BSF Study Questions John Lesson 1, Day 3: John 1:9-13

Summary of passage:  Jesus (the light) came into the world but many did not recognize him.  Those who did receive him received the right to become children of God who were chosen by God for that purpose.


7)  Unbelievers are Christ’s “own” who did not receive him.  Their hearts are hardened.  God choses through His infinite grace who will receive Him and who won’t.  “Own” refers to all of us and also to home.  We see this exact phrase used by John in John 19:27 when Mary was taken home.

8 )  Part personal question.  My answer:  Receive Christ and believe in him.  It has meant everything in my life.  It is His will and not mine, and He is faithful.

9)  Personal Question.  My answer:

Born:  We are created for God, given life, born of God.

Not of natural descent:  We are from God and exist by His will.

Nor of human decision:  God chooses us!

Or a husband’s will:  We have no say in whom God chooses.

Born of God:  When we are chosen, we are God’s.  He lives in us.

Conclusions:  Note we skipped verses 6-8 since they reference John the Baptist.  We will examine these in Day 4 together with verses 14-5, which combine the symbolism of light.  Also note John the Baptist is NOT John the apostle who wrote this book.  Different guy entirely.

Loved the focus on how we are chosen by God for His kingdom.  So important to remember when we are sharing the gospel and when we are depressed and feel unworthy in this world.

End Notes:  Verse 9 does NOT mean every man will have saving light i.e. Jesus.  John means Jesus brings light into this world that otherwise would be darkness, which every man can see.

Membership in God’s family is by grace alone–the gift of God–never by human achievement.  We have to be open and receptive to God’s word.

Fun Fact:  The Greek word for world is used 78 times in this Gospel and 24 times in John’s letters.  It’s only used 47 times in all of Paul’s writings.

It can mean:  universe, earth, people on earth, most people, people opposed to God or the human system opposed to God’s purposes.  John emphasizes this word through repetition and uses it interchangeably between meanings.

16 thoughts on “BSF Study Questions John Lesson 1, Day 3: John 1:9-13

  1. Hi AtoZMom and bloggers, Could someone please further explain what this means: “God chooses through His infinite grace who will receive Him and who won’t.” I find this confusing. I thought we either open our hearts to Him or don’t and depending on our response, we either do or don’t become one of His chosen. Where am I thinking incorrectly? Thanks.


    1. What a good question. It does make you think about the ones that are not chosen. Why are they not chosen? Or are we all chosen and some just refuse to accept hi? Would love to hear more comments on this.


      1. Good question, ladies! And here’s where it gets tricky and what I believe is one of those things we cannot understand entirely because both are true. The Bible tells us God chooses us ahead of time (Ephesians 1:5, 11 & Romans 8:29-30). Yet we must choose Him (John 3:16 & Romans 10:9-10). In God’s infinite wisdom, it works. He preordains us and we choose Him.

        Great explanation Here:


      2. Thank you, AtoZMom, for the predestination link. I just read it. I read the words and understand it intellectually, but truthfully on an emotional level, I struggle with it. That’s where I have to accept the mystery of it.


  2. I was all signed up and waiting for my call from a BSF group leader when instead, I got an email saying that since I have studied John before with BSF, that I am on “pending” status allowing space for new members from the two welcomes last September. That’s wonderful for newbies I suppose yet at the same time when I never or rarely miss a class and participate, it hurts not getting to be there especially the first day of BSF where everyone is so happy to see each after the summer break. I am allowed to get the questions on line but not the notes. It is nice bone to throw I suppose.


    1. I’m sorry, Julia. I hear you especially since you signed up ahead of time and they are allowing space to people who are just now signing up. Where I live, we never have that problem cause we’re never full. We’re not that popular I suppose. I wonder if that policy will change as well since they are making so many other changes. Good feedback and hopefully BSF will hear this.


  3. I’m sure that BSF doesn’t mean to hurt anyone. However, rejection is the most hurtful emotion and I too walked away from the first night thinking “What in the world? This feels like an exclusive club or something. That’s not how Christ is. What is going on?” Then, someone explained it and said, “we simply don’t have enough leaders to support the number of women signing up. The dynamics change when the group gets to be more than 8 people and it becomes less personal.”
    Maybe BSF can make some changes to support that number so everyone can be included? It is my first time signing up, and I have been assigned to a group of 12. (??) Maybe we’re splitting into groups of 6 for the discussion?
    Anyway, I am sad for those not included.


    1. My groups have always had more than 8–usually up to 20 or so.

      Interesting about the leaders excuse. As far as I know, you have to be invited to be a leader. I’ve never seen a sign-up sheet. Personally, I’d love to be a leader but will never be asked due to my outspoken nature. So in my opinion, that’s a poor excuse. I’m sure there are lots of people like me who are MORE THAN WILLING to be a leader but due to whatever criteria BSF has to picking leaders will never get the chance. A poor excuse to exclude seekers of God.


    2. Wow! I am amazed at the low number for group size. I have never been in a group that has had less than 16 assigned to it. And while it is not as intimate as they may hope it would be most people have a small group through either their church or another organization for that true small group intimacy. My husband has been an administrator (secretary), substitute teaching leader, and floating group leader and has also never seen groups that small. I tend to let my leader know at the beginning of the year that she won’t be getting ASKs from me because I have a group of close friends that take up that role in my life. I think they should worry less about small group size and more about getting backsides into seats to hear the Word. We worry more about capacity due to facility size and less about small group size.


  4. In addition to AtoZ’s comment in question 7 that Christ’s “own” were unbelievers that included “all of us”, I would also put that His “own” was referring to the Jews and the nation of Israel, which were initially His chosen people. Then I would apply all the world of mankind that rejected Jesus in that day, and continue to reject Him today, as evidenced in our own country, where Christians are criticized for honoring and giving glory to Jesus. The word, God, is still acceptable, even though it may not be in a few years, as we have attempted to kick God and His Holy Word, the Bible, out of our country. But tell anyone that as a Christian we are called to accept Jesus as the only way to God, and that we pray in the name of Jesus, and you will see fire come out, as they label you as intolerant, bigot, judgmental, etc.


    1. Hi Julia, I am reading your thoughtful comments and thinking of my situation at work. The teacher I assist is of the thinking that all gods including our God were/are created by cultures to give people who obey the rules of their god a reward in some version of an afterlife. Therefore he concludes that all gods/religions should be accepted as valid. I assist at a small school for emotionally disturbed students and am convinced he could not get away with this if he were in the general ed classroom. I have waited for the opportunity to begin a conversation with him and the opportunity came the other day. I mention this as a head nod to particularly the last sentence you wrote.


  5. I think Lissette has hit it on the head. The whole planet, by Adam’s transgression, would be lost. But from the beginning God PREDESTINED (determined or ordained before hand) that when those who would ACCEPT the provision made for our salvation (The covenants given to Adam, Noah, Abraham and Moses–looking FORWARD to the Cross, in faith, and those living from NT on, looking BACKWARD to the cross in faith)–THESE who WOULD ACCEPT –he preordained, made up His mind from the beginning, these would be saved. Those who would NOT accept would not. SALVATIONAL PROVISION IS MADE for ALL—but it is pre-ordained we have to ACCEPT that provision.


  6. I understand the disappointment in not getting to attend the first class (or two). What a great thing that your class is so big!
    It may be facility size that keeps your classes smaller. (ours are capped at 15 for discussion groups- + the leader). Some of our spaces are quite tight.
    And even if bigger.. the leader has a role in praying for all of her group, contacting them @ week.
    This is my 3rd time doing the study of John. I usually DO get to attend the first week.. as I am ALWAYS available to help with the children’s classes. They are desperate the first week to have enough volunteers. Get to know the person who gets the volunteers and you might start from the beginning.

    Now.. about that choosing of God. It has always, always tripped me up. Why would He create anyone who He would not choose to be his? I just don’t get it.
    I can *see* that his own are ALL that He created. BUT.. all did not receive him.. believe, etc. That I get. But at birth.. are some of us *not chosen?*

    As a young teen I asked my study leader this question and the answer was lame (to me). I pretty much walked away from a life of faith for 10+ years at that point.
    I figured He knew what I was going to choose, I had no say in the choosing.. so live my life. It just didn’t make sense and I still struggle with it.
    I eventually needed Him and received and believed.


    1. Some things we just can’t know, Carla, and that’s hard to accept with our egos (which God gave us).

      For me, it’s something I don’t worry about. I have a very short time here on earth and I’ll know that answer when I get to heaven. I just do what I can for Him and His kingdom while I still have breath. That’s all as a Fallen human I can do.


    2. Hi Carla and Atozmom, I appreciate your comments very much. If someone were to ask me to answer the question I do have a concern that my answer would leave them confused as I can tell it does some of us. Again, as has been mentioned, we just have to accept lack of clarity on this.


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