Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Gospel of John - Examine the Witnesses

Chapter 4 – the witness of the Samaritan Woman at the well:  verse 29, “Come and see a man who told me all the things I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?”

Generally, people think that they cannot come to God for one of two reasons:  either they can’t forgive God for something that has happened in their life for which they blame Him; or they believe God could never forgive them for what they’ve done.   The story of the Samaritan woman is a case of the latter, but Jesus met her and will meet you:

·         It is a time of the day when no one will be at the well, except a woman who wants to avoid all those who know her and scorn her.  She is not comfortable with the choices she’s made.

·         Jesus is there to meet her and engage her, even though she is a woman, a Samaritan, an outcast of the town who has been married 5 times previously and is now living with a man who is not her husband.

·         Jesus offers to quench the thirst that this well, her husbands, her current live-in and nothing or no one else have been able to satisfy.  “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”  4:13b-14

·         Jesus revealed to her that he was the Messiah and she was so excited that she left her bucket, never gave Jesus the drink He had asked for, and ran back to the town to tell the others about Him!

Though were not specifically told, from her reaction, it’s likely she believed in Jesus, was forgiven of her sins and found a satisfaction that she had never known.  How about you?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Gospel of John - Examine the Witnesses

Chapter 3 – the witness of Nicodemus: verse 2, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these miracles that You do unless God is with Him.”

A very devout Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews, is searching for answers.  Jesus tells Nicodemus of his need to be born again and he is confused on how a person can be born a second time into this world.   Jesus explains that physical birth is not enough to please God.   Another birth involving God’s Spirit is necessary.  As the dialogue continues Jesus explains the only way to please God and receive His Spirit is v16 of this chapter, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”  The chapter ends with the statement, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not believe the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”   Nicodemus believed.  What about you?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Gospel of John - Examine the Witnesses

Chapter 2 – the witness of Mary: verse 5, “Whatever He tells you to do, do it.”

A wedding reception at least a week long, was running out of wine too soon.  And Mary, the Mother of Jesus, feels a responsibility to fix this and she knows Jesus can.   Perhaps this was the early beginning of the W.W.J.D (What Would Jesus Do?) movement and Mary’s instructions to the servants are every bit as relevant for us.  Jesus tells them to fill large water pots intended for ceremonial washing with water all the way to the top and then take some of the fluid from a pot to the head waiter. That’s what they did without questioning what they were told to do.  The result was the observation that the best had been saved for last.  For those who do what Jesus tells them to do, but best of life, eternal life, has been saved for them.   What would Jesus tell you to do?   Keep reading the Gospel of John.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Gospel of John - Examine the Witnesses

Chapter 1 – the witness of John the Baptist:  verse 29, “Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” 

Under the Mosaic Law a sacrifice was required for sin with the 1 year old unblemished male lamb being the most common sacrificial animal.  Also, the Jew’s annual Passover celebration commemorated their release from slavery in Egypt when they sacrificed the lamb, ate it, and sprinkled its blood on the doorpost of their house.   The destroying angel, “passed over” and did not kill the firstborn of that household, whether a son or a male animal.   Over the course of the Israelite’s history, 100’s of thousands, perhaps millions of lambs had been sacrificed for the sins of the people.   And now God is providing His perfect first born Son to be sacrificed for the sin (all ever) of the world.

The writer John records in the same chapter, “He came to His own [the Jewish people] and those who were His own, did not receive Him.  But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe on His name.”  (1:1-12).   John invites us to believe in Jesus, receive His forgiveness and become a child of God.
Gospel of John - Examine the Witnesses
Let’s begin a consideration of the Gospel of John and think of him presenting witnesses to be examined and cross examined to determine if Jesus is indeed the Son of God, the Promised Messiah (Christ) and King, and Savior of the World.   Listen to the testimony of the witnesses presented and you decide.  This blog will focus on one key verse in each chapter of John’s Gospel.