In The Book of John, he selected miracles that point to Jesus’ truth that He is Divine.
Lesson 4 Lecture – John 3:1-36
Jesus talked about “light” and “darkness”. Life is light of all mankind. Darkness is no match for light. Often the scripture has a double meaning, which gives us all the layers which shadow a much deeper meaning. (As I read some of this scripture, I made the mistake of trying to read too much into passages. Then I reminded myself that God would tell me when I was ready to learn it. I didn’t have to be looking!) Don’t be afraid to dig deeper and find out from within you, what something might mean. Dig deep. Don’t be misguided as the Jewish leaders were when Jesus said, “Destroy this Temple and within three days I will raise it up again.” Jesus is telling us that he is the Temple and God was dwelling among the people. Even when I think He has deserted me, I can rest assured He is always with me!
Jesus talks about being “born again” in John 3. He meets Nicodemus, a member of the higher court of the greater Sanhedrin. Nicodemus had questions and he went to see Jesus at night. Jesus knew Nicodemus came to him from a “spiritual darkness”. Jesus knew everything about him. I know Jesus knows all about me, but I still wonder if Nicodemus really understood that Jesus knows all? It is a difficult concept to wrap your brain around. (Read Psalm 139, my favorite!) We have The Word, Bible Studies, research and God’s timing to rely on. There is so much truth out there, why is there still so much disbelief?
In John 3:3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Being born again is a spiritual rebirth of becoming a child of God. It is like a second birth. You are born again of water and spirit. It is a true cleansing oneself of sin and letting the Holy Spirit come into your heart, a changing and renewing of yourself.
Jesus later tells us: John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
Yet, as humans, we are prone to loving the “darkness” rather than loving the light, as it is said in John 3:19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. What conviction!
1 New life comes only through Jesus and the work of His Spirit.
Questions to ponder: Have I experienced this new creation? Have I experienced the work of the Holy Spirit? Can I feel the Holy Spirit? I can hear it in the guiding inner voice of the spirit, but where is He leading me? It’s not for you to know, yet, Nanc…..
I have seen the Holy Spirit leading in my life, over and over, but there were times I didn’t let it. Do I see it now? Yes!! When the Holy Spirit works on and within you, the object yields. Yes, I yield… but I do have to admit “most of the time.” I also know “most” is not good enough.
All I know and believe is: Eternal life with God comes the moment the Holy Spirit enters you. All I have to do is accept and receive the love of Jesus.
John 3:25 Now a discussion arose between some of John’s disciples and a Jew over purification. 26 And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness–look, he is baptizing, and all are going to him.” 27 John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven.” To my way of thinking, John The Baptist was telling them plainly that Jesus was given the power to do just what he was supposed to! The same goes for me. Acknowledge and give up the sinful way of life, ask God for forgiveness, and walk on the path God intended me to walk.
2 God loves us and gives believers in Jesus a new destiny.
Jesus again tells us in John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
3 Christian joy comes from putting our focus on Jesus rather than ourselves.
John The Baptist knew God called him to prepare the way for Jesus. He also knew when it was time for him to step back and let Jesus do His work. He pointed many people to Jesus.
Another neat saying I got from BSF: In this age, don’t make your testimony a selfie with a Jesus filter.
Lesson 5 Lecture – John 4:1-30
Whereas most Jewish people would travel the coastline of the Jordan to keep away from Samaria, Jesus didn’t. He goes to Galilee, passing through Samaria where he meets a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. Like Nicodemus, Jesus recognized that the Samaritan woman was in Spiritual “Neediness,” whether she knew it or not.
Once Jesus told her about the living water, The Samaritan woman knew she wanted Jesus’ “living water”, but she misunderstood and wanted the water for the thirst; she didn’t want to have to keep coming back to the well for the water. How often have I thought that way?
John 4:13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
1 Jesus came to seek and to save all who are lost. There really is no coincidence about it; it was no accident that Jesus came there to the well just as this Samarian woman was going to the well.
Question to think on: How can I allow the woman at the well to encourage me? Meet it head on.
The Samaritan woman is not yet ready to receive the meaning of “living water” just yet. Before one can have a saving Faith, there has to be repentance and conviction, and you have to be aware of your sin, and readily admit it. The only way to prepare your heart for the seed is to plow it up with conviction. Another wonderful saying I wish to remember!
Here in John 4, John used Samaritan worshippers vs true Faith comparison for unification of all. Rely on the Spirit and the Truth, not just the liturgy or practice of your Church.
2 The living water that Jesus offers fully satisfies and prompts true, Spirit-filled worship.
Spring up oh well, within my soul, and make me whole. I love this song!
3 What you’re full of is always going to come out. Out of the heart the mouth speaks.
Jesus is always looking at our hearts.
Later in John 4:25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”
Doesn’t it make you wonder what the Samarian woman was thinking when Jesus basically said, “I am the Messiah. You are speaking to him.”
Lesson 6 Lecture – John 4:31-54
It was on Mt. Gerizim that the Samaritan’s worshipped. They had built a temple there. They believed in the five books of Moses, but had rewritten some of it. Meanwhile, while Jesus was at the well, the disciples had gone looking for food.
When it came to food, Jesus thought of spiritual food, but we, as humans, tend to think only of physical food. Spiritual food is a must in my life, which I learned rather late. Every now and then I have to ask myself why I am always willing to look for the food to satisfy my hunger, but I have to really work at feeding myself with the spiritual food that God so readily gives me for FREE! Ironic that we search for physical things and pay for it, when we can have everything God gives us for free.
The disciples were still in the physical mode, doing what Jesus wanted. It doesn’t take much for me to realize I am still in the physical mode much of the time. Well, as it was said at BSF, Jesus is about to give us all a lesson on Harvest.
34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are ripe for harvest. 36 Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37 For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”
The harvest refers to the process people are brought to a saving relationship in Jesus Christ. To harvest you first: Prepare, Plant, Water, Wait, Water the seed, Wait. (Here comes the inevitable Patience. By the way, how is your patience? Has God talked to you about it yet?) Let the Holy Spirit work. Till the soil with conviction and the actual coming to Faith will come. All one has to do is open their eyes and look at the fields. They are open for harvest all the time.
The Samaritan woman was ready for harvest. Once she went back and shared about Jesus, people were ready to hear more and they came. In other words, Be prepared for the harvest!
As it was said in BSF, “Salvation is from the Jews, but not just for the Jews.” Do you think the disciples considered sharing with the Samaritan’s? I had never thought of it this way, but ….. What if my traveling companion was Jesus, would I keep that quiet? Of course I wouldn’t! Isn’t Jesus with me all the time? Why keep it to myself? Powerful food for thought! Earlier, I might hesitate to share because of what others would think, or because I am uncertain of what I really know. But I don’t have to be afraid to share about Jesus. If it is one thing I have learned, which was confirmed in BSF, “God gives you what you need to know at the time you need to know it.”
1 The soul-satisfying work of doing God’s will requires dependence on Jesus.
In order to be true followers, drop everything and cross the line to accept everyone and every gender. There were no miracles done while Jesus was with the Samaritan’s. Yet, the harvest was great! Where am I looking to share?
2 Now is the time to share the good news of Jesus Christ.
It was when in Galilee that they welcomed Jesus for what he had done (miracles), but in Samaria he was welcomed for who he was. Food for thought: Do I love Jesus for who he is, or for what he can do for me?
Here a man came to Jesus and asked him to heal his son. John 4:50 Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed, and had powerful Faith, the words that Jesus spoke to him were true. As it says in John 4:51 As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. This man chose to believe without seeing. Wow! Talk about absolute faith!
3 True faith is believing God and courageously acting on His Word