Tuesday, November 29, 2016

John 7

Last time we learned that Jesus is the Bread of Life.  Food gives us energy and fuels our bodies which we need to survive.  Jesus gives us energy and fuel.  He encourages us.  He nourishes our souls and sustains us forever.  So when we eat and drink we are taking in His Words, His characteristics, His attributes, and then act on them.  Eating and drinking of His body and flesh are symbolic and refers to the Passover Lamb ceremony.  It points to the sacrifice of the Lamb of God on the cross.

John 7:1-6

Jesus knew the Jews were trying to kill Him so He stayed in and around Galilee instead of going to Judea.  When the Feast of Tabernacles was near, the brothers wanted Him to go to Judea so more people could see His miracles.  They wanted Him to show Himself to the world so others would believe.  Jesus told them that the time was not yet right.  He had to avoid His death for now.  Verse 5 says even Jesus’ own brothers didn’t believe in Him.   His brothers would not believe Him until after the resurrection.

The time He is speaking of is His crucifixion and resurrection.  He had work to do before this could happen.  Jesus trusting God’s timing.  The disciples didn’t understand this.  They wanted Him to have a public ministry.  They had nothing to fear, because their lives were not in danger.   

How are you trusting God’s timing?

John 7:7-13

Jesus said the world hated Him.  They hated Him, because He had pointed out their sins.  They rejected Him as Savior and all He stood for.  He told the disciples to go to the feast, but He would not.  Later He left for the Feast in secret, but the Jews were watching for Him.  They were asking, where is this man.  The crowds whispered about and said that He is a good man while other said He deceives the people.  They would be in terrible trouble if they spoke in favor of Jesus so they were afraid.

If you were asked what you thought about Jesus, what would you say?
I would say:  He is God and my Savior.  He rescued me from sin.  He is my Redeemer.  He showed His love for me by dying for me.  He is loving, forgiving, and compassionate.  He is always there and will never forsake me.  He wants everyone to believe in Him.  He gives eternal life to those who believe.

John 7:14-39

Jesus knew the leaders were plotting to kill Him, but He continued to teach.  Halfway through the Feast Jesus went to the temple and began to teach.  The Jews were amazed and wondered how He had such learning without having an education.  Jesus told them His teaching was from God.  He challenged them to find out if He teaching came from God.  He said “If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.  He who speaks on his own does so go gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent me is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.” - John 7:17-18

Remember they knew Jesus as a carpenter’s son without any education.  They were amazed when He taught.  He was not taught by man, but by God.  Jesus always stressed that He is in the Father’s will.  He always gives God the glory.  His Words are Truth.  He has no selfish interests.  Anyone can say they are from God, but He gives us a way to test this.

He asked them why they were trying to kill Him and called them demon-possessed.  He said He had done one miracle and they were astonished.  He was talking about the healing of the lame man at the pool (Chapter 5).  He did this on the Sabbath which had broken the 4th commandment.  They themselves were going to break the 6th commandment of killing Jesus.  Jesus told them to stop judging by appearances.  Jesus had done a good deed on the Sabbath, but they thought that was a sin.  They were blinded to their own sin.  They were hypocrites.  They interpreted the Scriptures to suit their own needs.

Jesus spoke with the authority of God.  He said you think you know me and where I am from, but you do not.  He said He was not here on His own authority.  He boldly declared His origin was from God Himself.  His listeners didn’t know God and were listening with their heads and not their hearts.  It’s the same today.  It’s a heart problem.  People don’t listen with their hearts. 

The chief priests and Pharisees tried to arrest Jesus, but failed.  It was not in God’s timing.  Many in the crowd put their faith in Him.  When the Pharisees heard the crowd they sent temple guards to arrest Him.  Jesus said, “I am with you for only a short time, and then I go to the one who sent me.  You will look for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come.”John 7:33-34

He was speaking about His resurrection.  He would be in heaven.  They would be looking for His physical body.  He was speaking to the unbelievers that would not be able to enter heaven.

Jesus said, “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.  By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.”John 7:38-39 The “streams of living water” is the Holy Spirit believers receive when they first become believers.  Those in Jesus’ day would receive the Holy Spirit after His resurrection and glorification.

Do you have living water flowing through you?
If so, how does it overflow to others?

John 7:40-53

Some people said that Jesus was a prophet.  Some said He was the Christ.  Some said, “How can the Christ come from Galilee”?  The Christ is to come from David’s family.  The people were divided and some even wanted to seize him. 

The temple guards were sent to sent to arrest Jesus, but they were impressed by Jesus and didn’t want to arrest Him.  Then Nicodemus came to the defense of Jesus.  He told them to give Jesus a fair hearing before they condemned Him, but the Jewish leaders had already made up their minds.  The leaders ignored Nicodemus.  They had forgotten that Isaiah had spoken of the messiah.

Who do you say Jesus is?
Have you ever defended Jesus?

In this chapter we see the Trinity:  Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.  God, the Father who is our Creator.  Jesus, the Son who is our Redeemer.  The Holy Spirit is the Spirit in us and is our security.  Jesus does not act independently of God.

Where do you act independently of God?

The question for every person who is confronted with the truth of Jesus is:  Will you follow Him or will you turn away?

Next week we will study the rest of John 8.  Have a blessed day and thanks for visiting my site.  Hope to see you here next time.

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Monday, November 21, 2016

John 6:41-71

Last week Jesus told us He is the Bread of Life.  He was sent by God from heaven to give life to the world.  There are no lists of rules and regulations to do to have eternal life.  All we have to do is believe in Jesus. 

John 6:41-42
The Jews rejected Jesus because of His claim of divine origin.  They knew Joseph and Mary as his parent and could not recognize His divinity.  Jesus’ words were too hard to understand and began to grumble and complain.  How could He have the authority to give eternal life?  They had sufficient proof of Jesus’ origin through the Scriptures as we see in Matt. 1:18-25; John 1:29-34; 2:18-23; 4:43-54; 6:1-15.  They also had the Old Testament prophecies that pointed to Jesus as the Messiah.  They had seen all the miracles He had done.  They even saw God’s approval when He was baptized.

It is very important to believe in Jesus’ heavenly origin because He is the only way to God.  If you don’t believe in Him and who He says He is, you will not have eternal life.

John 6:43-51
The Scriptures have an important part in us coming to Jesus in faith.  They point to Jesus.  They tell us about Him and they convict us of sin.  Scripture is God’s living Word.

Jesus tells them to stop grumbling.  “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him and I will raise him up on the last day.”John 6:44.  This is called election or predestination.  This is hard to understand.  God chose us for salvation even before we were born.  “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him.  In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.” Eph. 1:4-5  God draws individuals to Jesus and gives us to Him.  He chose us all, but God holds us responsible for our refusal to believe in Jesus.  God is merciful.  He made salvation available to us all.

John 6:46 and 14:6-12
We learn that only Jesus has seen the Father.  He is the only way to God.  To see Jesus is to see God.  He is God.  He came to earth and died for us so He has great love for us.

In John 6:49-50 Jesus’ mention 2 kinds of death – physical death and spiritual death.
The Bible tells us we all will die a physical death and that our bodies are perishable, but God promises believers that we will have imperishable bodies and will live eternally with Him forever. (John 6:44, 50-51; 11:25; 1 Cor. 15:54-55)

Where will you go when you die?

Jesus said, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven.  If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.  This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”John 6:51  The Jews began to argue even more.  Jesus said, “I tell you the truth unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.  Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.  For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.”John 6:53-55

What is this bread of life?  Jesus said His flesh, His life is the bread.  He would give His life for the life of the world.  Eating and drinking of His body and flesh are symbolic and refers to the Passover Lamb ceremony.  It also points to the sacrifice of the Lamb of God on the cross.

Our bodies need food and drink to survive.  It gives us energy and fuels our bodies.  Jesus gives us energy and fuel.  He encourages us.  He nourishes our souls and sustains us forever.  So when we eat and drink we are taking in His Words, His characteristics, His attributes, and even acting on them.  Then we live by His example.

Are you a believer in the Lord Jesus? 
Do you live and eat spiritually of Jesus?
Where are you being nourished by the world’s food?
How are you being nourished by Jesus?

John 6:60-71
We see that many of His followers could not accept what He was teaching.  His words were too hard to understand.  Jesus asked if His Words offended them.  He said that they would see Him ascend to heaven where He was before.  He said that Spirit gives life and flesh counts for nothing.  He said He speaks in spirit and they are life.  He knew they would not believe and would betray Him.  He asked the 12 disciples if they wanted to leave Him, too.  Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.  We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”John 6:68

Sometimes the Bible is hard to understand and accept, but we should not reject its truth.  Instead we should ask God to help us to understand and to reveal its lessons to us personally.

Do you find God’s Words too hard to understand?
Will you continue to study His Word and trust Him for understanding?

The flesh will rot away, but the Spirit last forever.  His Words are Spirit that gives life.  In other words the Word of God is life.  Hearing and receiving His Word will bring you to believe and have the results of eternal life.  God’s Word is truly living and life-giving.  It is the Holy Spirit who makes us alive to understand.  The Holy Spirit gives life, convicts us of sin, teaches us, guides us, helps us to know the truth, regenerates the spiritually dead, and empowers us to be obedient.

Peter knew the Jesus’ Words were true.  Only Jesus can give eternal life.  Many religions claim they have the way to God.  Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through me.”John 14:6

There are people today who see miracles and hear God’s Word, but still reject Him.  Judas, one of His disciples saw Jesus’ miracles and heard His teaching, but rejected and betrayed Him. 

Why do people reject Jesus and the truth?  I think some reject the truth because they misunderstand it, some are opposed to it, some are just plain blind to it.  Some want to experience what Jesus has to offer, but don’t want to surrender and commit.  Some go to church and even serve God for what they can get out of it.  Churches are growing today because many have watered down the true doctrine. 

In what ways do you betray Jesus?

Next week we will study the rest of John 7.  Have a blessed day and thanks for visiting my site.  Hope to see you here next time.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

John 6:22-40 – Jesus is the Bread of Life

Last time we saw multitudes of people following Jesus.  He performed a miracle by feeding over 5,000 people with only 2 loaves of bread and 2 fish.  Then we learned that Jesus told the disciple to get into the boat and go across the lake while He prayed on the mountain.  A storm came up and Jesus came to their rescue performing another miracle by walking on the water.  They invited Him into the boat and immediately they reached the shore on the other side of the lake.

The next day the people realized that they saw the disciples go out onto the lake, but didn’t see Jesus with them.  All of a sudden Jesus and the His disciples were on the other side of the lake.  They asked Jesus how He got there.  Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.  Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.  On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”John 6:26-27.

The people were selfish and only thinking of getting their stomachs filled.  They wanted their physical needs met.  Sometime our attitudes are like that.  We think about what Jesus can do for us physically instead of eternally.  When we study our Bible, we should do so because we want to learn more about Jesus, to strengthen our relationship with Him, and to know His will for our lives.

Why do you seek Jesus?
Do you hunger for know Him?

Jesus uses the phrase, “I tell you the truth” 100 times in the Gospels.  It’s used to get their attention as well as ours.  It also shows emphasis and that we should listen carefully for what He is about to say.

The food that spoils is material things in life like money, new clothes, and anything that gives is self pleasures of this world.  It can even be good works which can be good for the moment, but is doesn’t satisfy forever.  Food that endures is spiritual food which endures to everlasting life.  It’s the understanding of Him and His Word.  It’s His love and presence.  It’s salvation.  Only He can give eternal satisfaction to us.

What are you filling up life with?
Do you feast on the good stuff that satisfies?

The “seal of approval” is the approval of God.  God send Jesus to earth for a purpose – to save people who believe in His son.  Matt. 3:17“This is my son whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.”  Just as God sealed the Son, He seals those who believe for all eternity.

The people asked what WORKS must they do.  Jesus answered that the WORK of God is to believe in Jesus who was sent by God. (John 6:28-29) 

They wanted a list to follow so they could earn salvation.  They were all about rules and keeping the law itself.  “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.”Rom 3:20  “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.”Rom. 3:22  Good works does not save you.  “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith – and this not of yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”Eph 2:8-9.  If you have belief and faith in Jesus your faith will be seen in your actions.  To believe in Jesus you must believe that He died for your sins on the cross.  That makes you righteous with God’s eyes.

To believe is to be committed and to trust in Jesus – not just on Sunday and when things are going well, but every day.  We are to be committed in every area of our lives.

In John 6:30-32 they asked for a miraculous sign from Jesus so they would see and then believe.  Their forefathers received manna from heaven while in the desert.  Jesus said that God gave them the bread from heaven not Moses.  It is His Father who gives true bread from heaven.  “For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”John 6:33. 

The people wanted immediate satisfaction.  Some we are just like that today.  If we see, we will believe.   John 20:29 says, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

What is this manna they are talking about?  The Israelites were freed and Moses led them from Egyptian captivity and now they were in the desert.  In Exodus 16 they were complaining they would have been better off if they had stayed in Egypt.  At least there they had food to eat.  God heard their grumbling and complaining and gave the manna every day for 40 years.

Are you doing good works to earn your salvation?
Do you require a sign from God before you will believe?

They wanted this bread.  Jesus said, “I am the bread of life.  He who comes to me will never go hungry and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”John 6:35.  He goes on to say that they have seen Him but still don’t believe.  He will never drive away those who come to Him.  Jesus has come from heaven to do His Father’s will not His own.  He will not lose anyone, but will raise them up on the last day.  Everyone who looks to the Son and believes will have eternal life. (John 6:35-40)

They wanted something from Him, but He offered them Himself.  They already had it.  They just had to receive it.  The word “come” is the same as believe.  Jesus says 3 times, “I am the bread of life”. (John 6:35, 48, 51)  To have Jesus is to have it all – to have eternal life.

We don’t come to Him unless He draws us to Himself.  This is called election.  We are a gift to the Son.  God initiates and we respond by grace and then we pursue Him and not what the world has to offer.  He knows in advance who will come to Him, but we must decide and choose Him ourselves.  He promises when He returns to raise us up on the last day. (John 6:37-39)

Do you have the Bread of Life?

The hunger of our hearts can only be satisfied by believing, receiving and pursuing Jesus.
Jesus is worthy of our pursuit.
Jesus is the only way to avoid judgment and to live eternal life.
Only faith in Jesus Christ gives lasting satisfaction and security.
The true Bread of Life is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Will you make Him a daily priority?

Next week we will study the rest of John 6.  Have a blessed day and thanks for visiting my site.  Hope to see you here next time.

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