Before we go on to John 5, I’d like to insert a panorama of the Kidron Valley. It is a large panorama, but I need to keep this picture as a larger size so one can actually see where everything is. I have tried to name the locations where Jesus went throughout Jerusalem, to the best of my ability. (If you click on the picture and then click again, it will be very large for your computer screen, but you can zoom in or out under View on the menu bar of your browser in order to see it better.)
Lesson 7 Lecture – John 5:1-47
As a background, near the Sheep gate, was the Pool of Bethesda. Near this was an underground spring. The dividing wall would have been there to provide a holding pool and the bathing pool. When water was released, it would disturb the water and look like swirling or stirring of the water, which drew the attention of the crowd. (The stirring of the water is in all 4 Gospels.) It was believed by many during that time period, that the first one into the pool would be healed.
John 5:1 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. (Pool of Bethesda)
John 5:3 In these lay a multitude of invalids–blind, lame, and paralyzed. 5 One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” 7 The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” 8 Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” 9 And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.
Questions to ask yourself: How many, if any, really noticed Jesus standing there? Were they more focused on getting into the pool, rather than watching others? What would have been my answer if Jesus came up to me and asked me if I wanted to be healed? How often do I do the same thing today, not really looking at those around me, but focusing more on my aches and pains than listening to what God is saying to me about the needs of others?
It is so true; Jesus seeks us out! He wants us to FEEL his healing power in our lives. He knew about this crippled man, and he knows everything there is to know about me! What, besides the miracle Jesus did, made this man, who had never been able to walk previously, be able to get up and walk away? Doesn’t it stand to reason that his muscles would have been so far gone, walking would have been impossible? Yet, nothing is impossible with Jesus. If He wants to and it is to be, He can do the impossible!
Throughout John, Jesus tells us to “Come as you are, but not stay as you are.” In other words, we cannot stop sinning before we are cured.
Jesus wanted to stir up controversy with the Pharisees by healing the sick man on the Sabbath, which was against the law! There were Jewish laws written that needed to be abided by, or so the Pharisees thought. Jesus was not about rules. He was about doing His Father’s will.
Jesus was intentional in all he did. He wanted to let everyone know about The Father. He had an audience, just as he does today.
Jesus Is Equal With God
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.
What they didn’t get was that God, The Father, gave Jesus the authority to work on the Sabbath.
John 5:21 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.
When Jesus speaks about giving life to whom he will, he is speaking of giving all of us believers a “new life”. God gave Jesus the authority over all.
Jesus does nothing by himself, only what he sees his Father doing. In love, God gave Jesus authority over life. Authority to judge. Trust all to the Son, so He will have the same honor as The Father.
2 Jesus has the authority to give life, to judge, and receive honor.
John 5:44-47 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?”
Food for Thought: Am I failing to believe? Have I allowed Jesus into my heart, completely? It really is a very simple task to let go of “getting satisfaction” from others and letting Jesus give me all His satisfaction, His desires, His love!
The Jewish claimed to believe, but they rejected Jesus. Moses refers to Jesus back in his day, and the Jewish people refused to see it. I hadn’t thought of this before, but they are rejecting six witnesses. Jesus, John The Baptist, Moses, Jesus’ Miracles, Words of God, the Father, and Scripture. How much more proof do we need? I don’t!
These people may have had the “head knowledge”, but they didn’t know God’s Word at all. It was their pride and their seeking glory for themselves that held them prisoners to their own laws. Their hearts were hardened to the love and compassion of Jesus. (It brings me back to the days when I would read the Old Testament and think how angry our God must be for “hardening” the hearts of the Egyptians. Little did I know. Yet these people could have easily seen Jesus for who he was. They were blinded by their rules and only dug service deep.)
After all, didn’t Moses predict the coming of the Messiah in Deuteronomy 18:15 “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen—
3 The truth about Jesus exposes the truth about hearts.
Food for Thought – What is my heart condition? Do I need to be made well?
Lesson 8 Lecture – John 6:1-21
Jesus had given the disciples power to heal and restore. They were in great demand and they were exhausted.
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand
John 6:1 After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. 2 And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. 3 Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. 4 Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. 5 Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” He was testing Philip.
One of his other disciples said, John 6:9 “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” What happens next is another miracle.
Jesus had compassion when he saw all the people coming to him. When you face a problem that seems totally impossible to overcome – you may often look at the insufficient resources, just as Andrew did. He missed the key point. (Just as I do!) In that moment you forget that Jesus is there for you. This is what is termed “Spiritual Amnesia”. We all have it.
I have to wonder how the disciples could forget as they had seen Jesus perform so many miracles while they were there with him, but it certainly looked hopeless with so little bread and fish. Honestly, what would I have thought? I would have thought the same thing; it’s impossible! How easily we forget that nothing is impossible when it comes to Jesus!
John 6:10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. 11 Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” 13 So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. 14 When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!”
1 Jesus provides in abundance when we hand over our resources.
Food for Thought: What am I holding on to? How often do I find myself thinking that it’s not enough, insufficient? Nothing is insufficient in God’s hands!
Unfortunately, the people didn’t understand Jesus’ mission. (Just as we often do not understand.) If there is one thing I have learned in this study of John, God does not always let us understand everything He is doing for us. He is asking us for patience, to Trust Him, and in His time we will know. The people wanted an earthly King, but that was not God’s plan. He had to be The Lamb first. To understand this, we must come to Him first!
2 Jesus provides the gold standard example of true dependence on God.
Do I have anything in my life where I can work on this? It is impossible without prayer! How is my prayer life? Another saying I love… Pray more to depend more. Jesus is continually intervening on our behalf!!! I must continue to rely on him more! I Worship him!
I remember when at Caesarea National Park we were in this outside theater. I can’t recall what exactly it was called, but it was huge and our tour guide had us sit up in the theater and he spoke without a mic. We could hear everything he said. As was mentioned in the lecture, “How did Jesus teach all those people without a mic?” Well, it was probably similar to the Caesarea area, and in the case of The Sermon on The Mount, they were able to hear Jesus because with the water and wind it could have amplified Jesus’ voice. There are also hills surrounding the Sea of Galilea.
John 6:16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, 17 got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. 18 The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. 19 When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened. 20 But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” 21 Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.
The disciples understood he was the Messiah, but did not understand the mission he was on. They still thought of an earthly Kingdom; not a heavenly Kingdom. Can you imagine the look on their faces when they saw Jesus walking on water? I don’t know if they were actually frightened for themselves, but trying to process another being walking on water would be enough to make anyone wonder if they were in another world! They forgot that Jesus is the giver of life and always with us throughout the storm.
Jesus was trying to show the disciples that His way is Higher and He is God. (Yes, there is an entirely different world out there waiting for me someday; one in which is nothing like this earthly world! In their obedience they wrestled with the wind and the waves, and received him in their boat.
Don’t be afraid of the storm. Be afraid of not having Jesus with you in the storm. If we never have trouble in our lives we miss the opportunity to see Jesus walk over all the troubles. Jesus is greater than all. Let him into the boat and let him take you to the shore. He provides and in all circumstances He is enough! I just have to have patience.
3 Jesus provides opportunity to see His power when we obey.
Lesson 9 Lecture – John 6:22-40
Can you visualize the crowds following Jesus? The Jewish people were looking for someone to restore: the physical, peace, society, earth, abundance that had been in the garden, and the relationship to God. In the thoughts of the people when Jesus came to them, it was not what they thought the Messiah would be like. They only saw Jesus as someone to provide them with their materialistic, earthly needs.
(How different is that from now? I want peace among all people and nations. Am I looking for something that will never be in my earthly lifetime, EXCEPT when I am in the New Kingdom? I truly believe I will see this only when Jesus comes again. For now, I need to focus on finding others who don’t know him, plant the seeds, then bring in the harvest, plus take comfort in all the beauty surrounding me, all that God created, and doing what He wants!) Keep Jesus in your heart as the true Provider of everything.
Remember: I don’t want to pursue the lecture. I want to pursue Him.
John 6:24 So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. 25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” 26 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”
Jesus tells them where they can get the food that endures forever. From the Son of Man. An eternal dominion that will never, ever end. Jesus teaches us of The One who gives us spiritual nourishment by being in God’s Word.
How often do I let the materialistic labor of things take over? Keep Jesus in the forefront of my heart and the core of my soul; live life to the full, through Jesus.
Just as I sometimes do, they lacked understanding that comes from Faith. Jesus is telling them that they cannot work for what God wants to give them! (It took me a long time to figure this one out!) We get so wrapped up in earthly things, we forget to take time to realize the meaning of eternity with Jesus. Eternity is timelessness. What God has given me here on earth is gone tomorrow. His love and New Kingdom is forever.
Am I receiving all the material, but not pausing to actually read it? Yes, I was! Similar to not reading ALL of a roadside sign. They wanted someone like Moses, who they thought brought the manna down from heaven. Is that what I want? I will ask God the next time that little voice whispers in my ear and I find myself hurrying to get through a lesson I may have procrastinated on because I had too many pressing things to do. I am quite sure He will answer me immediately!
1 Jesus offers eternal life and a right relationship with God.
Jesus is the Bread of Life
John 6:32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” 35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.
Jesus is making it clear that he is the great fulfillment of the heart.
That I will be filled and will flourish if I come to Him in Faith.
I will never thirst.
All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to Him He will never cast out.
Am I pursing the peace and satisfaction in knowing Jesus intimately, or satisfaction for myself? If I know Jesus intimately, It is what is called a High View of God.
2 True security is found when we come to Jesus in Faith.
Lesson 10 Lecture – John 6:41-71
When God draws people to himself you then have eyes of Faith to see Him. He always gives secure, eternal life, when we are raised on the last day. Through His Word he draws people unto him. I know I will have eternal life because I believe and have brought Jesus into my heart. It is never too late!
1) Manna came from Heaven. Given from God through Moses.
2) Jesus came from heaven. He was the gift and the giver.
3) The manna was the mystery (In Hebrew it means ‘What is it?’)
4) Jesus was a mystery.
5) Manna was a gift which the Israelites had a choice to pick it up and eat or not. Manna was provided by God – it was a choice.
6) Jesus was also a gift, his sacrifice was a gift. We can receive it or not.
7) Life was sustained temporarily in the wilderness with the manna and offered to the Israelites.
8) Today it is eternal life, which Jesus offered to the World!
Grasp this and realize how much Jesus loves me!
1 Jesus gives eternal life to all who are drawn by God.
A person cannot choose what has not become an option.
John 6:53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum.
John gave three accounts of the Passovers during Jesus’ teaching years: 1) Temple Cleansing 2) Feeding the 5,000 3) Time of His death and Resurrection. This was the beginning, middle, and end which covered three years approximately. In the Book of John he records the foot washing; showing Jesus’ servanthood.
John shows us that Jesus teaches the same truth all the time.
It relays the truth that Jesus took the full wrath of God for our sin! It is the Holy Spirit which generates an eternal life in us and remains in us forever.
2 Jesus gives eternal life to all who personally appropriate His death.
Here is a wonderful analogy that was given during our BSF lecture:
You may know how electricity works, but if you never turn on the light, the knowledge doesn’t do anything for you.
Food for Thought: Does my life reflect eternal gratitude; if so, how? I know, without a shadow of doubt, that I cannot do it on my own. I must always lean on Jesus, but others believe they must only rely on themselves. Some feel as if it is offensive to lean on something one cannot see. How does one plant the seed with those they love, and continually water it for the harvest when they know their loved ones are lost? I know that without Him, I am nothing.
John 6:61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” 66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So, did scripture John 6:65 answer my question above? I can plant the seed but it is up to God to water that seed. That is the big question that still confuses me. I get it that God has to call us. Yet we are supposed to be disciples and tell about what Jesus has done for us. Which is planting the seed, I would think. Even if they don’t want to hear it, talk about Jesus to those who do not know!
Many turned away, but Jesus gave his Twelve disciples a choice. Their question back to him was: “Where would I go?” They knew they needed Jesus! Just as I do!
It was the end of Jesus’ ministry in Galilee. There were followers on one hand and those who had turned away on the other. Sound familiar? It’s a choice we all must make when called. To follow or turn away. I know which one I’ve chosen.
3 Jesus gives eternal life to all who choose to follow Him.
Some choices are important, some are trivial, some are life changing. (Amen to that!)