April 15, 2007
John 5-6; Mark 6:30-44; Matthew 14:22-33
Chapter 4 of John ends with an interesting statement in verse 53: “So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house.” The next reference to “the father” is in the following Chapter 5:17. Continue reading about this “Father,” being Jesus’ father. Are these two stories related? If so, how?
John Chapter 5:
v. 1: This feast is Passover, Pentecost or Tabernacles. If this was a Passover, it was the fourth, since John goes to the effort to mention three other Passovers (1st 2:13,23, 2nd 6:4 and the 3rd 11:55; 12:1 suggesting a public ministry of 2-3 years), which would make Jesus’ ministry between 3 – 4 years.
v. 2-4: This takes place near the Sheep Gate (the gate through which sheep were taken into the temple precincts, on the north side of the temple). Is this significant that the “great multitude of impotent folk…” are waiting there. What are they waiting for? See John 10:11, 14. This pool is a pagan place of worship, probably a Greco-Roman site in honor of Aesclepius, the god of healing, vs. the temple that is nearby. Why are the people at the pool instead of the temple as they seek healing? Jesus comes there incognito & leaves the same way, doing his healing inbetween. He announces to the healed man IN the temple who has healed him. “There is” may mean that the pool was still in existence when John wrote his gospel dating it before the destruction of Jerusalem. The superstition of this pool is explained in these verses; however, note that early manuscripts do not include the last line of verse 3 “…waiting for the moving of the water” or the entire verse 4. What does leaving this line and verse out do to the meaning of the text? This is the Sabbath. Why is Jesus there? Does this “water” have symbolic meaning?
v. 6-7: What is Jesus asking this man? Does the man answer Jesus’ question or make an excuse? Do we have similar exchanges with our Savior? Note how the man addresses Jesus: “Sir.”
v. 8: Does Jesus respond to the man’s statements? It’s almost as if they haven’t heard one another. Often faith is a prerequisite to healing, is it here?
v. 9-10: What healing has occurred? Look at v. 14, too. The Law of Moses didn’t forbid carrying his bed on the Sabbath, but rather the traditions that were built up around the law. Why are the Jews upset? Why aren’t they happy for his healing? Why does he carry his bed away instead of just stay there, especially on the Sabbath?
v. 14: Notice where the man goes after his healing & that Jesus goes to find him there. Was this man’s blindness a result of sin? How do wholeness & sin relate here? What is the “worse thing” that could happen?
v. 15: Why would the man go to tell the Jews who had healed him? Why do they respond the way that they do?
v. 16: “was doing” implies a continuous action telling us Jesus did this on other occassions. What does this teach us about the Sabbath? A lot is implied in this verse; what do you think it is?
v. 17: An Excerpt from Jim F’s notes at FUTW: “Is Jesus saying that the Father works on the Sabbath day? If so, how do you explain the apparent contradiction between that claim and Genesis 2:2? If not, how does Jesus’ answer justify healing on the Sabbath? According to the Hermeneia commentary on John, Exodus Rabbah (part of the Jewish tradition, written down about 200 years after Christ, but assumed to reflect at least some teachings from Christ’s time) argues that carrying something around in your own house is not a breach of the commandment not to work on the Sabbath. (The argument is based on the wording of Jeremiah 17:21-22.) Since the earth is God’s footstool, part of his house, he can do things on the Sabbath without breaking the commandment.” Thanks, Jim!
v. 17-47: How are these verses related to the pericope of the father and son found in the previous chapter? How is the response of the witnesses contrasted between these two stories?
v. 19-47: Note that Jesus is speaking to these Jews who are seeking his life. For fun, I went through and marked these verses wherever “hear”, “word,” “beareth,” “say,” were used and pondered their meaning. The importance and relationship of speak/say/pray/bear witness with hear/believe is illustrated resulting in live/saved. Alma 31:5 is an interesting cross reference here as well as John 1:1-3. Just what is the power of the word? What is the power of OUR words? Or, more specifically words of prayer and priesthood?
v. 22: A comment was made a few weeks ago in class about judgement. The person spoke a common LDS thought in that “we will judge ourselves” at the last day. After reading this chapter, how would you respond to that comment? Where does that thought originate? Is it valid? If so, how? If not, why not? The Jews believed that the Father is Judge of the world, so this teaching seemed heretical to them. For other NT assertions that Jesus will be the eschatological Judge, see Mt. 25:31-32; Ac 10:42; 17:31; 2 Co. 5:10, 2 Ti 4:1; 1 Pe 4:5.
v. 24: the phrase “passed from death unto life” is interesting. At what point does this change occur? During this life? What is the catalyst? Do all Christians share the same belief on this point? X Romans 8:6.
v. 25: Who are the “dead” in this verse? Is this a reference only for the future or also for the present?
v. 30: Are we as dependent on the Father as Jesus?
v. 31-34: Who is this that beareth witness of Christ? Only John? see v. 45-47. The NIV translation reads easier here: “If I testify of myself, my testimony is not valid. There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is valid. You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved.”
v. 35: Compare the parable of the 10 Virgins. The NIV uses “lamp that burned” instead of “burning & a shining light.” John’s giving light was costly to him. How does our giving light cost us?
v. 37: What about Luke 3:22? Didn’t God, the Father, speak at that time? Why didn’t they hear him? In what sense did they not hear or see the Father? Could they have seen the Father if they had been different? X John 14:7, 9 and more.
v. 38: All the pronouns here can be confusing. Try substituting the names You-Wicked-Jews, God-the-Father and Jesus in the appropriate places.
v. 39-40: In church I ‘ve heard this verse often read in the possitive sense as a command to “read the scriptures because they offer eternal life,” instead of the negative sense in which it is intended. What, exactly, is Jesus saying here? The NIV gives a much easier reading, “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”
v. 41-44: What kind of honour is spoken of here? What kind of honor does Jesus desire? v. 44, What kind of honor does God bestow? Is this a reciprocal kind of honor, what God desires from us, which he gives in return? X Matt. 6:4-6.
v. 45-47: This refers to the Pentateuch, or the first 5 books of the OT Moses wrote and the Jews revered. What does this teach about scripture?
This is another perspective on the above story.
John, Chapter 6:
The feeding of the 5,000 is the one miracle, apart from the resurrection, found in all four Gospels. If the feast in Ch. 5 was indeed Passover, then it has been one year since the incidents related in that chapter until the Miracle of the feeding of the 5,000. Why has John jumped over an entire year, tieing these two chapters together? What is their relationship?
v. 5-6: Why the set-up? Since Philip came from nearby Bethsaida it was appropriate to ask him.
v. 7: NIV reads, “Eight months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
I’m out of steam here. If I don’t make it back before I give the lesson, please visit Cheryl’s post at FUTW Blog to read more on John 6. It’s worth your trip!
Look back and read Matthew’s account of the feeding of the 5,000. I love the suscinct story here, with the emphasis that Jesus gave to his disciples & then the disciples fed the multitude. There could have been 10,000 people there, including the women & children. This is the pattern we have today. Where do we fall in this pattern?
Now look at who is ushered into a ship. Read the whole story & determine who YOU are in this story. The fourth watch is between 3-6 a.m. This is a story of compassion and teaching by the Savior and rewarded faith on the part of his disciples.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION…if I get a chance to revisit this post before I teach it!