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Bible Study at Home: A Simple How-To

Do you have a Bible study you attend regularly? Either at a church, a group, or online? If not, you are not alone.

There are many reasons why a person hungry to learn more about God’s word cannot attend a Bible study, one of the most likely being that they cannot find one or the ones available to them meet at the wrong time or the wrong place. This doesn’t mean that you cannot learn the Bible–you can! I’m going to give you a simple way to begin studying at home. It is called a Word Study or Topical Study.

1. Pray.

Always pray and ask God to help you know him more and to help you obey and apply what he shows you. All teaching from God begins and ends and is through the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, God himself, breathing his life into his word as he shows it to you inside your heart, the best knowledge of God’s word will only be dead knowledge.

Pray that God will lead you to the right Bible for you at this time in your life.

Pray that God will direct you to the right verses that he wants you to study.

Pray that God will help you to understand and apply what you read.

2. Second, buy yourself a reference Bible. 

You may have one already. What is a reference Bible? A reference Bible is not necessarily a study Bible. A reference Bible is a Bible that simply has a list of other verses in a center column, or a side column, or at the foot of the page.

Center Reference Bible

You can see from the example above that the text on the left has verse numbers that correspond to a list of verse numbers running down the middle of the page between the two columns of scripture.

Verse 33 at the top of the page, for example, has a small, italicized letter a before the word “teach.” “Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes.” That’s what the Lord is doing right now. He is teaching you how to study Scripture.

The center column has the number “33” corresponding to the verse you just read. There is a small letter “a” followed by “Ps 119.5, 12.” This means that if you turn to Psalm 119 verses 5 and then 12, you will find more verses that use the word “teach.”

Psalm 119:12 Blessed art Thou, O LORD; Teach me Thy statutes.

Verse 36, which is underlined, has the small letter “a” before the word “incline.”

Psalm 119:36 Incline my heart to Thy testimonies, And not to dishonest gain.

Turning to the center column, the number “36” is followed by a small “a” and the reference “1Ki 8:58.” Looking up that verse we see:

1 Kings 8:58 that he may incline our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments, his statutes, and his rules, which he commanded our fathers.

When we read the above verse, we see that it begins half way through a sentence. To get the full meaning, we need to go up a verse to the beginning of the sentence, and we read:

1 Kings 8:57 The LORD our God be with us, as he was with our fathers. May he not leave us or forsake us, 58 that he may incline our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments, his statutes, and his rules, which he commanded our fathers.

Perhaps a small desk dictionary might be useful here to understand the meaning of “incline” in this sentence. This is from Merriam-Webster.

1 :to cause to stoop or bow :bend

2 :to have influence on :persuade

  • his love of books inclined him toward a literary career
3 :to give a bend or slant to

Putting this together, we see that the psalmist in Psalm 119:36 is asking the Lord in prayer to “incline” or bend, that is, to persuade his heart to prefer obedience to the Lord’s way rather than preferring to spend his time trying to get rich. 1 Kings tells us that when God is with us, he does just that. The psalmist is praying to God, asking God to influence his heart to prefer the Lord’s way above the way of the materialistic world. This tells us that we are not alone, that God is the one who influences us to desire him and his word.

How might a reader apply this verse to her own life? Does she sense that her heart is growing cold towards the Lord? She should turn to the Lord and ask him to help her. Do someone else find that worldly interests of career and money are drawing their attention away from God? They should turn to him, just as the psalmist does, and ask God to help them, to influence their heart and the things their heart desires.

3. Summary

What I have showed today is very simple. The more you practice looking up all the little verses in the reference column, the better you will become at it. 

Also, you will soon see that the Bible is a unified whole. It all connects and teaches the same message. Each part repeats in a different setting what the other parts are also saying.

You also will be studying topics, such as love, light, truth, life, faith and any of the other Christian words you can think of.

Your beginning point will be a single verse. For example, 

John 3:16 “For God so (a) loved the world, that He (b) gave His (1)(c) only begotten Son, that whoever (d)believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. 

Looking up the verses in the reference column for each one of these letters gives us the following list:

(a) loved the world Rom 5:8; Eph 2:4; 2Th 2:16; 1Jo 4:10; Rev 1:5

(b) gave Rom 8:32; 1Jo 4:9

(c) only begotten Son Joh 1:18; Joh 3:18; 1Jo 4:9

(d) believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life Joh 3:36; Joh 6:40; Joh 11:25f. (The letter “f” here means “forward.” That is, read John 11:25 and keep reading, since there are more verses that continue on the same topic.)

(1) While letters refer to verses, numbers refer to notes by the editors or translators of the particular Bible you may have. Here the (1) says the following, “unique, only one of His kind.” That is what the translators or editors are saying about the word “only begotten.”

I guarantee that by the time you have looked up all the above verses, you will have a good idea of the topic of God’s love to all people in the world!

 

 

 

 

 

Isaiah 61:3

Psalm 121

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The Seven “I Am” Statements in John

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Link to the Outline of the Gospel of John

Hey! What’s Your Problem?

Reader Challenge: As you read through this portion of Scripture, John chapters 7 and 8 (see link just below), try to answer the question found in the title of this blog–What is the problem that the enemies of Jesus have that prevents them from seeing Christ for who he actually is?

Week 8 Part 2 John 7:1-8:59  Focus–Jesus Confronts His Enemies

(Link to Outline of John)

John’s Theme: John 20:31 … these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Summary of Chapter 7 (based upon Hendriksen, Vol. 2, 30-31)

The Galilean Ministry has ended. Jesus has retired to the northern regions of the country. After six months, he returns again to Judea for the Later Judean Ministry and the feast of Tabernacles.

1. John 7:1-13 His blood brothers, not yet believers, (see Acts 1:14 for their later belief) attempt sarcastically to entice him to go to the feast with them. Jesus refuses, but later goes up “not publicly, but in secret” (vs 10). In the meantime, at the feast, the “Jews” are murmuring about where “that man” might be, while the crowds call him a “good man”  They are all afraid to say anything openly, for fear of the religerati©.

2. John 7:14 Halfway through the feast, Jesus goes up to the temple and begins to teach. He causes a stir.

ESV  John 7:37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'”

3. John 7:15-52 The people react.

a. The “Jews” are generally skeptical and oppositional (15, 20, 35-36).

b. The crowd is divided–some derisive and some more or less open (vss 12, 20, 25-27, 31, 40-44).

c. The Pharisees sent guards to arrest him (32, 45-52).

d. The guards sent to arrest him are dumfounded with awe-filled amazement at the manner in which Jesus spoke while teaching (32, 45-46).

e. Nicodemus, one of the Pharisees who had personally gone to inquire of Jesus (John 3:1-12), speaks up in defense of the law, a fairly safe and noncommittal way to defend Jesus himself (50, 51).

Summary of Chapter 8 (based on Hendriksen, Vol. 2, 68-69)

1. John 7:53-8:11 Discussion among experts is inconclusively split concerning whether or not this section should be included in Scripture.

This is the highly popular and famous scene in which Jesus loves unto salvation a woman caught “in the act of adultery.” The great contrast is between the non-judgmental (yet highly aware) love of Jesus versus the callous condemnation and deceitfulness of the “teachers of the laws and the Pharisees.”

2. John 8:12-59 The confrontation between Jesus and the religerati© continues (see Hendriksen, Vol. 2, 68-69).

Scene: the temple courts the following day (1-2)

Jesus: [Theme 1–the light] I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (12) [JESUS’ SECOND GREAT “I AM” IN JOHN] (Light of the World: 1:4,5,7,8-9; 3:19, 20, 21; 8:12; 9:5; 11:9, 10; 12:35, 36; 12:46)

Pharisees: “You bear witness of Yourself; Your witness is not true.” (13)

Jesus: [Theme 2–Sent by God] The [my] Father sent me (7:28; 8:14b, 15, 16, 17, 18, 26, 49-50; 5:31, 5:38)

Pharisees: They don’t get it–they remain literalistic and concrete; their scope is narrowly focused on the physical, carnal world only.

• “Where is your father?” (8:19) [slanderous insinuation]

• “You, who are you?” (8:25) [scornful disdain]

• “They did not recognize that he spoke to them of the Father.” (8:27) [ignorance born of prejudice]

The Crowd of Religious People: “While he was saying these things, many believed in him.” (8:30) [mental agreement only, quickly changing to disdain–8:31, 33, 39, 41, 44, 48, 52, 53, 57, 59] [see also The Parable of the Sower, especially vss 5-6 and 20-21]

Jesus: [Theme 3–The Son of Man to be lifted up] “When you will have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I am he.” (3:14-16; 8:28; 12:32-33) [Also, Theme 6–I AM]

Jesus: [Theme 4–Truth] “If you remain [abide] in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (8:31-32; 1:9, 14, 17; 3:21, 33; 4:18, 23, 24, 37; 5:31, 32, 33, 45; 6:32; 7:18, 28; 8:13, 14, 16, 17, 26, 32, 40, 44, 45, 46)

The [Supposedly] Believing Crowd of Religious People: “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, ‘You will be made free’?” (8:33)

Jesus: [Theme 5–My Father, your father] “I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.” (8:38) “If you are Abraham’s children, you are doing the works of Abraham. But now you are seeking to kill, me, a man who has been telling you the truth which I heard from God. This Abraham did not do. You are doing the works of your father.” (8:39-40)

The [by now] Non-believing Crowd of Religious People: “Abraham is our father.” (8:39) “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father–even God.” (8:41)

Jesus: [Theme 5–My Father God, your father the devil]If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me (8:42) [Also Theme 2–Sent by God]. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (8:44) “Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” (8:47)

The [now] Hostile Crowd of Religious People: “Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” (8:53)

Jesus: [Theme 2–Sent by God] “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’  55 But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word.” (8:54-55)

Jesus: [Theme 5–My Father, your father] “Your father Abraham [according to the flesh] rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” (8:56)

The Hostile Crowd of Religious People: “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” (8:57)

Jesus: [Theme 6–I AM] “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” (8:58)

The Hostile Crowd of Religious People: [Theme 7–Jesus’ Enemies want to kill him] So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple. (8:59; 5:18; 7:1, 19, 20, 25; 8:37, 40)

So how did we do in the Reader Challenge? (see top of post)

Hint: What is the one thing that Jesus had that none of his enemies had? L-O-V-E.

1. See Jesus’ many miracles:

• water to wine demonstrates compassion for a groom, his bride, and the parents (2:1-11)

• healing the nobleman’s son demonstrates love for a social class not his own (4:46-54)

• healing the paralyzed man demonstrates Jesus’ love for the outwardly weak and defeated, the unattractive and unlovely (5:1-9)

• healing the paralyzed man on a Sabbath demonstrates Jesus’ (and God’s) love for people above an overly zealous and ungodly love for human religious tradition

• feeding the 5,000 people demonstrates love for people’s physical needs 6:1-15

2. Jesus’ actions demonstrate love:

• cleansing the temple demonstrates love for God and for God’s house of prayer (2:13-22)

• Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus demonstrates love for potentially hostile people (3:1-21)

• Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well and his long visit in her village demonstrates his love for ethnic and religious classes not his own (Jesus was Jewish by human birth) (4:4-43)

• Jesus’ long discourses with his enemies in chapters 6, 7, and 8 demonstrate his love for those who hate them

• These same discourses demonstrate Jesus’ love for God in his willingness that none should go without hearing the gospel of salvation, even those whom he knows will use this gospel against him in order to kill him

3. Lack of love prevented Jesus’ enemies for recognizing that Jesus was a good man.

Yet, even without LOVE, two other attributes would have worked to help these blind enemies of Christ: KNOWLEDGE and OBEDIENCE

 

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1. Obedience

2. Knowledge

John 7:17 If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.

obedience–if anyone’s will is to do God’s will

knowledge–he will know

Obedience–John 7:19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why do you seek to kill me?”

John 7:23 If on the Sabbath a man receives circumcision, so that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because on the Sabbath I made a man’s whole body well?

Knowledge–John 7:27 But we know where this man comes from, and when the Christ appears, no one will know where he comes from.” 28 So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I come from? But I have not come of my own accord. He who sent me is true, and him you do not know. 29 I know him, for I come from him, and he sent me.”

Obedience and Knowledge–John 7:49 But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.” 50 Nicodemus, who had gone to him before, and who was one of them, said to them, 51 “Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?” [The chief priests and Pharisees do not obey the law that they claim to know.]

Knowledge and Obedience–John 8:4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” … John 8:7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. [In their claimed knowledge of the Law, the Pharisees test Jesus to see if he will deny the love for common folk, which he often displays, or deny his obedience to the Law of Moses. Jesus’ outwits them by causing them to recognize their own guilt of disobedience.

Knowledge and Obedience–John 8:49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. [The religious leaders did not know God, nor did they obey him. They dishonored God by dishonoring his Sent One–Christ.]

Summary: If they had known God and wanted to obey him, they would have investigated Jesus’ claim of being God’s Son with an open mind and an open heart, given that God backed up Jesus’ claims with astounding miracles, and that Jesus taught with astounding teaching. If these Pharisees had sought to honor God (to know, obey, and love him), they would have fairly investigated Jesus’ claims, as Nicodemus, who was one of them, apparently did. Seeking to do God’s will (obedience), they would have discovered (knowledge) that Jesus truly was who he claimed to be. Knowledge of God and his Son leads to love for both. So, in love, they would have honored God by honoring the Son. They did none of these, thereby showing that they had neither knowledge of God, nor a heart of obedience towards him, nor did they have the love of God in their hearts. Jesus told them flat out that they had none of these because they were not “of God” but of their father, the devil (8:44).

 

 

Sent and Endorsed

Week 7 Part 2 John 6:22-71: Focus–Jesus Was Sent by God the Father and Endorsed by Him

(Link to Outline of John)

John’s Theme: John 20:31 … these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

 

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Faith Has Its Perfect Response

 

 

Jesus’ “I Am” Statements in John 6

 

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Link To: Outline of the Gospel of John

Just the Facts, Ma’am

Week 6 Part 2 John 6:1-15: Jesus Feeds 5,000 People from One Lunch

(Link to Outline of John)

John’s Theme: John 20:31 … these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Parallel Passages: Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17

Important Items to Notice jesus-bread-life-50000

  • The healing of the nobleman’s son, Jesus’ second sign recorded in John’s Gospel (see Outline of John, Week 5), occurred at the beginning of what is called the “Great Galilean Ministry.” This fourth sign, in which Jesus feeds 5,000 men plus women and children from five “loaves” of Mediterranean flat bread and two fish, occurs at the end of his Galilean ministry.
  • John 5 records how Jesus was rejected in Judea; John 6 shows how he was rejected in Galilee also.
  • In Judea, John records how the Jewish religious leaders rejected Jesus; here in Galilee, it was not just the leaders but his own disciples (the twelve excepted) who also rejected him.
  • This is the only miracle recorded in all four gospels (see links above, Parallel Passages).
  • As recorded by John, the disciples’ faith had not grown sufficiently for them to expect or even believe that Jesus could feed the enormous crowd from one boy’s lunch (John 6:5-9).
  • Nevertheless, the disciples obeyed Christ and arranged the men in orderly groups of about fifty each (Luke 9:14-15). Application: Obedience is a servant to faith in the outworking of miracles in our lives. Obeying Christ’s clear commands even when our faith falls short is sometimes enough for our miracle to happen (cf. the miraculous results of Peter’s obedience without faith in Luke 5:3-9).
  • Apart from the resurrection, this is the most well attested sign that Jesus performed, witnessed and participated in by over 5,000 people at once.

Many of Those Whom Jesus Fed Later Rejected Him (John 6:66).

John supplies a key to their actions:

NIV  John 6:15 Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.

This was an unruly mob ruled by the concrete reality of their stomachs. They wanted control over a puppet king of their own making, one who would do their own bidding and feed them on demand. They had no interest in Jesus as a person–who was this amazing man? Nor did their eyes lift to the heavens to recognize the source of the awesome power Jesus displayed. Their interest in him was earthbound, not spiritual.

The writer John explores their attitudes and motivations later as Chapter 6 continues.

Application: How does this miracle demonstrate John’s theme–that Jesus is the Son of God. What does this mean for me personally in my own life?

 

Week 6 Part 2 John 6:15-21: The Fifth Sign–Jesus Walks on Water

 

John’s Theme: John 20:31 … these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

 

Genesis 1:2 …  And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

After the miracle of the bread and fish, Jesus sent the crowds away. Then he sent his disciples away into the one boat down on the shore and bid them sail to the other side of the lake, while he himself retreated into the mountains to pray. He prayed for a good deal of the night, while his disciples rowed against the wind on high seas in a fierce storm. By the middle of the night, they were still out in the middle of the lake, suspended half way from shore to shore, about 2-1/2 miles out.

Suddenly, an apparition-like form came moving across the water, and the disciples in the boat were terrified. The form spoke in a familiar voice, “It is I; do not be afraid.” At this, they recognized that it was Jesus, and they willingly brought him into the boat. Again suddenly, all at once, they found themselves and the boat on the shore towards which they had laboriously been rowing for hours.

Question: How does this fifth sign achieve John’s thematic purpose of demonstrating that Jesus is the Son of God? How does this affect me in my life personally?

……………………………………..

And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

This miracle-story should be accepted by faith. If one does not believe it, however, let him not try to explain it away. Let him be honest and say, “I do not believe it.” (Hendriksen, vol. 1, 227)

 

 

 

Like Father Like Son

John 20:31 … these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Week Six: Discourse—Does Jesus Himself Claim to Be Divine? (Link to John 5:18-47)

Main Point: 34 Not that the testimony that I receive is from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved.

A Dramatic Scene

A GRAND miracle has just been performed—Jesus suddenly and completely heals a man who had been paralyzed for 38 years. The man picks up his sick-bed mat and carries it off.

“Wow!! Awesome!! Praise God!! We’ve never seen or heard anything like this in our whole lives!! Who is this man who did this healing?”

Wrong!—The religious leaders said, “You both picked the wrong day of the week for your dramatic little display. We are the keepers of the law, and it is against our law for anyone to heal, lift, and carry on the Sabbath. You are both sinners.”

Jesus: “Ah, but you are wrong. My Father and I are One, and we hold ultimate authority over the Sabbath. We created the Sabbath, not as a set of picayune laws to trip people up, but as a day of rest to help people weary from their labors.stained-glass-jesus

“I want to help you to understand and believe, so listen to me.”

Part One: If it quacks like a duck…

ESV  John 5:18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

19 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.

20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel.

21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will.

22 The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son,

23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.

24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

25 “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.

26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.

27 And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man.

28 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice

29 and come out, those who have done good to the  resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.

30 “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.

 

It is possible for a son or daughter to share many physical and personality traits with their parent. This is because they share one-half of a complete set of genes. That’s a lot of genes for two people to have in common!

Nevertheless, parent and child are independent of each other in many ways, especially their thought life, their speech, and most importantly, their will (their center of volition, their driving force.)

When Jesus states in verse 19, “the Son can do nothing of his own accord,” he is not describing a shortcoming in himself. Rather, he is saying that there is nothing in the Son that is independent of the Father. They share everything, even their will. Christ is purely, exactly like his Father. And because this is so, they are One.

Hebrews 1:3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

Three strands of thought intertwine in Jesus’ discourse above.

1. The Son possesses all the Father possesses and does not possess any trait or quality, apart from his human nature, which the Father does not also possess. This indicates that Father and Son are identical (vss 18-20).

A limited analogy might be human fathers and sons, in which the father openly shows the son all he does—his garage and office, his hobbies, his work, his philosophies and ethic, and so on. As the son grows and matures, he displays his identity as his father’s son by taking on for himself many characteristics of his father.

2. Just as God has life in himself and the power of life over death, so the Son has life in himself and power of life over death (vss 21, 25-26). And, as the Father makes sovereign choices in matters of life versus death, so does the Son (vss 21, 24-26, 28-29).

3. God has given the final judgment to his Son (vss 22, 24, 27-30).

 

Part Two: The Witnesses

 

John 5:31 If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not deemed true.

 32 There is another who bears witness about me, and I know that the testimony that he bears about me is true.

33 You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth.

34 Not that the testimony that I receive is from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved.

35 He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.

36 But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me.

37 And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen,

38 and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent.

39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,

40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.

41 I do not receive glory from people.

42 But I know that you do not have the love of God within you.

43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him.

44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?

45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope.

46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me.

47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

 

 Jesus Presents His Five Witnesses

1. Jesus Himself (vs 31).

I know that my testimony is true, because I know who my Father is and where I come from. Nevertheless, if I were the only witness to myself, you might not believe me. Therefore…

2. God the Father (vss 32, 36-38)

3. John the Baptist (vss 33-35)

I don’t need John’s testimony, as I have plenty of divine testimony, which is far stronger.  John the Baptist was sent for you, as a herald to announce my coming and to prepare the soil for the good seed. As regards John the Baptist, you are like the seed that fell on stony ground (Luke 8:5-6).

4. Jesus’ Signs and Miracles (vs 36)

These were given to me by God my Father, and none could perform these miracles without his endorsement (John 3:2).

5. Scripture and the Prophets (39-40, 45-46)

The Scripture and prophets all speak of me, especially Moses, whom you adore and on whom you place your trust. I don’t need to condemn you at the final judgment—Moses will condemn you by the words he spoke about me, which you neither believed nor received (Hebrews 1:1-2).

 

Jesus Accuses His Accusers (37-47)

1. They do not know the Father (vs 37).

2. God’s Word does not abide in them (vs 38, 43).

3. They do not believe the One whom God sent (vs 38).

4. Their hearts are hard (vs 40).

5. The love of God is not in them (vs 42).

6. They refuse to receive the One God sent (# 3 above, vss 38, 43), yet they will receive another who comes in his own name (promoting his own glory and not having endorsement from God).

7. They seek and receive glory from the wrong places (vs 44).

8. They neither understand nor believe their hero, Moses (vss 45-46).

9. They misunderstand the basics (vs 47).

 

Link to Outline: Gospel of John

 

Blessed Are the Meek

blessed-meek

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