Double John! Study of the Gospel of John Part 2
Brief summary of last week before we launch this week
- Jesus always existed with God and is God
- Through Him everything is created and sustained
- He invaded and overcame the darkness
- Everything is in God’s hands and until God’s plan for us is completed nothing can steal our life
– Jesus made a way for us to be transformed from indirect creations of God to become sons and daughters of the one true God.
John 1: 14
So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.
God put on human flesh was almost too much for both Greek mind that separated the divine and the mundane (flesh) and the idea of God becoming human was nearly blaspheme to the Jewish mind…he chose to make a home (stay with and among) human beings so he might example His faithfulness and unfailing love….we need to keep that in mind as we study the rest of this book …..
15 John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’”
John makes it a point in a society that honors and respects age….that Jesus earlier existence (even though chronologically he is 6 months older than Jesus) John understands Jesus to be the preexistent one.
16 From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.
Because of the Greek words and context of verse 17 it can be interpreted two ways but the meaning is very close regardless of interpretation what we have in this translation is…
John stresses that the law is incomplete because the unfailing love and faithfulness of God are only seen clearly through Jesus. However it can be interpreted rather than love and faithfulness to be grace and truth….grace being that through Christ we receive what we do not deserve under the law we would have to work to gain God’s grace but through Christ we receive it freely and the truth that sets men and women free.
As you read the Old Testament, we read times where a view of God (anthropomorphism) is mentioned and Jesus gives us a view of God as well but God is Spirit and no one alive has ever or can ever see his true essence except Jesus. However, because Jesus is God John through telling part of Jesus story in this book is going to give us a glimpse of God because that is what Jesus did as he walked among the people
(Joyce next verses are all from the NKJV)
Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”
20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”
21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?”
He said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
And he answered, “No.”
22 Then they said to him, “Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?”
23 He said: “I am
The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
“Make straight the way of the LORD,” ’
as the prophet Isaiah said.” Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees. 25 And they asked him, saying, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”
John was baptizing at the very sight where Joshua had crossed over into the promised land. He was conceived miraculously in that his parents were very old and were barren then were able to have a child by God’s hand…He began preaching and teaching fiery words of repentance in preparation for the Messiah. He came in the power and Spirit of Elijah which was the same anointing as Elijah The Angel told John’s Father Zacharias that John would come in the Spirit of Elijah (Luke 1:15-17) and Jesus said that Elijah had come (Matthew 17:10-13)
The pharisees walked for 20+ miles from Jerusalem to find him and question what authority he had to baptize because they were looking for the messiah, which he said he wasn’t, Elijah in person (reincarnated or raised from the dead) which he said he wasn’t but came in the authority and anointing of Elijah (Malachi 4:5,6)
or as Moses prophesied someone in his authority (Deuteronomy 18:15,18). John recognized his calling as the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy about the forerunner of Christ (Isaiah 40:3)
Jewish baptisms were ritual washings for becoming ceremonially pure following contact with impurity (Lev 8:6; Num 19:7). John’s announcement of the Messiah’s arrival required that participants confess their sins and be baptized (Matt 3:6). Later baptism became a symbol of commitment to following Christ.
John answered them, saying, “I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know. 27 It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.”
28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
The untying of sandals was the job of a slave in a wealthy household. John is saying I am not even worthy to be the slave of Jesus. The one I am preparing the way for is far beyond me in glory and righteousness. John makes this proclamation now but…. because Jesus doesn’t follow a pattern of ministry that John expected, later he will question who Jesus is (Luke 7: 18-20 and Matthew 11:2,3)
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’ 31 I did not recognize him as the Messiah, but I have been baptizing with water so that he might be revealed to Israel.”
The statement “the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” is John’s proclamation that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Passover. The Passover feast celebrates the death angel passing over the nation of Israel to set them free from bondage in Egypt. A lamb was offered as a sacrifice In the same way. Abraham prophetically spoke of this lamb in Genesis 22: 8 when taking Isaac to the top of Mt. Moriah (which is also Calvary) said God will provide for himself a lamb for the sacrifice…..2000 years later he did by allowing His son to die on a cross on that very place
Then John testified, “I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him. 33 I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God.”
Both Matthew and Luke include that during Jesus’ baptism that the Father spoke and John heard him say, “This is my beloved son” John is making the statement here that the Lord had spoken to John the Baptist to look for the one whom the Holy Spirit would descend upon and that would verify to him the messiahship of Jesus. The baptism of Jesus is one of the examples of the trinity in action….Jesus is present, the Holy Spirit is not a dove but descends on Jesus gently as one and the Father speaks a proclamation over him.
John 1: 35-51
The following day John was again standing with two of his disciples. 36 As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” 37 When John’s two disciples heard this, they followed Jesus.
38 Jesus looked around and saw them following. “What do you want?” he asked them.
They replied, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”
39 “Come and see,” he said. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon when they went with him to the place where he was staying, and they remained with him the rest of the day.
40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of these men who heard what John said and then followed Jesus. 41 Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ”).
42 Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. Looking intently at Simon, Jesus said, “Your name is Simon, son of John—but you will be called Cephas” (which means “Peter”).
43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Come, follow me.” 44 Philip was from Bethsaida, Andrew and Peter’s hometown.
45 Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.”
46 “Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”
“Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied.
47 As they approached, Jesus said, “Now here is a genuine son of Israel—a man of complete integrity.”
48 “How do you know about me?” Nathanael asked.
Jesus replied, “I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.”
49 Then Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God—the King of Israel!”
50 Jesus asked him, “Do you believe this just because I told you I had seen you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” 51 Then he said, “I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth.”
OK as we wrap up this chapter the quick look at the choosing of these disciples
- Andrew and John (John is traditionally understood as the other disciple of John the Baptist who chose to leave John to follow Jesus) Jesus just basically said come and see….some people coming to Jesus need to simply leave the busy-ness of life and just begin looking for the real Jesus.
- Andrew throughout the Gospel’s is always bringing people to Jesus.
- Peter’s name is changed from Simon (Simeon – to hear, listening) to cephas, Aramaic or Peter, Greek for “Rock” speaking to his role among the disciples and leader of the early church
- Philip was well educated probably with Greek (later Greeks seeking Jesus will come to Philip for an introduction to Him) as well as Hebrew heritage like Timothy and searches for another deep thinker, Nathaniel
- Jesus’ discussion with Nathaniel is about returning Israel to its pure state he calls him a man of integrity (in contrast to Jacob, Israel the deceiver) and then says like Jacob saw in a dream, vision from God when God was healing his heart and preparing him for his call. He told Nathaniel he too would see the angels ascending and descend on the dwelling of God (the son of man) Jacob named the spot where he saw this Bethel (House of God) Jesus captures Nathaniel’s attention by knowing his character and he captured his worship by supernaturally knowing his actions
Jesus will reach us all in the way he needs to meet us but will not allow us to stay in the place as he daily helps us move forward to become who the Lord calls us to be.
John completes the work of the Old Testament connecting the crossing of the Jordan, Elijah’s anointing and call and proclaiming the fulfillment of the Old Testament celebration of Passover that the final lamb has come to pour out his life so we all might have life.
Jesus calls the first of his disciples and they come to him as they are in their own style and we will watch as they draw closer to him and understand the relationship with the Father, just how their lives and character change…as we all should as we grow in our relationship with Him