Summary of passage: The Word (Jesus) became flesh and was sent by the Father to us. John testifies for Jesus, saying Jesus is greater than him. Jesus is the source of our blessings. Jesus has made God known to all of us.
12a) God has blessed us out of faith through Jesus.
b) Personal Question. My answer: Way too many to choose but a recent one is God has given me a job to help support my family and continue His financial blessings upon us AND it’s a job He picked for me because it fits me and the people and company I work for are fantastic.
13) “The law was given through Moses”: God sent His law (the rules for livings) through Moses.
“Grace came through Jesus Christ”: Because of Jesus, God gives us grace (forgiveness, etc).
“Truth came through Jesus Christ”: Jesus brought the Truth which is there’s only one way to God and that’s through him (Jesus).
In essence, this entire phrase together (separated is confusing) means Christ is replacing the law brought by Moses and only Jesus is grace and truth and life.
14) Personal Question. My answer: Incredible and heart-wrenching.
Conclusions: Based on this first lesson of John, I’m gonna say that BSF has stopped marking questions as challenge questions and personal questions. Now, BSF provides the reference verses for us to look up (which I think is a good thing especially for new believers who have no clue where to look in the Bible for such things). And I’m assuming the personal nature of BSF questions is here to stay, especially after Revelation where it seemed every question had a personal twist on it. I’ll leave it up to you whether you think this is a good thing or not. I’m ambivalent. I think it’s a good thing except where it gets repetitive i.e. the same question worded slightly different for each lesson. We do need to apply the Word (note the pun) to our daily lives and I love that. However, there’s only so many ways to apply the same subject to my life at any given time. I just can’t take in big changes. Small steps and let’s focus on those.
End Notes: Verse 16 should say: “Of his fullness we have all received, and grace for grace”. John means here grace is never-ending with God.
Verse 18: In the Greek, “God” here is missing the definite article which indicates a person. Here, John is speaking of God’s deity or his nature of being. “At the Father’s side” is better translated as “who is in the bosom of the Father”. This is how children are to parents–connected and one. Jesus and God are one.
“God the One and Only” is Jesus here. “Made him known” can be read as “declared”. Jesus has declared the nature of the unseen God and IS the unseen God.
Because no one can look upon God and live (Exodus 33:20), God became human and sent Jesus in order to make Him known.
Final Conclusions to Lesson 1: Admittedly, my Bible had dust on it when I pulled it out after the study of Revelation ended. I’m so glad BSF has started because I need that push to know God and I need the structure of a bible study to make me do so. Great opening verses to dive right into God and Jesus and who they are. This is the essence of the book of John and what he’s trying to convey and what we as believers need to know. We got a nice introduction to John the Baptist and we’ll see him again next week. Knowing God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit are one and have been since before time began and all God asks of us is to believe that statement should lift the heart of any struggling with doubts of worthiness or shame or any other lies from Satan. We are worthy. We are His. And He is ours.