “Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.”


Nathanael suddenly realized it is true, this is Messiah! He calls Him Rabbi (teacher), but quickly adds that Jesus is the Son of God, King of Israel. What an awakening, to be beholding with his very own eyes the promised Messiah. This revelation of Nathanael was similar to the time when Jesus asked the disciples, who He was and Peter said “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God”. This is not a son, but the Son. He says in essence, it is right for you to rule.


Jesus’ display of supernatural knowledge and Phillip’s witness removed Nathanael’s doubts, so John added the witness of Nathanael to this section. The use of “the” with “Son of God” most likely indicates that the expression is to be understood as bearing its full significance (verse 34 and 11:27). For Nathanael, here was One who could not be described merely in human terms.


John 1:50 “Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.”


This is probably the understatement of all time. He would see Jesus open blind eyes, make the lame to walk, open deaf ears, feed 5,000 men with five loaves and two little fishes, speak to the sea and have it obey, and even raise Lazarus from the dead. This is such a small thing in comparison. Jesus is pleased that just this made him believe.


John 1:51 “And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.”


Verily, verily means it will happen. There is no question about it. A phrase used frequently for emphasizing the importance and truth of the coming statement.


In light of the context of (verse 47), this verse most likely refers to (Genesis 28:12), where Jacob dreamed about a ladder from heaven. Jesus’ point to Nathanael was that just like Jacob experienced supernatural or heaven sent revelation. Nathanael and the other disciples would experience supernatural communication confirming who Jesus was. Moreover, the term “Son of Man” replaced the ladder in Jacob’s dream, signifying that Jesus was the means of access between God and man.


“Son of man” is Jesus favorite self-designation, for it was mostly spoken by Jesus who used it over 80 times. In the New Testament, it refers only to Jesus and appears mostly in the gospels. In the fourth gospel, the expression occurs 13 times and is most commonly associated with the themes of crucifixion and suffering and revelation (6:27, 53), but also with eschatological authority (5:27).


While the term at times may refer merely to a human being or as a substitute for “I” (6:27 and 6:20), it especially takes on an eschatological significance referring to (Dan. 7:13, 14). Where the “Son of Man” or Messiah comes in glory to receive the kingdom from the “Ancient of Days”, i.e. the Father.


John Chapter 1 Third Continued Questions


1. What does John call Jesus in verse 36?


2. Whose disciples are these two men?


3. Who followed Jesus?


4. What did these disciples call Jesus?


5. What does it mean?


6. What question did they ask Jesus?


7. Who was the disciple who was named?


8. Who was his brother?


9. What did Andrew tell his brother about Jesus?


10. Who did Jesus call Simon?


11. What does Cephas mean?


12. Who did Jesus find in Galilee?


13. What did Jesus say to him?


14. What town was he from?


15. Who did Philip go and find?


16. What did he tell him about Jesus?


17. Who does Philip believe Jesus is?


18. What makes us think he was still looking at the flesh?


19. Nathanael said “Can there any good thing come out of _________”.


20. When Jesus saw Nathanael coming, what did He say to him?


21. How did Jesus add to what He had said to Nathanael in verse 48?


22. Who is the fig tree symbolic of?


23. Nathanael said to Jesus “Rabbi, _____________________”.


24. What were some of the greater things Nathanael would see?


25. He will see heaven open and what happen?





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John 2



John Chapter 2

John relates the first great sign performed by Jesus to demonstrate His deity, the turning of water into wine. Only God can create from nothing. John identifies 8 miracles in his gospel that constitute "signs" or confirmation of who Jesus is. Each of the 8 miracles were different, no two were alike.


John 2:1-2, "And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:" "And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage."


This third day speaks of the third day in Jesus' gathering of His disciples. It is interesting to note that Jesus' mother, Jesus, and the disciples would be invited to this type of wedding. This is obviously a Jewish wedding and sometimes they lasted seven to fourteen days. It was a very festive occasion.


These have to be prominent people in the community to have this large of a wedding. The guests as well, would be people who were upper-middle class to upper class as far as financial standing in the community went. Carpenters would fall into that category in those days and so would fishermen who owned their own boats. Both occupations were honorable.


This is not a poverty-stricken group at this wedding. Some would think, why would Jesus waste His time going to such an affair? Marriage the Bible says, is honorable.


This couple was following God's teaching in getting married. Jesus also loved people and this would show His concern for all things His people on earth are involved in. After Jesus became an adult, there is very little shown in contact with His mother Mary.


Perhaps this wedding was family or close friends. We are not told those details. Possibly, word had already travelled about Jesus' baptism. At any rate, Jesus and His disciples were invited to this wedding.


The disciples who accompanied Him are the 5 mentioned in chapter 1: Andrew, Simon Peter, Philip, Nathanael and the unnamed disciple who was surely John, who also witnessed this miracle.


John 2:3, "And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine."


This tells me that Mary knows that Jesus does miracles. This is the first recorded miracle, but that does not mean that Jesus had not done miracles earlier. I feel sure that when a crisis arose in their neighborhood, Mary had seen Jesus taking care of it.


We know for sure that Mary expects Jesus to do something about this situation.


This seems like such a trivial thing but we must remember that this host will be terribly embarrassed if they run out of wine. Jesus cares for our trivial needs, as well as our great big needs.


Because of a lack of water purification, wine mixed with water was safer to drink than water alone. While the bible condemns drunkenness, it does not necessarily condemn the consumption of wine. (Psalm 104:15, Prov. 20:1).


John 2:4, "Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come."


I do not believe Jesus is harsh to His mother here but it does have the effect of distancing Jesus from His mother and her request. I believe He is saying, "I am not quite ready to launch into the miracles at this time". It isn't time yet. There were stages in Jesus' life on earth.


He had spent a time subject to His mother and Joseph. Now He is thirty years old, the time when Jewish men take on their spiritual responsibilities. He is old enough now and is on His own.


Jesus possibly does not want this miracle at this large gathering at the wedding to thrust Him into His period of popularity. He possibly would rather that would come a short time later from His sermons. Nevertheless, Jesus listens to Mary and has feelings for the host.


Mine hour is not yet come is a phrase constantly referring to Jesus' death and exaltation. He was on a divine schedule decreed by God before the foundations of the world.


John 2:5, "His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it."


This in itself is a giveaway that Mary knows about Jesus' miraculous ability. Now is no different than then. Miracles in our lives will not come until we are obedient to Jesus.


John 2:6, "And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece."


A firkin is nine gallons. Each one of these water pots had from eighteen to twenty-seven gallons each.


There were somewhere between 108 gallons and 162 gallons of water here. This had to be for a large group of people.


The pots were made of stone because stone was more impervious that earthenware and did not contract uncleanness.


The washings or ablutions had extended to such an extent that they were continuously washing for one reason or the other, and these six firkins of water were standing by for them to carry on these ceremonial washings with.


John 2:7, "Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim."


Just as Mary had said, they did just as Jesus told them to do.


John 2:8, "And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it."


There is quite a bit of spiritual teaching here. The Lord tells us to draw from that well where the water will never grow dry. He is that never ending fountain. We see here that Jesus tells these servants to draw.


Jesus you remember, is Creator God. Fruit of the vine will later symbolize Jesus' blood in the communion service. We will see that this is not just some ordinary wine, but the best there is.


Again, I say this had to be a prominent wedding, because there is a governor of the feast. By there being over 100 gallons of wine, you know also that this is no small wedding. The servants' act of faith was to draw.


John 2:9, "When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom."


This indicates that this governor might be a guest, but I really believe he was handling the wedding. This home had servants and had to have a very large house to accommodate a party of this size. This governor was very impressed with this wine. It was remarkably different and better.


There is another thing we must see in all of this. The servants knew that this wine was a miracle of God, but the world did not. Even those with great authority did not know, but it was revealed to the servants. We must see in this that God reveals to His servants the mysteries, but He does not reveal them to the world.


This bridegroom had been the purchaser of the original wine. The governor wants an explanation of where this superior wine comes from.


Much has been written about the wine Jesus created. Oinos is the New Testament word for the fruit of the vine, but it implies nothing concerning fermentation. Whatever Jesus re-recreates (water), is better than it was and better than man can make it (fermented wine).


John 2:10, "And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now."


This answers the question of whether it was alcoholic or not. It was, because after they had well drunk, their senses would have been dulled and they would have not known one wine from the other. This new wine was not of this world. This is like the best was kept until last with God also.


He first sent His prophets and judges to bring the people to the knowledge of God, but the best was saved to last when He sent His only begotten Son. I believe this whole incident was kept quiet because Jesus was not ready to be exposed as Messiah at that moment.


The servants knew, the disciples knew, Mary knew, and Jesus knew, but I find nowhere in this discourse where the crowd at the party or anyone in authority knew.


John 2:11, "This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him."


Part of the reason this miracle was done, was so the disciples who had just come with Jesus would know that Jesus could do miracles. It was to build their faith to follow Him. They also know now that their material needs are of no concern; Jesus can supply all their needs.


"Miracles or signs": John used this word here to refer to significant displays of power that pointed beyond themselves to the deeper divine realities that could be perceived by the eyes of faith. By this word, John emphasized that miracles were not merely displays of power but had significance beyond the mere acts themselves.


John 2:12, "After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days." We have talked in some of the other lessons how they would go to Capernaum and probably stay in Peter's house while they were there. The area near Capernaum next to the Sea of Galilee is where most of Jesus' ministry took place. At this point, it seems His brothers in the flesh were with Him, and Mary as well.


The phrase "after this" (or similar wording such as "after these things"), is a frequent connective between narratives in this gospel. John placed this verse here as a transition to explain Jesus' movement from Cana in Galilee to Capernaum and eventual arrival at Jerusalem for the Passover celebration. Capernaum was on the northwest shore of Galilee about 16 miles northeast of Cana.


In (verses 13-25) John used this section where Jesus cleansed the temple in righteous indignation to reinforce his main theme that He was the promised Messiah and Son of God. In this section, he highlighted 3 attributes of Jesus that confirm His deity:


(1) His passion for reverence (13-17);


(2) His power of resurrection (18-22); and


(3) His perception of reality (23-25) .


John 2:13, "And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,"


Passover is not a celebration for the whole world, but is a celebration of remembrance. Passover commemorates the deliverance of the Jews from slavery in Egypt when the angel of death "passed over" Jewish homes in Egypt whose "doorposts" was sprinkled with blood.


The only people who did not have their first born die were those who put the blood of the lamb over the door posts. The spirit of death passed over all houses that had the blood of the lamb. It did not enter.


Passover remembers that time. The house of Israel is to remember forever. Jesus is of this house; He goes to Jerusalem to remember.


Jesus' journeying to Jerusalem for the Passover was a standard annual procedure for all every devout Jewish male over 12 years old (Exod. 23:14-17). Jewish pilgrims crowded into Jerusalem for this greatest of Jewish feasts.


John Chapter 2 Questions


1. Where was the marriage Jesus attended?


2. Who was with Him there?


3. What makes us realize Jesus was not from a poverty stricken family?


4. What class of people were carpenters and fishermen?


5. In verse 3, they had no ________.


6. Who told Jesus they were out?


7. How did Jesus answer Mary?


8. Why did Jesus say He didn't want to be recognized now?


9. At what age do Jewish men take on their spiritual responsibilities?


10. What did Mary say to the servants?


11. What containers did they have to use?


12. How much would each hold?


13. What were these large containers for water doing there at this party?


14. How many gallons of wine would there be?


15. What did Jesus tell the servants to do?


16. Who were they to take the first drink to?


17. Who were the only ones who knew about the water being turned to wine?


18. Who did the governor call to him for an explanation?


19. What makes you know that this juice was alcoholic?


20. Where was this miracle done?


21. Why was it necessary for the disciples to know about the miracles?


22. Where did the group go from the wedding?


23. Whose home did they probably stay in?


24. What celebration was going on in Jerusalem?


25. What does this celebration commemorate?


John Chapter 2 Continued

Verses 13-17: The first way John demonstrated Christ's deity in the narrative of the temple cleansing was to show His passion for reverence. God alone exercises the right to regulate His worship.


John 2:13-14 "And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem," "And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:"


This is the first of 3 Passovers which John mentions (verse 13; 6:4; 11:55), Jews selected the lamb on the tenth of the month and celebrated Passover on the 14th day of the lunar month of Nisan (Full moon at the end of March or beginning of April). They slaughtered the lamb between 3:00 and 6:00 p.m. on the night of the feast. Passover commemorates the deliverance of the Jews from slavery in Egypt when the angel of death "passed over" Jewish homes in Egypt whose "doorposts" were sprinkled with blood.


"Jesus went up to Jerusalem". Jesus' journeying to Jerusalem for the Passover was a standard annual procedure for every devout Jewish male over 12 years old. Jewish pilgrims crowded into Jerusalem for this greatest of Jewish feasts.


Because many traveled large distances, it was inconvenient to bring their sacrificial animals with them. Opportunistic merchants, seeing a chance to provide a service and probably eyeing considerable profits during this time, set up areas in the outer courts of the temple in order for travelers to buy animals.


The money changers were needed because the temple tax, paid annually by every conscientious Jewish male 20 years of age and older had to be in Jewish or Tyrian coinage (because of its high purity of silver). Those coming from foreign lands would need to exchange their money into the proper coinage for the tax.


In the outer courts, a market had been set up to sell animals for sacrifice and there was a place to exchange the weary travelers' money for the half-shekel suitable for the temple. No coin which had an earthly ruler on it could be used in the temple.


The money changers charged a high fee for the exchange. With such a large group of travelers and because of the seasonal nature of the celebration, both the animal dealers and money exchangers exploited the situation for monetary gain (Robber's den). Religion had become crass and materialistic.


This place was not only located in a place that God called a place of prayer, but these animals were not the quality the Lord required. These merchants were really not honest.



Verses 13-15: John used this section where Christ cleared the temple in righteous indignation to reinforce his main theme that Jesus was the promised Messiah and Son of God. In this section, he highlighted three attributes of Jesus that confirms His deity which were:


  1. His Passion for reverence (13-17),
  2. His power of resurrection (18-22),
  3. His perception of reality (23-25).

John 2:15, "And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;"


A scourge was a whip. This whip was usually made with strips of leather and had knots tied to make it hurt worse. This is the only time in Jesus' ministry that we ever see Him violent and striking out. He was usually very humble and would not even protect Himself.


This is supposed to be the special place of worship. Jesus believes this shows disrespect to the Father. Our churches today should take special note of this. The Lord is very strict about what goes on in His house.


This tells me that there is a time to show anger. When the name of the Lord (or anything pertaining to Him) is violated, it is correct to be angry about this.


When the holiness of God and His worship was at stake, Jesus took fast and furious action. The "all" indicates that He drove not only men out but also animals. Yet, although His physical action was forceful, it was not cruel.


John 2:16, "And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise."


Because of this very Scripture above, I feel it is wrong to sell any type of merchandise in the church. Our generation has taken God far too casually. He is not casual. He is exact. He never changes. If He said this was His Father's house, then all sanctuaries everywhere are His Father's house.


In (Matthew 21:13), we find that Jesus said, "My house shall be called the house of prayer". We should enter the sanctuary with reverence, retain this attitude while we are there, and leave the same way.


Jesus made a strong demand that they stop their current practice. God's holiness demands holiness in worship.


"My Fathers", John gave a subtle hint of Jesus' divine Sonship as well as His messiahship with the recording of this phrase.


"House of merchandise (business)": Jesus may have intended a play on words here. The word used pictures a trading house filled with wares.


John 2:17, "And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up."


The Scripture the disciples are remembering is from (Psalm 69:9).


Psalms 69:9 "For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up"; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me."


When David wrote this psalm, he was being persecuted because of his zeal toward God's house and his defense of God's honor. The disciples were afraid that Jesus' actions would precipitate the same type of persecution.


These things said before the disciples are just sinking the message deeper and deeper that Jesus is truly Messiah. The Bible, Old Testament and New Testament, say the same thing. It is the same God that wrote it all.



In verses 18-22 the second way John demonstrated Christ's deity in the account of the temple cleansing was to show His power over death through resurrection. Only God has this right.


John 2:18, "Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?"


Here these Jews are really asking Jesus by what authority He has coming in and doing all these things in the temple. Now they actually are saying if you have the authority, prove it to us. They thought He would do some miracle that would be undeniable.


Their demand of a sign reveals that they had not grasped the significance of Jesus' rebuke that centered in their need for proper attitudes and holiness in worship. Moreover they were requesting from Jesus a crass display of miracles on demand, further displaying their unbelief.


In a sense, what these people were doing was destroying the meaning of the temple. God does not like anything associated with Him to be merchandised. Such as when God was angered when Simon tried to buy the gifts of the Spirit (in Acts 8:14-25). God's blessings are not for sale.


There are so many beautiful spiritual meanings to glean from this. The temple contaminated by any sort of worldliness God will not dwell in. He is a Holy God. The Lord Jesus spoke to the disciples and in so doing to us also and said He would dwell within us and we in Him.


This cannot be if there is sin in our life. He wants a holy house to dwell in. The building we call our church where the Christians meet is like our body. It must be pure and holy, or the Lord will not meet with us there.


John 2:19, "Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."


At his trial, the authorities charged Jesus with making a threatening statement against the temple, revealing that they did not understand Jesus' response here. Once again John's Gospel supplements the other gospels at this point by indicating the Jesus enigmatically referred to His resurrection.


Jesus' cryptic statement most likely was destined to reveal the truth to His disciples by concealing its meaning from unbelievers who questioned Him. Only after His resurrection did the disciples understand the real significance of this statement.


John believes in this that Jesus is speaking of His own body, which they did destroy and which was raised up on the third day. There are many ways to destroy the temple, and I believe a great deal of temple destruction is going on now.


Importantly, through the death and resurrection of Christ, temple worship in Jerusalem was destroyed and reinstituted in the hearts of those who were built into a spiritual temple called the church.


John 2:20, "Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?"


This was not a reference to Solomon's temple since it had been destroyed during the Babylonian conquest (in 586 B.C).


This was the second temple which the captives of Babylon under Zerubbabel and Jeshua began rebuilding. Encouraged by the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, the Jews completed the work in 516 B.C. and in 20/19 B.C. Herod the Great began a reconstruction and expansion.


Workers then completed the main part of the project in 10 years time, but other parts were still being constructed even at the time Jesus cleansed the temple.


Interestingly, the finishing touches on the whole enterprise were still being made at its destruction by the Romans along with Jerusalem in A.D. 70. The famous "Wailing Wall" is built on part of the Herodian temple foundation.


The problem is the Jews did not know that they were speaking to the Creator of the world. Here is another time when people are looking with their physical eyes and comparing what they (mere men), could do with what the Lord can do.


With men, this would be impossible, but with God all things are possible.


John 2:21, "But he spake of the temple of his body."


We see here that John believes Jesus is speaking of His crucifixion and on the third day His resurrection.


John 2:22, "When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said."


It is always much easier to understand what something meant by looking back to it than by looking forward. Jesus told them numerous times of His crucifixion and three days later His resurrection, but until after it happened, it did not take roots in them.


They panicked and ran at the crucifixion, and many of them did not believe He was raised from the dead until they saw Him in person.


In verses 23-25 we see the third way John demonstrated Christ's deity in the account of the temple cleansing was to show His perception of reality. Only God truly knows the hearts of men.


John 2:23, "Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did."


The Passover is eaten on the fourteenth of Nisan. The purifying of the houses and vessels takes place on the thirteenth. This is overlapped by the Feast of Unleavened Bread which is part of the same. It lasts eight days.


Jesus was in and around the streets of Jerusalem for an extended time. He was preaching, healing, and delivering all that time. The miracles were undeniable. The blind could see, the leper was cleansed, the deaf could hear, the dumb could speak, the lame could walk. There was no end to the miracles He performed.


John 14:11 says, "Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake."


Let Jesus' works speak for Him. It appears they spoke so loudly here that many believed He was Messiah.


This verse subtly reveals the true nature of belief from a biblical standpoint. Because of what they knew of Jesus from His miraculous signs, many came to believe in Him. However, Jesus made it His habit not to wholeheartedly "entrust" or "commit" Himself to them because He knew their hearts.


John 2:24, "But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,"


Faith that is based upon things you can see is not really faith at all. It takes no faith at all to believe a miracle you see with your own eyes. Jesus knew that the faith of these people was shallow and not the kind that would stand up in tribulation. Their faith was not in the giver, but in the gift. This is a dangerous type of faith. When the gifts stop, so does the faith.


Jesus did not bare Himself to them, because He sensed this. A faith that is based on getting from God and not giving will not hold up in tribulation.


John 16:33 says, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."


Jesus looked for genuine conversion rather than enthusiasm for the spectacular. This verse also leaves a subtle doubt as to the genuineness of the conversion of some. This emphatic contrast between (verses 23 & 24), in terms of type of trust, therefore, reveals that "belief into His name" involved much more that intellectual assent. It called for whole hearted commitment of one's life as Jesus' disciple.


John 2:25, "And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man."


Many believed in Jesus when they witnessed His miracles, but Jesus did not entrust His fate to their hands, for He knew what was in man. The same word, pisteuo ("believe or commit"), is used (in verses 23 and 34). Jesus knew men's hearts. This is illustrated by His subsequent interviews with Nicodemus, the woman at the well and the nobleman.


The Lord can look right into your heart and know whether it be good or bad. Our thoughts are no secrets to Him as well. We are His creation, and He knows everything about us.


Sometimes, like these here who believed, the Lord can see through and know it is a front. What we feel in our heart about something is even more important than what we do and say. Jesus knows the truth anyway. It is no good to lie about how we feel about Him.


John Chapter 2 Continued Questions


1. Why did Jesus go to Jerusalem at this time?


2. What did He find in the temple that displeased Him?


3. What was really going on?


4. Why did they need money changers?


5. What did Jesus make of the cords?


6. What is that?


7. What did Jesus do that showed His anger?


8. When is the only time anger is permitted?


9. What were they doing with doves?


10. What did Jesus tell them to not make His Father's house into?


11. In Matthew, God's house is what?


12. Where was this action prophesied in the Old Testament?


13. What did the Jews want Him to prove?


14. Where did Jesus say He would dwell?


15. What did Jesus say He would do in three days?


16. What did John believe He was speaking of?


17. How long did it take the Jews to build the temple?


18. Why could these Jews not understand what He said?


19. When did the disciples remember this saying?


20. Why did many believe Him?


21. What was wrong with their belief?


22. Passover is eaten on what day?


23. What other Jewish celebration overlaps Passover?


24. Why did Jesus not commit Himself to them?


25. We learn in John 16:33 that in this life we will have ____________.


26. Why did Jesus not need someone to tell Him about these men?





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John 3



John Chapter 3

In (verses 3:1-21), the story of Jesus and Nicodemus reinforces John's themes that Jesus is the Messiah and Son of God and that He came to offer salvation to men. (John 2:23-24), actually serves as the introduction to Nicodemus' story, since (chapter 3), constitutes tangible evidence of Jesus' ability to know men's hearts and thereby also demonstrates Jesus' deity.


Jesus also presented God's plan of salvation to Nicodemus, showing that He was God's messenger, whose redemptive work brings about the promised salvation to His people (verse 14). The chapter may be divided into two sections:


(1) Jesus' dialogue with Nicodemus (verses 1-10); and


(2) Jesus' discourse on God's plan of salvation (verses 11-21).


As we begin this chapter, this section on Jesus' dialogue with Nicodemus may be divided into 3 sections:


(1) Nicodemus' inquiry of Jesus (verses 1-3);


(2) Jesus' insight into Nicodemus (verses 4-8);


(3) Jesus' indictment of Nicodemus (verses 9-10).


John 3:1 "There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:"


Nicodemus name in Greek means "victor over the people". Nicodemus was a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin. The meaning of Pharisee comes from a Hebrew word meaning "to separate"


They were not separatists in the sense of isolationists but in the puritanical sense, meaning they were highly zealous for ritual and religious purity according to the Mosaic Law. As well as their own traditions that they added to the Old Testament legislation.


Although their origin is unknown, they seem to have arisen as an offshoot from the "Hasidim" or "pious ones" during the Maccabean era. They were generally from the Jewish middle class and mostly consisted of laity (business men), rather than priests or Levites. They represented the orthodox core of Judaism and very strongly influenced the common people of Israel.


According to Josephus, 6,000 existed at the time of Herod the Great. Jesus condemned them for their hyper-concentration on externalizing religion (rules and regulations), rather than inward spiritual transformation.


This is the same Nicodemus who stands up for Jesus against the Sanhedrin and says "Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?" (John 7:51).


At the time (verse 1 occurred), Nicodemus was still sneaking to see Jesus so that the other Pharisees would not know that He believed Jesus. We will see this in the next verse because he came by night to see Jesus.


John 3:2 "The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him."


He came under cover of darkness to keep his associates from knowing. Rabbi, we have touched on before. It is an honorable name for teacher or master.


Nicodemus knows that Jesus is not like the priests and religious leaders in the temple. They do not have the power to heal anyone. He recognizes these miracles as being from God. This is a good beginning with Nicodemus.


Perhaps the most logical explanation why Nicodemus came at night was that he was afraid of the implications of associating openly in conversation with Jesus. He chose night in order to have a clandestine meeting with Jesus rather than risk disfavor with his fellow Pharisees. Among whom Jesus was generally unpopular.


John 3:3 "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."


This statement made to Nicodemus was not just for him but for everyone who wants to see the kingdom of God. We know that Verily, verily means that this is beyond a shadow of a doubt.


Jesus answers a question that Nicodemus does not even ask. He read Nicodemus' heart and came to the very core of his problem, i.e., the need for spiritual transformation or regeneration produced by the Holy Spirit. New birth is an act of God whereby eternal life is imparted to the believer.


Chapter (1:12-13), indicates that "born again' also carries the idea "to become children of God" through trust in the name of the incarnate Word.


This statement to a rational man is very difficult to understand. This is really speaking of a drastic change that takes place within a person. The word repent means to turn away from the old life to a new life. This is what this is saying here.


Jesus is telling Nicodemus that to acquire the Kingdom of God is much deeper than just believing in the miracles He did. He is telling Nicodemus that this is drastic, like birth. The change has to be total. You must become a new creature.


"He cannot see the kingdom of God": In context, this is primarily a reference to participation in the millennial kingdom at the end of the age, fervently anticipated by the Pharisees and other Jews. Since the Pharisee were supernaturalists, they naturally and eagerly expected the coming prophesied resurrection of the saints and institution of the messianic kingdom (Isa. 11:1-16, Dan. 12:2).


Their problem was that they thought that mere physical lineage and keeping of religious externals qualified them for entrance into the kingdom rather than the needed spiritual transformation which Jesus emphasized. The coming of the kingdom at the end of the age can be described as the "regeneration" of the word (Matt. 19:28), but regeneration of the individual is required before the end of the world in order to enter the kingdom.


Nicodemus is caught up in things that you can figure out with your mind. He is fully aware of what physical birth is, as you will see in the next verse.


John 3:4 "Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?"


As I said, Nicodemus is thinking in the natural. Many a mother has interceded for her children and seen them spiritually born again because of her prayers. In a sense, she has birthed them twice.


Nicodemus was a teacher himself and understood the rabbinical method of using figurative language to teach spiritual truth, and he was merely picking up Jesus' symbolism.


John 3:5 "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."


Jesus wasn't referring to literal water here but to the need for "cleansing".


Ezekiel 36:24-27 tells us: "For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land." "Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you." "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh." "And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do [them].


The argument of baptism could go on for ages. What has to be done which way. I truly believe it is important to be baptized in water as an outward show to the world that we are buried with Christ and rise again with Him to new life.


If there has not been a baptism of our heart changing us from an old flesh creature to a brand new Spirit being, we can be outwardly baptized forever and it will not mean anything. The transformation takes place in our heart. The issues of life, good or bad, come from the heart.


We must have God's Spirit within us to live in newness of life. Verse six tells it all.


John 3:6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."


The spirit of a man is what he is. Our flesh or our spirit rules over us. We cannot serve two masters. Those who live in the flesh lust after the things of the flesh. The flesh is not in tune with God. When we are born of the flesh, we are consumed by the lusts for the things of the world.


When we are born of the Spirit, we crucify our flesh. We no longer live to please the flesh, our desire is to continually please God. When we are born of the Spirit, our fruit that we bear will be goodness, righteousness, and truth, as we find in;


Ephesians 5:9-10 "(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)" "Proving that which is acceptable unto the Lord."


The first birth of a person is of the flesh, but the rebirth which makes us in right standing with God is of the Spirit. That old earthly man has passed away and we are a brand new creature in Christ.


John 3:7 "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again."


Nicodemus was a learned man of the law and all this seems so strange to him. Jesus tells him not to wonder at it. It is so simple, just accept it. Jesus makes sure Nicodemus knows what He is saying because He says it again here "Ye must be born again" of the Spirit to inherit the kingdom.


John 3:8 "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit."


You cannot see the wind or the Spirit. To try to say where the wind came from or where it is going would be pure presumption. This is like the new birth in the Spirit. You know it is there, but to explain how it got there is another thing. God is a Spirit.


To be born in the Spirit then would be to be born into the family of God. Just as you can see after a wind has gone through and rearranged leaves etc., the same thing is with the Spirit. It has a way of rearranging lives. After a windstorm, you see the results. After a new birth in the Spirit, you see the results, as well.


So the point that Jesus was making was that just as the wind cannot be controlled or understood by human beings but its effects can be witnessed, so also it is with the Holy Spirit. He cannot be controlled or understood, but the proof of His work is apparent. Where the Spirit works, there is undeniable and unmistakable evidence.


That's when a person's whole outlook on life changes.


John 3:9 "Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?"


As we said at the very beginning of this study, Nicodemus was a logical man. He analyzed everything all the time, but this he could not understand. He asks Jesus how can it be?


John 3:10 "Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?"


This is not quite a reprimand, but perhaps a caution. Jesus is telling him, you are a man of the law and you don't know this. It seems too, that Nicodemus must have held an important position because he is called here master of Israel. Nicodemus should have known more about what the Old Testament Scriptures taught.


Jesus' reply emphasized the spiritual bankruptcy of the nation at that time, since even one of the greatest of Jewish teachers did not recognize this teaching on spiritual cleansing and transformation based clearly in the Old Testament (verse 5).


The net effect is to show that externals of religion may have a deadening effect on one's spiritual perception.


John 3:11 "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness."


Nicodemus believed the miracles, but he could not turn loose of his affluent life and become a new creature. He wasn't ready to give up friends and family (that's why he came to find Jesus at night). Nicodemus did not really want a total change, just a little bit of change would be okay.


He didn't want to be a new creature with the old passed away. He liked his old way as master of Israel. We read earlier how this Light of Jesus would shine in darkness and the darkness comprehended it not. Jesus is saying, we are giving you our firsthand knowledge and you don't believe us.


John 3:12 "If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?"


Jesus says to Nicodemus here "The example I gave you was of earthly things that you are acquainted with, and you do not understand. What makes you think you would understand heavenly things of which you know nothing.


Jesus focused on the idea that unbelief is the cause of ignorance. At heart, Nicodemus' failure to understand Jesus' words centered not so much in his intellect but in his failure to believe Jesus' witness.


John Chapter 3 Questions


1. Who was this ruler of the Jews in verse 1?


2. What was he?


3. What does Nicodemus mean?


4. Who does Nicodemus stand against later to take up for Jesus?


5. What makes us know Nicodemus doesn't want anyone else to know he came to Jesus?


6. What does he call Jesus?


7. What made Nicodemus believe Jesus came from God?


8. "Except a man be _______ ________ he cannot see the kingdom of God"


9. What does repent mean?


10. What logical question does Nicodemus ask Jesus?


11. "Except a man be born of _______ and of the _______, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God"


12. Where does the new birth transformation take place?


13. "That which is born of the _______ is ________"


14. "And that which is born of the _______ is _______"


15. We cannot serve ________________ masters.


16. What are the desires of fleshly people?


17. Who rules over the spirit?


18. Name three fruits of the Spirit?


19. Where is this Scripture found on the fruit of the Spirit?


20. What did Jesus tell Nicodemus to marvel not at?


21. What can you not tell about the wind?


22. Compare a windstorm to someone who just received the Spirit.


23. In verse 9, what did he ask Jesus?


24. What did Jesus call Nicodemus that would have made you think he knew more about the Bible?


25. What did Jesus tell Nicodemus he wouldn't understand?




John Chapter 3 Continued

John 3:13 "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the son of man which is in heaven."


Son of man is a messianic title. See (Daniel 7:13), for the Old Testament source. In the last lesson, Jesus was telling Nicodemus how to receive the kingdom of God. Jesus had just finished telling Nicodemus that he did not understand things of the earth, and how could he then understand things of the heavenly.


Jesus is telling Nicodemus, you haven't been up in heaven, so you can't understand. Jesus is speaking of Himself (in verse 13.)


This verse contradicts other religious systems' claims to special revelation from God. Jesus insisted that no one has ascended to heaven in such a way as to return and talk about heavenly things. (2 Cor. 12:1-4). Only He had His permanent abode in heaven prior to His Incarnation and therefore, only He has the true knowledge regarding heavenly wisdom (Prov. 30:4).


He was in heaven with God and came to earth to save us. Jesus is the only one who truly understands the heavenly.


John 3:14 "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:"


In Numbers, it tells the provision that God made for the sins of the people to be forgiven.


Numbers 21:9 "And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived."


This is a veiled prediction of Jesus' death on the cross. Jesus referred to the story of (Numbers 21:5-9), where the Israelite people who looked at the serpent lifted up by Moses were healed. The point of this illustration or analogy is in the "lifted up." Just as Moses lifted up the snake on the pole so that all who looked upon it might live physically. Those who look to Christ, who was "lifted up" on the cross, will live spiritually and eternally.


John 3:15 "That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life."


This serpent was made of brass. Brass means judgment. This serpent and the brass is what you see on a doctor's papers. This serpent lifted up on a pole is the very thing that happens to us with Jesus. Jesus was raised up, and we must look to Him to be saved.


In (2 Kings 18:4), you can read of the destruction of the brazen serpent on the pole. It was just a shadow of what wonderful thing would happen when Jesus should be raised and save us. If we look to Jesus, we will find deliverance.


This is the first of 10 references to "eternal life" in John's gospel. The same Greek word is translated in some versions as "everlasting life." The two expressions appear in the New Testament nearly 50 times.


Eternal like refers not only to eternal quantity but divine quality of life. It means literally "life of the age to come" and refers therefore to resurrection and heavenly existence in perfect glory and holiness. This life for believers in the Lord Jesus is experienced before heaven is reached.


This "eternal life" is in essence, nothing less that participation in the eternal life of the Living Word, Jesus Christ. It is the life of God in every believer, yet not fully manifest until the resurrection.


Notice salvation is for whosoever will. Believeth means continues to believe. The Him is Jesus Christ our Lord.


(Romans 10:9), goes into a little more detail about this belief. If we truly believe in our heart and confess with our mouth, we shall be saved and not perish. Believing in Jesus as Savior and Lord brings everlasting life.


John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."


This is the most quoted Scripture in the entire Bible. You can easily see why; because it is full of so much hope. We need to take a very good look at it. "God so loved"; this is a love so far above anything man knows that we really do not understand.


The word loved here is translated from Agape which means to love much in a moral sense. This love goes way beyond the human ability to love. This type of love is not because, but in spite of. He loved us with this love so much, that while we were yet in sin, He sent His Son to die on the cross to save us: not because we deserved it, but because we didn't deserve it.


The Son's mission is bound up in the supreme love of God for the evil, sinful "world" of humanity that is in rebellion against Him. The word "so" emphasizes the intensity or greatness of His love. The Father gave His unique and beloved Son to die on behalf of sinful men.


Jesus came to save the lost. It is so simple and yet so hard. Believeth here again, means continues to believe. You see, salvation is a way of life. Every day when we get up we must remember all over again and believe. This is not something we do causally. This belief means to believe in God and love Him more than anything or anyone else.


(Matthew 22:37), tells us what this love and belief is: "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind."


You see, if you really believe, you will practice the verse above. God will be first in your life, or He will not be in your life at all. There is no way to perish if you are in this right standing with God. He has prepared for us a place to spend all of eternity with Him.


John 3:17 "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."


This "sent here" shows that Jesus is on a mission to accomplish for forever. The name Jesus, as we have said before, means Savior or Jehovah Savior. The Word took on the name of Jesus Christ for His work of salvation.


There is a time, at the end of the age, when Jesus will be Judge and will determine each of our destinations, whether heaven or hell.


His mission to the earth, however, was to save all mankind who would accept it. The name of Jesus is very powerful. The only way to get to heaven is through belief in Him. So, through Him we receive eternal life.


John 3:18 "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."


Salvation is so simple. So many do not receive God, because they have pre-conceived ideas of how it is so hard to be saved. Faith in the name of Jesus Christ, speaking of this belief to others, and a love for God that surpasses all others is so intertwined that they are inseparable. To believe in Him truly and completely changes our life.


This phrase (Literally "to believe on him"), means more than mere intellectual ascent to the claims of the gospel. It includes trust and commitment to Christ as Lord and Savior which results in receiving a new nature (verse 7), which produces a change in heart and obedience to the Lord.


To believe on the name of Jesus thus causes us to keep His commandments. To believe on His name brings peace, joy, and hope. If we believe, we are assured of the resurrection.


We are not like those who have refused Him and have no hope. When Thomas asked Jesus how he could know the way, Jesus said "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life."


John 3:19 "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."


We have spoken so much about the Light. This Light is Jesus. This Light gives everything the power to live. The best thing this Light does is do away with darkness. The great thing about this Light is that it shines into all the corners of life and makes manifest (visible), the works.


People, who have rejected the Light of Jesus, want their deeds to be hidden by darkness. They are ashamed to have them out in the open. I have said it before, but notice most crimes are done under cover of darkness. Where there is absence of light, darkness prevails.


Everything pertaining to darkness pertains to Satan and his crowd. Come to the Light and let this Light do away with all the darkness in your life.


John 3:20 "For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved."


We see here a contrast. The evil doer will hate the Light because it would reveal his evil conduct. This could have to do with the followers of Jesus (Light), and the followers of Satan (darkness).


Those who drink, swear, and do all sorts of bad things hate those who do good things. It gives the evil children of darkness a terrible guilt complex to be around those of truth and life. Comparisons are bound to come up, and those who walk in darkness fall way short.


Those who are living evil lives hate those who are following Jesus. Their sins make them feel guilty, and that causes them to hate.


John 3:21 "But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."


Truth, love, joy, peace, honesty, and happiness need no darkness to hide in. They are products of the Light. Those who live in the Light are eager to have any small things in their life that are not pleasing to God become know to them, so they can get rid of them.


They are growing constantly in honesty, peace, and truth. The Light reveals what is there. If they are good deeds, you do not want them hidden.


John Chapter 3 Continued Questions


1. What man hath ascended up to heaven in verse 13?


2. Why can't Nicodemus understand?


3. Even as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, who must be lifted up?


4. What was the serpent made of in Numbers?


5. What does that metal mean?


6. What do we see in doctor's offices today that is taken from the Old Testament and points to healing?


7. If we look to Jesus we will find ________________________.


8. Who is salvation for?


9. What is the most memorized Scripture in the entire Bible?


10. What kind of love is spoken of in John 3:16?


11. What is the difference between God's love and man's love?


12. ________________________________ is a way of life.


13. How are we to love God?


14. God sent not his Son into the world to ____________ it but to __________ it.


15. What does the word send in verse 17 show about Jesus?


16. When will Jesus be Judge?


17. In verse 18, what does anyone need to do not to be condemned?


18. Why do men love darkness rather than light?


19. What is the very best thing Light does?


20. "For every one that doeth evil hateth the ____________________"


21. Why does he that doeth truth come to the Light?


22. Name six things that need no cover of darkness.




John Chapter 3 Second Continued

Verses 22-36: This section constitutes John the Baptist's last testimony in this gospel regarding Christ. As his ministry faded away, Jesus' ministry moved to the forefront. In spite of the fact that John the Baptist received widespread fame in Israel and was generally accepted by the common people of the land as well as those who where social outcasts, his testimony regarding Jesus was rejected. Especially by the leaders of Israel.


John 3:22 "After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized."


While the previous episode with Nicodemus took place in Jerusalem, which was part of Judea, the phrase here means that Jesus went out into the rural areas of that region.


(Chapter 4:2), specifically says that Jesus did not personally baptize but that His disciples carried on this work. In John 4:2, we see that Jesus didn't personally baptize,


John 4:2 "(though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,)". Jesus preached and His disciples baptized. These country folk seemed to be more acceptable of Jesus than those of the temple.


John 3:23 "And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized."


The exact location of this reference is disputed. The phrase may refer to either Salim near Shechem or Salim that is six miles South of Beth-shean. Both are in the region of Samaria. Aenon is a transliterated Hebrew word meaning "springs", and both these possible sites have plenty of water.


We see here that John the Baptist was still preaching repentance and pointing them to the Savior. Possibly thousands of people were baptized by John, and the fact that abundant water was there would be important.


John did not go and join Jesus' group because that was not what God called him to do. He was to proclaim the coming of Messiah and tell those who didn't know that He was here.


John 3:24 "For John was not yet cast into prison."


This provides another indication that John supplemented the synoptic gospels by providing additional information that helps further understanding of the movements of John the Baptist and Jesus.


In Matthew and Mark, Christ's temptation is followed by John's imprisonment. With this phrase, John the apostle fills in the slot between Jesus' baptism and temptation and the Baptist's imprisonment.


John had spoken boldly about Herod taking his brother's wife, Herodias, as his wife. He went so far as to tell them that they were living in adultery.


John would be cast into prison and lose his head for this accusation.


John 3:25 "Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying."


The town that John was in was probably pretty close to Jerusalem, since this question arose. This ceremonial cleansing with the Jews was very important and this seemed to be what the discussion was about.


Jesus had taught that what went on in the heart was much more important than these washings from without. To receive Jesus, there had to be a change of heart. The spirit of man (within), was what had to be clean. The cleansed heart brought good things to surface.


The Levitical law contained many ordinances to washing the outward flesh. I guess if there was one basic difference in the law and grace, it is the difference in flesh and spirit. Jesus looked on the inside of man. The law looked on the outside.


Washing away your sins with baptism is the baptism of repentance and has to do with the past. The baptism of the Spirit changes man from within.


The real underlying impetus however centered in the concern of John's disciples that Jesus was in competition with him.



This next section of verses 25-36 may be divided into 3 parts which highlight the significance of what was occurring in relationship to John's and Jesus' ministry:


1) John the Baptist constituted the end of the old age in (verses 25-29);


(2) the transition to Jesus' ministry in (verse 30); and


(3) Jesus' ministry as constituting the beginning of the new age in verses (31-36).


Instead of jealousy, John exhibited humble faithfulness to the superiority of Jesus' persona and ministry.


John 3:26 "And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him."


This is meaning John's disciples came to him. Rabbi is a name of great importance. Jesus was called by this name by those who had great respect for Him. The strange thing to understand here is that John's disciples knew that John spoke of Jesus as Messiah. Why did they not follow Jesus?


Perhaps it was loyalty to John, but John's mission was to open up the way for Jesus the Christ (Messiah). These disciples are disappointed that more people are being baptized by Jesus' disciples.


The potential conflict between John and Jesus was heightened by the fact that both were engaged in ministry in close proximity to one another. Because baptism is mentioned in (verse 22), Jesus may have been close to Jericho near the fords of the Jordan, while John was a short distance North baptizing at Aenon. John's followers were especially disturbed by the fact that so many were flocking to Jesus whereas formerly they had come to John.


John 3:27 "John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven."


John is telling his disciples here that he has done the job that God gave him to do. He is not supposed to do more. His mission is complete. Ministers of today should look at this. John is not jealous of Jesus. John has done the job that God gave him to do.


This verse emphasizes God's sovereign authority in granting ministry opportunity.


Everyone who has ever been called to do anything for God should do exactly what they are called to do, nothing more and nothing less. We should never compare ourselves with others' calls. Their call is different. We must do what God called us to do and not someone else's job. It may be great or small. Whatever it is, it is our job.


John 3:28 "Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him."


John, half-reprimanding his disciples, says "I told you that I was preparing you for the Messiah (Christ)".


John quickly tells them "I told you from the beginning that I am not Messiah. I was sent as a messenger to tell of Him and to make the road open for everyone to receive Him when He came. You know that is what I said; you are my witness that is all that I said."


John 3:29 "He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled."


We see here, John giving them an earthly example so that they will understand. The friend here is like the best man at the wedding. He helps prepare for the wedding and gets everything ready for the wedding, but the groom and bride are the main participants.


The friend must step aside when the wedding actually begins. This friend found his greatest joy in watching the ceremony proceed without problems.


We know that this Scripture has a deeper meaning than just the surface. Most likely John was also alluding to Old Testament passages where faithful Israel is depicted as the bride or the Lord (Isa. 62:4-5; Jer. 2:2; Hosea 2:16-20).


The bride is the church; those who receive Jesus as Savior are the bride. Jesus is the bridegroom. John rejoiced because his message was true.


John 3:30 "He must increase, but I must decrease."


John is saying "This is the one that I prepared the way for. Now that He is here, I must step aside and let Him take over". John is saying the messenger is not as important as the message. When the message arrives, the messenger's job is done.



In (verses 31:36) John the Baptist gives 5 reasons for Christ's superiority to him:


(1) Christ had a heavenly origin (verse 31);


(2) Christ knew what was true by firsthand experience (verse 32);


(3) Christ's testimony always agreed with God (verse 33);


(4) Christ experienced the Holy Spirit in an unlimited manner (verse 34;


(5) Christ was supreme because the Father sovereignty had granted that status to Him (verse 35).


John 3:31-32 "He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all." "And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony."


These verses bring together several of the themes from the entire chapter. From the immediate context, John explained why Jesus the incarnate word must become greater, i.e., He alone is "from above" (heavenly origin) and therefore "above all."


John says here "I am an earthly body, and all I can tell you about is the earth, but Jesus is the Word who took on flesh. This Jesus can tell you all about heaven, because He has been living in heaven. He (Jesus), is above me. He is my God."


He, Jesus, has firsthand knowledge of heaven, the heavenly beings, and the throne of God. He was there. Jesus does not tell you of things He believes. He tells you of things He knows. He has seen these things with His own eyes, and heard the things He tells you with His own ears.


Men do not believe Him, because they do not know who He is, God the Son. Even though the Scriptures have prophesied His coming for so many years, now that He is here, they do not believe Him.


John could not reveal heaven's counsel like Jesus, the God-Man.


John 3:33 "He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true."


Those who have received Him, have received the Truth of God. God's promises always come about. Those who believe Jesus Christ of Nazareth is Messiah the Savior have their names written in the Lamb's book of life.


John 3:34 "For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him."


Jesus was completely filled with the Spirit. Every gift of the Spirit was active in Jesus. It tells it the very way it is in Colossians.


Colossians 2:9 "For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily."


God gave the Spirit to the Son without limits.


You see, Jesus was God the Word, who became God the Son. We call Him Jesus because His purpose on the earth was to be our Jehovah Savior.


John 3:35 "The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand."


In (Matthew 11:27), the Lord Jesus says that all things were given unto Him. John the Baptist heard the voice from heaven say "This is my beloved Son".


John has heard of the miracles that Jesus has done which was not part of John's ministry as well. He knows who this is.


John 3:36 "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."


We read this very same meaning in (Romans 10:9-10). Believeth, as we have said before, has a much deeper meaning than what we see on the surface here. Believeth means continues to believe in the face of all kinds of hardships.


Jesus expresses Himself later in this book of John by saying "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life" (John 4:16). We have discussed how the breath of life within us was placed there by God. Believing has to do with being willing to be obedient to God. If we believe, then we will follow in the footsteps of Jesus.


He is Truth, Happiness, Joy, Knowledge, Love, and a million other really good things. How could we be such a fool to turn down all of that by saying we do not believe. It is so simple to truly believe way down deep in our heart and then confess that belief to others.


I want to say one thing here that might not relate too closely, but I believe it is a point. Adam and Eve were in the garden where the Tree of life was. The Tree of life (Jesus), was available to them. It was in the center of the garden. Had they eaten of the Tree of life (Jesus), they would have lived forever.


They ate around the edge of the garden. They didn't take the trouble to go to the center of the garden. Christians (so called), stop nibbling at the edge of the garden. Make Jesus (the Tree of life), the center of your life and you too, will acquire everlasting life.


This constitutes a fitting climax to the chapter. John the Baptist laid out two alternatives, genuine faith and defiant disobedience, thereby bringing to the forefront the threat of looming judgment. As John faded from the forefront, he offered an invitation to faith in the Son and clearly expressed the ultimate consequence of failure to believe, i.e. "the wrath of God."


John 3 Second Continued Questions


1. What were Jesus and His men doing in the land of Judea?


2. Did Jesus actually baptize?


3. Who was baptizing at Aenon?


4. Why did they choose that spot?


5. In verse 24, we know that what awaits John?


6. What were the questions that arose between Jesus' disciples and John's disciples?


7. Jesus taught that the purifying that was necessary was what?


8. What is the difference between the law and Jesus' teaching?


9. What honorable name did John's disciples call him?


10. What slight exaggeration did John's disciple make?


11. What was John's mission God gave him?


12. Where are the orders given for anyone who is called to the ministry?


13. What did John remind his disciples of in verse 28?


14. Who is the bridegroom symbolic of in verse 29?


15. Who is the bridegroom's friend?


16. Why was John rejoicing that Jesus had the greater number of followers?


17. In verse 30, what does John say about himself and Jesus?


18. Which is more important, the message or the messenger?


19. Who is above all?


20. Why can Jesus tell so well about heavenly things?


21. What have those done who received Jesus' testimony?


22. Who is the only one who ever was filled completely with the Spirit on earth?


23. In Colossians 2:9, what do we learn of Jesus?


24. Who gave all things into Jesus' hands?


25. How did John know that God the Father loved Jesus?


26. He that believeth on the Son hath _______ _____________.


27. What abideth on him that believes not?


28. What causes us to be obedient to God?


29. Where was the Tree of Life located in the Garden of Eden?


30. What lesson can we Christians learn from the location of the Tree?





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John 4



John Chapter 4

Verses 1-26: The story of the Samaritan woman reinforces John's main theme that Jesus is the Messiah and son of God. The thrust of these verses is not so much her conversion but that Jesus is Messiah (verse 26).


While her conversion is clearly implied, the apostle's focus centers on Jesus' declaration foretold in the Scriptures (verses 25). Important also is the fact that this chapter demonstrates Jesus' love and understanding of people. His love for mankind involved no boundaries, for He lovingly and compassionately reached out to a woman who was a social outcast.


In contrast to the limitations of human love, Christ exhibits the character of divine love that is indiscriminate and all encompassing (3:16).


John 4:1 "When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,"


These Pharisees opposed John the Baptist, but they were even more opposed to Jesus Himself. By this time word had filtered out to them that Jesus was baptizing even more than John. This angered the Pharisees.


John 4:2-3 "(Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,)" "He left Judea, and departed again into Galilee."


We see here in parentheses that it was actually Jesus' disciples who were doing the actual baptizing. Jesus was preaching, and His men were baptizing.


Jesus left these religious people of that day and went out to where His message would be more readily accepted. Jesus would go to the people themselves over the leaders of the temple.


John the Baptist and Jesus had official scrutiny focused on them because of their distinctive message regarding repentance and the kingdom. Most likely, Jesus wanted to avoid any possible trouble with John's disciples who were troubled with His growing popularity, and since the Pharisees were also focusing on His growing influence, Jesus decided to leave Judea and travel North in order to avoid any conflict.


John 4:4 "And he must needs go through Samaria."


Samaria means watch mountain. This had been an evil city. Ahab built a temple to Baal. Elisha and Elijah had ministered in Samaria also. This became a city that Philip preached in.


Several roads led from Judea to Galilee. One near the seacoast; another through the region of Perea; and one through the heart of Samaria. Even with the strong antipathy between Jews and Samaritans, the Jewish historian Josephus relates that the custom of Judeans at the time of the great festivals was to travel through the country of the Samarians because it was the shortest route. Although the verb "had to, or must needs go" may possibly refer to the fact that Jesus wanted to save time and needless steps. Because of the gospel's emphasis on the Lord's consciousness of fulfilling His Father's plan, the apostle may have been highlighting divine, spiritual necessity. I.e., Jesus had an appointment with divine destiny in meeting the Samaritan woman, to whom He would reveal His messiahship.


We see here that Jesus passes through Samaria. This Samaria is probably the country of which the capital is the city of Samaria.


John 4:5 "Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph."


This and the next verse refer back to (Genesis 48:22), where Jacob bequeathed a section of land to Joseph which he had purchased from the "sons of Hamor". When the Jews returned from Egypt, they buried Joseph's bones in that land at Shechem. This area became the inheritance of Joseph's descendants.


The precise location of "Jacob's well" has been set by a firm tradition among Jews, Samaritans, Muslims, and Christians and lies today in the shadow of the crypt of an unfinished Orthodox church. The term used here for "well", denotes a running spring, while in (11-12), John used another term for "well" that means "cistern" or "dug out well", indicating that the well was both dug out and fed by an underground spring. This spring is still active today.


This word Sychar means town of drunkards or town of liars. There is no record of a town by this name, so many believe it was John's way of telling of the sins of the city Shechem.


This town is probably identified with the modern village of Askar on the shoulder of Mt. Ebal, opposite Mt. Gerizim. A continuous line of tradition identifies Jacob's well as lying about a half mile South of Askar.


In (Genesis 33:19), and in numerous other Scriptures, it appears it is the land of Shechem.


John 4:6 "Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour."


We see this then is about noon time (6th hour). John used Roman time so this would be about 6 p.m.


In the flesh, Jesus would get tired just as we do. He was weary from all this walking and in His humanity, would suffer from physical limitations. He sat down on the well to rest.


We read about Jacob having this well dug in Genesis.


John 4:7 "There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink."


Jesus here is speaking to a woman of not very high estate, because she is drawing water.


Jesus is a Jew and she is drawing water. Jesus is a Jew and she is a Samaritan. For a Jewish man to speak to a woman in public, let alone to ask from her, a Samaritan, for a drink was a definite breach of rigid social custom. As well as a marked departure for the social animosity that existed between the two groups.


Further, a "rabbi" and religious leader did not hold conversations with women of ill repute (verse 18).


Jesus asks her for a drink, so that He might bless her.


John 4:8 "(For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)"


This tells us a few things about the disciples. They had money to buy with. They were not totally without funds. Jesus does not just make food appear every time they get hungry. When they can provide for themselves, He lets them.


This verse indicates that since Jesus and His disciples were willing to purchase food from Samaritans, they did not follow some of the self-imposed regulations of stricter Jews, who would have been unwilling to eat food handled by outcast Samaritans.


John 4:9 "Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans."


Had the disciples been with Jesus, this conversation between Jesus and the Samaritan woman would have been harder. The disciples would not have wanted her speaking to Jesus.


Notice also here, that Jesus is where we are so that we might receive Him.


This woman was aware that the Jews thought themselves better than the Samaritans. She knew that many of the men of Samaria thought of women not too highly either, so she brought that up also. Jesus had a great deal to do with women. This was no barrier to Him.


Just as the churches in most of the cities of the U.S. today are about 75% women, a large part of Jesus' followers were women then including all of the Marys', Martha, Dorcas, Joanna, Susanna, and many others.


(Luke 8:2-3), mentions some of these women who helped Jesus.


John 4:10 "Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water."


The Old Testament is the background for this term, which has important metaphorical significance. In (Jer. 2:13), Yahweh decries the disobedient Jews for rejecting Him, the "fountain of living waters." The Old Testament prophets looked forward to a time when "living waters will flow out of Jerusalem" (Zech. 14:8; Ezek. 47:9).


The Old Testament metaphor spoke of the knowledge of God and His grace which provides cleansing, spiritual life, and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.


John applies these themes to Jesus Christ as the living water which is symbolic of eternal life mediated by the Holy Spirit from Him (verse 14; 6:35; 7:37-39). Jesus used the woman's need for physical water to sustain life in this arid region in order to serve as an object lesson for their need for spiritual transformation.


The gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ. We see from this that it is necessary to know who Jesus is before we can receive eternal life from Him.


This living water is the gift of the Holy Ghost. This water that springs inside of us never stops flowing. Jesus is telling her to ask and she will receive, if she believes.


John 4:11 "The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water."


This woman, like so many of our modern day church members, can only see the physical. She rationalizes that the well is deep, and He has nothing to draw the water out with.


John 4:12 "Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?"


She is claiming to be a descendent of Jacob. Jacob through Joseph, through Ephraim, would have been the chain. What she doesn't realize is that Jesus was before Jacob and, in fact, is Jacob's God.


John 4:13-14 "Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:" "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."


This is the water of the Holy Spirit of God. There is a song called "There Is a River". It says in this song that this river flows from deep within. Water spoken of in many places in the Bible means the Word.


We see here then that Jesus is offering to her the water of life. She had been looking at the well of Jacob which brings water to quench the fleshly thirst. The water Jesus has is water of the Spirit.


John 4:15 "The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw."


The woman, like (Nicodemus in 3:4), did not realize that Jesus was talking about her spiritual needs. Instead, in her mind, she wanted such water in order to avoid her frequent trips to Jacob's well.


Jesus had told her (in verse 10), if she asked, He would give her this water. Here she asked. She is like many Christians who believe Jesus' gifts are to make our flesh feel better. Jesus' gifts are of the Spirit.


John 4:16 "Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither."


Since the woman failed to understand the nature of the living water He offered (verse 15), Jesus abruptly turned the dialogue to focus sharply on her real spiritual need for conversion and cleansing from sin. His intimate knowledge of her morally depraved life not only indicated His supernatural ability, but also focused on her spiritual condition.


This does not mean that her husband would have to come for her to receive salvation from God. It just shows us that Jesus knows she doesn't have a husband, and He says this to her to get her to repent of her sins. If you will, He is activating her conscience.


John 4:17-18 "The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband:" "For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly."


She was living conjugally with a man who Jesus said was not her husband. By such an explicit statement, our Lord rejected the notion that when two people live together it constitutes marriage. Biblically, marriage is always restricted to a public, formal, official and recognized covenant.


Jesus knew all of this about her, before He ever began speaking to her. The wonderful thing to me in all of this is that even though her sins were scarlet, Jesus offered salvation to her. He accepts her penitent heart when she says "I have no husband".


John 4:19 "The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet."


Jesus' knowledge of her life indicated that He had supernatural inspiration.


John 4:20 "Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship."


Both Jews and Samaritans recognized that God had commanded their forefathers to identify a special place for worshipping Him (Deut. 12:5). The Jews, recognizing the entire Hebrew canon, chose Jerusalem. The Samaritans, recognizing only the Pentateuch, noted that the first place Abraham built an altar to God was at Shechem (Gen. 12:6-7), which was overlooked by Mt. Gerizim, where the Israelites had shouted the blessings promised by God before they entered the Promised Land. As a result, they chose Mt. Gerizim for the place of their temple.


We see in this that this woman's people only believe the Pentateuch, or the first five books of Moses. For her to see that Jesus is a prophet is more than her people will accept.


They (the Samaritans), did not accept the prophetic books of the Bible as truth. Abraham and Jacob had built altars in this area, but they had been off and on with true worship.


We see that she is aware that the Jews thought mount Moriah should be where God's temple should be. For special celebrations, Jews from all over Israel came to Jerusalem to worship. Passover was one of those occasions.


John 4:21 "Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father."


There was no reason to debate locations, since both places would be obsolete soon and neither would have any role to play in the lives of those who genuinely worship God. Jerusalem would even be destroyed with its temple in 70 A.D. by General Titus of the Romans.


In a very few short years (about forty), the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed.


John Chapter 4 Questions


1. When Jesus heard that the Pharisees had heard He was baptizing more than John, what did He do?


2. Who really was doing the actual baptizing?


3. What country did Jesus go through?


4. What does Samaria mean?


5. Who were two prominent prophets who had ministered here?


6. What was the name of the city where He came?


7. Who had Jacob given land to here?


8. What does Sychar mean?


9. What was John probably doing calling Shechem by this name?


10. Where did Jesus stop to rest His body?


11. What time of day was it when Jesus stopped to rest?


12. Who came to the well?


13. What did Jesus ask her for?


14. Where were the disciples when this happened?


15. What does this Scripture tell us about the needs of the disciples?


16. Who did she say the Jews had no dealings with?


17. Was the fact that she was a woman a barrier for Jesus?


18. "If thou knewest the ______ of ____ and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water."


19. What is the gift of God?


20. Living water symbolizes what?


21. What two reasons did she give Jesus why He could not get water?


22. She asks Jesus "Art thou greater than our father _____________."


23. Jesus told her, if she drank of this well water she would __________ _________."


24. If she drinks of the water He gives her, what will happen?


25. In verse 15, she asks Jesus for what?


26. Who did Jesus tell her to call?


27. What is her answer?


28. How many husbands had she had?


29. What did she perceive Jesus was?


30. Where did the Jews say was the place to worship?


31. What did Jesus tell her would happen soon?




John Chapter 4 Continued

We had (verse 21), in the last lesson, but it bears repeating here. To set the scene, Jesus is speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well.


John 4:21. "Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father."


There was no reason to debate locations, since both places would be obsolete soon and neither would have any role to play in the lives of those who genuinely worshipped God. Jerusalem would even be destroyed with its temple in 70 A.D.


Notice that Jesus does not reprimand her for worshipping here rather than in Jerusalem. God cannot be contained in a house.


John 4:22 "Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews."


The Samaritans did not know God. They did not have the full revelation of Him, and thus could not worship in truth.


They worshipped the unknown God of the first five books of the Bible. Those are the books of Moses. Jesus reminds her here that the law came through the Jews. He is actually telling her that through Him (a Jew), salvation comes.


The Jews did have the full revelation of God in the Old Testament, thus they knew the God they worshiped, because salvation's truth came first to them and through them to the world.


John 4:23 "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him."


Jesus is explaining to the woman here, that true worship takes place in your heart. Worship (true), is not in all the ceremonial things you do, but do you really love the Father in your heart and desire to please Him?


Spirit is not capitalized above because this is speaking of man's spirit.


The will of true Christians is to do what God would have them do. They diligently search the Bible to find the will of the Father, that they might live in it.


1 Samuel 15:22 "And Samuel said, Hath the LORD [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams."


Jesus is the truth. They live the truth. Their spirit controls their flesh and lives to please the Father.


The Bible must be our textbook. Jesus must be Lord of everything in our life. We cannot live a fleshly and a spirit life. Let the spirit control the flesh and we will please God.


This scripture refers to Jesus' death, resurrection, and ascension to God, having completed redemption.


"True worshipers": Jesus' point is that in light of His coming as Messiah and Savior, worshipers will be identified, not by a particular shrine or location, but by their worship of the Father through the Son. With Christ's coming, previous distinctions between true and false worshipers based on locations disappeared. True worshipers are all those everywhere who worship God through the Son, from the heart.


John 4:24 "God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth."


This verse represents the classical statement on the nature of God as Spirit. The phase means that God is invisible as opposed to the physical or material nature of man. The word order of this phrase puts an emphasis on "spirit," and the statement is essentially emphatic. Man, could never comprehend the invisible God unless He revealed Himself, as He did in Scripture and the incarnation.


This is the image we are made in. We are a spirit dwelling in a house (flesh), and we have a soul (will). The flesh will return to dust. God is eternal. Our Spirit will live eternally. This spirit will take on a new heavenly body for our stay in heaven.


"In spirit and truth": The word "spirit" does not refer to the Holy Spirit but to the human spirit. Jesus' point here is that a person must worship not simply by external conformity to religious rituals and places (outwardly), but inwardly ("in spirit"), with the proper heart attitude. The reference to "truth" refers to worship of God consistent with the revealed Scripture and centered on the "Word made flesh" who ultimately revealed His Father.


The Father, Word, and Holy Ghost are one in Spirit. Only the spirit of man can truly worship this God who is Spirit. If we submit our will to the Father as Jesus did when He said "Nevertheless not my will but thine", we will be worshipping the way He would have us to.


John 4:25 "The woman saith unto him, I know that Messiah cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things."


She knows something about the Scriptures, because she knows Messiah is promised. It even appears that she realizes more about Him than many others do. She knows that He won't just tell them where to worship, but will reveal to them the will of the Father as well.


The Samaritans also anticipated Messiah's coming.


John 4:26 "Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he."


Jesus forthrightly declared Himself to be Messiah, thought His habit was to avoid such declarations to His own Jewish people who had such crassly political and militaristic views regarding Messiah. The "He" in this translation is not in the original Greek for Jesus literally said "I who speak to you am." The usage of "I am" is reminiscent of (8:58). This claim constitutes the main point of the story regarding the Samaritan woman.


This is really the first time Jesus has come right out and said who He was with nothing hidden. Jesus knew that He was not to reign as King at this time. He had hidden from others just exactly who He was, because He knew that was not to be His job this time on earth.


Verses 27-42 reinforce Jesus' acknowledgment that He was Messiah by offering proof for His claim. John gave 5 genuine, but subtle, proofs that Jesus was truly Messiah and Son of God which reinforced his main theme of 20:31.


1. Proof from His immediate control of everything (verse 27).


2. Proof from His impact on the woman (verses 28-30).


3. Proof from His intimacy with the Father (verses 31-34).


4. Proof from His insight into men's souls (verses 35-38).


5. Proof from His impression on the Samaritans (verses 39-42).


John 4:27 "And upon this came his disciples, and marveled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her?"


Had the disciples arrived earlier, they would have interrupted and destroyed the conversation. And if they had arrived any later, she would have gone and they would not have heard His declaration of messiahship. This feature subtly reveals Jesus' divine control over the situation that was occurring.


The Rabbis' had taught that a man should not salute a woman in a public place. These teachings, like so many other things taught, were not really the wishes of God, but man. They marveled because in their eyes, He was too good to speak with a woman.


One of the things Jesus did was take away the curse on the women. He treated them equally with the men. In fact, a great portion of His followers were women. We found in Luke that they ministered to Him with their substance. He lifted woman to her true position by the side of man.


They were the last at the cross and the first at the sepulcher. They received the baptism of the Spirit in Acts.


In Christ there is no male or female (Galatians 3:28). Jesus was interested in the spirit, not the flesh. The spirit knows no gender.


John 4:28-29 "The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men," "Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?"


By this time she was so excited that she left this water pot behind. I am sure she ran to the city to tell everyone who would listen. This word she carries is like a missionary in a hostile land.


Jesus had such an impact on the woman that she was eager to share the news among the townspeople whom she had previously avoided because of her reputation.


She came to the men and told them "Come see a man which told me all about my life." Then she poses the question "Is this not the Christ?"


John 4:30 "Then they went out of the city, and came unto him."


Her witness and candor regarding her own life had so impressed the men of the city, that they came to see Jesus for themselves.


Her excitement is what caused them to go and see.


John 4:31 "In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat."


The disciples had gone to Sychar and gotten food and now they are back and hungry. They say "Master, eat".


John 4:32 "But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of."


Jesus is not as absorbed with pleasing the flesh as the disciples are. Jesus fasts for many days at a time. He is more interested in the salvation of this woman than He is in eating.


Just like the Samaritan woman's misunderstanding of Jesus words regarding literal water (verse 15), Jesus' own disciples thought only of literal food. John commonly used such misunderstanding to advance the argument of his gospel (See 2:20 and 3:3).


John 4:33 "Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him aught to eat."


They were thinking that perhaps this woman brought Him something to eat. What they didn't realize is that He was not as absorbed with caring for His body as they were.


John 4:34 "Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work."


Most likely Jesus echoed (Deut. 8:3), where Moses stated "man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord".


When He talked with the Samaritan woman, Jesus was performing the will of the Father and thereby received greater sustenance and satisfaction that any mere physical food could offer Him.


The thing which makes Jesus happy is not a big meal, but to know He is doing the will of the Father. He realizes time is running out and wants to get on with the job He was sent to do. I have said it before, but it is very important that we become able to say "Not my will but thine, O Lord", just as Jesus did.


His obedience to and dependence upon God's will summed up Jesus' whole life. God's will for Him to finish is explained (in 6:38-40).


John 4:35 "Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest."


The event probably happened in December or January which was 4 months before the normal spring harvest which was in mid April. Crops were planted in November and by December or January, the grain would be sprouting up in vibrant green color.


Jesus used the fact that they were surrounded by crops growing in the field and waiting to be harvested as an object lesson to illustrate His urgency about reaching the lost which the "harvest" symbolized.


This is certainly a spiritual harvest spoken of here. Jesus is telling these disciples "What are you waiting for? The time to bring people into the kingdom is now." Jesus speaks of the harvest of people into the kingdom.


Because Jesus has revealed Himself to this woman of Samaria, now she is bringing with her the men of Samaria. Today we can look at the signs of the times and know the fields are white unto the harvest.


Jesus points out the Samaritan woman and people of Sychar (lift up your eyes), who were at that moment coming upon the scene (verse 30), looking like a ripened "harvest" that urgently needed "gathering, i.e., evangelizing.


Jesus may have pointed to the multitudes who came from Sychar to see Him because of the testimony of the woman.


"White ... harvest": Their white clothing seen above the growing grain may have looked like white heads on the stalks, an indication of readiness for harvest. Jesus knew the hearts of all (2:24), so was able to state their readiness for salvation.


Verses 36-38 contain the Lord's call to His disciple to do the work of evangelism contains promises of reward (wages), fruit that brings eternal joy verse 36), and the mutual partnership of shared privilege (verses 37-38).


John 4:36 "And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together."


The sower would be the first one to bring the message of the Lord Jesus. Then another minister or prophet will come by and water (add a little more), the seed that was planted. Then comes harvest time, another which did not plant the seed, nor water it comes along and brings in the harvest.


All have laid up treasures in heaven for their efforts in bringing these to the Lord. Jesus is the Lord of the harvest. The angels in heaven rejoice when one comes into the kingdom. The people who were a part of bringing the person to the knowledge of God rejoice greatly that they could be a part.


John 4:37-38 "And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth." "I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labor: other men labored. And ye are entered into their labors."


The seed had been sown and re-sown ever since the first day Jesus preached. Even now, every Scripture you mention to a lost soul is like seed. The seed is the Word of God, whoever sows it. As we said above, someone sows, and another comes and nurtures.


Jesus is telling His disciples, and even speaking to us now, to go out into the field and harvest the souls for Him.


Just as the roofer comes after the house is built and puts a roof on so is the person who baptizes someone who someone else has planted the Word in. The foundation, the walls, and even the inner roof, has to be put up before the roofer comes and puts the final roof on.


Many a mother will witness and pray for a son or daughter all of her life. Sometimes she even dies before they come into the kingdom, but they will come in. She planted the seed and someone else harvests, but God gets the crop.


John Chapter 4 Continued Questions


1. Jesus told the woman of Samaria that there would come a time when she would not worship on _______ _____________ or in _____________.


2. Salvation is of the ________________.


3. What did Jesus say she worshipped?


4. What was the only part of the Bible these Samaritans used?


5. The true worshippers worship the Father in what two ways?


6. True worship takes place where?


7. Why is spirit not capitalized in verse 23?


8. What does the Bible say is better than sacrifice?


9. Verse 24 tells us God is a ___________________.


10. How are the Father, Word, Holy Ghost one?


11. Who did the woman say she knew was coming?


12. What is another name for Messiah?


13. What did this woman of Samaria say Messiah would tell them?


14. What did Jesus tell the woman in verse 26?


15. What did the disciples marvel at?


16. Who were the last at the cross and the first at the sepulcher?


17. Who did this woman go and tell in Sychar?


18. What did she tell them?


19. What reaction did they have?


20. What did the disciples try to get Jesus to do?


21. What surprising thing did Jesus tell them?


22. When Jesus refused to eat, what did they assume?


23. Jesus said "My meat is to do the __________ of him that sent me, and to finish his work."


24. In verse 35, Jesus told them not to say harvest was in four months, but to do what?


25. What kind of harvest is this speaking of?


26. Who will rejoice over the harvest?


27. Give an example of one sowing and another reaping.




John Chapter 4 Second Continued

John 4:39 "And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did."


This is a continuation of the Samaritan woman who went back into the city of Sychar and told the men about Jesus. It appears that the thing that convinced them was that He told her all about her past.


At first they believed because of the woman's testimony. But to people of this culture this was not adequate. They would have to hear for themselves. Jesus' acceptance of the woman in her new role shows that He did not share this condescending attitude toward women.


Notice how much more eager to believe were these Samaritans than the scribes and Pharisees.


John 4:40 "So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days."


These people knew they were in need of Jesus' teachings. They were not like the self- righteous scribes and Pharisees which wanted to be rid of Jesus. These people of Sychar wanted to hear more. This little bit that the woman had told them had really stirred them up, and they wanted to hear more.


The Lord loves the humble in heart. The self-satisfied group of the temple could not receive anything from Jesus. These people of Samaria were eager to hear.


John 4:41 "And many more believed because of his own word;"


These people came at first because of the testimony of the woman, but now they believed because of the words Jesus had spoken.


John 4:42 "And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world."


This phase occurs also (in 1 John 4:14). The verse constitutes the climax to the story of the woman of Samaria. The Samaritans themselves became another in a series of witnesses on John's gospel that demonstrated the identity of Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God. The episode represents the first instance of cross cultural evangelism.


These people that the Jews looked down on and were thought to be ignorant of the Word of God accepted the Truth when they came face to face with it. Jesus had said of the self-righteous temple leaders that they had ears and did not hear.


They were so opinionated that they would not listen. But these Samaritans had ears, and they did hear and receive Jesus as Christ as Savior and Lord. The woman planted the seed here, and Jesus harvested this crop of souls. They had a two day revival and many were saved.


From (verse 43), to the end of this chapter, the episode of Jesus' healing of the nobleman (Royal Official)'s son, constitutes the second major "sign" of 8 which John used to reinforce Jesus' true identity for producing belief in his readers (verse 54).


In this episode, Jesus chided the official's unbelief in needing a miraculous sign in order to trust in Christ (verse 48). While some believe that his story is the same as the healing of the centurion's son. Sufficient differences exist to demonstrate that it is different from the synoptic account.; i.e.


1. No evidence exists that the official's son was a Gentile,


2. The official's son, not his servant, was healed, and


3. Jesus was far more negative regarding the official's faith (verse 48), than the centurion's.


One may divide this section into 3 parts.


(1) Jesus contemplating unbelief (verses 43-45),


(2) Jesus confronting unbelief (verses 46-49), and,


(3) Jesus conquering unbelief (verses 50-54).


John 4:43 "Now after two days he departed thence, and went into Galilee."


This is where He was headed when He came through Samaria, resuming the trip that began (in verse 3).


John 4:44 "For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honor in his own country."


Jesus didn't go back to Nazareth. He would not have been recognized as a prophet in Nazareth, because these people saw Him grow up, supposing Him to be Joseph's and Mary's son. Since they had been around in His youth, they did not believe He was Messiah. Even His family (brothers), did not believe.


Jesus says here a prophet hath no honor in his own country. This is true even today. If you are called to the ministry, usually the last ones to accept the call is real are your family and close friends. The reason is they know the old you.


This proverb (also in Matthew 13:57 and Mark 6:4), contrasts the believing response of the Samaritans (verse 39), with the characteristic unbelief of Jesus' own people in Galilee (and Judea), whose reticent faith depended so much on Jesus' performance of miracles (verse 48).


While in Samaria, Jesus had enjoyed His first unqualified and unopposed success. His own people's hearts were not open to Him, but exhibited reluctance and hardness.


John 4:45 "Then when he was come into Galilee, the Galileans received him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast: for they also went unto the feast."


The miracles that had been done at Jerusalem at the feast caused them to believe. In Jerusalem, Jesus had been proclaimed by many as a prophet. These people had been there for the feast and were eyewitnesses to His miracles, as well as hearing some of the messages He brought to the people.


The apostle may have meant these words as irony especially in light of the surrounding context of (verses 44-48). The reception was likely that of curiosity seekers whose appetite centered more on seeing miracles than believing in Jesus as Messiah, as it had been at "the feast".


Galilee covers a pretty large area and probably does not mean that He went back to Nazareth, because of what we read (in verse 44), about not being accepted by those who know you.


This is certainly true of many ministers today. You can go away and be well accepted and not be accepted at all in your own area until you have been recognized elsewhere first. Certainly, this is the case here.


John 4:46 "So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum."


The deep irony of the statement (in verse 45), increases with the fact that Jesus had only recently performed a miracle in Cana at the wedding. Instead of responding in belief, the people wanted more.


Remember, Jesus had not allowed them to tell at Cana of the miracle. It is certain that there was no way to keep some from knowing of it. This "Royal Official" or nobleman could have even been a guest at this large wedding.


"Royal Official" is a term most likely designated someone officially attached to the service of King Herod Antipas, tetrarch of Galilee from 4 B.C. to 39 A.D.


We do know that for some reason he knew that Jesus was a healer. The news had travelled, and this nobleman feels that distance doesn't matter with the Lord and that He will heal his son.


Capernaum was approximately 16 miles Northeast of Cana.


John 4:47 "When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death."


A father will go to any amount of trouble to get help for his dying son. Possibly he had been searching for Jesus and caught up with Him here in Cana. At first he requests Jesus to go with him to Capernaum and heal his boy.


The language here indicates that he repeatedly begged Jesus to heal his son. His approach to Jesus was out of desperation, but he had little appreciation of who Jesus was.


Apparently, the nobleman's motivation centered in Jesus' reputation as a miracle worker rather than as Messiah.


John 4:48 "Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe."


This scolding remark is not just for this father, but for all those listening even to now. Those who followed Jesus followed to see a miracle or to be fed.


The "ye" is plural. Jesus addresses these words to the Galileans as a whole and not just to the royal official. The response of the Galileans was fundamentally flawed because it disregarded the person of Christ and centered in the need for a constant display of miraculous signs.


In 1 Corinthians 1:22 we read "For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:"


Over and over they said "What sign will you give us?" Belief based on signs and wonders is really pretty shallow. Such an attitude represents the deepest state of unbelief.


Jesus will say later "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe."


John 4:49 "The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die."


This is almost a pleading for his son's life. He believes if Jesus comes to his house and lays hands on his son, he will live. It is almost as if the dad is saying "I will do anything, just come."


John 4:50 "Jesus saith unto him, go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way."


Jesus has power over life and death. This man believed these strong words that Jesus spoke. He did not doubt the healing of his son. He went away, fully believing that his son was well.


Just as the lepers were healed (in Luke: 17:11-19), this father stepped out in faith, as he left Jesus and headed for home, believing that his son was healed.


Jesus met the demands of Galilean unbelief by healing the official's son, revealing not only His sympathy, but His marvelous graciousness in spite of such a faithless demand for miracles.


John 4:51 "And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth."


The servant comes to find this troubled father and tell him that his son is well. The father was headed home with confidence, not worried as he had been before he left there. He believed that his son was healed.


John 4:52 "Then inquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him."


About 7:00 p.m. reckoning from noon, using the Roman system.


THIS IS JEWISH/Hebrew TIME IN THE BIBLE - The Jewish Day starts at about Evening of one day (6pm), to the evening of the next day.


Third hour-6am-9am


Sixth hour-9am-12pm


Ninth hour-12pm-3pm


Twelfth hour-3pm-6pm


First Watch-6pm-9pm


Second Watch-9pm-12am


Third Watch-12am-3am


Fourth Watch-3am-6am


The Roman times of day , are just as English Time, the Third Hour would be literally the Third Hour, from 12am (3am). In Roman time, the day starts at 12am. By the time of the wars against Pyrrhus some slight progress had been made by dividing the two halves of the day into two parts: into the early morning and forenoon on one hand; and afternoon and evening on the other.


John 4:53 "So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house."


The time when the official's son improved corresponded precisely with the time that he had spoken with Jesus. This served to strengthen the official's faith and, as a result, the "whole household" believed.


This belief here goes much further than believing that the son was healed by Jesus. This nobleman's whole family now believes that Jesus is Messiah (the Christ). There was no question what healed the boy.


This miracle has not only saved the son's life, but the whole family for all of eternity.


John 4:54 "This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judea into Galilee."


Obviously, this is speaking of this miracle of the son and also the miracle of turning the water to wine. Both had been done just after entering Cana.


John 4 Second Continued Questions


1. In verse 39, why did many of the Samaritans believe?


2. How long did Jesus stay with the Samaritans?


3. How were they different from the rulers of the temple?


4. In verse 41, we read many more believed because of what?


5. After they heard Jesus, they proclaimed Him to be whom?


6. When Jesus left Samaria, where did He go?


7. Where does a prophet have no honor?


8. Why did the Galileans receive Him?


9. What city in Galilee did He come to?


10. What miracle had He done here before?


11. Who came and found Jesus there?


12. What was his need?


13. Where was his son?


14. What did the father try to get Jesus to do?


15. Jesus said "Except ye see ______ and _________, ye will not believe."


16. Who requires a sign?


17. How does Jesus heal the son?


18. What is the father's part in the healing?


19. Who met the father to tell him his son liveth?


20. What did the nobleman ask the servant?


21. What result did this healing bring?


22. What is meant by verse 54?





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John 5



John Chapter 5

Although opposition to Jesus smoldered beneath the surface, the story of Jesus' healing at the Pool of Bethesda highlights the beginning of open hostility toward Him in Jerusalem in the southern parts of Palestine. The passage may be divided into 3 parts.


(1) The miracle performed (verses 1-9);


(2) The Master persecuted (verses 10-16); and


(3) The murder planned (verses 16-18).


John 5:1. "After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem."


John repeatedly tied his narrative to various Jewish feasts:


(2:13), Passover;


(6:4), Passover;


(7:2), Booths, or Tabernacles;


(10:22), Hanukkah or Feast of Dedication; and


(11:55), Passover.


But this reference is the only instance when he did not identify the particular feast occurring at the time.


This is probably the second Feast of the Passover here. Of course, it could have been any of the Feasts, but Jesus seemed to put more emphasis on Passover.


Jesus went to Jerusalem for the major feasts the same as all dedicated Israelites.


John 5:2 "Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches."


"Sheep market or sheep gate" is a reference to the gate identified in (Neh. 3:1, 32; 12:39). It was a small opening in the North wall of the city, just West of the North East corner.


"A pool": Since some have suggested that John wrote his gospel before the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, because his usage of "is" here implies that the pool still existed. However, John frequently used what is known as a "historical present" to refer to past events, so this argument carries little weight.


This place with the five porches means place of grace. Bethesda means house of grace or mercy. This would go right along with the number five which means grace. These porches were probably shade for the people waiting to get into the water.


Many believe this to be Siloam. It really doesn't matter, just Jesus' act matters.


John 5:3 "In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water."


Here we see a scene of numerous people lying on these porches waiting for the water to move. On a small scale, this was a place people came to receive a miracle.


It was a custom at that time for people with infirmities to gather at this pool. Intermittent springs may have fed the pool and caused the disturbance of the water (verse 7). Some ancient witnesses indicate that the waters of the pool were red with minerals, and thus thought to have medicinal value.


John 5:4 "For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had."


The statement in the latter half of (verse 3), "waiting for the moving of the waters," along with (verse 4), are not original to the gospel. The earliest and best Greek manuscripts, as well as the early versions, exclude the reading. The presence of words or expressions unfamiliar to John's writings also militate against its inclusion.


This healing was on such a limited scale. Just one out of all these numbers who waited would be healed. What a disappointment to wait and then not be healed.


This water being troubled here in the Bible has caused many to believe in miracles such as this. Possibly the most famous being the one in Europe called Fatima. These seem to have very little spiritual significance, so they say an angel did it.


John 5:5 "And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years."


This man had literally drug himself to this pool over and over waiting to receive his healing. This disease had been of such a long standing time that the man had become despondent, probably, and thought that he would never be whole.


We are not told his condition, but it kept him from walking. Perhaps it was the result of sin (verse 14).


John included this figure to emphasize the gravity of the debilitating disease that afflicted the individual. Since his sickness had been witnessed by many people for almost 4 decades, when Jesus cured him everyone knew the genuineness of the healing.


John 5:6 "When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?"


Jesus "knew" meaning the word implies supernatural knowledge of the man's situation. Jesus picked the man out from among many sick people. The sovereign initiative was His, and no reason is given as to His choice.


This may seem to be a strange question to you, but Jesus would not make him whole against his will. It is just like sin, you may have walked away from God for this long or even longer, but Jesus will not force Himself upon you. The Lord is saying "Will you be made whole?"


It is the same question. He asks the man if he will accept healing in his flesh. He asks the sinner will he be made whole in the spirit. God will not overrule your will. To be healed in the body or the spirit, you must desire to be made whole.


John 5:7 "The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me."


Just as it is with the spirit, many times a person floundering, needing to be made whole, needs the help of a friend to help him plunge in. This man needed a friend. Most people who come to the Lord are helped by family or friends to come. The sad thing is, there are millions of people waiting to be made whole with no one to help them.


John 5:8 "Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk."


In the same way that He spoke the world into being at creation, Jesus' spoken words had the power to cure. The "pallet" or "mat" was normally made of straw and was light enough so that it could be carried on the shoulder of a well person who assisted the infirm.


Jesus tells him to do something to show that he has received his healing. Had the man just lain there, he would have died in that condition. He answered the call. He did just as Jesus said and was healed.


John 5:9 "And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath."


This phrase emphasizes the completeness of the cure.


This crippled man obeys the voice and takes up his bed and walks. Sabbath or not, if this Jesus can heal him, He certainly has the right to tell him to carry his bed. We see nowhere that this crippled man questioned, he just obeyed.


This is the very same thing we must do, all that have been crippled by the sins of life. When Jesus saves you, then you must obey. He will not be your Savior unless He can be your Lord as well.


The Old Testament had forbidden work on the Sabbath but did not stipulate what "work" was specifically indicated. The assumption in Scripture seems to be that "work" was one's customary employment, but rabbinical opinion had developed oral tradition beyond the Old Testament which stipulated 39 activities forbidden, including carrying anything form one domain to another.


Thus, the man had broken oral tradition, not Old Testament law.


John 5:10 "The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed."


The phrase reveals that the Judaism during Jesus' time had degenerated into pious hypocrisy. Such hypocrisy especially enraged the Lord Jesus, who used this incident to set up a confrontation with Jewish hyper legalism and identified the need for a national repentance.


This is just the way a lot of people think. They were completely ignoring the fact that a man who had been crippled thirty-eight years could walk. They were so caught up in the law that all that meant anything to them was the formality of religion.


We too must not get so caught up in the routine of going to church, that we overlook the Lord and His Spirit. Formality means nothing to God. He wants your obedience and love.


These religious people were not interested in helping people. They were just interested in them keeping the law. Religion without Jesus is no good at all.


John 5:11 "He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk."


These religious leaders were not really interested in the man. They wanted Jesus, to punish Him. They were jealous because His powers were far beyond anything they had.


John 5:12 "Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk?"


They already knew that this was Jesus. They just wanted this man to give His name, so that they might accuse Him.


John 5:13 "And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place."


The man had not stopped to ask Jesus who He was. Probably this man had spent so much time waiting at the pool that he had never heard of Jesus. We read there was a multitude there, so we know it would have been easy for Jesus to just walk through the crowd and be lost.


John 5:14 "Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee."


The basic thrust of Jesus' comments here indicates that sin has its inevitable consequences. Although Scripture makes clear that not all disease is a consequence of sin, illness at times may be directly tied into one's moral turpitude. Jesus may specifically have chosen this man in order to highlight this point.


The first thing this man did was go into the temple which had been denied him for thirty-eight years. Perhaps he went to give an offering for his healing.


Jesus tells him, as He told the woman who had been caught in adultery: "Go and sin no more". In this case, Jesus gave a warning "lest a worse thing come unto thee".


John 5:15 "The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole."


We did not see Jesus telling the man not to tell, so there is really nothing wrong in him telling.


John 5:16 "And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day."


The verb tense of persecute means that the Jews repeatedly persecuted Jesus, i.e., continued hostile activity. That was, not an isolated incident of their hatred toward Him because of His healings on the Sabbath.


Jesus did not break God's law since in it there was no prohibition of doing good on the day (Mark 2:27). However, Jesus disregarded the oral law of the Jews that had developed, i.e. "the tradition of the elders". Most likely, Jesus deliberately practiced such healing on the Sabbath to provoke a confrontation with their religious hypocrisy that blinded them to the true worship of God. (See verses 17-47), for the main reason for Jesus' confrontation.


Personally, I believe they were jealous. He was doing things far beyond their capability. They were caught up in the law to the extent that they cared not that this man had been healed.


John 5:17 "But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work."


Here Jesus' response is considered blasphemy. He spoke of His Father. The Jews realize that He is equating Himself with God.


Jesus is saying here that truly God's help for mankind has never ceased. Even the fact that Jesus came to this earth to save all of mankind shows that God's labors never ceased. God's creation of the world ceased, but His caring for mankind never ceased.


We must enter into the Sabbath of rest with God. That is actually what we do when we turn our lives over to Him and let Him be Lord. We can rest from the worry and trials of this world while still occupying until He comes. This will certainly stir up these Jews.


Jesus' point is that whether He broke the Sabbath or not, God was working continuously, and since Jesus Himself worked continuously, He also must be God. Furthermore, God does not need a day of rest for He never wearies (Isaiah 40:28). For Jesus' self defense to be valid, the same factors that apply to God must also apply to Him.


Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath (Matt. 12:8). Interestingly, even the rabbis admitted that God's work had not ceased after the Sabbath because He sustains the universe.


John 5:18 "Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God."


This verse confirms that the Jews instantly grasped the implications of His remarks that He was God.


The amazing thing to me is how these learned men of the law could overlook the predictions in the Scriptures of Messiah. Why they did not realize that no mere man could do all of these miracles is amazing to me.


Jesus was equal with the Father. It should not have come as any surprise to them that Jesus (Messiah, Christ), was among them. They should have believed the Bible which they proclaimed to uphold.


John Chapter 5 Questions


1. Why did Jesus go back to Jerusalem?


2. What was the name of the pool near the sheep market?


3. How many porches did it have?


4. What does that number mean?


5. What does Bethesda mean?


6. What were these blind, halt, impotent folk waiting for?


7. Who troubled the water?


8. How many were healed when the water was troubled?


9. How long had the man had the infirmity?


10. What question did Jesus ask the man?


11. What does that have to do with Christianity?


12. How did the impotent man answer Jesus?


13. What did Jesus tell the man to do as an act of faith?


14. What day had Jesus healed the man?


15. Jesus will not be your _____________ unless He can be your ________________.


16. What reaction did the Jews have to the man being healed?


17. Why did they ask the man, who healed him?


18. How did Jesus get away without being seen?


19. When Jesus saw the man in the temple, what warning did He give him?


20. Is all disease because of sin?


21. When the man told the Jews that Jesus healed him, what did they do to Jesus?


22. In verse 17, what did Jesus say that further angered the Jews?


23. What did the Jews want to do to Jesus?


24. What angered the Jews more than His breaking sabbath?




John Chapter 5 Continued

John 5:19. "Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise."


Verily, verily means beyond a shadow of a doubt. This is an emphatic way of saying "I'm telling you the truth."


In response to Jewish hostility at the implications of His assertions of equality with God, Jesus became even more fearless, forceful and emphatic. Jesus essentially tied His activities of healing on the Sabbath directly to the Father.


The Son never took independent action that set Him against the Father because the Son only did those things what were coincident with and co extensive with all that the Father does. Jesus thus implied that the only One who could do what the Father does must be as great as the Father.


Jesus is using a beautiful statement here to show the relationship of the Father with the Son. The Son, even though minimized here, is doing the same as the Father. The will of the Father and Son are one.


There is a relationship with the Father and the Son's work as well. This is showing the Godhead. The Father and Son here are the same as the Father and the Word.


1 John 5:7 "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."


John 5:20 "For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel."


Jesus is saying here that the same power of the Father exists in the Son. Jesus tells these Jews that the miracle of the man walking after thirty-eight years is nothing. They will see much greater miracles than that. They marvel, but for some unheard of reason, they do not believe.


The "greater works" refers to the powerful work of raising the dead. God has that power and so does the Lord Jesus.


Just as an earthly father shows his son all that he knows, we see here Jesus saying His Father has shown Him all.


John 5:21 "For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will."


"Quickeneth" means "makes them alive".


Jesus is the Judge of all the world. We will be condemned or saved by what we believe about Him. Jesus came into the world not to judge but to save. But if we refuse that salvation, we will stand before Him on judgment day and be condemned.


We know His judgment is true. If we have received Him as our Savior, He will judge us worthy to enter His kingdom.


John 5:22-23 "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:" "That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son honoreth not the Father which hath sent him."


God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost are all God. To worship one and reject the other would actually be denouncing all. They are all omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. They are equal in power, holiness, and love.


Jesus and the Father are equally involved in creation. (Verse 23), gives the reason that God entrusted all judgment to the Son (in (verse 22), so that all men should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. This verse goes far beyond making Jesus a mere ambassador who is acting in the name of a monarch, but gives Him full and complete equality with the Father.


"Honor the Father": Jesus turned the tables on the Jewish accusation against Him of blasphemy. Instead, Jesus affirmed that the only way anyone can honor the Father is through receiving the Son. Therefore, the Jews were the ones who actually blasphemed the Father by rejection of His Son.


It is so difficult to separate the Godhead. The Father is honored through the Son, and the Son is honored through the Father. The whole plan of creation, salvation, and resurrection are all wound up in the Godhead, to deny one denies all.


John 5:24 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life."


This verse develops the truth of (verse 21), that Jesus gives life to whoever He desires. The people who receive that life are here identified as those who hear the Word and believe in the Father and the Son. They are the people who have eternal life and never will be condemned.


The breath of God is life. Jesus says "I am the life". Without God, only death exists. Not only will that person physically die to this world, but death and hell waits for all of eternity. The key word in being saved is "believeth".


In Romans 8:1 we read "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."


There is life, not death and not condemnation for those who choose to believe in Jesus Christ as Savior, and in so doing, believe in the Father.


When we stand before Jesus on judgment day, we will be found not guilty if we have decided to follow Jesus. If we do not deny Him here, He will not deny us there.


In (verses 25-29), the theme of the verses is resurrection. Jesus related that all men, saved and unsaved, will be literally and physically resurrected from the dead. However, only the saved experience a spiritual ("born again"), as well as physical resurrection unto eternal life.


The unsaved will be resurrected unto judgment and eternal punishment through separation from God (i.e. the second death, Rev. 20:6 and 14; Rev. 21:8). These verses also constitute proof of the deity of Jesus Christ since the Son has resurrection power and the Father has granted Him the status of Judge of all mankind (verse 27). In the light of other Scripture, it is clear that Jesus speaks generally about resurrection, but not about one general resurrection.


John 5:25 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live."


The phrase "hour is coming, and now is" reveals an already not yet tension regarding the resurrection. Those who are born again are already "spiritually" resurrected and yet a future physical resurrection still awaits them ("hour is coming").


The meaning, of course, is what we see (in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17),


"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope." "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him." "For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep." "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:" "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."


John 5:26 "For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;"


Jesus not only gives life, but is Life as we read in John:


John 1:4 "In him was life; and the life was the light of men."


There is another Scripture in John:


John 14:6 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me."


There are numerous Scriptures showing Jesus as giving life and being life.


The Son from all eternity had the right to grant life (1:4). The distinction involves Jesus' deity verses His incarnation. In becoming a man, Jesus voluntarily set aside the independent exercise of His divine attributes and prerogatives. Jesus here affirmed that even in His humanity, the Father granted Him "life giving" power, i.e. the power of resurrection.


John 5:27 "And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man."


Absolute sovereign authority, lordship over all, is handed to Christ "in heaven and on earth." This is clear proof of his deity. The time of His humiliation was at an end, and God had exalted Him above all.


Matthew 28:18 "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth."


Philippians 2:9-11 "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:" " That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;" "And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father."


Calling Jesus, the Son of man here, is perhaps saying that Jesus is able to understand man's problems because He lived in a body of flesh. He was tempted as we are. His judgment is fair and just. He has great compassion for man, because He understands the weakness of the flesh and the temptations, and also He felt the very same hurts we do.


He relates to man, because He took on the form of man and dwelt among us. Jesus who gave us the offer of life deserves the authority to judge us. He died to save us. It is no one's fault but our own, if we do not accept the salvation He offers. Our Savior will be our Judge.


John 5:28-29 "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice," "And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."


Jesus is telling them not to marvel that He will be the Judge of the world. Of course, it is hard for them to believe with Him standing there before them. Who is more worthy to judge than the One who laid His life down for us all? It would be much more understandable to the disciples after His crucifixion.


Some of the Jews believed in life after death and some did not. (Matthew 25:31), tells of how Jesus will put those on His right side who will inherit heaven (He calls these His sheep). Then He puts those on the left (goats), who will go into everlasting punishment. Jesus is the Divider (the Judge), of all.


In Acts 24:15 "And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust."


"They that have done good": Jesus was not teaching justification by works. In the context, the "good" is believing on the Son so as to receive a new nature that produces good works (3:21; James 2:14-20). While the "evil" done is to reject the Son (the unsaved), but human works never determine one's salvation.


John 5 Continued Questions


1. What relationship is Jesus showing in verse 19?


2. Why in verse 20 are the great works shown?


3. Who quickens the dead?


4. What was soon an example of this?


5. Who does Jesus quicken?


6. Who is all judgement committed to?


7. When Jesus was on earth, what did He come to do?


8. When will Jesus be Judge?


9. "He that honoreth not the Son honoreth not the ________ which hath sent him."


10. If you worshipped only the Father or the Son without worshipping both, what would you be doing?


11. Who has everlasting life in verse 24?


12. He that hears the Word has passed from _____________ unto life.


13. What does Romans 8:1 tell us about those in Christ Jesus?


14. Whose voice shall the dead hear?


15. What do we read about in 1 Thessalonians 1:13-17?


16. Who has life in Himself?


17. In John 1:4, Jesus was called ______________ and _______________.


18. In John 14:6, Jesus is called three things, what are they?


19. Why is Jesus the Judge?


20. Who will participate in the resurrection?


21. Why is Jesus worthy to be the Judge?


22. What are the saved called in Matthew chapter 25?


23. What are the lost called in Matthew chapter 25?




John Chapter 5 Second Continued

John 5:30 "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me."


In summarizing all He has said from (verse 19), on about His equality with God, Jesus claimed that the judgment He exercised was because everything He did was dependent upon the Father's word and will.


Jesus is saying here that Son of man or His flesh is not where the power is. His power is from His Spirit which is of God. His will is the Father's will. Jesus is in perfect harmony with the Father.


One of the last statements Jesus expresses in prayer to the Father before His death on the cross is "Nevertheless not my will but thine be done" (John 17 final prayer). Jesus never varied from the Father's will at all. It was His will, as well.


Jesus said they were six possible witnesses to His person (already evident in John):


(1) He did not yet claim His own witness to Himself (verses 31-32);


(2) John the Baptist was a witness (verses 33-35);


(3) His works or miracles are a witness (verse 36);


(4) The Father witnessed to His sonship (verses 37-38);


(5) The scriptures bear witness to Him (verses 39-40);


(6) Moses wrote of Him (verses 45-47).


John 5:31-32 "If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true." "There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true."


By two witnesses a thing shall be established. God made this rule; He lives by His own rules. When the Father spoke from heaven at Jesus' baptism and the Dove of the Holy Spirit lit on Him, which was two witnesses.


Of course, a witness is also the Word. There is no question of who He is. It is proven over and over.


John 5:33 "Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth."


This is John the Baptist and he is actually the third witness and Jesus is the fourth. John's whole ministry was to tell who Jesus was. John was a voice (spoken Word), in the wilderness proclaiming the coming of Christ.


John 5:34 "But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved."


John was a true witness, nothing more. John's message was to those who would believe and accept Jesus as Messiah (Christ), their Savior. Had the Jews listened and believed John, they would have become Christians.


Jesus says "I really don't need the testimony of man, but I tell you this because you hold John the Baptist in such high esteem, and I want you to believe and be saved".


John 5:35 "He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light."


This too is speaking of John the Baptist. A great number of people did believe John and were baptized. You hear nothing at all of John's personal life. I don't believe he had one. I believe he was a man with a mission for God and that is all he did.


He did enlighten many to the fact that Jesus was Messiah. John the Baptist never wavered. He was faithful to death. John brought a light of the knowledge of who Jesus was. People believed him until he was beheaded. He was in his thirties when he was killed.


John 5:36 "But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me."


The miracles of Jesus were witness to His deity and messiahship. Such miracles are the major signs recorded by John in this scripture, so as to fulfill His purpose (in chapter 20:30-31).


In John 14:11 we read "Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works sake."


Just look at the works. No man before or since, has ever done the miracles that Jesus did.


John 21:25 says "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen."


Jesus opened blind eyes, made the lame to walk, loosed tongues that could not speak, opened deaf ears, raised the dead, freed those possessed of demons, turned the water into wine, walked on the sea, spoke to the sea and it obeyed. You see, the works of Jesus were the greatest witness of all.


John 5:37 "And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape."


The Father's voice had been heard by the disciples, so this was spoken to the doubting Jews here. The Father on two occasions said from heaven "This is my beloved Son". The apostles Peter, James, and John heard His voice.


John the Baptist heard the voice from heaven at the baptism also. The Father witnessed, as well, as we see here. The Word in the prophecies of the Old Testament was a witness as well. There are over thirty times Jesus (Messiah), was prophesied.


Has anyone actually seen God? Who, how, when, what part. In (Exodus 33:18), we find some of the answers to that question. God's glory. Remember, this scripture is speaking of the Jews that Jesus was talking with.


John 5:38 "And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not."


This is saying "You self-righteous religious people who claim to know the Word of God, you don't know anything. You didn't believe the prophets, and you didn't believe John the Baptist."


John 5:39 "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."


Although the verb "search" could also be understood as a command (i.e. search the Scriptures). Most prefer the translation as an indicative. The verb implies diligent scrutiny in investigating the Scriptures to find "eternal life."


However, Jesus points out that with all their fastidious effort, they miserably failed in their understanding of the true way to eternal life through the Son. Here is another reprimand. Jesus says "You claim to know the Scriptures, but you better go back and study them all over again".


He's telling them that they don't know what they say. You are just reading words and you do not know what they mean. You think you have eternal life, but look again. You have overlooked the one who can give you eternal life".


Christ is the main theme of Scripture.


John 5:40 "And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life."


They searched for eternal life, but were not willing to trust its only source.


Jesus offered salvation to the Jew first and then to the Gentile. The Jews did not accept Him. Of course, a few did, but not the great majority.


John 5:41 "I receive not honor from men."


If Jesus agreed to be the kind of Messiah the Jews wanted, providing miracles and food along with political and military power. He would receive honor and glory from them, but He sought only to please God.


Jesus received everything but honor from men when He was on the earth, but He will come again as King of kings and Lord of lords and then they will honor Him.


John 5:42 "But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you."


Man looks on the outward appearance, but Jesus looks on the heart. Jesus knows they have no love in their heart for Him. They don't love anyone but themselves. They are puffed up with pride and are jealous of Jesus.


John 5:43 "I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive."


Jesus means Jehovah Savior. Jesus explains here that there will be false Christs they will believe, because they want a fleshly ruler and not a ruler of love. Jesus was not the warrior King they wanted, who would overthrow the Romans and take power.


Their problem was, they were looking for a ruler that would rule with iron. They will get this, but he will be antichrist.


The Jewish historian, Josephus, records that a string of messianic pretenders arose in the years before A.D. 70. This verse contrasts the Jewish rejection of their true Messiah because they did not love or know God (verse 42), with their willing acceptance of charlatans.


John 5:44 "How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?"


These religious rulers were looking for praise and honor on this earth from men. Jesus had told them they liked the upper most room at the banquets. He called them whited sepulchers, pretending to be God's people on the outside, but actually dead inside.


Matthew 23:27 "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead [men's] bones, and of all uncleanness."


They were not looking for praises from God, but from man.


John 5:45 "Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust."


Jesus tells them here that if they do not accept grace from Him, they will be judged by the Law of Moses. Jesus will not have to accuse them. If they are to live by the law, they will be judged by the law. No man can live up to the law.


John 5:46 "For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me."


Jesus does not mention any specific passage in the 5 books of Moses although there are many (e.g. Deut. 18:15; this chapter at 1:21; 4:19; 6:14; 7:40 and 52).


The first promise of the coming of Jesus is in Moses' writings. (Genesis 3:15), promises Jesus will be the seed of woman and not of man. In Exodus, nearly everything in the holy place symbolizes Jesus. In fact, all five of Moses' books are filled with the Lord. In (verse 47), we see the two witnesses; the spoken and the written Word. Jesus is both.


John 5:47 "But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?"


Jesus says "Even though you say you follow Moses, you do not believe what he wrote, because he wrote of me. If you do not believe what he wrote of me, of course you will not hear what I say".


John 5 Second Continued Questions


1. Why does Jesus say His judgment is just?


2. In verse 30, what is Jesus saying when He calls Himself Son of man?


3. In verse 31, what principle is Jesus teaching?


4. How many witnesses prove a thing?


5. What two at Jesus' baptism were enough witnesses?


6. In verse 33, who is the witness?


7. Had the Jews really believed John, they would have been _________________.


8. Why had Jesus used John the Baptist as witness?


9. Who was a burning and shining light?


10. How was John killed?


11. Approximately how old was John the Baptist when he was killed?


12. What was a greater witness than John?


13. In John 14:11, what did Jesus say believe Him for?


14. How many miracles did Jesus do?


15. Who did Jesus tell that they had never seen the face of the Father nor heard His voice?


16. Who had heard the voice of the Father?


17. What in the prophecies of the Old Testament witnessed of Jesus?


18. Who was Jesus speaking to in verse 38?


19. What did He tell them to do in verse 39?


20. Why can they not receive life?


21. Who did Jesus say He did not receive honor from?


22. When will they honor Him?


23. Jesus sees in their heart and sees what?


24. Whose name did Jesus come in?


25. Whose honor do these Jews seek?


26. Who will accuse them to the Father?


27. What had Moses told them that they do not believe?


28. Where is the first promise of the coming Messiah?


29. In verse 47, what two witnesses do we see?


30. Jesus said "If you do not believe what Moses wrote, of course you will not hear what __ ____"





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John 6



John Chapter 6

John 6:1 "After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias."


John is the only gospel writer to call this sea "Tiberias." Following the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, the Sea of Galilee was renamed Tiberias, after Tiberias Caesar who ruled in 14-37 A.D.


This happens after Jesus' encounter with the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem. John leaves out things like how they came from Jerusalem to the Sea of Galilee, because to him that is not important.


John 6:2 "And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased."


This period of time, Jesus is very popular with the masses of people because of the miracles they had seen and heard of Him doing. Great numbers followed Him in hopes of having a miracle done for them. Excitement over miracles always draws a crowd.


The crowds followed not out of belief but out of curiosity concerning the miracles that He performed (in verse 26). However, in spite of the crowd's crass motivations, Jesus, having compassion on them, healed their sick and fed them.


John 6:3 "And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples."


Jesus' favorite place to go to get away from the throngs of people was a mountain. There is a hill on the side of the Sea of Galilee and that is where Jesus went with His disciples.


Jesus is not going to be able to run this group off. They want to be near Jesus and will go to a lot of trouble just to be near Him. From His vantage point, He could look down and see this enormous group of followers.


John 6:4 "And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh."


This feast and the grass growing (verse 10), lets us know that this happens in early spring. This mountain by the Sea, here at Passover time, could certainly be symbolic of the Exodus out of Egypt where they crossed the Red Sea and ate manna. Perhaps, that is why Passover is mentioned here.


This is the third Passover during Jesus' ministry.


John 6:5 "When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?"


This question is for Philip's benefit. Jesus knows where the bread will come from as we see (in verse 6).


John 6:6 "And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do."


Let us look at the spiritual meanings for a moment in all of this. When Jesus looks up and sees these large numbers coming, I believe it is symbolic of those who are looking to Jesus to help them from all ages. We must see in this far more than the physical feeding of the multitude and see Jesus feeding all the peoples throughout the ages with His Word.


As we go on with this, notice how Jesus has them to make small groups (like a church). Jesus will then bless the food, and hand it to a disciple (preacher), who then passes this food (Word of God), to the people.


John 6:7 "Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little."


Since one denarius was a day's pay for a common laborer, 200 denarii would be approximately 8 months wages or 200 days of work. The crowd however, was so large that such a significant amount was still inadequate to feed them.


John 6:8-9 "One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him," "There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?"


Little is much, when God is in it. We need to look at the number five which means grace and the number two which means agreement. Jesus is the bread of life. This bread was furnished by the grace of God.


Matthew 18:19 "Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven."


John 6:10 "And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand."


The mention of much grass here probably indicates that it was early spring. Grass on the desert would have to be near water. This happens near the Sea of Galilee.


The number of men was 5,000, not including women and children, who probably brought the total up to 15,000 to 20,000.


John 6:11 "And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would."


We see in this the order that the message in the church should come. The message must come from our Lord, to the minister, and then the minister must deliver this bread (Word of God), to the people. The preacher should give this Word (bread) until the whole congregation is full.


John 6:12-13 "When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost." "Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten."


These fragments are showing us that there is always enough of the Word of God left over to feed the hungry of all ages. The twelve disciples are a representative number of all Christendom. The disciples are the ministers. It is so strange, when you believe you have preached every word God would have you to, there is still plenty of the Word that has not been consumed.


Notice there was much more left after they ate than when they started. Jesus is the Bread of life; we must feed on Him daily. This Bread like the manna which fell from heaven never runs out.


John 6:14 "Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world."


This miracle Jesus had performed was of such magnitude that the people witnessing it believed Jesus to be the great Prophet which had been promised in the Old Testament.


The enemies of these Israelites were the Romans. They wanted Jesus to lead them in the overthrow of the Romans.


The crowd referred to "the Prophet" of (Deut. 18:15). Sadly, these comments coming right after Jesus healed and fed them, indicate that the people desired a Messiah who met their physical rather than spiritual needs. Apparently, no recognition existed for the need of spiritual repentance and preparation for the kingdom.


They wanted an earthly, political Messiah to meet all their needs and to deliver them from Roman oppression. Their reaction typifies many who want a "Christ" that makes no demands of them, but of whom they can make their selfish personal requests.


John 6:15 "When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone."


John supplemented the information (in Matthew and Mark), by indicating that the reason Jesus dismissed the disciples and withdrew from the crowd into a mountain alone was because of His supernatural knowledge of their intention to make Him king in light of His healing and feeding of them.


The crown incited by mob enthusiasm, was ready to proceed with crassly political intentions that would have jeopardized God's will.


Not only was Jesus sought by the rulers of the temple, but now was sought by the people to force Him into rulership before He was ready. He felt His only safety at this point was isolation, so He went to the mountain.


Hunger was common and a Messiah who could multiply food was the one most people were ready to follow.


Verses 16-21: The story of Jesus' walking on the water constituted the fifth sign in John's gospel designed to demonstrate the writer's purpose that Jesus is the Messiah and Son of God. The miracle demonstrates Jesus' deity by His sovereignty over the laws of nature.


John 6:16-17 And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea," "And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them."


Both Matthew and Mark indicate that as soon as Jesus had fed the multitudes, He immediately dismissed His disciples to travel West toward Capernaum.


The disciples were taking a ship across the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum where Peter's home was and where they worked out of. The Sea of Galilee is known for its rough water, and especially at night.


John 6:18-19 "And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew."


The Sea of Galilee is almost 700 feet below sea level. Cooler air from the northern mountains and southeastern tablelands rushes down into the lake and displaces the warm moist air, causing a violent churning of the water.


John 6:19 "So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid."


This was a stormy night, and they had not progressed very far because of the wind. They look up and see Jesus walking on the Sea. In the Matthew account of this miracle, it goes into a little more detail. They thought Him to be a ghost or a spirit.


The Son of God, who made the world, was in control of its forces and, in this case, He suspended the law of gravity. The act was not frivolous in Jesus' part, for it constituted a dramatic object lesson to the disciples of Jesus' true identity as the sovereign Lord of all creation.


It also tells in Matthew of Peter walking on the sea to meet Jesus. Peter doubts and begins to sink, and Jesus reaches out and saves Peter. In this account, here in John, it just mentions their fear.


John 6:20 "But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid."


Jesus encourages them not to fear. Having Jesus with you should calm every fear, then or now.


If Jesus be for you, who can be against you?


John 6:21 "Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went."


This wording indicates that another miracle occurred besides walking on the water, i.e., the boat miraculously and instantly arrived at its precise destination as soon as Jesus stepped into the boat.


In (Matthew 14:22-27 and Mark 6:45-52), we do not see the last miracle that John shows here that the ship was automatically at their destination. In (Matthew and Mark), it speaks of Gennesaret on the way to Capernaum. There is no discrepancy. They are very near each other.



Verses 22-58 contain Jesus' famous discourse on the bread of life. The key theme is (verse 35), "I am the bread of life," which is the first of 7 emphatic "I AM" statements of Jesus in this gospel. This analogy of Jesus as "the bread" of life reinforces John's theme of Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God. Although John records Jesus' miracles to establish His deity, he moves quickly to Jesus' discourse on the spiritual realities of His person in order to define correctly who Jesus Christ was. I.e. not merely a wonder-worker, but the Son of God who came to save mankind from sin. This discourse took place in the synagogue at Capernaum (verse 59).


John 6:22-23 "The day following, when the people which stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was none other boat there, save that one wherinto his disciples were entered, and that Jesus went not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples were gone away alone;" "(Howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they did eat bread, after that the Lord had given thanks:)"


These verses indicate that the crowds who witnessed Jesus' healings and His feeding of the multitudes were still at the original site of these miracles (East of the Lake). And, out of heightened curiosity, desired to find Jesus once again. Other boats loaded with people from Tiberias (on the northwest shore of the lake), also heard of the miracles and sought Him out.


John 6:24 "When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus."


When daylight came, these people started searching for Jesus. They knew the disciples went across the sea by ship, but they also knew that Jesus had not left with them. They searched the mountain and He was not there either.


Some of these people knew that Jesus stayed in Capernaum when He wasn't out ministering, so many of them took a boat across the sea, but probably some of them walked to Capernaum to seek Him.


John 6 Questions


1. What is another name for the Sea of Galilee?


2. Why did the multitude follow Jesus?


3. Who was the city of Tiberias named for?


4. Why was Jesus popular with the people?


5. In verse 3, who went up the mountain with Jesus?


6. Which feast of the Jews was nigh?


7. What two things indicate it is early spring?


8. Which disciple did Jesus speak to about where they would buy bread to feed the multitude?


9. Why did Jesus ask him this question?


10. What symbolically can we see in this feeding of the multitude?


11. What can we see in the groupings of the multitude?


12. What does it symbolize when Jesus hands the food to a disciple for a specific group?


13. What large amount of money did Philip say was not enough to buy food with?


14. Which disciple told Jesus about the lad with the five loaves and two fishes?


15. What does the number five symbolize?


16. What Scripture in Matthew tells us that two indicates agreement?


17. How many men were fed?


18. Who did Jesus give the bread to?


19. Where should a minister's sermon originate?


20. How many fragments were left?


21. What message can the Christian get from these leftovers?


22. When the people saw this miracle, who did they declare Jesus to be?


23. Who was the Israelites' enemy?


24. The people were going to come and force Jesus to do what?


25. Where did Jesus go to get away from the people?


26. Where did Jesus' disciples go?


27. The sea arose by what?


28. Where did they see Jesus?


29. What did they think He was?


30. What did Jesus say to them?


31. What part of the miracle is not in the other gospels?


32. What did the people do when they discovered Jesus was gone?




John Chapter 6 Continued

We saw in the last lesson how Jesus fed the multitude. Now the people have followed Jesus to Capernaum.


John 6:25 "And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither?"


They had not seen Jesus leave, so this question was understandable. This name Rabbi, was a way of showing respect to Jesus as their teacher and their spiritual leader.


John 6:26 "Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled."


This phrase emphasizes Jesus' point that the crowds which followed Him were motivated by superficial desire for food rather than any understanding of the true spiritual significance of Jesus' person and mission.


Jesus scolds them for being so shallow in their view. A great miracle has been done by Him and instead of them realizing that He is Messiah, they have followed so they can be fed again or receive more signs, wonders, and healings from Him.


They are looking on the gifts and not looking at the Giver. Jesus is disappointed in them because they do not understand who He is.


John 6:27 "Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed."


Jesus rebuked the crowd for purely materialistic notions of the messianic kingdom. Although Messiah's kingdom would be literal and physical someday, the people failed to see the overriding spiritual character and blessing of "eternal life" given immediately to those who believed the witness of God to His Son.


Jesus in the verse above, is instructing these people to worry more about their spirit and less about their flesh. The spirit of man shall live on, but the flesh will return to dust. Jesus is telling them that the gift of eternal life which He shall give them is much more important than food for their flesh.


Jesus has been set aside from the beginning for this purpose by the Father.


"The food which endureth unto everlasting life" is a continuing discourse indicates that this was a reference to Jesus Himself.


John 6:28 "Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?"


This is the same as saying "How can I know the will of God in my life? What must I do?"


They thought Jesus was saying that God required them to do some works to earn everlasting life, which they thought they would be able to do.


John 6:29 "Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent."


The crowd misunderstood Jesus' prohibition (in verse 27), do not work, which prompted Jesus to remind them that an exclusive focus on material blessings is wrong. The only work God desired was faith or trust in Jesus as Messiah and Son of God. The "work" that God requires is to believe in His Son.


Just as Abraham's faith was counted unto him for righteousness, those whom Jesus saves must believe in Jesus as Savior and Lord. God sent Jesus to save whosoever will believe.


John 6:30 "They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?"


The question demonstrated the obtuseness, the spiritual blindness of the crowd, and their shallow, selfish curiosity. The feeding of the 5000 (15,000 to 20,000 as we saw in verse10), was enough sign to demonstrate Christ's deity.


Now they want another sign. They are so blinded; they would not believe with dozens of signs.


John 6:31 "Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat."


The crowd's logic appeared to be that Jesus' miraculous feeding was a small miracle compared to what Moses did. In order for them to believe in Him, they would need to see Him feed the nation of Israel on the same scale that God did when He sent manna and fed the entire nation of Israel during their wilderness wanderings for 40 years.


They were demanding that Jesus outdo Moses if they were to believe in Him. They quoted from (Psalm 78:24).


What they do not realize, is that they are speaking to the Bread of life. It appears here, that they want Jesus to feed them on a regular basis, as their fathers were fed manna in the desert.


John 6:32 "Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven."


The manna God gave was temporary and perished and was only a meager shadow of what God offered them in the true bread, Jesus Christ, who gives spiritual and eternal life to mankind or the world. Jesus explains to these people who are caught up in the law of Moses, that Moses did not feed the children of Israel, God did. Jesus here is speaking of Himself as being the true Bread of life.


John 6:33 "For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world."


This phrase is synonymous with the phrase "bread from heaven" (verse 32).


Jesus again here, is speaking of Himself being the Bread which brings eternal life. Jesus came from heaven and took on the flesh of man.


John 6:34 "Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread."


Here again, we see John mentioning something that is not mentioned in the other gospels. This shows Jesus as the Bread of life. These people are looking for physical bread and they want Jesus to furnish it for them with no effort on their part. They have misunderstood what Jesus was telling them.


This statement once again demonstrated the blindness of the crowd, for they were thinking of some physical bread and failed to understand the spiritual implication that Jesus was the "bread".


John 6:35 "And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst."


"I am the bread of life" means the bread that gives life. The life of which He speaks is spiritual and eternal.


The obtuseness (in verse 35), prompted Jesus to speak very plainly that He was referring to Himself.


Just as the bread on the table in the tabernacle symbolized Jesus, He is showing here that through belief in Him they would have their needs taken care of. Jesus literally came down from heaven (like the manna), giving Himself to us so that we might have life eternal.


In heaven, there is a river of life and a tree which furnishes twelve manner of fruits for each month (Revelation 22:1-2). Jesus is the water and the tree of life.


John 6:36 "But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not."


Jesus tells them, you have seen me and my miracles and still you do not believe me.


John 6:37 "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."


The Father has given to Jesus as His followers whosoever will. Those who come to Jesus and accept Him as Savior and Lord shall not be turned away. Salvation is a free gift from God, but we must reach out and receive it unto ourselves before we have it. Jesus will not deny His own.


This verse emphasizes the sovereign will of God in the selection of those who come to Him for salvation. The Father has predestined those who would be saved. The absolute sovereignty of God is the basis of Jesus' confidence in the success of His mission.


The security of salvation rests in the sovereignty of God, for God is the guarantee that "all" He has chosen will come to Him for salvation. As God is Omniscient, He knows who will and who won't heed the calling of the Holy Spirit and come to Jesus.


The idea of "gives Me" is that every person chosen by God and drawn by God (verse 44), must be seen as a gift of the Father's love to the Son. The Son receives each "love gift" (verse 37), holds on to each (verse 39), and will raise each to eternal glory (verses 39-40). No one chosen will be lost.


This saving purpose is the Father's will which the Son will not fail to do perfectly.


John 6:38 "For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me."


"For I came down from heaven" is another indication of Jesus' deity.


When Jesus agonizes in the garden before His crucifixion, His last words are "Nevertheless not my will, but thine". Jesus was on a mission. He submitted His will to the will of God the Father.


John 6:39 "And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day."


(1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), tells of the time when Jesus shall raise the dead in Christ to eternal life with Him. The Father's will is to glorify Jesus by His followers.


In (Hebrews chapter 2), we see that everything is in Jesus' hands. He is over all creation.


Hebrews 2:8 "Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet."


The Creator is in total control of His creation.


John 6:40 "And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day."


"That every one which seeth the Son and believeth on Him"; this verse emphasizes human responsibility in salvation. Although God is sovereign, He works through faith, so that a person must believe in Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God who alone offers the only way of salvation. However, even faith is a gift of God, intellectually harmonizing the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man is humanly impossible. But perfectly resolved in the infinite mind of God.


John 3:16, explains this completely "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."


The parable of the harvest of wheat is symbolic of this last day when the wheat will be carried into the barn (heaven), and the chaff (unbeliever), will be burned. (Matthew 3:12 and Luke 3:17), both tell of the wheat and chaff.


In (verses 41-50), we see this section constitutes the beginning of the crowd's reaction to Jesus' discourse on the bread of life and may be divided into 3 sections.


(1) The murmuring reaction of the crowd (verses 41-42);


(2) Jesus' rebuke of the crowd for their reaction (verses 43-46);


(3) Jesus' reiteration of His message to the crowd (verses 47-51).


John 6:41 "The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven."


In this gospel the term "Jews" is often associated with hostility toward Christ. It is used ironically to indicate the incongruity of their rising hostility toward their Messiah. Since they hardened their hearts, God judicially hardened their hearts also. In the tribulation, Israel will turn to Jesus as their true Messiah and be saved.


The reaction of the synagogue crowds to Jesus' statements was the same as the Jews in the wilderness who grumbled against God both before and after the manna was given to them.


Because Jesus said that "I am the bread which came down from heaven", the Jews anger centered in two things:


(1) That Jesus said He was the bread, and


(2) That He came down from heaven.


Both the Jews in Jerusalem and the Galileans reacted negatively when Jesus placed Himself equal with God.


John 6:42 "And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?"


These Jews could not see through spiritual eyes. They thought of Jesus as Joseph's son. Jesus was in fact, the Son of God. They didn't believe Him because they had seen Him grow up and they did not believe He was their Messiah.


On a human level, they knew Jesus as a fellow Galilean. These words are reminiscent of Jesus' words (in 4:44), "a prophet has no honor in his own country." Their hostility sprang from the root of unbelief. Jesus' death was impending because hostility had resulted everywhere He went.


John 6:43 "Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves."


Murmuring has always displeased God. Just as God punished those who murmured on the way to the Promised Land, God dislikes this murmuring here.


John 6:44 "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day."


It is the Father's will that all should be saved. He sent Jesus into the world to save the world. Whosoever believes in Jesus as Savior and Lord shall be saved.


The Holy Spirit tugs at our heart and draws us to Jesus.


God will not always strive with us. If we refuse over and over, the Holy Spirit will stop drawing.


John Chapter 6 Continued Questions


1. Where have the people followed Jesus?


2. By what name did they call Jesus?


3. What did the name they called Him by show?


4. Why did Jesus say they had followed Him?


5. What did Jesus say labor not for?


6. Why is the spiritual more important than the flesh?


7. In verse 28, what question did they ask Jesus?


8. What was Jesus' answer to them?


9. What did they ask Jesus for in verse 30?


10. What great miracle had they just witnessed?


11. What did they tell Jesus their fathers had eaten in the wilderness?


12. What are they really asking Jesus to do?


13. Jesus told them _______ did not give the bread from heaven, the ________ did.


14. In verse 33, who is the Bread of life?


15. What does John show that the other gospels omit?


16. What selfish thing were they asking Jesus for?


17. Who will come to Jesus?


18. Why had Jesus come to earth in verse 38?


19. In verse 40, Jesus tells us what the Father's will is. What is it?


20. Quote John 3:16.


21. Where can we find the parable of the wheat?


22. Why were the Jews murmuring?


23. Who did they think Jesus to be?


24. Who can come to Jesus?




John Chapter 6 Second Continued

First let me mention again verses 43 and 44 from the previous lesson.


John 6:43-44 "Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves." "No man can come to me, except the father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day."


John 6:45 "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me."


Jesus paraphrased (Isaiah 54:13), to support the point that if someone comes to faith and repentance to God, it is because they have been taught, and hence drawn by God. The "drawing" and "learning" are just different aspects of God's sovereign direction in the person's life. Those taught by God to grasp the truth are also drawn by God the Father to embrace the Son.


It is written in (Isaiah 54):


Isaiah 54:13 "And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children" (Taught meaning disciples).


Jesus is saying in all of this "If you really know the Scriptures as you say you do, then you will accept me. The prophets of the Old Testament have predicted my coming."


Notice that those who hear and those who learn from that hearing are separated here. Many hear, but few understand and learn. If they had heard the words of the Old Testament and understood what they heard, they would receive Jesus with open arms.


John 6:46 "Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father."


Jesus is speaking of Himself here. Jesus has seen the Father. Even Moses saw His presence in the bush that was burning and did not burn up. He also met with God on the mount where he received the Ten Commandments, but he did not see God's face.


John 6:47 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life."


In Romans chapter ten we see this also:


Romans 10:10 "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."


Jesus is saying if you really believe on Him, you will be saved. All of the other things are like icing on the cake. Our belief is what saves us.


John 6:48 "I am that bread of life."


Luke 4:4 "And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God."


The Word of God is really a Christian's bread. The Passover bread is symbolic of Jesus' body and the fruit of the vine is symbolic of His blood. In (verse 48 above), Jesus is saying that He alone can bring you eternal life.



In (verses 49 & 50), Jesus contrasted the earthly and heavenly bread. The manna that was given in the wilderness, although sent from heaven to help sustain the Israelites for their physical needs, could not impart eternal life nor meet their spiritual needs as could the "bread of life", (verse 48), that came down from heaven in the person of Jesus the Messiah. The proof of this contrast centers in the irrefutable fact that all the fathers died who ate the wilderness manna.


John 6:49 "Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead."


This manna in the wilderness sustained these Israelites' needs for food for one day at a time and on Sabbath for two days. It did not bring eternal life to those who ate it. Jesus is Life, when you partake of Him, ye shall never die.


John 6:50 "This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die."


This manna, spoken of (in verse 49), was a symbol of the true Bread (Jesus Christ), which would come down from heaven and save the world.


In the same sense, the male lamb which was sacrificed each year at Passover was symbolic of the true Lamb which would be crucified for the sins of the world for all time.


Manna ...... temporary food,


Jesus Christ ...... eternal Bread,


Passover lamb ......... one year,


Lamb of God (Jesus Christ) .... eternal life.


John 6:51 "I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."


This pronouncement exactly reiterates (verses 33, 35, 47, and 48). "Bread ... Is my flesh": Jesus refers here prophetically to His impending sacrifice upon the cross where Jesus voluntarily laid down His life for evil, sinful mankind.


In 1 Timothy 3:16 we read "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory."


This just says that Jesus gave His flesh on the cross that we might live forever. The Spirit of God hovered over Mary and she conceived by the Spirit of God.


Jesus means Jehovah Savior. Jesus gave Himself that we might have life by just partaking of Him. When we receive Jesus into our lives, it is symbolic of partaking of His flesh.


John 6:52 "The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"


Once again the perplexity of the Jews indicates that they failed to understand the spiritual truth behind Jesus' illustration. Every time Jesus had given them a veiled saying or physical illustration, the Jews failed to see its spiritual significance. The Mosaic Law prohibited the drinking of blood or the eating of meat with blood still in it. The Jews, unable to go beyond the mere physical perspective, were perplexed and angered.


These Jews are not looking with spiritual eyes. First of all, they saw Jesus as a man, not as their Messiah.


Some of these Jews believed one thing and some others believed another. They are not ready to accept Him as the Lamb of God. They hear His words, but they do not understand.



In verses 53-58 we see "eat ... drink". Jesus' point was an analogy that has spiritual rather than literal significance: just as eating and drinking are necessary for physical life, so also is belief in His sacrificial death on the cross necessary for eternal life.


The eating of His flesh and drinking of His blood metaphorically symbolize the need for accepting Jesus' cross work. For the Jews however, a crucified Messiah was unthinkable. Once again, the Jews in their willful and judicial blindness, could not see the real spiritual significance and truth behind Jesus' statements.


Moreover, Jesus' reference here to eating and drinking was not referring to the ordinance of communion for two significant reasons:


(1) Communion had not been instituted yet, and


(2) If Jesus was referring to communion, then the passage would teach that anyone partaking of communion would receive eternal life.


John 6:53 "Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye