Bible Study Jesus And The Father

Chapter 12 closes this distinct section of John in which the author (John) builds a case for Jesus as God by the miracles He had worked.

  • First miracle? (Water into wine.) Last Miracle? (Raising Lazarus).
  • John caps it off with the words of Jesus who Himself confirms that His ministry comes directly from God, the father.
  • We’ll see two important aspects of the trinity tonight. First, the unity within the trinity (in other words, how each member of the trinity is in a single sense God).

(John 12:44) And Jesus cried out and said, "Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me.
(John 12:45) And whoever sees me sees him who sent me.

  • Here’s some of what people have thought about Jesus in recent history.

Jesus was the first socialist, the first to seek a better life for mankind. Mikhail Gorbachev

2,000 years ago one man got nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be if everyone was nice to each other for a change. Douglas Adams

  • Jesus wasn’t just a guy who had thought a lot about life and being nice to people. His message was straight from God, in fact, He Himself was God.
  • Here’s an abridged response from C.S. Lewis:

A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would be either a lunatic […] or else he would be the Devil of Hell. […] Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. […] But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us.

  • So here’s the claim that the people that say Jesus was just "a great teacher" miss from verses 44 and 45 "Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me."

(John 14:8-11) Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.

(John 12:46) I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.

  • Like we said last week, Jesus is the light of the world, and without Him, there is darkness, but those that believe in Him can have the light right now.
  • How do we have the light: We are in Jesus, the Holy Spirit is in us, and He helps us understand Him through His word, and we can bring that light to others around us.

(John 12:47) If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.

  • So we have the now familiar idea of people that hear the word, but do not "keep" them, or "believe them".
  • ?Did Jesus come to judge, or not?

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead 2 Timothy 4:1

  • Jesus, at this time, is here for the purpose of saving mankind by going to the cross. Judgment comes later.
  • Why prolong judgment? Why not just give humanity what they deserve now?
  • Because God is patient. Why is God patient with us?

Do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? Romans 2:4

  • God is patient with us and prolongs judgment for humanity so we can "be lead to repentance."
  • God is patient with us Christians individually, too, and for us it is for the same reason.
  • Unfortunately, as humans, we can abuse that time of mercy and start to feel comfortable in our sin.
  • We need to be careful not to presume on God’s patience, but to use the opportunity to confess our sins and get them right.

(John 12:48) The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.

  • "the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day." What does that mean?
  • The message that Jesus brought, the light, as He put it, people will be held accountable for receiving that message and rejecting it.

(John 12:49) For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak.

  • God (the Father) told Jesus not only what to say, but what to speak.
  • We’ve been reading about so many lately that rejected the word, and lest we forget there were some that believed:

For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. John 17:8

  • Also seen in v 49, the second aspect of the trinity mentioned tonight, although the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are God and unified, they have different roles.
  • The Father tells the Son what to say and what to speak.

(John 12:50) And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me."

For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:38-40)


Best of the Web for Week 4 of 2009

  • tags: zork, infocom, news

    • Jolt Online Gaming will be developing a casual multiplayer game based on the legendary Zork franchise. The game will be web-based, playable from any Internet browser (including mobile devices).
  • President Bush fixed the man-made global climate change problem! Yay!

    tags: climate-change, global-warming, environment, environmentalism, politics

    • George W. Bush will leave office on January 20 with the earth’s temperature cooler than when he took office in 2001.
    • "We put up satellites in the atmosphere to measure the lower troposphere. We did this 30 years ago because of the global cooling panic. So we’re measuring where we would find the cooling or warming signal, which is in the lower troposphere," he explains. "And we don’t see either; there has been a slight cooling in the last few years. The warming of two decades stopped in 1998."
  • The spin begins already…

    tags: biden, obama, inaugeration, politics, oprah

    • "Joe had the choice to be secretary of state or vice president," she said. Her husband turned to his wife with his finger to his lips and a "Shhhh!" that sent the audience into laughter. "OK, he did," Jill Biden said in her defense.
    • After the exchange aired on television three hours later, Biden spokeswoman Elizabeth Alexander denied Jill Biden’s account in a statement e-mailed to reporters.
  • I’m not a conspiracy theorist by any means, but I had to pull my sweatshirt on a little tighter when I read this website.

    tags: obama, religion, end-times, revelation, anti-christ, antichrist

    • Mission Statement

      A lot of people have been Googling "Obama Antichrist" or "Barack Obama Antichrist" and "Obama Messiah". This blog is dedicated to asking what is the cause of this phenomenon and where did it start?

  • I never bookmark a mere comment, but the hypocrisy pointed out in this comment on a blog post deserves to be recognized.

    tags: liberalism, hypocrisy, obama, inaugeration, bush, presidency

    • Headlines On This Date 4 Years Ago:

      "Republicans spending $42 million on inauguration
      while troops die in unarmored Humvees"

      "Bush extravagance exceeds any reason during tough economic times"

      "Fat cats get their $42 million inauguration party,
      Ordinary Americans get the shaft"

      Headlines Today:

      "Historic Obama Inauguration will cost only $120 million"

      "Obama Spends $120 million on inauguration; America Needs A Big Party"

      "Everyman Obama shows America how to celebrate"

      "Citibank executives contribute $8 million to Obama Inauguration"

  • As disturbing as the video is, the comments on YouTube leave me with at least SOME hope. Well, not much.

    tags: obama, liberalism, celebrities, pop-culture

  • "A young woman is locked in the bathroom of an abortion clinic after her aborted baby was born alive." — The trailer looks like a horror movie… But it’s based on true events.

    tags: abortion, movies, trailers

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Bible Study – Son of Man Lifted Up

Back up a little bit to last week’s lesson:

(John 12:32) And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.

  • Misinterpretations of this verse abound…

I am reminded of Jesus’ words in John 12:32.
“When I am lifted up, I will draw all people to myself.”
If we truly want to draw people in [to church]…to make them feel connected, then lift Jesus up.

  • By "lifting Jesus up" people mean singing about Him, talking about Him, praying to Him; all good things.
  • Jesus isn’t saying that focusing on Him will magically work on peoples’ hearts to bring them closer to God.
  • This audience knew exactly what being "lifted up" meant. Crucifixion.
  • In fact, John, anticipating the ambiguous language, clarifies what Jesus said:

(John 12:33) He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die.
(John 12:34) So the crowd answered him, "We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?"

  • Hindsight is always 20/20. There were prophecies that Christ would remain forever (Psa 89:4 Thy seed will I establish forever, and build up thy throne to all generations), but there were also prophecies that He would have to suffer and die.
  • They didn’t want to hear that they needed a Savior, they had missed the point of the Law, which was to show them that no set of rules, no matter how all encompassing, it could not change them from the inside.
  • The people tended to see in prophecy what they wanted to see, and they didn’t want a "suffering savior".

Jesus doesn’t answer this directly:

(John 12:35) So Jesus said to them, "The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going.
(John 12:36) While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light." When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them.

  • We don’t really know true darkness. It’s hard to escape at least some kind of electric lighting with our street lights, sky lights, head lights, search lights, night lights, and spot lights.
  • They understood the dangers of traveling in darkness. Potholes… Thieves…
  • The little oil lamps they had just wouldn’t cut it, if you ventured out in the dark in a place you didn’t know, you were lost.
  • Jesus says they have this unprecedented opportunity of knowing Him in the flesh, face to face for only a little while longer.
  • With Jesus gone, is there no longer light in the world? We are the light of the world.
  • This ends his meeting with the Gentiles. The next time He speaks in this chapter, we don’t know exactly where He is, or who the exact audience is.

  • This section is a transitional point in John. The author takes a step back and gives a brief commentary on Jesus’ ministry…

(John 12:37) Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him,
(John 12:38) so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: "Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?"

  • "to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed"?
  • The arm = ? (God’s power)
    • The people had seen many miracles, but not many had seen "God’s power": salvation.

(John 12:39) Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said,
(John 12:40) "He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them."
(John 12:41) Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him.

  • What does He mean?
  • Have we seen this type of situation before?

Exodus 4:21 And the LORD said to Moses, "When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles that I have put in your power. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.

  • How does God harden someone’s heart?
  • Another way: Is it sin to harden your heart? And if so, can God directly cause you to harden your heart?

James 1:13-14 Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God," for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.

  • So, how did God harden peoples’ hearts in our passage?
  • Answer: God just let people be people.

Romans 3:10-12 as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one."

Romans 1:24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,

  • So God doesn’t need to do anything to "harden our hearts", we are just fine by ourselves at that, thank you.
  • The amazing thing is that God can use even our bad decisions that we’ve made of our own free will in His perfect plan.

(John 12:42) Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue;
(John 12:43) for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.

  • The authorities "believed in him". Would this be what we would consider "saving faith"?
  • Jesus had just said in vs 25, "Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life."
  • V 43 is the key here, these guys were more concerned with what they would lose in this life verses what was to be gained by eternal life.

Romans 10:9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

  • That’s not talking about some magical thing that happens when you pray out loud, it’s talking about living your faith, paying the price for following Christ, confessing Jesus before other people, and accepting the consequences.

These "authorities" weren’t willing to do that.

Best of the Web for Week 3 of 2009

Sorry, I guess there’s not a whole lot going on this past week, or just nothing much that caught my attention.  Finally, though, there is an online video search place that ties together all of the various places around the internet to watch TV and other video.  Monica and I are currently using it to get caught up on 24.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Bible Study We Wish to See Jesus

(John 12:20) Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks.
(John 12:21) So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."

  • Where is this taking place? John doesn’t say. It could be in Jerusalem, or things may have quieted down and Jesus and the disciples are back in Bethany.
  • A new group of people, probably God fearing Gentiles.
  • Remember, we’ve had the local Jews, the sojourning Jews, and now these gentiles.
  • They respectfully address Philip, who was a Jew, but had a Greek name.
  • (Not Greek speaking Jews (Gr. Hellenistes), but (Gr. Hellens), Gentiles)

(John 12:22) Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.

  • There was a bit of stalling going on here… Why didn’t Philip go straight to Jesus?
  • Jesus had said "not to go to the gentiles" (Mat 10:5), so they may have been discussing if this request was proper.
  • Jesus must have decided it was a proper request at this time in His ministry. Jesus comes out and begins to speak to them…

(John 12:23) And Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
(John 12:24) Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

  • It says, Jesus "answered" them. We don’t know what they said the He was answering, but we can guess based on how Jesus responds: With a proclamation that "the hour has come".
  • The Greeks knew about the public decrees to put Jesus under arrest, and were probably trying to reason with Him to save His own life.
  • Jesus’ answer is that His purpose is not to save His own life.
  • Jesus had every right to save His own life and live a comfortable, kingly lifestyle, but He intended to use His life to purchase our lives as well.

Jesus calls upon His followers to give up their own lives in like manner:

(John 12:25) Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
(John 12:26) If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

  • Is there a difference between "loving life" and "loving your life in this world"?
    • Godly "Loving life" involves recognizing that God is the source of all earthly pleasures: eating, drinking, love, family, etc. and putting those gifts in their proper perspective.
    • Godly "Loving life" recognizes that everything in "this life" is temporal and will end.
    • Godly "Loving life" will follow where Jesus has gone, and is willing to give up everything for Him.
    • "Loving your life in this world" by contrast, focuses on obtaining earthly pleasures at the cost of what is right.
    • "Loving your life in this world" rejects God and His ways for fear of what others might think.
    • "Loving your life in this world" glorifies you and your abilities when blessings come and ignores the true source of them, God.
  • Where Jesus has gone, there He calls us to go to, not to give up our lives in the sense of going to the cross, but giving up our lives in service for God’s glory.

(John 12:27) "Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.

  • Jesus had a lot to feel troubled by. Not just immanent, painful death, but He who knew no sin was about to take on and be judged for the sins of the world. This must have been a terrifying prospect to one who had always had perfect communion with the Father, but in bearing these sins would have to be separated for a time. But… It was for this purpose that He came.

(John 12:28) Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven: "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again."
(John 12:29) The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him."
(John 12:30) Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not mine.

  • Human nature never changes. Today we have people that say that the Israelites crossed through an ankle-high pond in their exodous from Egypt, and that when Jesus died, He must have only seemed dead, he couldn’t have actually been resurrected. Now here in verse 29 you see people saying, "Oh, that great, booming voice must have just been some thunder!" Others recognized it as supernatural, but not, as it was, the voice of God.
  • What perfect faith Jesus had. In the midst of what might have been his weakest moment, God the Father talks directly to Him. I would be stunned and amazed, but Jesus took it in stride; He knew He was doing exactly what He should be doing, and didn’t need a sign from the Father to confirm it.
  • The crowd that had gathered around is who needed this confirmation, for Jesus was about to, yet again, was about to challenge their understanding of the Messiah.

(John 12:31) Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.

  • Now is the time for every sin covered by Jesus’ blood to be judged, past, present, and future.
  • The ruler of this world being cast out: maybe because of the rapid spread of the kingdom of God?
  • Verse 32 could support this:

(John 12:32) And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself."

  • Previously Jesus had ministered primarily to Jews in the particular areas of Judea and Galilee, but now He would draw "all people" to Himself, Jews and gentiles alike, and the church would be the primary instrument in this.

Best of the Web for Week 2 of 2009

  • tags: no_tag

    • Fewer than half of all adults can name the four gospels.
    • According to 82 percent of Americans, ‘God helps those who help themselves,’ is a Bible verse.
    • Those identified as born-again Christians did better–by one percent.
    • Another survey of graduating high school seniors revealed that over 50 percent thought that Sodom and Gomorrah were husband and wife.
    • This is on our watch. What can we pastors do about it? Here are a few obvious ideas.
  • tags: babies, parenting

  • tags: sin, jesus, christ, christianity

    • We don’t really want to give it up. We think we do, which is why we pray about it, but in reality the only thing we want to give up are its consequences.
    • we derive some benefit from the behavior that we don’t want to give up.
    • Our initial recoiling from the badness of the thing over time can easily spin into the nebulous “I’m not convinced it’s really sinful” category. This is a dangerous place to get.
    • We keep it secret. Some sinful habits don’t seem that bad because there are no outward indicators that we are caught in something. No one can call us on it. This is also a dangerous place to get.
    • The primary reason we stay stuck is that we fail to look to Christ. We know that he died to the pay the penalty for our sin, which, unfortunately, all too often we use as an excuse to indulge just one more day.
  • If this works, it could be a great service…

    tags: amazon, books, movies, bargains, shopping

    • We Watch Your Amazon Wish Lists and will alert you when the price of any item meets your target price. Never miss a bargain again!
  • Apple does it again… ;) (Thanks Tommy)

    tags: macbook, apple

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Best of the Web for week of New Years, 2009

  • tags: environmentalism, global warming

    • 6:28PM BST 21 May 2008
    • A study of snowfall spanning 60 years has indicated that the Alps’s entire winter sports industry could grind to a halt through lack of snow.
    • Climate change has been identified as one of the factors; warmer conditions cause snow to melt, making it more unstable and prone to sliding down the mountain.
  • tags: no_tag

    • 4:02PM GMT 19 Dec 2008
    • Some 400,000 British skiers heading for the Alps over the coming fortnight will find the best Christmas and New Year snow conditions in a generation.
    • Val and neighbouring Tignes have already enjoyed more snow in December than in any year since 1981 and seem set to beat all records by New Year’s Day.
  • tags: no_tag

    • This means you have scored in the "Captain And Commander / Autocrat" quadrant.
    • Your answers indicate that you have a healthy balance of perspective and control. You are "on your game"!
    • The challenge that you face is more about fine-tuning the practices that you already (at least to some degree) have in place. Your improvement opportunity is to pay attention to the more subtle aspects of your work and life.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.