John Lesson 16: John 14:1-16:33

For Thought and Discussion Question, Page 149(2)

Why does it glorify the Father when Jesus grants prayers offered in His name? (John 14:13)

NIV Footnote:  John 14:13: Prayers offered in His name is prayer aimed at carrying forward the work Jesus did, Prayer that He himself will answer. (3, page 1622)

 

Prayer brings us in line with Jesus and in accordance with God. Our purpose is to always be in alignment with God, for our prayers to be heard and answered.  Prayer in line with Jesus gives us a better understanding of how to pray, why we should pray and how prayer changes things. (1, page 44)

God gets glorified because of our relationship with Him. We know He answers all prayers that come from His son, Our Lord and Savior, Jesus. As we grow in our relationship with God our Pray life should grow as well.

John 14:6: I am the way and the truth and the life…

 

References:

  1. Helen Smith Shoemaker, The Secret of Effective Prayer, Word Book, 1967.
  2. John, Life Change Series, NavPress, 1987
  3. NIV Study Bible, Zondervan, 2008 edition.

Gospel of John Lesson 10 “The Light of the World”

When a patron enters a theater once the show has begun, an usher shines a light on the ticket and then shines a light on the path where one is walking, so the patron can get seated safely.  Jesus tells us in John 8:12 “…I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” This light comes from God, illuminates, reflects and directs our path to everlasting life.  Oh what a light!

Jesus opened the eyes of one who was born blind in John 9:1-6; another miracle that tells us who Jesus is. He asked the healed man in V.35-41, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” When he recognized Jesus as the one who healed him, he believed and worshipped Jesus. He truly could see the light that Jesus shined; he gained spiritual sight.  On the other hand, the Pharisees believed they already had spiritual sight. They implied this with their sarcastic question to Jesus (John 9:40), “What?  Are we blind too?”.  Jesus replied (John 9:41) “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin, but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains”.

If they had admitted to their blindness, Jesus would have healed them by forgiving their sins.  But they instead insisted they could see and therefore remained in their sin.  They rejected Jesus, rejected his light and this kept them in sin. Jesus by his very nature and by coming into the world shining his light, divided people into two camps; 1-those who are blind, who accept Jesus and gain spiritual sight and 2-those who believe they are not blind, who reject the light, are spiritually blind and remain in sin.

Bowing before and worshiping Jesus, I acknowledge He is lord and master, and by faith I will walk towards the light. I was blind but now Hallelujah, I can see.

References:

1- NIV Study Bible – Zondervan 2011 by Biblica, Inc

2- Life Change Series-Book of John – NavPress 2010 by the Navigators

3- Commentary – https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-53-blind-see-seeing-are-blind-         john-935-41         Steven J. Cole 201

Opposition Begins

Many of you can identify with the “Power of Faith.”  It can be different in each of our lives.  Lesson seven in our study on the book of John was centered on John 5: 1 – 47.  The title identified was “Opposition Begins.”  Some of the headings found in Chapter 5 in the book of John, in the bible are:  “The Healing at the Pool; Life through the Son; Testimonies about Jesus.

 

The many toils of strife were chronicled by the apostle John, among others.  John was the messenger who told of the Messiah.  Jesus was faced with opposition, even though he did good.  He healed the lame and cured the sick.  Even though he performed miracles, the Jews considered him a mere man.  Jesus realized that he would be fighting an up-hill battle at the very beginning.  Those in power did not want to feel challenged for their stations in life (positions).  They also wanted to limit anyone from gaining a position that they did not support.

 

Jesus saw an invalid lying by the pool at Bethesda.  Jesus learned that he had been an invalid for thirty eight years; which to many of us is a long time.  Jesus asked him if he wanted to get well. After listening to his reply, Jesus told him to get up and walk.  Ordinarily, Jesus would have healed the man based on his faith.  Faith would have been a requirement, a pre-requisite., for the man to be cured.  In this particular instance, the man did not even know who Jesus was.  Jesus is not limited by a person’s lack of faith, even though he usually heals in response to faith.

 

The Jews questioned the man who had been healed.  They wanted to punish him for performing work on the Sabbath.  Per the NIV footnote of John 5:10 and the Life Change study guide text notes on page 69; “The Law of Moses forbids work on the Sabbath. The rabbis minutely spelled out what constituted work (by 200 AD thirty-nine classes of work were defined). Nehemiah 13:15 and Jeremiah 17:21-27 condemn carrying loads for commercial business on the Sabbath, so the rabbis decided that “taking out aught from one domain into another”(1) was always work. This included carrying a mat. The rabbis had a theory that each commandment should be applied as widely as possible to avoid even accidentally breaking the law.”  They interpreted that the law forbade his carrying of the mat in his possession.  They interpreted that the law forbade the carrying of loads of any kind.  The Jews held Jesus accountable for permitting the man to carry the mat on the Sabbath.  The Jews then persecuted Jesus because he was doing these things on the Sabbath.

 

Jesus was prepared for the opposition.  He was ready to do what it took.  He understood what lengths humans would go to, to maintain their authoritative positions, and positions of power.  Jesus understood that prophecy had to be fulfilled.

 

Sources:

Life Change Series, A NavPress Bible study of the book of John, NavPress, 1987.          (1) Morris, Leon. The Gospel According to John, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Eerdmans, 1971).

NIV Study Bible, Zondervan Publishing House, 1995

 

Born of the Spirit – John 3:1-36

 

Why Should We Be “Born Again?”

Matthew 3:11, 13 15-17, John 3:1-18 NIV Study Bible

Matthew 3:11 (John the Baptist)  I Baptist you with water for repentance.  But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry.  He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with Fire.

Matthew 3:13 – Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John (15) …Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all of righteousness.”  Then John consented. 

Matthew 3:16 – As soon as Jesus was baptized he went up out of the water.  At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on Him. (17)  And a voice from heaven said, this is my Son, whom I love, with whom I am well pleased.

John 3:1-8 – (1) Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish Ruling Council.  (2) He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God.  For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.  (3) In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. (4) “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “ Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born!”  (5) Jesus answered, “ I tell you the truth, no one can enter the Kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.  (6) Flesh gives birth to flesh, but Spirit gives birth to Spirit.  (7)  You should not be surprised at my saying, “you must be born again”.  8.  The wind blows wherever it pleases.  You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or, where it is going,  so it is with everyone born of the  Spirit.

Respectfully Submitted by

M. E. Stokes, D. S.W.

 

 

 

Testimony – John 1:6–8, 19-51

Are you being a good witness for God?  Are you providing a good and accurate account of God’s Grace and Mercy?  Looking at the scripture, John 1: 6 – 8; 19 – 51; the focus is on John the Baptist, as he testifies and witnesses of the coming of The Messiah.  In verses 6 – 8; he states; “There was a man sent by God whose name was John.  He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe.  He himself was not the light.  He came only as a witness to the light.” This gives us insight into the mission of John the Baptist, concerning the coming of the Messiah.  Through his testimony and witnessing; a road map has been provided as to how to be a good witness for God and to insure that your testimony is edifying God’s Grace and Mercy.  The next time that you are reading this chapter of John; think about some things that you can input, improve, and express when you are witnessing and providing your testimony of God’s Grace and Mercy, in your life.

Bible Study Notes from The Gosple of John – Lesson One

 

Overview Summary of  Lesson One

Life Changes Series by NAVPRESS (1)

Who is John?

John describes himself only as “ the disciple whom Jesus loved.” (John 13:23 plus ft.nt., 19:26, 20:2; 21:7, 20; see also 21:24).

John was  the son of Zebedee, a Fisherman (Mark 1:19-20); his mother was Salome (Mark 15: 40, Matt. 27:56).  He was the brother of James (Matt. 4: 21-22).

He was prominent in the early church but is not mentioned by name in this Gospel—which would be natural if he wrote it, but hard to explain otherwise. (NIV pg. 2177)

The book for this study is outlined simply, to give us a tour of the book of John.  The author gives the students the time to slowly get use to the author and how he (John) writes and teaches us about the gift of eternal life Jesus offers to all who believe in Him.

The study guide has work book exercises. Some important workbook exercises for this lesson were:

Outlining JOHN – One of the important guides in understanding the Bible is to identify the author’s intent in writing the book. In this study, on page 11, the author asks the student to, as you initially read the book, make a broad outline of the book by giving a title to each chapter or themes within a chapter.  Pages 11 and 12 provide assistance with a chapter/verse guide of important sections.

Question 5 on page 12 – “What do you learn about John’s intent and purpose for writing John from 20:30-31? “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”

Four Gospels (page 14) – The group was given enough information to compare and contrast the gospel of John with the synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke by reading “Four Gospels” on pages 14-15.

  1. Life Change Series, JOHN, The Navigators, NavPress,1987
  2. Holy Bible: New International Version (NIV), Zondervan Corporation, 2002

 

 

 

 

Study of John

The Book of John

Life Changes Series by NavPress

We discussed How To Use This Study.  You want to get the most from your study and grow in your relationship with God.  Start each lesson with Prayer and end each lesson with Prayer

Here are a few Study tips you may find helpful:

Objectives: This is what you should gain from the Study.. all found on page 5

  1. A firm foundation of understanding and a desire to continue the study
  2. To teach you how to study a Book of the Bible
  3. To provide historical background, word definitions and notes, so you only need the Bible
  4. To help you understand the message of the book
  5. To teach you to allow God’s Word to transform you into Christ’s image

Flexibility: Be of open heart, mind and spirit when you study God’s word, let Him reveal what he wants to teach you. Every-time you sit with Him he will reveal more and more of Himself.

More details on page 5 for using the Optional application, For thoughts and Discussion and For Further Study areas of the book to gain more insight into your study.

Overview and Details: Ask yourself “Why did the author (and God) write the book? What did they want to accomplish? What is the book about?

Each lesson will take you through chapters, sections and versus of the Book.

Study Aids: This Book is designed so you really only need the Bible as your reference source. Be careful where you get sources, references, commentary and concordance from, make sure that it stays focused on God’s word in the Bible.

Here are a few references: Biblos.com, Matthew Henry Commentary or Wycliffe Commentary and Strong Concordance by James Strong and the Bible Gateway www.biblegateway.com and @biblegatewayapp.

  Scripture Versions: The Bible quotations are from the NIV ( New International Version) unless otherwise noted.  Other versions used are KJV( King James Version), RSV (Revised Standard Version) and NASB (New American Standard Bible) Although there are many other Bible versions, these will give you most from your study.

 Memorizing and Meditating: We all learn differently, some by talking through it, some have to write it down and some need to read it, however you learn is fine, this is about your relationship with God.

Above anything else, start your Study with Prayer, asking God to center your spirit to focus on Him to get the most from this study. And end it with Prayer thanking Him for revealing Himself to you. Have fun and enjoy the fellowship with your group

Reference sources: Life Changes Series: John- navpress 1998, 2010.

Salome, Mother of the Zebedees

Key Scriptures: Matthew 20:20-24, 27:56; Mark 15:40-41, 16:1-2

Points for Bible Study February 27,2016

  1.  Her name, the Feminine form of “Solomon,” means “Peace.” (4., pg. 201.)
  2. She was the wife of Zebedee, a prosperous fisherman on Sea of Galilee.  The only glimpse we have of him is in his boat mending the nets when Jesus came and called his two sons to follow him. There was no action on Zebedee’s part to detain them.  (1., pg. 285.)
  3. Zebedee – The father of the apostles James and John (Mark 1:19-20) by Salome (Mark 15:40; Matt. 27:56). Zebedee and his sons were associated with Simon and Andrew in a fishing business at Capernaum (Mark 1:16-20, Luke 5:10).  The fact that he had servants (Mark 1:20) and that his wife seems to have contributed toward  Jesus’ support (Mark 15:40-41; Luke 8:2-3) makes it appear that he was a man of  some means.  The gospels offer no evidence that he actively followed Jesus, though he seems not to have hindered the activity of the wife and the sons (2., pg. 940.)
  4. Her character:  Salome, one of the saintly women who followed and ministered to Jesus, appears to have been one of His disciples from the outset of His ministry.  She had no doubt as to His Messiahship. (1., pg. 285)
  5. A faithful disciple – She remained a faithful disciple of Jesus’ up to the very end.  She was present at the crucifixion, when her sons had withdrawn.  She was also among the women who went to the tomb and found Jesus had risen from the dead. (1., pg.285-286.)
  6. Salome, Aunt of Jesus – (John 19:25) Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene (NIV – John 19:25).Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome.  (Ft.nt. Mark 15:40 – Mary Magdalene. From Lk. 8:2 we learn that Jesus had driven seven demons out of her.  Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses. See v. 47; 16:1,   Salome, Probably the wife of Zebedee and mother of James and John (See Mt.27:56.) In John 19:25 “his mother’s sister” probably is to be distinguished from “Mary the wife of Clopas,” and Salome may be meant. This would make Salome and Zebedee aunt and uncle, and James and John cousins of Jesus. (2., pg. 167)
  7. Salome – Mother of James – James left his father Zebedee and the family fishing business to follow Jesus with other Apostles.  Along with his brother John and their, partner Peter, James became one of Jesus’ favored followers.  The ambitious, short-tempered  James was the church’s first martyr, he was executed at the hands of Herod Agrippa I, 15 years after Jesus died.
  8. Salome – Mother of John, the Apostle.  Matt 4:21-22 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother, John.  They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets.  Jesus called to them,  (v22) and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
  9. Salome – She, misunderstood the meaning of the Kingdom of God. As a very ambitious  mother, she asked for her sons to be placed at His right and left hand, when the earthly kingdom she expected came into being, Jesus explained that these positions weren’t His to give. He also questioned her as to whether she and her sons would be able to endure the suffering that would be required. In effect, Jesus asked if her sons were prepared to drink the cup of martyrdom, which in the end, they did. James was the first apostle to be martyred, and John, the last. The mother sought instant positions for her sons. But, by losing their lives for Christ’s sake, they gained greater honor in heaven. (1., pg. 286)

Sources:

  1. Charles, Sylvia, Women in the Bible, 1988, Virgil Hensley Publishing.
  2. The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, Volume R-Z, 1962, Abingdon Press.
  3. Scriptures taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society, Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
  4. Syswerda, Jean E., Women of the Bible, 1999, Zondervan.

 

 

 

The Syrophoenician Woman – 8 Points for Bible Study

Bible Study February 13, 2016  – Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30

1. The woman’s name is not known. Her identity by Matthew says she is a Canaanite.  As there was no country of Canaan at that time, the term may be a Semitic identification of reference by the Jews to the Phoenicians. Mark identifies her as “….a Greek born in Syrian Phoenicia…” (Mark 7:26).

2. Her story is a lesson in faith and love as she came to Jesus and begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter (Mark 7:26).

3. It is evident, that from the answer Jesus gave her; “First let the children eat all they want” (Mark 7:27) all involved understood the tension between the Jews and the Greeks.

4. Love – Jesus said the greatest commandment is: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the Greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40).  Jesus also said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” The Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13 list a number of admirable attributes such as, speaking in tongues, the gift of prophecy, faith to move mountains, giving to the poor, suffering martyrdom and being burned at the stake, but concludes that these great accomplishments are nothing without love. The Apostle John says “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:8). However, Reverend Al Green reminds us that love is “Something that can make you do wrong, make you do right, love.” It is a mother’s love in this case, that makes the women risk prejudicial condemnation, to go to a person from a group that despised her people, and seek healing for her daughter. I’m sure this didn’t sit will with the Jews or her people, the Greeks of Syrophoenicia. Love however, conquered all.

5. In her initial call for help, she recognized him as being a direct desendent of King David. “A Canaanite woman from the vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly  from demon-possession.” (Matthew 15:22)

6. Jesus ignored her plea, but she was persistent. “Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” (Matthew 15:23)

7. There seems to be no real answer at why Jesus ignored the woman and spoke to her as he did in Matthew 15:24-26. Was he being witty to let her know he didn’t despise her like other Jews? Was he teaching his disciples a lesson regarding the scope of their ministry in the future? Did Jesus in his humanness have to come to grips with the true mission of his Father, God? Was he testing the woman’s level of faith? Or, was he using the woman as an example of what level faith in the healing power of God produced a response? No one knows the answers, but we know the woman had faith.

8. Faith – Many times the drive of the inward assurance of success outweighs the skill level. This is not to say that the woman didn’t have sufficient language skills to make her point to Jesus. In order to make the attempt, as She “begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter” (Mark 7:26), she had to have great faith that she would succeed. How many know how to solve their problems of life, but don’t have faith to not only take the first step in the right direction, but approach the task with the tenacity of guaranteed success. The Greek word parakaleo indicates an urgent call. Urgent enough that despite what may appear as rudeness from Jesus put him in a witty, seemingly challenging conversation which resulted in her showing him she had faith that be could and would heal her daughter. For, “Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour” (Matthew 15:28).

Study Guide:                                                                                                                                                    Syswerda, Jean E, Women of the Bible, 52 Bible Studies for Individuals and Groups, Zondervan, 1999

 

 

What Does Sharing Everything for God Mean to You?

Acts:3:1-16; Acts 4:1-32

As we navigate through this earthly life, we need constant communication with our God. As believers, the Holy Spirit lives within to guide, support and comfort. We also have the Word of God, wherein we can find answers and instructions for all life’s questions. Let us always go the Word and meditate on what THE BIBLE REVEALS.

  1. THE STORY UNFOLDS: Acts 3:1-10

A crippled man who routinely lay at the temple gate called Beautiful, saw Peter and John one day and as always begged for alms/money.  Peter’s reply to him was:

Acts3:6—- “silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk”. NOTE: The man healed began to run, jump and praise God. Others saw and recognized him as the crippled beggar. “They were all filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened”. (Acts 3:10b)

2. HOW HEALING CAME: Acts 3:13,16

The people watching while astonished were also perplexed. Peter addressed their surprise and their questioning stares and said:

Acts 3: 13—- “the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers has glorified His servant Jesus”.

Acts 3:16—– “By faith in the name of Jesus, this man you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through Him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.

3. PETER AND JOHN ARRESTED: Acts 4:1-4

As usual, the religious rulers were upset the disciples were gathering so many people and preaching about Jesus. The disciples were arrested and held overnight for court the following day.

Acts 4:3—-“They seized Peter and John and because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day”. NOTE: see footnote 4:3—No judgements conducted during  evening hours.

4. HIGH PRIEST QUESTION PETER AND JOHN’S AUTHORITY

Peter and John were brought before the high priest at the Sanhedrin Council the next day and asked:

Acts 4:7—- “by what power or what name did you do this”

5. PETER’S RESPONSE:

Acts 4:10 —“then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead that this man stands before you healed”.

Acts 4:12—- “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved”.

6. OFFICIALS STUMPED/SATAN AGAIN DEFEATED:

Acts 4: 14—- “but since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.

7. OFFICIALS DEMAND/DISICPLES STAND FIRM

The Demand— Acts 4:15-18 “So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin…. to stop this thing….to speak no longer to anyone in this name”.

Peter and John’s stand—Acts 4: 19-20 “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard”.

8. GOD CAN USE ANYONE TO FULFILL HIS PLAN, EVEN UNBELIEVERS

Acts 4:21—- “….they let them go. They could not decide how to  punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened”.

9.THE BELIEVERS’S PRAYER: ACTS 4: 23-32

Peter and John returned to their people and reported all that had happened. Everyone then raised their voices together in prayer.

Acts 4:29—-  “….enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus”.

NOTE: ALL PRAYED TO CONTINUE TO SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT JESUS AND DO GOD’S WILL. WHAT IS YOUR PRAYER LIFE LIKE? 

10. GOD’S PLAN CANNOT BE ALTERED—THE CRUCIFIXION

Acts 4:28—The people prayed….. “They did what your power and will had decided before hand should happen”. NOTE: see footnote Acts 4:28—“Not that God had compelled them to act as they did, (the Crucifixion) but he willed to use them and their freely chosen acts to accomplish His   saving purpose”.

NOTE: REMEMBER GOD IS ALWAYS IN CONTROL

11. GOD’S PURPOSE FULFILLED

Acts 4:31—- “after they prayed…..they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly”.

NOTE: IS YOUR PURPOSE IN LINE WITH GOD’S?

12. Acts 4:32—- “all the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had”.

NOTE: SCRIPTURE INDICATES THE PEOPLE SHARED PERSONAL POSSESSIONS. WHAT DOES SHARING EVERYTHING FOR GOD MEAN TO YOU?

Thelma Bruce