7
Nov
2018

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL GENESIS 12 BLESSED BY GOD

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In Genesis 12 God said to Abraham, I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."  Just as Abraham was blessed so he could be a blessing to all the earth, the only reason we Christians have been blessed by God is so that we can do the same thing.  Are we living up to our calling as Christians to be a blessing to others or are we being a curse and a hindrance to others coming to Christ?

 

4
Nov
2018

JOHN 6.15-21 JESUS TESTS THE DISCIPLES

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John 6:15 Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.  16 Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, 17 got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them. 18 Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing. 19 So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid. 20 But He said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid." 21 Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.

 In this famous section of Scripture we will talk about Jesus walking on the water and what that means to us today.  We will see that Jesus does not always get us out of the storms of life, but He is there with us through them.  Jesus gave a demonstration of His power, and then He tested His disciples to see if they learned the lesson.  God is always testing us to see if we will trust Him no matter what goes on in our life.  I hope you have that peace that passes all understanding because you have asked Jesus to be your Lord and Savior and you know that when you go through the storms of life, He is in the boat with you.

31
Oct
2018

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL MATTHEW 16 WHAT IT MEANS TO FOLLOW JESUS

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In Matthew 16 Jesus said, "If any man follow Me, let him take up his cross and follow Me." This is talking about the suffering sacrificial side of following Jesus. What does it mean to take up your cross and bear your cross? Jesus is saying here that we should sacrifice ourselves for His cause. And Jesus is saying the same thing today, are you willing to sacrifice everything you hold dear, everything you love, all the stupid little things that occupy your time, all your dreams and all your ambitions to be obedient to His cause? That's the real issue. Will you make that pledge today?

Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.28 “Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

29
Oct
2018

JOHN 6.1-14 JESUS FEEDS THE MULTITUDE

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We will see in this section of scripture the great miracle of the loaves and the fish being multiplied to feed a multitude of people.  This is the only miracle that is included in all four Gospels.  It is included because it is a great object lesson to show the people that Jesus can not only feed people with bread and fish, but He is the Bread of Life and He is master over all things.  He first tests Phillip to see what he will do, and then he gets the typical it can’t be done responses from the rest of the disciples, all but one who brings a lad with two loaves and two small fish.  Andrew is always bringing people to Jesus every time we see him in the Gospels.  Jesus feeds them and even has food left over when there may have been as many as 15,000-20,000 people there at the time.  We usually call this the feeding of the Five Thousand, but it says there were that many men plus women and children if you read all four accounts. This is a great miracle by the great God and Savior.

John 6:1 After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. 2 Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased. 3 And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples. 4 Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near. 5 Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?" 6 But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do. 7 Philip answered Him, "Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little." 8 One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to Him, 9 "There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?" 10 Then Jesus said, "Make the people sit down." Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, "Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost." 13 Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. 14 Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, "This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world."

 

24
Oct
2018

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL BEING WHERE JESUS HAS LED YOU

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Following Jesus means being where He is. Jesus said in John 12:26 that, "If any man serve Me, let him follow Me that where I am, there will My servant be also." In other words, Jesus wants His servants to go where He goes. That's the first thing about following. You go where He goes. Real simple. And in all the days of your life, in all the circumstances of your life, in all the places of your life, in all the relationships of your life, you should be able to say when asked, "Why are you here?" I'm here because I'm following Jesus and this is where He's led me today. How about you, can you say this is true in your life?

22
Oct
2018

JOHN 5.40-47 JESUS SAYS IF YOU BELIEVED MOSES, YOU WOULD BELIEVE ME

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John 5:40 "But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. 41 "I do not receive honor from men. 42 "But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. 43 "I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. 44 "How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God? 45 "Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you--Moses, in whom you trust. 46 "For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. 47 "But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?" (NKJV)

In this section of scripture we see Jesus getting down to the brass tacks.  He did not come to be popular, He came to be a prophet and these High and Mighty Pharisees don’t want anything to do with a meek and humble Jesus.  They want a political Jesus, a popular Jesus, a genie in the bottle Jesus that can feed them, heal them, overtake the Roman government and set them free not in a spiritual, but physical sense.  He lets them know they are not His because they are hateful not loving, that they are headed for hell, and that they will receive the high and mighty popular people, but the one Moses wrote about they will not believe in and receive as Lord and Savior.

 40 "But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.

Those opposing Christ in our text do so with “veiled faces,” so to speak. They are blind to who Jesus is, and rather than come to Him for eternal life, they seek to take His life.

Why are they so unwilling to come to Jesus for salvation? It is because they seek glory and praise from men, rather than from God. Jesus does not seek the praise of men; He seeks to please the Father. This is because of His love for the Father, just as His Father loves Him (5:20).

 

 41 "I do not receive honor from men.

 42 "But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you.

 43 "I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive.

Perhaps a parenthetical comment would be helpful here to point out the hypocrisy of the Jews who oppose Jesus and His claims. They will not accept His testimony (5:31; 8:13), yet they accept others who come with only their own testimony: “I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me. If someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him”

 44 "How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God? Lose your friends, prestige if you accept Jesus as He came.  Want Him on their terms

If you remember the situation at Corinth in Paul’s day, it was Paul who led many of the Corinthians to faith. It was he who had invested a good part of his life in this church. Yet some false teachers came along who seemed so wise, so persuasive, so impressive. The Corinthians began to look down their noses at Paul and the other true apostles. The message of these “false apostles” appealed to the Corinthians. Paul calls attention to the fact that these are men (and women?) who care much about their status and standing with men, and all too little about the praise of God. They compare themselves with other men. They are puffed up with pride and arrogance, and they seek to undermine the authority of the “true apostles.” They are just like the Jews of our Lord’s day, aren’t they? Just as we are doing today with our churches and leaders

 God is bearing witness through His Son. Here is the irony. The Jewish authorities will not accept Jesus as the Son of God; they simply will not heed His testimony. Yet, He is the voice of God, the visible manifestation of God to men. They have never seen or heard God in person. God is now standing before them, being accused by them. They are accusing the very One they claim to worship and serve. They do not have God’s Word abiding in them because they do not believe in Jesus, the One whom the Father sent to “declare” or “explain” Him (John 1:18). Is this not a “catch 22”? How can anyone be saved? If people need to trust in Jesus to grasp the Word of God, and they need to grasp the Word of God to see that Jesus is the One to whom the Scriptures bear witness, then no one can be saved. The solution the Bible gives us is that men most certainly cannot be saved on their own; they can only be saved by means of God’s sovereign and gracious intervention, which is exactly what John has been telling us in his Gospel:

 We Make God In Our Image -Rom 1:28-32

 45 "Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you--Moses, in whom you trust.

 46 "For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me.

"Peter says in Acts Peter says in Acts Ac 3:18-25 quoting Deuteronomy 18:15-19 Ac 3:18 "But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. 19 "Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20 "and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, 21 "whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. 22 "For Moses truly said to the fathers, 'The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. 23 'And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.' 24 "Yes, and all the prophets, from Samuel and those who follow, as many as have spoken, have also foretold these days. 25 "You are sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, 'And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.' 26 "To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities."

 47 "But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?"

He accuses them using their hero Moses, who was the founding father of their faith and was revered above all men

  1. Value Moses, the word, Moses word more than Jesus
  2. Do you love God
  3. If you don’t believe it is not because of a Lack of Evidence

Never heard His Voice - ex 33:11

Never saw His Form - gen 32:30-31

The word does not dwell in you - josh 1:8

Hebrews 1:1-2 Prophets told us Jesus was God

17
Oct
2018

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL WALK WORTHY OF YOUR CALLING

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Ephesians 4:1-2 says I, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, Paul is telling us to live in a way that is pleasing to God in spite of what life has dealt us.  The world is looking for the real Christians today the ones who are humble, that don’t seek revenge, and love others even though they don’t deserve it, because none of us do. 1Pe 2:20 says But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. How do you react when mistreated, will the world see true Christianity in action?

14
Oct
2018

HIS LOVE MINISTRIES BANQUET 2018

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Please help us reach out to those the World has forgotten. Everyone we minister to is locked up in some way, shape, or form.  Those in Nursing Home facilities are locked up in bodies that do not work, in a wheelchair or in a bed.  We minister to children and youth who are locked up because of behavioral problems. Some have told us, “We want to have a Real Family”, because their parents have lost or given up custody of them. Other kids are locked up because they have committed crimes.  We also minister to those locked up at the jail/prison; to those locked up in addictions to drugs, alcohol, depression, and suicidal thoughts; to those locked up in a variety of other things that keep them from becoming who Jesus wants them to be. He came to give us abundant life, joy, and set us free, and these people that we minister to are not free. Our desire is to show them whatever their background, no matter what they have done, to see how much God loves them; We seek to help them receive forgiveness and freedom from their sin in Jesus Christ. We minister in the local area of Savannah, Georgia and surrounding Effingham and Chatham area. We have recently expanded our ministry to the Lexington/Columbia SC area. We do over 2,000 services every year. We hope and pray that you will support us in some way so we can continue our mission. Go to His Love Ministries.net and Click on the Donate Now button or send it via regular mail to PO Box 1881 Lexington, SC 29071.  We hope and pray that you will do that. Thank you and God bless you.

 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

hisloveministries.podbean.com #HLMSocial hisloveministries.net

10
Oct
2018

THE HOUSE BUILT ON SAND

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Here we are in the United States having just come out of one storm and are now in the midst of another bad storm but this will pass and there will be other storms but there are also storms in our lives that come every single day. Are you prepared for those storms? I’m not talking about physical storms I’m talking about the trouble in families and jobs and our lives, that’s the kind of storms I’m talking about. A question for you today is Do you know the one that even the winds and the waves obey? The one the disciples said what kind of man is this that even the winds and the waves obey him so when the trouble comes and the storms of life happen to you and your family and your job or whatever trouble it may be do you have that peace that passes all understanding from the Savior? Do you know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior? He said in John 14:27 my peace I give you not as the world gives you that I give a different kind of peace. Do you know the Lord and Savior when the storms of life come and are you prepared when the final storm comes that you will face of the end of life? Do you know The Savior? The one in Matthew 7:24-27 who said that the house that was built on sand and the storms in the wind and the rain and the trouble came and great was the Fall of that house, but the one that was built on the rock which is a picture of Jesus Christ, that house in the storms was protected and safe because that’s a picture of our salvation in Jesus Christ do you know Him?

7
Oct
2018

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL THE BOOK OF JOHN TELLS US THAT JESUS CREATED EVERYTHING

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In John 1:3 We see that Jesus created everything.  Have you considered the wonderful ways our world works together, the beauty and order of it all. I remember the food chain the solar system, and the hydrological cycle from school, but it really comes alive when you see the beauty and wonder of it all by looking at it through the lens of the Bible. This verse helps you to see the world through the lens of creation rather than the lie of evolution.  When you see a watch you know someone made it, it is the same with everything in our world and universe, without a creator it would not exist and it amazes me how you could see it all and believe that it HAPPENED by chance. 

3
Oct
2018

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL THE BOOK OF JOHN TELLS US THAT JESUS IS GOD WITH MUSIC

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The Gospel of John was written by the disciple that Jesus loved using seven key signs that show that Jesus is God in human flesh.  John does not give us any genealogy, no birth narrative, no manger scene, he just cuts to the heart of the matter when he introduces the book with the statement that in the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God and the Word was God.  And if that is not enough in verse two he repeats it again.  John was written so that we would know that Jesus is God and that we might believe and be saved as it states in Chapter 20:30-31.  Have you trusted in Christ and Him alone for your salvation?

30
Sep
2018

JOHN 5:36-40 JESUS SAYS YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO COME TO ME THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE LIFE

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John 5:36 "But I have a greater witness than John's; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish--the very works that I do--bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. 37 "And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. 38 "But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. 39 "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 "But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.

In this section of Scripture,  we will see that Jesus is doing all He can to give them a chance to  be saved by telling them who He is and all of the witnesses to His being God. He tells them the works He does witness to His being God, the Father has witnessed and lastly that the Word of God witnesses to this fact, but they are not saved and will not be saved because they will not believe His witness. It is an amazing fact that those who begin by not wanting to be saved end up not being able to be saved because they harden their heart and then God finishes the process so that they cannot ever be saved. That is why the Bible tells us not to harden our hearts for today is the day of salvation.

Jos 11:20 For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that He might utterly destroy them, and that they might receive no mercy, but that He might destroy them, as the LORD had commanded Moses. 1Sa 6:6 "Why then do you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? When He did mighty things among them, did they not let the people go, that they might depart? Ps 95:8 "Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion, As in the day of trial in the wilderness, Heb 3:8 Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness, Heb 3:15 while it is said: "Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion." Heb 4:7 again He designates a certain day, saying in David, "Today," after such a long time, as it has been said: "Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts." (NKJV)

Witness of The Father He moves from defense to indictment (accusation), He not only admonishes them for not receiving God’s witness, He informs all as to the real reason they reject Him as the Messiah. Most important of all, Jesus Himself is the form of God (see John 14:9) and the voice of God. It is He who came to make God known to men: no one has ever seen God. The only One, Himself God, who is in the presence of the Father, has made God known (John 1:18).

 37 "And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form.

They have never seen God’s form, nor have they heard God’s voice. Yet both of these were evident at our Lord’s baptism.

God is bearing witness through His Son. Here is the irony. The Jewish authorities will not accept Jesus as the Son of God; they simply will not heed His testimony. Yet, He is the voice of God, the visible manifestation of God to men. They have never seen or heard God in person. God is now standing before them, being accused by them. They are accusing the very One they claim to worship and serve. They do not have God’s Word abiding in them because they do not believe in Jesus, the One whom the Father sent to “declare” or “explain” Him (John 1:18). Is this not a “catch 22”? How can anyone be saved? If people need to trust in Jesus to grasp the Word of God, and they need to grasp the Word of God to see that Jesus is the One to whom the Scriptures bear witness, then no one can be saved. The solution the Bible gives us is that men most certainly cannot be saved on their own; they can only be saved by means of God’s sovereign and gracious intervention, which is exactly what John has been telling us in his Gospel:

Up to this point, it may appear as though Jesus is on the defensive, defending His claim to be equal with God. In a sense, this is true, but our Lord is equal with God because He is the Son of God. It is not Jesus who needs a good defense, but His adversaries, the Jewish religious authorities. In verse 37, the tone of our Lord’s “defense” changes and we see our Lord now taking the offensive, challenging those who oppose Him. Here, He not only admonishes them for not receiving God’s witness, He informs all as to the real reason they reject Him as the Messiah.

The Jewish authorities are accusing our Lord of blasphemy and Sabbath-breaking. They have never seen God’s form, nor have they heard God’s voice. Yet both of these were evident at our Lord’s baptism. Jesus has seen the Father and heard His voice (5:19-20, 30). Most important of all, Jesus Himself is the form of God (see John 14:9) and the voice of God. It is He who came to make God known to men: no one has ever seen God. The only One, Himself God, who is in the presence of the Father, has made God known (John 1:18).

Witness of The Word

 38 "But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe.

39 "You search (scrutinize diligently – number of characters on a page, but miss the Messiah) the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.  Missed the whole point.

The Word was written not just as a legal document or a self-help book to show us how to live, but it is a love letter from God

They studied the Scriptures diligently, thinking this was the way to eternal life.[1] Ironically, these same Scriptures testify about Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah. How could these men possess the Scriptures and study them, and yet miss the main point of their teaching? Jesus tells them and us: they do not have the Word abiding in them. They are “in the Word,” but the Word is not abiding in them. This is so because Christ is not only the central theme of the Word, He is the key to the Word. Christ is the key that unlocks the message of the Word. The Jews are not willing to come to Him so that they may have life. Thus, they are blind to the central message of the very Scriptures they possess and regard so highly.

The saying attributed to Hillel: ‘the more study of the Law the more life … if he has gained for himself words of the Law he has gained for himself life in the world to come’ (Ab. 2:7).

The Jewish authorities will not believe in Messiah, and thus they cannot see Him in the Scriptures they study. Christ is a “blind spot” for the Jews, and yet He is both the central figure and the key to the Old Testament Scriptures. Because the Jews are blind to Christ, they read the Old Testament as though a veil were over their faces. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ is that veil removed. The Jewish authorities will not believe in Messiah, and thus they cannot see Him in the Scriptures they study. Listen to how the Apostle Paul explains the “blindness of the Jews”:

12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we behave with great boldness, 13 and not like Moses who used to put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from staring at the end of the glory that was fading away. 14 But their minds were closed. For to this very day, the same veil remains when they hear the old covenant read. It has not been removed because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 But until this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds; 16 but whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is present, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled faces reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another, which is from the Lord, who is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:12-18).

40 "But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.

Those opposing Christ in our text do so with “veiled faces,” so to speak. They are blind to who Jesus is, and rather than come to Him for eternal life, they seek to take His life.

Why are they so unwilling to come to Jesus for salvation? It is because they seek glory and praise from men, rather than from God. Jesus does not seek the praise of men; He seeks to please the Father. This is because of His love for the Father, just as His Father loves Him (5:20).

[1]Cf. The saying attributed to Hillel: ‘the more study of the Law the more life … if he has gained for himself words of the Law he has gained for himself life in the world to come’ (Ab. 2:7). There are several sayings like Baruch 4:1f., ‘This is the book of the commandments of God, and the law endureth for ever: all they that hold it fast are appointed to life.’” Morris, p. 330.

27
Sep
2018

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL 1 JOHN 2:10 THOSE THAT KNOW CHRIST LOVE OTHER CHRISTIANS PART 2

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1 John 2:10 says He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.  This verse tells me that a person gives proof they are saved because they love their brother and that we neither offend nor are we offended by our brother since it says in 1Co 13:7 that love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  It also tells me that because we are walking in the light, in other words, close intimate fellowship with God we can see the places where we might stumble and thus avoid them.  It also allows us to see things from God's perspective, not ours. Is this the pattern of your life?

23
Sep
2018

JOHN 5:31-35 THREE WITNESSES TO THE FACT THAT JESUS IS GOD

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John 5:31 "If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true. 32 "There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true. 33 "You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34 "Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved. 35 "He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light.

In this section of scripture we will begin to see the first three of 5 witnesses to the Fact that Jesus is God.  The Disciple John will speak of Jesus’ witness, the Father’s witness, and also John the Baptist’s witness.  Even though Jesus does not need to prove He is God, He is accommodating us (mankind) because we are so unbelieving and hardhearted.  He wants to give us every chance of knowing the truth so we can believe and be saved.  He also does it so that there will be no excuses when we stand before Him if we have not believed and are being sent to hell.  God says in 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (NKJV) Have you trusted Jesus as your Lord and Savior?  If not, do it today.

The word Witness is used 136 times in NT; John uses 77 times, verses 31-39 used 11 times

Witness of Jesus

31 "If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true.

The Old Testament law required two or three witnesses (see Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15) for a man to be found guilty of an offense. Jesus has much more testimony than this, but it doesn’t matter since the Jewish authorities are determined not to accept it

 De 17:6 "Whoever is deserving of death shall be put to death on the testimony of two or three witnesses; he shall not be put to death on the testimony of one witness.

De 19:15 "One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established.

There is a marginal note in the NASB, which informs the reader that “true” should be understood as “admissible as legal evidence.”

‘If my testimony concerning myself,’ says he, ‘is suspected by you according to the ordinary custom of men, let it go for nothing.’ Now we know that what any man asserts about himself is not reckoned to be true and authentic, although in other respects he speak truth, because no man is a competent witness in his own cause. Though it would be unjust to reduce the Son of God to this rank, yet he prefers to surrender his right, that he may convince his enemies by the authority of God.” John Calvin,

While the Jewish authorities seek to give the impression that they are sticklers for observing the letter of the law, actually they are not. When our Lord stands trial for His life, they employ false witnesses who give conflicting testimony, and yet no objection is raised (Matthew 26:60). The high priest illegally demands that Jesus give testimony about (against) Himself, and then condemns Him on the basis of His testimony (Matthew 26:63). These Jews seek neither justice or truth.

14 So when the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus performed, they began to say to one another, “This is certainly the Prophet who is to come into the world.” 15 Then Jesus, because he knew they were going to come and seize him by force to make him king, withdrew again up the mountainside alone (John 6:14-15).

Witness of The Father

  32 "There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true. The word another means another one just like him (exactly Like) as in John 14:16 where Jesus talks about the Holy Spirit coming and being just like Him. When Jesus says He bears witness, it means it is a continual action according to the Greek. Mt 3:17 His baptism, 17:5, - transfiguration 27; 51-54 –crucified.  All the Old Testament

Witness of John - 1:19, 29,

 33 "You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth.

John the Baptist is a very popular fellow, a man many believe to be a prophet (Matthew 11:9; 14:5; 21:26, 46). Jesus reminds the Jewish authorities of their own high regard for John, when they “sent to John” (John 5:33). Initially, I read John 1:19-28 as an interrogation of John by the Jewish authorities, one carried out with considerable suspicion. Jesus seems to say otherwise. His words in our text seem to indicate that their “sending men” to John is their own “testimony” concerning John’s authority. In John 1, the Jews are really trying to “put words into John’s mouth.” They want John to admit that he is Messiah, or Elijah, or the Prophet. John is the one insisting otherwise.

If I understand Jesus (and John 1:19-28) correctly, for a short time the Jews actually wanted John to be the Messiah. This would explain our Lord’s words in Matthew regarding the Jews and John: “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it” (Matthew 11:12, NIV).

The Jews are literally trying to force the kingdom into existence, and for a time they try to force John to become their Messiah. In the very next chapter of John’s Gospel, the Jews want to force Jesus to become their king:

Late in our Lord’s earthly ministry, the Jews challenge Jesus to prove His authority. Our Lord’s answer, and the Jews’ response, demonstrates the high regard the people have for John:

27 They came again to Jerusalem. While Jesus was walking in the temple area, the chief priests, the experts in the law and the elders came to him 28 and said, “By what authority are you doing these things? Or who gave you this authority to do these things?” 29 Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question. Answer me and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 John’s baptism, was it from heaven or from men? Answer me.” 31 They discussed with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ 32 But if we say, ‘From men—’” (they feared the crowd, for they all considered John to be truly a prophet). 33 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things” (Mark 11:27-33; see also Matthew 11:25; Luke 20:4).

 

 34 "Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved.

 35 "He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light.

Ps 132:17 There I will make the horn of David grow; I will prepare a lamp for My Anointed. Witness of Works  Is 35:4-6 Works only Jesus could accomplish

Early in John’s ministry, the Jews are eager for John to be the Messiah. In our Lord’s words, they “rejoiced greatly for a short time in his light” (John 5:35). But when it becomes apparent that John rejects their religious system (Matthew 3:7-10; 21:32; Mark 3:15), and worse yet, identifies with Jesus as the Messiah he promised would come (John 1:29-36), just as quickly they abandon him. 

They liked the light; it was the heat of His burning for Jesus that drove them away

19
Sep
2018

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL 1 JOHN 2.9 THOSE THAT KNOW CHRIST LOVE OTHER CHRISTIANS

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1 John 2:9 reads as follows; He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now.  What this verse says is that you cannot be a true Christian and hate your fellow Christian brother.  So, to all you folks out there that claim to be a Christian and say you are going to heaven, this means you will be going to church with other believers.  If you are always saying I am saved but I am not going to church with all of those hypocrites, then the Bible says you are not really saved and are not going to heaven.  Because if you really were saved, then you would want to be with the people of God.

16
Sep
2018

JOHN 5:18-30 JESUS SAYS HE IS EQUAL WITH GOD, BECAUSE HE IS GOD PART 2

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John 5:16 For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working." 18 Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. 19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. 20 "For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. 21 "For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. 22 "For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, 23 "that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. 24 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. 25 "Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, 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 to have life in Himself, 27 "and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. 28 "Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 "and come forth--those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. 30 "I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.

 In this section of scripture as we finish it out, we will see that Jesus is equal in works with the Father, He is equal in the ability to save, in the ability to judge, in honor, in the ability to resurrect all, and also in righteousness as His judgement is righteous as is the Father’s. If you don’t believe Jesus is God, then this is the message for you.  He loves you and He came so that you might have life and life abundantly, but YOU have to trust Him as Lord and Savior, because He did everything that was necessary to save you and give you a different kind of life than what the world has, a better one because He will never leave you, nor forsake you (Heb 13:5).  Won’t you trust Him today, it will be the best decision you will ever make.

12
Sep
2018

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL 1 JOHN 2.8 THOSE THAT KNOW CHRIST DEMONSTRATE WHO HE IS BY THEIR LOVE PART 4

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1 JOHN 2.8  Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.

 Lets look at 1 John 2:8 one last time.  It says Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.  John says Jesus is love and we love like Him because of the Holy Spirit. Ro 5:5 says the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. And that ultimately the victory over evil or darkness will be won because 1 John 5:5 says Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

9
Sep
2018

JOHN 5:15-24 JESUS SAYS HE IS EQUAL WITH GOD, BECAUSE HE IS GOD

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John 5:15 The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. 16 For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working." 18 Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. 19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. 20 "For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. 21 "For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. 22 "For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, 23 "that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. 24 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

 In this passage we will see the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, in other words Jesus says He is equal with God and is God and this puts the Pharisee’s over the edge.  They wanted to kill Him for healing on the Sabbath, but now they try all the harder to find a way to kill him because in THEIR EYES, Jesus has blasphemed against God, but it is really about them and their power and their authority being threatened.  Jesus tells us He can work on the Sabbath just as HIS Father does, not our Father, but HIS, which says to the Pharisee’s, He is just like His Father.  He tells them He does whatever the Father does, He knows all things just as God does, He will give life (eternal life) to whomever he wills to, that He deserves Honor just as the Father does and lastly that He is the only way to eternal life. For all those who say that Jesus never said He was God, they either did not read this section of scripture or many others, or they are just plain liars and deceivers.  Jesus is God, He always has been, and always will be.

 15 The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.

There is no indication of any repentance, no mention of faith, and no inquiry as to who Jesus is or what He is about (as with the Samaritan woman). We are only told that after this confrontation, the man goes to the authorities to reveal Jesus’ identity to them. It is almost too terrible to be true.

 16 For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath.

John tells us that they “began persecuting him.” I was initially inclined to think that this “persecution” involved constant questioning, challenging, and heckling, and no doubt efforts to discredit our Lord before the people.

 17 But Jesus answered them, "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working."

  1. The expression ‘My Father’ is noteworthy. It was not the way Jews usually referred to God. Usually they spoke of ‘our Father,’ and while they might use ‘My Father’ in prayer they would qualify it with ‘in heaven’ or some other expression to remove the suggestion of familiarity. Jesus did no such thing, here or elsewhere. He habitually thought of God as in the closest relationship to Himself. The expression implies a claim which the Jews did not miss.”
  2. Our Lord’s response to the Sabbath question here is unique to John’s Gospel.

8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:8-11, NKJV).

  18 Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.

The Sabbath is the “sign of the Mosaic covenant,” and thus to violate the Sabbath is to be worthy of death (Exodus 31:14-17; 35:2-3; Numbers 15:32-36). The Fourth Commandment requires the people of God to imitate God, who “rested” on the seventh day of creation. The logic is simple: God rested on the seventh day, and so must men. But Jesus gives us a very different twist on this. He argues that God is constantly at work, even on the Sabbath. Since God is working non-stop, the Son is also working, and cannot cease for the Sabbath.

The inference is very clear: Jesus is claiming that God is His Father; He is claiming to be God. If our Lord’s claim is true, the Jewish authorities cannot and should not hinder the working of the Son of God on the Sabbath.

In what sense is God “working”? There is certainly a general sense in which God is working to maintain His creation and to bring about His plans and purposes: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28, NASB).

There is a specific sense in which God has been “at work” from the time of creation on, bringing about salvation for fallen men. Mere men can contribute nothing to this “working.” It is God’s work. And so men should rest on the Sabbath. But since Jesus is God, then He, as God, must work at that which His Father is working. A part of that saving work is healing the sick (see Luke 4:16-21; John 11:2-6).[1] The Jews are therefore wrong in condemning Jesus for healing a man on the Sabbath.

The three chapters of this section, John 5-7, record the shift from mere reservation and hesitation about Jesus to outright and sometimes official opposition.

This incident in John 5 does two things. First, it discloses the wickedness of unbelieving Jews, especially of unbelieving Jewish leaders.

The second thing this incident in John’s Gospel does is to provide the occasion for Jesus to state very clearly (and very early in this Gospel) just who He is. I have often heard someone say, “Just who do you think you are?” Jesus tells these Jewish leaders who He is, and they do not like it at all.

Our text has several more lessons to teach us, which I shall briefly mention.

  1. We cannot help but notice that those who are most in the wrong here are those who are most assured of being right.
  2. Doing what is right does not always result in a righteous or a rewarding response
  3. This passage is a reminder of the “weakness” of signs and wonders, and of the power of God’s Word.
  4. Finally, we see in our text a beautiful example of sovereign grace

[1] In the Greek text, the word translated “save” is the word often used to describe our Lord’s work of healing men (see, for example, Matthew 8:25; 9:21-22; Mark 3:4; 5:23).

6
Sep
2018

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL 1 JOHN 2.8 THOSE THAT KNOW CHRIST DEMONSTRATE WHO HE IS BY THEIR LOVE PART 3

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1 JOHN 2.8 Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.

 Let’s look at 1 John 2:8 once more. It says Again, a new commandment I write to you, We saw last time that the commandment to love was old, but new in quality. Jesus said in John 13:34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, and how did He love us?  It tells us in 1 John 3:16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren and Jesus said in John 15:13 "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends

3
Sep
2018

JOHN 5:1-18 JESUS HEALS A MAN BY THE POOL IN JERUSALEM

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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, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. 5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, "Do you want to be made well?" 7 The sick man answered Him, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me." 8 Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your bed and walk." 9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath. 10 The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, "It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed." 11 He answered them, "He who made me well said to me, 'Take up your bed and walk.'" 12 Then they asked him, "Who is the Man who said to you, 'Take up your bed and walk'?" 13 But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, "See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you." 15 The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. 16 For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working." 18 Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.

 In this section of scripture we see Jesus seek out a man who has been sick for 38 years.  The man does nothing to deserve this healing, does not trust Christ and even turns on Christ for confronting his sin. But this is THE Jesus who loves us and does things for us even when we don’t deserve it or even mistreat Him. Also we see that Jesus tells the Pharisees He is God, most people would say that Jesus never said that in the Bible and they would be wrong because they wanted to kill him for it.  This scripture also shows us that Jesus has compassion on us even when we don’t deserve it and it also shows the inhumanity of man in that the Pharisees don’t care that the man is healed, all they care about is that he and Jesus broke THEIR LAWS.  Because God is not like they are, he is in the healing business all the time.  Imagine if hospitals, fire departments, and others who take care of people were closed on Sunday, God is open for business all the time, because He loves us unconditionally.

           It seems to me that John is showing us something about Jesus’ knowledge, his compassion, and his power.

This man is in a desperate situation. A picture of us in our sinful condition. Helpless, hopeless, hurting.

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, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches.

 3 In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water.

 4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.

First, Jesus is in Jerusalem again, and he makes a point to go to a pool where people with diseases and disabilities wait for the troubling of the waters, because healings happen in this pool. Jesus walks in among this crowd of people.

 5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years.

Jesus’ knowledge

 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, "Do you want to be made well?"  Some people don’t want to get well, involves work, feeding himself, getting a job, won’t be taken care of without having to do anything.

Isa 35:4 Say to those who are fearful-hearted, "Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, With the recompense of God; He will come and save you." 5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. 6 Then the lame shall leap like a deer, And the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, And streams in the desert.

Luke 4:16-20, from Is 61:1-3

Jesus knew his situation. When you know Jesus, this is the kind of person you know. A person who knows you perfectly—knows everything about you, inside and out, and all you have ever felt or thought or done. “You discern my thoughts from afar. . . . Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether” (Psalms 139:2–4). The more you know about Jesus, the more precious this truth becomes.

Jesus’ Compassion

7 The sick man answered Him, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me." The man misses Jesus’ point, He is like most of us with our positive thinking saying we can do it, it just may take awhile. 

Mr 2:17 When Jesus heard it, He said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance."

You don’t have to get better to get well.

Here it seems that somewhere along the way, a copyist drew a marginal note of explanation into the actual text. Verse 7 begs for an explanation. How the pool worked is not essential to the story. The fact that Jesus worked is essential to the story.

He didn’t say be encouraged, or it will happen, or I will help you get in, or let me make you comfortable (in your sin)

Jesus’ Power

 8 Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your bed and walk."

Have to do what Jesus says to do, when, where, how, and if He tells us.  Phil 4:13 – tells him to do something, human responsibility and God’s sovereignty working together. Take your bed, in other words cut off the possibility of going back to where you were at. Trust Jesus to help you do it.

 9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath.

And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.” The words “at once” signify the immediacy of Jesus’ power. 

This is John exulting again in the sovereign power of Jesus the same way he did in John 2:1-8 when He made the water into wine and it happened without a word and as soon as the jars were filled and in John 4:52–53 where   the official’s son was healed at exactly the seventh hour 15 miles away when Jesus said the words.

 Is John going to shift from the glory of Jesus to the ground rules of the Sabbath? The answer is no. The Sabbath issue is raised, but it’s raised in a way that amazingly keeps the focus on the glory of Jesus. Watch what John does.

He knows this will create conflict.

Why did Jesus do this other than to create a conflict with the Religious leaders

  10 The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, "It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed."

He also reminds us of the importance which Judaism has placed, and continues to place, on the keeping of the Sabbath:

May we be privileged, by virtue of the proper observance of the Shabbath, to see the final redemption of Israel. Rabbi Yochanan said in the name of Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai, “Were Israel properly to observe two Shabbathoth, they would immediately be redeemed” (Shabbath 118b). Until such time, God’s only dwelling-place on this earth is within the four walls of the Halacha (Berachoth 8a).[1]

 

 11 He answered them, "He who made me well said to me, 'Take up your bed and walk.'"

Takes the focus off of himself, he is still a selfish person

 12 Then they asked him, "Who is the Man who said to you, 'Take up your bed and walk'?"

Pharisees don’t care he is healed, just that he broke their laws. The law called for stoning. Jer 17:21 'Thus says the LORD: "Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem; 22 "nor carry a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath day, nor do any work, but hallow the Sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers.

 13 But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place.

 Morris points out (p. 307, fn. 33) that the word rendered “slip out” is found only here in the New Testament, and that it means “‘to bend the head aside’ (AS), and thus ‘to dodge.’”

 Notice how John refers to this fellow as “the man who had been healed,” while the Jews can only see him as the man carrying his mat on the Sabbath.

Jesus healed and disappeared before the man could find out who he was. He didn’t even know who healed him. Does this mean Jesus had no intention of dealing with this man’s soul? Was he content just to do a random miracle and leave the man in ignorance as to where it came from?

 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, "See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you." 

Based on what Jesus says his sickness was most likely caused by sin Jesus finds the man in the temple. Once more, He has sought him out. Jesus must know that doing so will identify Him to the authorities and cause Him great trouble (just as He knew that this man had suffered long and hard when He chose to heal him—verse 5:6). Even knowing this, Jesus goes to him with one thing in view—to warn this man to “stop sinning,” lest something even worse happen to him.[2]

No. And we know this because in verse 14 it was Jesus who found the man, not the man who found Jesus: “Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, ‘See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.’” Jesus had no intention of walking away from this man and leaving him with nothing more than a healed body.

Notice two things. At the end of verse 13, the reason Jesus walked away from the man was that there was a crowd there: “Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place.” The place was filled with sick people and, no doubt those who cared for them. Had he stayed there after healing one man there would have been a tumult of miracle-seeking. This is not the main thing Jesus is after.

So notice, secondly, how this is confirmed in verse 14. Jesus seeks out the man in the temple and tells him the real issue in his healing. “Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, ‘See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.’” What’s the issue? The issue is holiness mainly, not health. “I have healed you to make you holy.”

“Turn from Sin to Me”

Do you see this? “Sin no more. Stop sinning. My aim in healing your body is the healing of your soul. I have given you a gift. It’s free. It came first, before my command. You didn’t earn it. You weren’t good enough for it. I chose you freely. And I healed you. Now, live in this power. Let the gift of healing, the gift of my free grace, be a means to your holiness.”

And yes, he warns him that, if he turns away, and mocks this gift, or makes an idol out of his health, and embraces sin as his way of life, he will perish. I take that—final judgment—to be the “worse thing” (in verse 14) that will happen because there aren’t many natural things worse than the 38 years this man endured, and because in verses 28–29, Jesus says, “An hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.”

In other words: “I have healed you that you may be holy, that you may stop doing evil, and that you may not rise to the resurrection of judgment, but to the resurrection of life. I have pointed you to myself as a life-giver. I heal in more ways than one. Don’t turn from me to a life of sin.”

Ga 6:8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.

He Healed Only One

The implications of this are huge for the diseases and disabilities that we deal with today. Jesus walked into a huge “multitude of invalids” according to verse 3. And he heals one man. Just one. And disappears before even that man can know who he was. He leaves hundreds of invalids behind unhealed. Then he finds the man in a less conspicuous place and puts all the focus on holiness. “Sin no more.”

The point is this: In the first coming of the Son of God into the world, we receive foretastes of his healing power. The full healing of all his people and all their diseases and disabilities awaits the second coming of Christ. And the aim of these foretastes which we receive now is to call us to faith and holiness.

Healing Is the Exception, Not the Rule—For Now

Most people who suffer from disabilities in this life will have them to the day they die. And all of us, till Jesus comes again, will die of something. Here and there, some are healed. We believe in miracles. But even though Jesus had all the power to heal, he did not usher in the final day of perfect wholeness. His ministry points to that day. But while this age of groaning lasts (Romans 8:23), healing is the exception, not the rule. And that is not because we are weak in faith. To be sure, we might see more miracles if we expected more and believed more.

But Jesus left hundreds unhealed at the pool of Bethesda. And told the one man he did heal, who had not even believed on him—to wake up. I am pursuing your holiness. The main issue in this age till Jesus comes back is that we meet him—meet him—in our brokenness, and receive the power of his forgiveness to pursue holiness. In this calling to faith and holiness, the disabled often run faster and farther than many of us who have our legs and arms.

First for Holiness, Then for Health

But for now, may the Lord open your eyes to know Jesus personally, as one who knows you, and has compassion on you, and is sovereign over your body and your soul, and the one who has come with saving and healing power first for the sake of your holiness, and then finally for the sake of your everlasting health.

Notice this man did nothing in this section but complain he couldn’t get into the pool.  He was helpless, hopeless, and hurting, but Jesus did this for him anyway.  This passage is not about positive thinking, you can do it so take up your pallet and walk, it is about Jesus who can enable us to do whatever He wants us to do.

This means when we minister to people we should not only minister to their physical needs, but make sure we don’t forget the greatest need of all the spiritual need for Christ and where they will spend eternity.

John 8:32-44 Came to set us free

[1] Ibid, p. xxxii.

[2] We must understand our Lord’s words here in the light of His words to His disciples in John chapter 9. There, the disciples automatically assumed that the man’s blindness was the result of someone’s sin. In that case, it was not so. That man had been born blind so that God might be glorified when our Lord healed him. In this case, the man’s sickness actually did result from his sin (see also Numbers 12:9-15; 2 Kings 5:25-27; Acts 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 5:5; 11:30). Sickness may be the direct result of sin, but it is not always, not necessarily, the case.

29
Aug
2018

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL 1 JOHN 2.8 THOSE THAT KNOW CHRIST DEMONSTRATE WHO HE IS BY THEIR LOVE PART 2

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1 John 2:8 Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.

 1 John 2:8 says Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. In verse 7 we saw that John said it was an old commandment to love, but yet he says here it is a new commandment. Now which is it, it is both, it is old in that God commanded it in the Old Testament, but it is new in quality.  Jesus said it like this in John 13:34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

Is this the kind of love we have?

26
Aug
2018

JOHN 4:43-54 JESUS HEALS A NOBLEMAN’S SON

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John 4:43 Now after the two days He departed from there and went to Galilee. 44 For Jesus Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country. 45 So when He came to Galilee, the Galileans received Him, having seen all the things He did in Jerusalem at the feast; for they also had gone to the feast. 46 So Jesus came again to Cana of Galilee where He had made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum. 47 When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and implored Him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48 Then Jesus said to him, "Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe." 49 The nobleman said to Him, "Sir, come down before my child dies!" 50 Jesus said to him, "Go your way; your son lives." So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way. 51 And as he was now going down, his servants met him and told him, saying, "Your son lives!" 52 Then he inquired of them the hour when he got better. And they said to him, "Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him." 53 So the father knew that it was at the same hour in which Jesus said to him, "Your son lives." And he himself believed, and his whole household. 54 This again is the second sign Jesus did when He had come out of Judea into Galilee. (NKJV)

 In this section of scripture we will see Jesus doing his second miracle that is recorded by John.  Remember John only records seven miracles before Christ dies, and then one more after He is resurrected.  Seven has been called the perfect number or the number of completion, and eight is the number that has signified new beginnings, because after Christ anyone in Christ is a new creation, behold all things are new (1Corinthians 5:17). I don’t know if this is what John intended, but it is certainly food for thought.  We will see a man’s faith tested. We will also see that he is not a Jew, amazing how the Jews do not trust Christ and get saved (ie; Nicodemus, Pharisees, hometown folks), but the hated people such as the outcast Samaritan Woman and the Royal Official who is probably one of “King” Herod Antipas’ governmental rulers and all the poor, lame, and blind, in other words the helpless, the hopeless, and the hurting look to Christ and get saved. We will see in this section just as the Samaritan Woman and probably all or most of her town (Sychar) get saved, this man and his whole household believe Jesus’ words and are saved.  Everyone else was looking for a sign

23
Aug
2018

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL 1 JOHN 2:7 THOSE THAT KNOW CHRIST DEMONSTRATE WHO HE IS BY THEIR LOVE

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Hi, I'm Marty McKenzie with His Love Ministries. 1John 2:7 says Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning. To understand this verse we need to go over to 1Jo 3:11 where we are told to love one another and also Leviticus 19:18 says to love our neighbor as yourself. John is saying that this old commandment is to love one another and has always existed since God began to reveal himself to man. Is this the kind of love you have?

19
Aug
2018

JOHN 4:26-42 JESUS CONNECTS DOING GODS WILL WITH SPIRITUAL FULFILLMENT

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John 4:26 Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am He." 27 And at this point His disciples came, and they marveled that He talked with a woman; yet no one said, "What do You seek?" or, "Why are You talking with her?" 28 The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, 29 "Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?" 30 Then they went out of the city and came to Him. 31 In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, "Rabbi, eat." 32 But He said to them, "I have food to eat of which you do not know." 33 Therefore the disciples said to one another, "Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?" 34 Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. 35 "Do you not say, 'There are still four months and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! 36 "And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37 "For in this the saying is true: 'One sows and another reaps.' 38 "I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors." 39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, "He told me all that I ever did." 40 So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of His own word. 42 Then they said to the woman, "Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world."

 In these verses we will see the Samaritan Woman get saved as she learns that Jesus is the Messiah. The perplexing disciples who after hearing Jesus proclaim to the Woman that He is the Messiah for the first time that we know of, all they can think about is food.  Jesus response to their wanting to eat and how He connects doing God’s will with Spiritual fulfillment and how to get it.  Jesus will also let them know that we don’t always get to be the one who leads someone to Christ, but we all participate and sometimes we get to enjoy the fruit of someone else’s labor.  John will end this section with MANY Samaritans coming to Christ, not because of the signs and wonders many want, but because of the Word of the woman and especially the Word of Christ. Jesus said in Matthew 16:4 "A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah." And He left them and departed.

13
Aug
2018

JOHN 4:16-26 JESUS CONFRONTS THE SIN OF THE SAMARITAN WOMAN

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John 4:16 Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come here." 17 The woman answered and said, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You have well said, 'I have no husband,' 18 "for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly." 19 The woman said to Him, "Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 "Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship." 21 Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 "You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." 25 The woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming" (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."

In this message we see the WOMAN, whom no Jewish man would speak to, much less a Rabbi or Teacher and for sure not the Messiah, Savior of the World confronted by her sin.  The high and mighty Nicodemus has come to Jesus and left unforgiven and unsaved, now the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world goes to this “despicable harlot” who has been married five times and now is living with another who is not her husband to confront her sin.  It is amazing how the very people we think are not worthy of our attention or could never go to heaven are the very ones that Jesus goes to and are the same ones who do go to heaven because they see their need.  How about you, whether you have sinned as much as this woman has or not doesn’t matter because we all need Jesus to forgive us and save us.

 

8
Aug
2018

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL 1 JOHN 2:6 THOSE THAT KNOW CHRIST DEMONSTRATE WHO HE IS BY THEIR LIFE

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1 John 2:6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

1 John 2:6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.  John is saying that the person who abides is one that is saved and has a close, intimate, and permanent relationship with Christ.  And because of that relationship we need to practice a life of obedience by living the same way Christ did.  The word walk means a habitual practicing of a certain way of life.  Here it is imitating Christ’s life.  Jesus said in John 15:5 "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. The only way we can truly live the life of Christ is if we are really saved and walking close to Him.

5
Aug
2018

JOHN 4:1-15 JESUS MUST GO THROUGH SAMARIA

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As we move into Chapter four we will see John show us another side of Jesus.  So far He has pursued his disciples and been pursued by Nicodemus, a supposedly very righteous and influential man, now He will make sure He will have a divine appointment with this very unrighteous and shunned woman of Samaria.  Just as Nicodemus did not understand what Jesus was trying to tell him, this woman will not get it either.  It is amazing how simple the Gospel is, that a little child can understand and believe, yet a grown man or woman with great intelligence will not and cannot understand it.  Have you come to that place yet where you believe?  I hope so, if not by the time this message is over I pray you will understand the truth and truly believe Jesus is the Christ, God in human flesh and ask Him to forgive you and save you.

It was, more than anything else, the glory of the land of Israel, that it was Emmanuel's land Isa 8:8 He will pass through Judah, He will overflow and pass over, He will reach up to the neck; And the stretching out of his wings Will fill the breadth of Your land, O Immanuel., not only the place of his birth, but the scene of his preaching and miracles. This land in our Savior's time was divided into three parts: Judea in the south, Galilee in the north, and Samaria lying between them. Now, in this chapter, we have Christ in each of these three parts of that land.

1 When therefore the LORD knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,

1Co 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. [Jesus made and baptized]

It is Christ's prerogative to make disciples, first to bring them to his foot, and then to form and fashion them to his will. These seem to be quoted as the very words which were brought to the Pharisees; and, from our Lord's conduct after this information, we may take it for granted that they were so irritated that they were determined to find an occasion to take his life; in consequence of which, leaving Judea, he withdrew into Galilee. Already the Pharisees had turned violently against John who had called them broods of vipers. It is most likely that they drew John out about the marriage of Herod Antipas and got him involved directly with the tetrarch so as to have him cast into prison. and hence they supposed they had a right to inquire into the conduct of both John and our Lord. They had on a former occasion sent to inquire of John to know by what authority he had introduced such a rite into the religion of the Jewish people. Though he feared not death and did not shrink from suffering, yet he did not needlessly throw himself into danger or provoke opposition

2 (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) sent to baptize with the Holy Spirit, means that it was not the habit of Jesus. This is the last mention of baptism under the direction of Jesus till the Great Commission (Mt 28:19). It is possible that Jesus stopped the baptizing because of the excitement and the issue raised about his Messianic claims till after his resurrection when he enjoined it upon his disciples as a rite of public enlistment in his service.
3 He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee. Each time hereafter that Jesus appears in Jerusalem and Judea before the last visit there is an open breach with the Pharisees who attack him (Joh 5:1-47; 7:14-10:21,22-42; 11:17-53).
4 And he must needs go through Samaria.   Lu 2:49 And He said to them, "Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?"

Or, it was necessary for him to pass through Samaria; for this plain reason, and no other, it was the only proper road. Samaria lay northward of Judea, and between the great sea, Galilee and Jordan, and therefore there was no going from Galilee to Jerusalem but through this province. From Jerusalem to Galilee, through Samaria, according to Josephus, was three day's journey. The direct and usual way was to pass through Samaria. Joseph was directed by God to go to Galilee, a place of safety.

5 Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.

The Jews, regarded Samaritans as the most abominable of mankind.

So He came by going through Samaria to a city of Samaria.  Now Samaria originally was the name of the capital city of the northern kingdom.  When the kingdoms split after Solomon—Solomon was the last king of the unified kingdom (Saul, David, Solomon, and from Solomon’s sons)—the kingdom split, ten tribes went north, two stayed south. The south became known as Judah.  The north as Israel. That’s historic.

When the kingdom was established independently in the north, Omri, who was one of the kings of the north...and by the way, all of them were evil, all of them were wicked, all of them were unrighteous, there was never a good king in the north. But Omri, according to 1 Kings 16, identified Samaria as the capital city.  Well, it didn’t take long for the word Samaria to extend from the capital city to the whole region, so it all became known as Samaria.

[A city called Sychar] This city was anciently called Shechem. It seems to have been situated on the foot of Mount Garazim, in the province of Samaria, on which the temple of the Samaritans was built. After the ruin of Samaria by Salmanezer, Sychar, or Sheckem, became the capital of the Samaritans.

This place is remarkable in the Scriptures; 1. As being that where Abram first stopped on his coming from Haran to Canaan. 2. Where God first appeared to that patriarch and promised to give the land to his seed. 3. The place where Abram first built an altar to the Lord and called upon his name. . It was at this place that Joshua assembled the people before his death, and here they renewed their covenant with the Lord, Joshua chapter 24. After the death of Gideon it became a place of idolatrous worship, the people worshipping Baal-berith, One of the names of the city was Neapolis.

Now it is the first place where the gospel is preached out of the commonwealth of Israel; so Dr. Lightfoot observes; as also that the valley of Achor, which was given for a door of hope, hope to the poor Gentiles, ran along by this city, Ho 2:15

So we read there that He came to this place, a city in Samaria called Sychar.  Probably modern Askar, still around, and located on the slope of Mount Ebal, opposite Mount Gerizim.  Do you remember Ebal and Gerizim from Deuteronomy 28?  The mountains of cursing and blessing where God warned the people, “If they obeyed they’d be blessed, if they didn’t, they’d be cursed?”  That area.  Now not just near this village, and by the way, the best estimate would be that if you started in Bethany, maybe He was staying with the family of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, we don’t know. But let’s assume Bethany, which is right by Jerusalem, somewhere in that area.  It’s about a twenty-mile hike and when I say hike, I don’t mean it’s a flat walk, I mean it’s an exerting kind of hike, up and down and up and down and a rigorous walk, 20 miles would take it to where the modern town of Askar is, if that’s close to where Sychar is—a twenty-mile walk that day.

[That Jacob gave to his son Joseph] Jacob had bought this field from the children of Hamor, the father of Schehem, for a hundred pieces of money. Joh 4:1b1a) Here lay Jacob's ground, the parcel of ground which Jacob gave to his son Joseph, whose bones were buried in it, Ge 48:22; Jos 24:32. Probably this is mentioned to intimate that Christ, when he reposed himself hard by here, took occasion from the ground which Jacob gave Joseph to meditate on the good report which the elders by faith obtained. In faith Jacob said take my bones back

6 Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. a state of weariness. The verb means to toil excessively (Lu 5:5). John emphasizes the human emotions of Jesus (Joh 1:14; 11:3,33,35,38,41; 12:27; 13:21; 19:28).

So Jesus goes the twenty miles and He arrives near Sychar, and some suggest that Jacob’s well (It was called that because Jacob’s bones were buried nearby)—they know where that is today. It was probably between a half a mile and a mile away from the village of Sychar.  Askar is about a half a mile or so away.

He arrives at that place and we read this: “Jesus being wearied from His journey was sitting thus.” What does “thus” mean?  Wearied, in a wearied condition; He sat in a slumped, wearied condition by the well. It was about the sixth hour.  The day began at dawn, which means it began say around 6 A.M. and sixth hour puts it at noon.  It is high noon; it is the middle of the day. The sun is at its peak and He has walked 20 miles, a rigorous, rigorous walk that morning.  And He’s exhausted.  The word “wearied,” kopiao, means to be to the point of sweat and exhaustion.  It’s an extreme condition.  He is worn out.  He is spent.  And at noon, under the blazing sun, He sits down on the edge of the well.

Even though Jesus was the eternal Word, He became fully man and shared the fatigue and thirst that all travelers experience (cf. Heb. 4:15-16).

The stage is set for this amazing encounter that is about to happen.  And again there you see the humanity of Jesus, don’t you?  You see His humanity.  He understands all that we suffer as men and women because He was one of us. He knew what it was to be weary, to be thirsty, to be worn out, to be exhausted, which contributes to Him being a sympathetic high priest who learned from His own experiences how to sympathize with us.  That kind of thing brings shame on those who say that only the Virgin Mary or the saints can sympathize with us.  Jesus walked in our flesh.  He understands even our physical weariness. And there He is by the well.

[Jacob's well] Cutting wells or pools for public use rendered a man famous, so this well was named after Jacob because he had digged it, and it was for public use. The well stands about a third of an hour walk from the present city of Neapolis and may be seen today.

The word John uses here is pege, rather than the usual Frear. “On the difference between the two Loyd comments: ‘A spring is a God-given thing. God creates the spring; man only digs the well.’ It is a curiosity that such a deep well should have been dug in a country where there are many springs. (Godet says that there are as many as eighty springs in the region.) The well must originally have been well over a hundred feet deep, so that digging and lining it was no small task. This has been worked into an argument that the well really was dug by Jacob. Only ‘a stranger in the land’ would have gone to all the trouble to construct such a well in a land as plentifully endowed with springs! Many commentators give the depth of the well as about seventy-five feet, but according to Hendriksen a great deal of debris has been cleaned out and the well restored to its original depth.” Morris, p. 257, fn. 20.

[1] Time does not permit an extensive exploration of the “well motif” in Genesis, but it has been noted elsewhere. Many of the important events in Genesis took place at a well. It was at a well that Abraham’s servant found a wife for Isaac (see Genesis 24). It was also at a well that Jacob first met Rachel (Genesis 29). A spring plays a vital role in the survival of Hagar and her son, Ishmael (Genesis 16).

[The sixth hour] About twelve o'clock. The time is noted here; 1. To account for Christ's fatigue - he had already travelled several hours, 2. To account for his thirst - the sun had by this time waxed hot. 3. To account for the disciples going to buy food because it was the normal time of dinner among the Jews.

7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. A polite request.

Three things about this woman seem to put her at a distinct disadvantage. First, she is a Samaritan. Second, she is guilty of sexual immorality, and third, she is a woman. We have already commented about the way the Jews felt toward the Samaritans. We are not left in doubt as to how the Pharisees would have dealt with such a woman:

[There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water] This was the normal employment of women, as we see in different parts of the sacred writings. The Jews say that those who wished to get wives went to the wells where young women were accustomed to come and draw water; and it is supposed that women of ill fame frequented such places also. Joh 4:1. 8 (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)

Drawing water was women’s work.  Men worked in the field and did the hard work; women drew the water. That’s supported by all kinds of historical data.  They did it every day.  They did it every day because they needed water every day.  Water was scarce in that part of the world, as you know.  Wells were visited every day. That was a common meeting place for the women who came to draw water.

What is fascinating is that they came at dusk, typically. They came when the day had cooled down in the evening.  Why is she coming at noon?  Why is she there at twelve?  Well, we can’t be certain about it, but it would be a reasonable thing to assume that this woman was a woman in town who had a very bad reputation—five husbands and living in adultery.  And oh, by the way, the Samaritan religion was based upon an understanding of the Pentateuch which contains the Ten Commandments and a whole lot of other things that have to do with marriage and divorce and adultery, the five books of Moses.  This is a scarlet woman.  She would normally come at dusk if she was like other women, but if she was a woman of shame, maybe she came at noon because she knows nobody else is going to be there. And maybe she’s avoiding the confrontation and the stigma that she bears.  And why this well?  Because there’s some information historically that there were wells closer to Sychar. Why go this far?  Why pass other wells?  And the answer might be the same, that she avoided the very convenient places in the normal time of day to avoid the scorn of other women that she would have to face.  She is not a respectable person.

Consequently by all expectations, she is not a woman worthy of attention from the Son of God.  She is not a woman who is elevated. This is condescension.  And how does He begin?  He takes the initiative.  He says to her, “Give Me a drink.  J.C. Ryle says, “This is a gracious act of spiritual aggression on the sinner.”  We don’t think about aggression in terms of evangelism, but we should.  It’s a shocking thing, really, very shocking.  Not so much in our culture, obviously, but in that culture it’s a shocking thing for Him to do because men don’t speak with women in public. That’s a breach of religious etiquette.  And especially rabbis don’t speak to women in public.  In fact, I remember reading years ago, a group of Pharisees and rabbis who were called the bruised and bleeding Pharisees and the reason they were bruised and bleeding was because every time they saw a woman they closed their eyes and they kept running into buildings.  Jewish men didn’t talk to women.  Do you know that Jewish rabbis were not supposed to talk to the women of their own family in public.

Whatever might be thought of the propriety of asking for a drink …, no Rabbi would have carried on a conversation with a woman. One of their sayings ran: ‘A man shall not be alone with a woman in an inn, not even with his sister or his daughter, on account of what men may think. A man shall not talk with a woman in the street, not even with his own wife, and especially not with another woman, on account of what men may say.’” Morris, p. 274, citing SBk, II, p. 438.

So here Jesus, a rabbi, a Jewish man, not only talks to a woman, but He talks to a woman who is an outcast, despised woman, who is a half-breed pagan and worse than that, she is by every measure a well-known adulteress who probably has been an adulteress for a long, long time, hence so many divorces.  ’Cause if you look into the Law of Moses in the Old Testament, you will find that Moses did grant a divorce, but a divorce, as we know—because Jesus repeated it—for immorality.  This is an immoral woman.  It’s a shocking breach of everything Jewish for Him to say to this woman, “Give Me a drink.”  And somebody might say, “Well, why doesn’t He have the disciples get Him a drink?”  Well, can’t because verse 8 says they had gone away into the city to buy food; so He’s there alone.  Why is He there alone?  Well, because they needed food.  How many disciples does it take to get food?  All of them?  No, but dismissing them was beneficial to the conversation, let’s put it that way.  He wanted to be alone with the woman.

Joh 4:8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.

Without them there to get Him a drink, and without any instrument to get a drink, He says to the woman, “Give Me a drink.”  It’s just absolutely shocking.  And by the way, just a footnote, Jesus never did a miracle to quench His own thirst, satisfy His own hunger, or provide anything for Himself, never.  There’s no record in all four gospels that Jesus ever did any miracle to feed Himself, provide for Himself, and thus He honored work, and He honored effort, and He honored care, and He honored sacrifice, and He honored giving and all the things that we do in life to sustain ourselves.  This was also part of His commitment to humanity.  We get what we need through either our own work, and our own effort, or somebody else’s work and somebody else’s effort.  He didn’t do those kinds of miracles that would supply His own wants.

A Jewish Rabbi would rather go thirsty than violate these proprieties.

Strict Jews would not have purchased food from Samaritans as Jesus' disciples were attempting to do

9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

Here is another empty waterpot that I believe symbolizes the empty religion that man seeks for himself

Notice that in the verses that follow, Jesus does not answer this question. It is the gospel which changes all this:

Galatians 3:26-29- 26 For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to the promise

 [That thou, being a Jew] Possibly the inhabitants of Judea distinguished themselves from those of Samaria by some peculiar mode of dress; and by this the Samaritan woman might have known Christ; but it is likely that our Lord spoke the Galilean dialect. [The Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans] The woman's question appears to have ended with the words, "Of Samaria" and the subsequent phrase are the words of the evangelist to explain the reason for the woman's question.

It certainly surprised her when He asked for a drink of water. She surmised that He was a Jewish rabbi, and perhaps she tried to “read between the lines” to find another meaning to His request. What was He really seeking?[i]

Of course, our Lord’s request was simply a way to open the conversation and share with her the truth about “living water.” [ii]

The hatred which existed between these two nations is well known. [The middle kingdom was taken captive by the Assyrians, who then repopulated the area with non-Jews (see 2 Kings 17), and to the Jews, who so prized racial and religious purity, the Samaritans were at best a people of suspect pedigree who practiced a corrupt religion. Perhaps she was surprised that Jesus would drink out of her water pot.

  1. That he should ask this kindness; for it was the pride of the Jews that they would endure any hardship rather than be beholden to a Samaritan. 2. She wonders that he should expect to receive this kindness from her that was a Samaritan: Christ takes this occasion to instruct her in divine things:

John adds, “The Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.”  They don’t use the same utensils. 

The Jews “do not use dishes Samaritans have used.” A Rabbinic law of A.D. 66 stated that Samaritan women were considered as continually menstruating and thus unclean. Therefore a Jew who drank from a Samaritan woman’s vessel would become ceremonially unclean.[iii]

In fact, the Jews in John 8:48 said, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?”  That’s what they said to Jesus.  You’re nothing; that was one of their descriptions.  “You’re a demon-possessed Samaritan.”  Terrible scorn for the Samaritans.

Now again, you go back to 722 B.C., Assyria captures the northern kingdom. Transports everybody out.  You can read the story yourself in 2 Kings 17.  Takes everybody into captivity, leaves a few people there, a few of the Jews from the ten tribes, and into the district come Babylonians, people from Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, Sepharvaim. They’re even listed in that chapter of 2 Kings.  They come in, they intermingle, they bring their gods, they get married, they lose their racial purity. This is an uncivilized time in the eyes of the Jews.  They devise some bizarre form of their own religion, they build a temple on Mount Gerizim and they carry on their own kind of worship.  We’ll see more about that later.

 

The bitterness is profound after the Jews in the southern kingdom, Judah came back from captivity. Remember they came back from their captivity.  After they came back and rebuilt, you remember, it was Samaritans who tried to help them. Do you remember at the story of Nehemiah? The Samaritans wanted to help them and they refused to let them help. And so the Samaritans then tried to stop what they were doing and the bitterness got deeper and deeper and it lasted, and it lasted, and it lasted.

 

A renegade Jew, actually, it was a renegade Jew named Manasseh, who married a daughter of the Samaritan Sanballat. You remember he was the enemy of Nehemiah.  This renegade Jew named Manasseh, who married the daughter of Sanballat, he’s the one that went up into Samaria and built the temple to sort of be their temple because they couldn’t be a part of the new temple being built in Jerusalem.  So this rivalry had gone on.  Here we are four or five hundred years later and the attitudes are bitter and deep.

Samaritans continued to worship on Mt. Gerizim and accepted only the Pentateuch as canonical. A small group of Israelis who claim to be able to trace their ancestry back to the Samaritans survives to the present day.

The Samaritans professed to believe in the God of Israel and awaited the coming of Messiah (see John 4:25). They accepted only the first five books of the Law, but rejected the rest of the Old Testament Scriptures. Wherever they found it necessary to justify their religion and their place of worship, they modified the Law. The relationship between the Jews and the Samaritans was definitely strained.

 

10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

Having captured her attention and stimulated her curiosity, Jesus then spoke a puzzling saying to cause her to THINK…. It was as if He had said, “Your shock would be infinitely greater if you really knew who I am. You—not I—would be asking!” Three things would have provoked her thinking: (1) Who is He? (2) What is the gift of God? (3) What is living water? “Living water” in one sense is running water, but in another sense it is the Holy Spirit (Jer. 2:13; Zech. 14:8; John 7:38–39).[iv]

            (1.) Christ is the fountain of gardens, and well of living waters, open for every poor sinner, and freely given, that whosoever will may come unto him, and drink of the riches of his grace. (2.) Many carelessly disregard the invaluable blessings of the gospel, because they perceive not their excellence, nor their own want of them. (3.) They who would obtain the blessings of grace from Jesus and his Holy Spirit, must seek them in persistent prayer; and he who is faithful and true, hath promised, that none such shall ask in vain.

Is 55:1-7, Rev 7:16-17

The word used means, the free gift of God. And this is where evangelism starts.  You initiate the conversation, you find your way in at a common point of interest, and then comes the reality that you are offering the sinner it without regard to moralit.  It is mercy with no regard for morality.  It is mercy with no regard for religion.  It is just mercy.  It is just grace.

It is the gift of God. This is the unique glory of the gospel.  In opposition to all religion, all religion says, “Do this, do this, do this, do this, and God will give you this.”  The gospel says, “In whatever state you’re in religiously, and whatever state you’re in morally, here’s a gift.”  It is the gift of God.  It is a gift of grace.  It is a gift of mercy.  Dorean, the word here, is “free gift.”  Paul loves that word.  Paul uses that word in Romans.  He uses it in chapter 5, the free gift, the free gift.  And that’s where our Lord starts with this unsolicited mercy being offered.

This was one of the many instances in which he took occasion from common topics of conversation to introduce religious discourse. None ever did it so happily as he did, but, by studying his example and manner, we may learn also to do it. One way to acquire the art is to have the mind full of the subject; to make religion our first and main thing; to carry it with us into all employments and into all society; to look upon everything in a religious light, and out of the abundance of the heart the mouth will speak,

   Mt 12:34 "Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. [If thou knewest the gift of God] The Greek word used here signifies a free gift, a gift which is given without asking anything in return. Such a free gift of kindness was Jesus Christ to the world (chapter 3:16), and through him comes the gift of the Spirit which those who believe on his name were to receive.

 2Co 9:15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,

Christ will convert this woman, not by showing her that the Samaritan worship was dividing (though really it was so), but by showing her her own ignorance and immoralities, and her need of a Saviour. He hints to her what she should know, but was ignorant of: If thou knewest the gift of God, that is, as the next words explain it, who it is that saith, Give me to drink. If thou knewest who I am. She saw him to be a Jew, a poor weary traveler; but he would have her know something more concerning him that did yet appear. Note: (a.) Jesus Christ is the gift of God, the richest token of God's love to us, and the richest treasure of all good for us; a gift, not a debt which we could demand from God; not a loan, which he will demand from us again, but a gift, a free gift, Joh 3:16. (b.) It is an unspeakable privilege to have this gift of God proposed and offered to us; to have an opportunity of embracing it: thou wouldest have asked. Note: (a.) Those that would have any benefit by Christ must ask for it, must be earnest in prayer to God for it. (b.) Those that have a right knowledge of Christ will seek him, and if we do not seek him it is a sign that we do not know him. Jesus here means to denote by it his doctrine, or his grace and religion, in opposition to the impure and dead notions of the Jews and the Samaritans. 

Ps 9:10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.

What is the gift of God?  What is the living water?  Well, it’s salvation, clearly.  Everything that’s in salvation—mercy, grace, pardon, forgiveness, justification, flowing and flowing and flowing and flowing and flowing—and endlessly flowing.

[Living water] By this expression, which was common to the inhabitants both of the east and the west, is always meant spring water, in opposition to the dead, stagnant water contained in pools, ponds, tanks and cisterns; and what our Lord means by it is evidently the Holy Spirit, as may be seen in chapter 7:38-39. As water quenches the thirst, refreshes and invigorates the body, purifies things defiled and renders the earth fruitful, so it is an apt emblem of the Holy Spirit which so satisfies the souls that they no longer thirst for earthly good; it purifies them from spiritual defilement and it makes them who receive it fruitful in every good word and work.

As in His conversation with Nicodemus (3:5), Jesus again alluded to the Old Testament passages that promised salvation as satisfying water (e.g., Isa.12:3; 44:3; 49:10; 55:1-7; Jer. 31:29-34; Ezek. 36:25-27; Joel 2:28-32).

Isa 12:3 Therefore with joy you will draw water From the wells of salvation.

Jer 2:13 "For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns-broken cisterns that can hold no water.

Zechariah 14:8 And in that day it shall be That living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, Half of them toward the eastern sea And half of them toward the western sea; In both summer and winter it shall occur.

Is 1:16-18

Isa 1:2; Jer 6:19 Ps 36:9 For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.

 Jer 17:13 O LORD, the hope of Israel, All who forsake You shall be ashamed. "Those who depart from Me Shall be written in the earth, Because they have forsaken the LORD, The fountain of living waters."

Jer 18:14 Will a man leave the snow water of Lebanon, Which comes from the rock of the field? Will the cold flowing waters be forsaken for strange waters?

Re 22:1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb

11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? concludes his boasts were absurd, and his offers a mere joke.

Jesus was speaking about spiritual water, but she interpreted His words to mean literal water. Again, we see how easily people confuse the material and the spiritual. Furthermore, this woman was concerned about how He would obtain this water, instead of simply asking Him to give her a drink of it.[v]

[Thou hast nothing to draw with] Thou hast no bucket. Good water is not plentiful in the east and travelers are often obliged to carry leather buckets or bottles with them, and a line also, to let them down into deep wells in order to draw up water.

She said to Him, ‘Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep.  Where then do you get that living water?’”  This is sarcasm. This is a kind of scorn, kind of mockery. This woman is very used to defending herself. 

12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?

“You’re not greater than our father Jacob, are you?  Who gave us the well and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?”  Who do you think you are?  You’ve got something better than this?  How are you going to give me water when you don’t have a bucket?  How you going to drop the rope a hundred feet, pull up the water?  Do you have some other well?  Are you greater than Jacob?  "There was a trace of sarcasm in the woman's reply, as if she meant, 'We Samaritans are the dirt under your feet until you want something; then we are good enough

Genesis 33:18 and 19, “Dug the well.”  This is skepticism, mockery.  Again, mercy responds kindly, patiently. 

 

Of course Jesus is greater than Jacob—and greater than the well itself! To paraphrase His reply: “Whosoever continues to drink of this material water (or anything the world has to offer) will thirst again. But whosoever takes one drink of the water I give will never thirst again!” (see John 4:13–14) How true it is that the things of this world never completely satisfy. In hell today, people are crying, “I thirst!”

 

We have noted before that life is one of John’s key concepts. He uses the word at least thirty-six times. Campbell Morgan has pointed out that mankind needs air, water, and food in order to have life. (We might also add that he needs light.) All of these are provided in Jesus Christ. He provides the “breath” (Spirit) of God (John 3:8; 20:22). He is the Bread of Life (John 6:48) and the Light of Life (John 1:4–5), and He gives us the water of life.[vi]

 

 [Our father Jacob] Despite of the mixture of the races the Samaritans still counted themselves as descendants of Jacob. Art thou greater? Art thou wiser, or better able to find water, than Jacob was? It seems that she supposed that he meant that he could direct her to some living spring, or to some better well in that region, and that this implied more knowledge or skill than Jacob had. To find water and to furnish a good well was considered an indication of skill and success. It was a subject of great importance in that region. Men like to commend that which their ancestors used as superior to anything else.  The world over, people love to speak of that which their ancestors have done, and boast of titles and honours that have been handed down from them, even if it is nothing better than existed here--because Jacob's cattle had drunk of the water.

Her reference to "our father Jacob" was probably another barb designed to remind this Jew that Jacob was the Samaritans' ancestor as well as the Jews'.

13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whoever drinks of this water shall thirst again:

Jesus did not directly answer her question, or say that he was greater than Jacob, but he gave her an answer by which she might infer that he was. He did not despise or undervalue Jacob or his gifts; but, however great might be the value of that well, the water could not altogether remove thirst.
14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up (bubbling up) into everlasting life. All the comforts of the world are insufficient to give any abiding satisfaction; Christ alone can bestow the substantial portion on the soul. They who pant after the earth, and its enjoyments, drink and thirst again;

It is a striking image, and especially in Eastern countries, where there are vast deserts, and often a great want of water. The soul by nature is like such a desert, or like a traveler wandering through such a desert. It is thirsting for happiness, and seeking it everywhere, and finding it not. It looks in all directions and tries all objects, but in vain. Nothing meets its desires. Though a sinner seeks for joy in wealth and pleasures, yet he is not satisfied. He still thirsts for more, and seeks still for happiness in some new enjoyment. To such a weary and unsatisfied sinner the grace of Christ is as cold waters to a thirsty soul.

[Springing up into everlasting life]. This water from Jacob’s well would satisfy only bodily thirst for a time. But the water Jesus gives provides continual satisfaction of needs and desires. In addition one who drinks His living water will have within him a spring of life-giving water (cf. 7:38–39). This inner spring contrasts with the water from the well, which required hard work to acquire. Jesus was speaking of the Holy Spirit who brings salvation to a person who believes and through Him offers salvation to others.[vii]

Joh 6:35 And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst again

Joh 7:37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.

What is it?  It’s living water.  It’s satisfaction forever, soul satisfaction forever.

15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.

The woman could not grasp this dark saying because of her sin and materialism. All she could understand was that if she had a spring she would not get thirsty and would not have to work so hard.[viii]

                  [Give me this water] She did not as yet comprehend our Lord's meaning; but her curiosity was much excited, and this was the design of our Lord, that he might have her mind properly prepared to receive the great truths which he was about to announce. water that will prevent thirst. Neither come, "nor keep on coming" as she has to do once or twice every day. She is evidently puzzled and yet attracted.

 

[i] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 299). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[ii] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 300). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[iii] Blum, E. A. (1985). John. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 285). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[iv] Blum, E. A. (1985). John. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 285). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[v] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 300). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[vi] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 300). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[vii] Blum, E. A. (1985). John. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 286). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[viii] Blum, E. A. (1985). John. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 286). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

1
Aug
2018

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL 1 JOHN 2:5 THOSE THAT KNOW CHRIST KEEP HIS WORD

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1 John 2:5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.

 1 John 2:5 says But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected or completed in him. By this we know that we are in Him. The word but in verse 5 shows that John is contrasting true believers in verse 5 with the false in verse 4, those who say, versus those who do the will of God.  This means if we are habitually practicing righteousness, then our love for God has been worked out in our lives through our obedience. This means we can know for sure that we are saved because we are living out the life of Christ because He is our Lord and Savior.

29
Jul
2018

JOHN 3:31-36 SIX REASONS FOR THE SUPREMACY OF CHRIST

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John 3:30 "He must increase, but I must decrease. 31 "He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. 32 "And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony. 33 "He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true. 34 "For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure. 35 "The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. 36 "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." (NKJV)

Here, John the Baptist sets out to prove the supremacy of Jesus Christ and to show how vastly superior Christ is to him. John hangs his whole argument on several key premises. First, John informs us that He is superior to John because of where He has come from. Jesus has come “from above,” “from heaven.”  Jesus is “from above”; John is “from the earth.”

31 "He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.

Mt 28:18; Joh 1:15, 27; 3:13; 6:33; 8:23; Ro 9:5; 1Co 15:47; Eph 1:21; Php 2:9

Some forty times in the Gospel through John, Christ is spoken of as being sent from heaven or going back to heaven.

V31 Divine origin - Jesus if from Heaven (From God) – The one from above, 3:3, 3:7 Rules as God v31 and 35

Since Jesus is “from above,” He speaks of the “heavenly things” which He has seen and heard in heaven. John is “from the earth,” and thus he speaks about “earthly things.”[i] It sounds irreverent, but there is an idiom that says: “I got this right from the horse’s mouth.” That is what John is saying about Jesus and His words. In spite of this, John also calls attention to the amazing truth that even though Jesus speaks divine truth, “no one accepts his testimony

But Jesus is of a completely different nature because He’s of a completely different origin. He had no human father, He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and that’s how a divine person passed into a human body. He has a heavenly origin. He is from above. And by the way, that is the same language of John 3, you must be born from above in the spiritual sense, regenerated by God to be a part of His Kingdom. Heavenly origin then becomes a very important part of Jesus’ testimony, and I want to show this to you.

 John 6:33, Jesus had just fed the massive crowd the loaves and the fish and was teaching the great sermon on Himself as the bread of life. But notice a few of the things that he says. In verse 33, John 6, “For the bread of God…meaning Himself…is that which comes down out of heaven and gives life to the world.” Verse 38, “For I have come down from heaven.” Verse 50, “This is the bread which comes down out of heaven.” Verse 51, “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven.” Verse 58, “This is the bread which came down out of heaven.” That doesn’t leave any room for doubt about the origin of the Lord Jesus Christ. He came down from heaven. Clearly distinguishing Him from earth-born people, which constitutes the entire human race.

32 "And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony.

Joh 3:11; 8:26; 15:15

He has a heavenly origin. And by the way, chapter 8, you’re going to find this as we go all through John’s gospel, but chapter 8 verse 42, Jesus said, “If God were your father…He’s talking to the Jewish leaders…if God were your father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God.” I proceeded forth and have come from God. In chapter 17 He prays a prayer and says, “Restore to Me the glory I had with You before the world began.” And speaks there of His preincarnate existence. In 17:8, “The words You gave Me I have given to them and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You.” This is foundational to understanding Jesus Christ is not merely human. This establishes the deity of Christ

 v32 Divine Testimony - Has a firsthand knowledge of the truth because He is God – Speaks and witnesses as God has a better testimony than John

Now we know He knows everything because in chapter 2 verses 23 to 25 it said He knows everything. He even knows the thoughts of every human being, this is omniscience. Jesus is the only man who never needed to take any information from anyone else. He didn’t need to be educated by other people. There was no need for that. Yes, He grew in wisdom, stature, favor with God, favor with man…there was an awakening to His divine knowledge as He grew legitimately as a baby and a child. He wasn’t a one-year-old able to spout profound eternal theology. He was conformed to the development of a human being. By the time He’s twelve, obviously it’s crystal-clear that He…He has reached the point with a full adult sense of His mission which means that His knowledge was then complete. Did He choose to use all that knowledge? No, He restricted the independent use of His own omniscience in His humiliation. That’s why He could say things like “I don’t know the day or the hour when I return to establish the Kingdom.” He put self-imposed limits on His omniscience. But He could limit His omniscience, no one could add to His knowledge. He could limit His development and that in the plan of God, but no information as outside that full omniscience.

 This sets Him apart from us. Everything we know, somebody has to teach us. We need information from heaven given to us from someone from heaven. So Jesus comes, God spoke in time past by the Holy Spirit through the prophets and then He spoke, Hebrews 1, by His Son. Either God speaks to us through the prophets and through the writers of Scripture or He speaks to us through His Son, but He has to speak to us because we have no knowledge of heavenly things.

 Back in chapter 3 verse 11, “Truly, truly…Jesus says…I say to You, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen.” This is firsthand knowledge. And he calls these things in verse 12 heavenly things. So in referring to Jesus Christ, everything begins with an understanding of His heavenly origin and then moves to an understanding that He has knowledge of all things, He has complete omniscience, He knows everything that can be known and He knows it by first-hand experience, not because He acquired that knowledge or was taught that knowledge. There is a reference in the gospel of John to being taught of God, Jesus speaking of being taught of God meaning only in the sense that He was with God in eternity past, they shared a common understanding of truth.

For example, Jesus reiterates this a number of times. Maybe it would be good to look at chapter 5 verse 30, “I can do nothing on my own initiative, as I hear I judge, My judgment is just. I don’t seek My own will but the will of Him who sent Me. If I alone testify about Myself, My testimony is not deemed true. There is another who testifies of Me and I know that the testimony which He gives about Me is true. You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth, but the testimony which I receive is not from man but I say these things so that you may be saved.” John is a lamp but I’m the light. In other words, Jesus says John gave you a testimony that he had received from God. I give you a testimony that comes from heaven itself. There’s a sense in which it all originates with God. The difference is John had to be taught this, Jesus knew it eternally. He is the omniscient one.

 In the eighth chapter of John’s gospel, just a couple of other verses, verse 26, “I have many things to speak and judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true and the things which I heard from Him, these I speak to the world.” Jesus says My knowledge is the knowledge that belongs to God, it is knowledge which we share. Verse 38, “I speak the things which I’ve seen with My Father.” In other words, the common identification of these two members of the Trinity, eternally, which encompasses their omniscience.

 Because He is of heavenly origin then, He has all heavenly knowledge. There is no preacher who can claim that by any means. We struggle at best to grasp the heavenly things, to understand the heavenly things, to articulate the heavenly things, and we’re only scratching the edge of the surface.

By the way, at the end of that verse, a statement is made, “No one receives his testimony.” Back in verse 11 he said the same things, Jesus said it there. “You do not accept our testimony.” He said that to Israel and now John says no one receives his testimony. John the Baptist is affirming that what Jesus is saying, people are rejecting. It’s not consistent with what they’re used to. It’s not earthly. It’s not consistent with the system that they’ve developed. It’s too heavenly. And Jesus said that, how are you going to understand heavenly things when you don’t even grasp earthly things?

33 "He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true.

Ro 3:4; 1Jo 5:10

The truthfulness of God is bound up in the affirmation of Christ. Look at verse 33. “He who has received His testimony,” there are some, “no one received His testimony,” is a general statement, not an exclusive one, but there are some. “He who has received His testimony, that is the testimony concerning Christ, has set His seal to this, that God is true.” That is such an economy of words to say something so profound. Does God speak truth? Is God true? You heard Kory sing what essentially says that, you are truthful. God is true, a God who cannot lie. He is truth personified. God is true. If that is so, then you must believe in Christ. Why? Because God sent an angel and said this child is Immanuel. This is Jesus who will save His people from their sins. Because God sent an angel, this is the Son of God, because God spoke at His baptism, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” Because God spoke at the Transfiguration, “This is My beloved Son, listen to Him.”

 If you don’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God, then God lied. Understand? So don’t come with some kind of patronizing statement about, “Well I believe in God, I believe in the true God, I just reject Christ.” No, if you reject Christ, then you affirm that God is a liar.

he Jewish people think they affirm the God of the Old Testament. They talk about the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, the God of the Old Testament Scripture, they affirm that that’s their God and that’s the true God. But their God is a liar…their God is a liar because it is the God of the Old Testament who revealed every single prophecy directed and fulfilled in Jesus Christ’s first coming. It is the God of the Old Testament who talk about the seed of a woman in Genesis 3, it’s the God of the Old Testament who talked about one who would be crucified, pierced, wounded for the transgressions of His people, Isaiah 53. Every single prophecy in the Old Testament fulfilled in Jesus Christ is a point at which you either validate God as speaking the truth, or lying. You cannot reject Christ and say God speaks the truth. It was God who said this is My beloved Son. If that’s not His Son, God’s a liar.

v33 His Testimony agrees with God and proves that God is true

In 1 John chapter 5, John affirms this very important declaration with this statement, 1 John 5:10. This time he’s writing in his epistle. “The one who believes in the Son of God,” John is constantly going back to this theme, this is who He is and you must believe to have eternal life. “The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in Himself. The one who does not believe God has made Him a liar.” Whoa-whoa, I would never make God a liar. You just made Him a liar if you reject what He said about Christ because you have not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son. It’s inescapable. You don’t have the right to say I believe in God and that I believe God is true, and then reject Christ. If Christ is not who God said He is, we are really in serious trouble because the biggest promise that God ever made, the clearest identification that He ever spoke of was a lie. And if God is by nature a liar, throw your Bible away, throw your Old Testament away, run from it. You cannot reject Christ and affirm that God is true. If God is true, then everything He said about Christ is true and Christ is who He said He is and provides the eternal life that He declared He would give.

 

This becomes another of John’s themes. Chapter 7, verse 16, “So Jesus answered them and said, very basic statement, My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me.” Reject Me, you’re rejecting God. Call Me a liar, you’re calling God a liar. We are connected. If I’m a liar, God’s a liar because what I’m telling you comes from God.

 Back in chapter 5 is maybe the most potent statement, chapter 5, you could pick it up say maybe at verse 19. Jesus is talking about His relationship to the Father, His Son can do nothing of Himself unless the something He sees the Father doing, common knowledge, common life, common action, common works, common words, whatever the Father does, these are the things the Son does. And He goes on to speak about this. And then He sums it up in verse 23, “So that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father.” And then this, “He who doesn’t honor the Son, doesn’t honor the Father who sent Him.” Reject the Son, and you’ve rejected the Father. That is why the writers of the epistles of the New Testament refer to God as the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, meaning that the God that we believe is the God who is one with the Lord Jesus Christ. You can’t separate the two, and end up with anything other than blasphemy. It’s blasphemy to call God a liar. And if Jesus is not who God said He is, then God is a liar and there is nothing more horrendous or horrific than that kind of blasphemy.

 In the fourteenth chapter of John, the tenth verse, “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 initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. My works, My words all come from the Father. Believe Me, I am in the Father, the Father’s in Me.” This is essential to any grasp of the identity of Jesus Christ.

34 "For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure. Joh 1:16; 7:16

 V34 Jesus has the full measure of God’s words since He is God and full of the Holy Spirit

Eph 4:7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift. Eph 4:8 Therefore He says: "When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men."

it speaks again to His Trinitarian relationships. This comes in verse 34. In verse 34, and it is this, “He possessed full Holy Spirit presence…full Holy Spirit presence.” Why do we exalt Christ? He has a heavenly origin. We have an earthly one. He knows what He knows from eternal omniscience. We have to be taught and are limited in our comprehension. Why do we exalt Him? Because He is the one whom the Father promised and whom the Father affirmed and to agree with God the Father we must embrace Christ. And then this, “He possesses the Holy Spirit in full presence.” Great statement in verse 34. “For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God…that’s the same point He was making in verse 33, probably should be added to verse 33, and then verse 34 should say…”For He gives the Spirit without measure.”

 One of the ministries of the Spirit, of course, was to bring the words of the Father through the Son. Everything Jesus did in His ministry was the work of the Holy Spirit, that’s why in Matthew 12 when they called Him satanic, they said You do what You do by the power of Satan, He didn’t say you blasphemed Me, He said you blaspheme the Holy Spirit.

 Why? Because part of His incarnation was to become human, part of His incarnation was to restrict the independent use of His attributes. Part of His incarnation was to yield over His will to the operation of the Holy Spirit in His humiliation.

it speaks again to His Trinitarian relationships. This comes in verse 34. In verse 34, and it is this, “He possessed full Holy Spirit presence…full Holy Spirit presence.” Why do we exalt Christ? He has a heavenly origin. We have an earthly one. He knows what He knows from eternal omniscience. We have to be taught and are limited in our comprehension. Why do we exalt Him? Because He is the one whom the Father promised and whom the Father affirmed and to agree with God the Father we must embrace Christ. And then this, “He possesses the Holy Spirit in full presence.” Great statement in verse 34. “For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God…that’s the same point He was making in verse 33, probably should be added to verse 33, and then verse 34 should say…”For He gives the Spirit without measure.”

 

One of the ministries of the Spirit, of course, was to bring the words of the Father through the Son. Everything Jesus did in His ministry was the work of the Holy Spirit, that’s why in Matthew 12 when they called Him satanic, they said You do what You do by the power of Satan, He didn’t say you blasphemed Me, He said you blaspheme the Holy Spirit.

Back in chapter 1 verse 32, John testified saying, “I’ve seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven and He remained on Him and I didn’t recognize Him, but He who sent Me to baptize in water said to Me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him is the one who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’” So there symbolically is this coming of the Holy Spirit resting on Him. That’s only an external demonstration of what was an internal, eternal permanent union in the Trinity. In fact, in Colossians 2:9, it’s stated this way, “That in Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily. He is Son and Father and Holy Spirit all in one.”

 Why would you exalt the minister? John has a measure of the Holy Spirit. John has information given to him but John is an earthly man, not to be compared at all with the one who comes from heaven who knows everything from eternal omniscience, who gives perfect testimony establishing the truthfulness of God, and who has the spirit in infinite fullness.

 35 "The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand.

Mt 11:27; 28:18; Lu 10:22; Joh 5:20,22; 13:3; 17:2; Heb 2:8

 V35 Divine Authority - Everything belongs to Jesus because He is God and only by Him can you be saved – He has Ultimate Power

Power and Grace Mt 28:18

John understands that the whole of redemption and the whole of creation, the creation of the material world, the immaterial world, the plan of redemption, all of it is about the Father loving the Son and creating a universe in which He can redeem humanity and give a bride to His Son, a love gift to His Son. John has a full understanding of the plan of God to create and then regenerate, to regenerate the heavens and regenerate the earth and regenerate fallen sinners and gather all that together and give it as an expression of His love to His Son. That’s staggering truth to grasp.

 In Ephesians, the Apostle Paul tries to capture some of this with amazing language. Ephesians chapter 1, one of my favorite passages anywhere in Scripture, starting in verse 20, talks about Christ whom He raised from the dead. And then says about Him, “He is far above all rule and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. He’s put all things in subjection under His feet, given Him as head over all things, He’s head over all things, He’s given the One who is head over all things to the church which is His body. He is the fullness of Him who fills…the church is the fullness of Him who fills all in all. The language is full, full, full, full, full.

 God’s eternal love relationship with His Son results in God giving to His Son all of His creation in its final form, the new heavens, the new earth, the redeemed humanity, love gifts to the Son. John understands this.

36 "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."

Hab 2:4; Joh 1:12; 3:15-16; 6:47; Ro 1:17; 1Jo 5:10 (NKJV)

Jesus is the key to our destiny. The answer to one question determines where we will spend eternity: “Who is Jesus Christ, and what have you done about His claim to be God’s only means for your salvation?” The one who accepts His testimony has declared that “God is true” (verse 33). To reject the words of our Lord, who speaks for the Father, is to call God a liar. To believe in the Son is to have eternal life. The one who rejects the Son will not see life; indeed, God’s wrath abides on him (verse 36).

V36 Those that believe His testimony are saved, don’t they are not

Old wine of Judaism doesn’t work, new wine of Jesus works

Purification Water pots no longer necessary, only Jesus purifies

Eph 5:25 -27

Holy Spirit, Jesus gives us new life as we are born from above

Full Christology and so he closes with an invitation in verse 36, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life. He who doesn’t obey the Son will not see life.” By the way, why does it go from believing to obeying? Because to believe on the Son is a command. The gospel is a command, not a suggestion. It’s a command. He who believes in the Son has obeyed the command. He who does not believe in the Son has disobeyed the command. And he who doesn’t obey the Son will not see life but the wrath of God abides on him.

You have a choice. Eternal life, eternal wrath. Eternal heaven, eternal hell. John ends up a gospel preacher. Those are the last words to fall from the lips of John the Baptist recorded in Scripture and he’s a gospel preacher. Believe and have eternal life, it sounds like the words of John 3:16, believe and have eternal life. Fail to believe in disobedience, you will not see life but you will see eternal wrath, a preacher of the gospel, the last message and the voice of one crying in the wilderness goes silent…goes silent.

 Not long after this John’s sad ending came. Let me read it to you. Matthew 14. Herod had arrested John. Herod arrested him because John publicly preached against Herod’s immorality and illicit marriage. So Herod arrested John, bound him, put him in prison because of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip. That was the immorality. He had literally seduced his brother’s wife and married her. And John had been saying to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” Although Herod wanted to put him to death, he feared the crowd because they regarded John as a prophet. But when Herod’s birthday came which was a good excuse for debauchery, drunken orgy, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod in a very seductive way. Pleased him so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. Having been prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”

 “Although he was grieved, the king commanded it to be given because of his oaths and because of his dinner guests. He sent and had John beheaded in the prison and his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl and she brought it to her mother. His disciples came and took away the body and buried it and they went and reported to Jesus. And the shining star was out and the voice went silent.”

 It’s really sad, isn’t it? Pathetic, ugly, horrible way for the greatest man who ever lived to end. His disciples buried his body and went and told Jesus. But this is how it is for the preacher. John died a satisfied man. His joy was made full, why? Because he had decreased and Christ had increased. And John’s followers had no one else to turn to, so they went to Christ. He was a faithful preacher of Christ, faithful preacher of the gospel and a model of the first law of ministry, the law of humility.

 The most important question anyone can ask and answer is, “Who is Jesus Christ?” The answer is the key to everything. It is the key to one’s eternal destiny. It is the key to one’s ministry and service. It is the key to the gospel itself. Is it any wonder that the truths John the Baptist affirms here are the same truths the Apostle John emphasizes in this Gospel? Is it any wonder that these same truths are those most under attack by unbelieving “scholars”?

The claims Jesus makes, which John the Baptist declares here, and which the Gospel of John was written to proclaim, are found everywhere one looks in the New Testament. But perhaps nowhere is the thrust of our text more clearly stated elsewhere in the Bible than in the Book of Hebrews:

(Hebrews 1:1-2:4).

In contrast to John and his joy, we see the jealousy and frustration of his disciples. How can this be explained? What went wrong here? I would begin by saying that this same “sourness” seems to characterize many Christians and their service to the Lord. How quickly and easily we lose sight of Christ’s preeminence, and start to think of our position and our pleasure. Is this not what characterizes the disciples of our Lord? Are they not interested in promoting Christ so that they can prosper with Him? Is this not why they react so strongly to His words about His own rejection, suffering, and death? They are serving God for self-serving reasons.

Too often I hear Christians in ministry talking in terms of success, and this is problematic. But I also hear too much talk about “personal fulfillment.” Is this what motivates our service?

Is this perhaps the reason why your joy and mine is not that of John the Baptist? Are we serving our Lord selfishly? Jesus calls us to “take up our cross.” Serving God is in our own best interest, but when we begrudge the glorification of Christ because it seems to come at our sacrifice and our expense, then we have become like John’s disciples. If this is the case, we should repent of our sin, asking God to restore to us the joy of our salvation.

Philippians 1:12-26

[i] In John 3:12, Jesus claimed the ability to speak both “earthly things” and “heavenly things.” John claims to be able to speak only “earthly things.”