BSF Study Questions John Lesson 14, Day 5: John 10:22-42

Summary of passage:  The Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah) arrives in Jerusalem and Jesus is questioned again.  He tells the Jews they do not believe him because they are not his sheep.  His sheep know him and no one can take them away from him.  The sheep are God’s as well and he and God are one.  They tried to stone Jesus and he asked them again why they don’t believe in him and in the miracles.  They tried to seize him and Jesus fled across the Jordan where many came to him and believed in him.

Questions:

11)  The miracles he performed.  The Jews did not know Jesus.

12)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Eternal life because they follow him.  All the difference.

13)  They want to stone him or seize him.  Most today want to punish Christians.  He again tries to convince them who he is, using biblical and here irrefutable evidence, but then he flees.  We are to persevere, but not engage in violence.

Conclusions:  Question 12 is wearing on me.  It’s so broad I just keep it simple.  I love how Jesus tries to convince others of who he is but knows when it is hopeless and he’s done all he can so he focuses on those he knows will convert.  Great lesson for us with stubborn people in our lives.

End Notes:  The Feast of Dedication or Hanukkah celebrated the cleansing and re-dedication of the temple after three years of desecration by Antiochus Epiphanes, king of Syria (in 164 or 165 b.c.).  He instituted terror upon the Jews by emptying the temple treasury, instituting laws against Jews laws such as banning circumcision and the bible, and turning the altar into one for the Greek god Zeus.  Thousands of Jews were killed or sold as slaves.

The Greek for “winter” really connotes “stormy weather” here.

Solomon’s Colonnade was the name given to the portico which ran along the east side of the outer court of Herod’s temple. It is mentioned in Acts as the place where Peter addressed the crowd the congregated to see the man who had been cured of his lifelong lameness at the Beautiful Gate, and again as the place where the Jerusalem believers regularly gathered for their public witness to Jesus as the Christ (Acts 3:11; 5:12).

Jesus was not teaching.  Simply, he was ambushed by the religious leaders who were blaming him for their unbelief (personal responsibility, anyone?).  They hoped to get him to say he was the king of the Jews so then they could accuse him to the Romans of a coup against the emperor.

Jesus said “I told you and you do not believe” (I’d insert the word idiots afterwards).  He must be getting extremely taxed by these people.  He often didn’t call himself the messiah because it had such weighty political and even military implications.  When he does reveal himself, it’s to non-Jews (such as the Samaritan woman) because it was safer.

Just read all Jesus had told them who he was so far in our study of John:

I am the one who came from heaven (John 3:13, 6:38)

whoever believes on Me has eternal life (John 3:15)

I am the unique Son of God (John 5:19-23)

I will judge all humanity (John 5:19-23)

all should honor Me just as the honor God the Father (John 5:19-23)

the Hebrew Scriptures all speak of Me (John 5:39)

I perfectly reveal God the Father (John 7:28-29)

I always please God and never sin (John 8:29, 8:46)

I am uniquely sent from God (John 8:42)

before Abraham was, I Am (John 8:58)

I am the Son of Man, prophesied by Daniel (John 9:37)

I will raise Myself from the dead (John 10:17-18)

I am the Bread of Life (John 6:48)

I am the Light of the World (John 8:12)

I am the Door (John 10:9)

I am the Good Shepherd (John 10:11)

Pretty cool, huh?  If they don’t understand by now, they never will.  Their hearts will never turn.  Hence, we see Jesus retreat.

Earlier in chapter 10, Jesus tells them they are false shepherds.  He goes one step further here by saying they aren’t even sheep!

Great picture:  we are in both Jesus’ hands and God’s hands.

God and Jesus are one in essence.  “one” here has no gender.  It’s not a person.  Equally God (divine being), distinct in person.

Jesus wanted us to be one as He and the Father are one (John 17:11, 17:21). Such oneness cannot exist without an equality of essence, and all believers have this equality (Galatians 3:26-28), even as the Father and Son have this equality.

The Jews could not refute Jesus so instead they decide to stone him even though there has been no trial.  This is how much of a threat Jesus posed to the rulers.

Jesus answers the religious leaders with the law and an argument from the lesser to the greater.  The judges of Psalm 82 were called “gods” because in their office they determined the fate of other men.  In Exodus 21:6 and 22:8-9, God called earthly judges “gods.”  This is a metaphor and Jesus attempts to show them their fallacy in light of his works and who he is.

He testified as to the complete authority of the Old Testament.

Across the Jordan lay Perea.  There the Jews had no power.

John the Baptist did no miracles but was still a great man.  Great lesson for us as well.  Most of us won’t perform a miracle.  But we can make an impact on others.  Jesus’ work still goes on.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 14, Day 4: John 10:11-21

Summary of passage:  Jesus declares he is the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for His sheep.  A hired hand cares nothing for his sheep.  He knows his sheep and the sheep know him just as God knows him and vice versa.  Jesus will bring other sheep.  He freely lays down his life and takes it up again as God has commanded.  Many Jews still insisted he is demon-possessed and did not believe.  But many believed.

Questions:

8 )  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Lay down his life for his sheep.  Jesus’ crucifixion.  Eternally grateful.

9)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Gentiles.  God calls all and wants all to be with Him.

10)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus is God.

Conclusions:  Would have liked to explore the Gentiles more.  Pretty weak questioning today.

End Notes:  “I am the Good Shepherd” (Another I am statement–the 4th of 7 that are unique to John’s Gospel and point to Jesus’ unique, divine identity and purpose) is clear to the Jews–He is the one to care for them.

“Lays down his life” is perpetually. Jesus is always giving us life.

Jesus here declares he is for the Gentiles as well (the other sheep) and he will bring them together as one.  All the sheep will hear, answer and obey, the shepherd.

Lost in translation:  early translations of the Bible had “one fold” instead of “one flock”.  A fold of sheep is only a part of the flock.  Here, some churches used this mistake to justify exclusiveness.

Jesus can raise himself from the dead–what separates him as God and us as man.

That Christ would die for his people runs through this section of John’s Gospel.  Both the love and the plan of the Father are involved, as well as the authority he gave to the Son.  Christ obediently and voluntarily chose to die; otherwise, no one would have had the power to kill him (Luke 23:46).

Jesus, again, divides humanity (John 7:43; 9:16)–as it will be during the Last Days.

Both words and deeds validate Jesus.  Here Jesus was saving souls and telling people he’s gonna die for them and he’s accused of demon-possession?  What demon would ever do such a thing?

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 14, Day 3: John 10:1-13 & Ezekiel 34:1-16; 30-31

Summary of passages:  John 10:1-13:Jesus uses the metaphor of a shepherd and his sheep to explain himself and believers. The only way into the pen is through him (the gate). The one who enters through the gate is the leader (Jesus). The sheep (believers) follow him and only him and know his voice. They will not follow a stranger. They flee from strangers.

Jesus explains he is the gate and whoever enters through him will be saved and have life.  The thief comes to steal and kill.  Jesus explains he is the good shepherd.  He knows his sheep and they know him. A hired hand cares nothing for his sheep.  He runs when a wolf attacks.

Ezekiel 34:1-16; 30-31:  Ezekiel prophesies that the shepherds of the Lord (here the rulers as well as the priests) have not taken care of their sheep.  They have not healed the wounded or brought back the strays.  So they were scattered and became food for wild animals.  Because God’s sheep has no shepherd He is against them and He will look for His sheep and care for them and bring them to Him.  God declares His people His sheep and He is their Lord.

Questions:

5a)  The false shepherds in Ezekiel do not care for their sheep.  They take everything from the sheep (curds, wool, and meat).  They do not heal the wounded or the sick.  They do not bring back the strays.  They rule the sheep harshly and brutally.  So they were scattered and eaten by wild animals.  The false shepherds in John come to steal, kill, and destroy.  The hired hand abandons the flock and allows it to be scattered.  He runs away and cares nothing for the sheep.

b)  He will search for His sheep and look after them.  He will rescue them from the places they were scattered.  He will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries and bring them into their own land.  He will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land.  He will tend them in a good pasture and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land.  They will lie down there and graze in rich pasture.  He will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak.  He will shepherd with justice.  They will know He is their Lord and they are His sheep.

6)  Those who believe in him as the Son of God and Savior will have eternal life.

7a)  Personal Question.  My answers:  Be armed with the armor of God:  His word, His promises, a personal relationship with the Son, prayer, strong faith, the Holy Spirit, the belt of Truth, the breastplate of righteousness, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:10-20).  Know God’s/Jesus’ voice and follow it.  Know Him!

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I am so blessed I don’t know where to begin.  My life, my family, my ease, my freedoms, my relationship with Jesus and God, eternal life, everything.  In this season of thanksgiving, I feel very thankful.

Conclusions:  Great to read God as shepherd and Jesus as shepherd.  Reinforces the Trinity and how God cares for His people.

End Notes: John 10:1-13:  So right after Jesus healed the blind man and the religious leaders threw a fit cause it was on the Sabbath and didn’t believe Jesus did it, Jesus talks about actually caring for people instead of caring more for legalities and rules.

In OT times and ancient Near Eastern culture, the shepherd symbolized the royal caretaker of God’s people. God himself was called the “Shepherd of Israel” (Psalm 80:1, 23:1; Isaiah 40:10-11; Ezekiel 34:11-16, Zechariah 10:2) and he had given great responsibility to the leaders (shepherds) of Israel, which they failed to respect. God denounced these false shepherds (Isaiah 56:9-12; Ezekiel 34) and promised to provide the true Shepherd, the Messiah, to care for the sheep (Ezekiel 34:23).

“I tell you the truth” is common in John’s Gospel and indicates a solemn assertion about Jesus and/or his ministry.

Political and spiritual leaders were often called shepherds in the ancient world (Isaiah 56:11, Jeremiah 31:5). Jesus explained that not everyone among the sheep is a true shepherd; some are like thieves and robbers. One way to tell the difference is how they gain entry among the sheep.

The idea is that there is a door (a gate), a proper way to gain entry. Not everyone who stands among the sheep comes that way. Some climb up some other way.

The religious leaders Jesus is speaking about gained their place among God’s people (the sheep) through personal and political connections, ambition, manipulation, and corruption.

A true shepherd comes through love, calling, care, and sacrificial service.

God wants His people to be led, fed, and protected by those who come in love.

The watchman knows the true shepherd. Towns of that time would have a watchman who watched over all the people’s sheep at night.

A shepherd knows all of his sheep and they know him. A shepherd may even name the sheep and the sheep may even know their name. He calls them and they follow.

According to Adam Clarke, there are 6 marks of a true shepherd in these verses:

· He has a proper entrance into the ministry

· He sees the Holy Spirit open his way as a doorkeeper to God’s sheep

· He sees that the sheep respond to his voice in teaching and leadership

· He is well acquainted with his flock

· He leads the flock and does not drive them or lord it over them

· He goes before the sheep as an example

In sheep pens of the time, there was only one entrance or gate.  Shepherds would sleep in front of the gate at night to protect the sheep.  Hence, the shepherd is the gate.

“All who came before” are the religious leaders Jesus spoke of in John 8:43:47–those whose father is the devil.

Jesus’ followers did not listen to the thieves and robbers.

“Come in and go out” is the common O.T. expression to denote the free activity of daily life. Jeremiah 37:4, Psalm 121:8, Deuteronomy 28:6.

“Abundant” in the Greek denotes a surplus.  Abundant life is a contented life.  It’s not an easy life or comfortable life but one of peace in Jesus.

“I am the Good Shepherd”  (Another I am statement–the 4th of 7 that are unique to John’s Gospel and point to Jesus’ unique, divine identity and purpose) is clear to the Jews–He is the one to care for them.

“Lays down his life” is perpetually.  Jesus is always giving us life.

In sum, the Good Shepherd: gives his life, knows his sheep, and is known by his sheep. This analogy applies to church leaders and pastors today.

Ezekiel 34:1-16, 30-31:  God promises the removal of the false shepherds and the promise of the Good Shepherd (Jesus).  The shepherds here are more rulers and their officials than the priests.  Remember David was the first ruler and he was shepherd.  This is deliberate.  To call a king a shepherd was common in the East at this time.  The disciples were fishermen whose job was to catch fish (men) for God.

Fun Fact:  The image of God as a shepherd begins with Jacob (Genesis 48:15) and end with Revelation 7:17.  Ezekiel developed the image of God as shepherd in more detail than any other author in the Bible.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 14, Day 2: John 10:1-6

Summary of passage:  Jesus uses the metaphor of a shepherd and his sheep to explain himself and believers.  The only way into the pen is through him (the gate).  The one who enters through the gate is the leader (Jesus).  The sheep (believers) follow him and only him and know his voice.  They will not follow a stranger.  They flee from strangers.

Questions:

3a)  The thieves are unbelievers or evil people or imposters or those who are spiritually blind like the Pharisees from Chapter 9.  The true shepherd is Jesus.  The true shepherd’s sheep are believers are those who believe in and follow Jesus as Lord and Savior.

b)  All people fit in one of these categories.  They either believe in him (the sheep) or they don’t (the thieves and robbers).

4a)  The sheep know the shepherd’s voice and they follow only the shepherd.  They are not deceived by others and they flee from the false shepherds.  The sheep depend on the shepherd for their lives–to feed them and care for them.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I got a full-time job to help my family.  I’m listening to Jesus to know  how long to stay in that role.  I’m continuing his work for me.  I’m raising my kids.  I’m trying to be a good wife and mother and employee.  I’m trying to return to regular church attendance as well.

Conclusions:  This is one of my favorite analogies of Jesus and believers.  They didn’t understand at the time, but they will.  It’s a consolation to all of us who don’t understand God’s will at the time but we follow anyways.  One day it will be clear to us–even if that day is on the other side of heaven.

End Notes:  So right after Jesus healed the blind man and the religious leaders threw a fit cause it was on the Sabbath and didn’t believe Jesus did it, Jesus talks about actually caring for people instead of caring more for legalities and rules.

In OT times and ancient Near Eastern culture, the shepherd symbolized the royal caretaker of God’s people.  God himself was called the “Shepherd of Israel” (Psalm 80:1, 23:1; Isaiah 40:10-11; Ezekiel 34:11-16, Zechariah 10:2) and he had given great responsibility to the leaders (shepherds) of Israel, which they failed to respect.  God denounced these false shepherds (Isaiah 56:9-12; Ezekiel 34) and promised to provide the true Shepherd, the Messiah, to care for the sheep (Ezekiel 34:23).

“I tell you the truth” is common in John’s Gospel and indicates a solemn assertion about Jesus and/or his ministry.

Political and spiritual leaders were often called shepherds in the ancient world (Isaiah 56:11, Jeremiah 31:5).  Jesus explained that not everyone among the sheep is a true shepherd; some are like thieves and robbers.  One way to tell the difference is how they gain entry among the sheep.

The idea is that there is a door (a gate), a proper way to gain entry. Not everyone who stands among the sheep comes that way.  Some climb up some other way.

The religious leaders Jesus is speaking about gained their place among God’s people (the sheep) through personal and political connections, ambition, manipulation, and corruption.

A true shepherd comes through love, calling, care, and sacrificial service.

God wants His people to be led, fed, and protected by those who come in love.

The watchman knows the true shepherd.  Towns of that time would have a watchman who watched over all the people’s sheep at night.

A shepherd knows all of his sheep and they know him.  A shepherd may even name the sheep and the sheep may even know their name.  He calls them and they follow.

According to Adam Clarke, there are 6 marks of a true shepherd in these verses:

· He has a proper entrance into the ministry

· He sees the Holy Spirit open his way as a doorkeeper to God’s sheep

· He sees that the sheep respond to his voice in teaching and leadership

· He is well acquainted with his flock

· He leads the flock and does not drive them or lord it over them

· He goes before the sheep as an example

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 13, Day 5: John 9:35-41

Summary of passage:  Jesus heard what had happened to the man he healed and he hunts him down and finds him and asks him if he believes in him as the Son of Man.  The man believes and worships Jesus.  Jesus says those who see and do not believe in him are guilty of sin.

Questions:

12a)  Jesus heard what had happened to the man he healed and he hunts him down and finds him and asks him if he believes in him as the Son of Man. The man believes and worships Jesus.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The same.

13)  That the Pharisees who believe they can see the Truth and no not admit their blindness are therefore blinded to the Truth and thus remain in sin.  Those who admit blindness will see.

14)  Personal Question.  My answer:  He cares for every individual follower of his to the point he finds him and makes sure he believes.  He cares about what happens to every follower.  He defends every follower.  We all matter in God’s eyes.  He even cares for those who are Spiritually blind and tells them to admit their blindness and they will see.  He offers everyone another chance.

Conclusions:  Wow! How amazing that Jesus came back for the man–which is what he does for each of us.  He never gives up.  He cares for us.  He wants us.  How cool!

End Notes:  The man had been rejected by his fellow humans, but not by Jesus.  He calls the man to declare his loyalty and he does.  For that he’s rewarded with more information: you are speaking to the Son of Man.  It is unlikely that this took place in front of the Pharisees so there’s a gap in time here.

Jesus dealt with this man differently than most. He met his physical need first, then allowed him to endure persecution, then called him to a specific belief.  God works differently in different lives.

When the man worshipped Jesus, Jesus received the worship. This is something that no man or angel in the Bible does. The fact that Jesus accepted this worship is another proof that Jesus was and is God, and that He knew Himself to be God.

We see an increasing awareness of Jesus by the blind man:

· Jesus is a man (John 9:11)

· Jesus is a prophet (John 9:17)

· Jesus is my master, I am His disciple (John 9:27)

· Jesus is from God (John 9:33)

· Jesus is the Son of God (John 9:35-38)

· Jesus is who I trust (John 9:38)

· Jesus is who I worship (John 9:38)

This is a common progression to accepting Jesus into our hearts.

Jesus is coming into this world to draw a line in the sand:  choose him or suffer judgement.  He didn’t necessarily come for judgment (John 3:17; John 12:47), but his coming divides people which always brings a type of judgment.  Those who reject his gift end up blind.

Those who admit blindness will see.  Those who think they are spiritually sound and aren’t won’t see and are stuck in sin.

The Pharisees’ claim to sight showed their complete unawareness of their spiritual blindness and need.  And though they claimed to have sight their actions were evidence of their blindness.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 13, Day 4: John 9:8-34

Summary of passage:  People doubted the healed blind man’s testimony when he returned from the Pool of Siloam but the man said no, it is him and Jesus healed him.  The Pharisees again take issue with the fact the miracle was performed on the Sabbath, not the fact the man can see again.  Still, the man is doubted so they bring in the man’s parents to verify who, out of fear, say ask their son.  Their son lectures the Pharisees, saying Jesus has to be from God because God does not listen to sinners.  The Pharisees throw the man out, calling him a sinner.

Questions:

9)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  They doubt even though this is a miracle all can see.  The parents are intimidated by the Pharisees so they don’t say anything.  Everyone is naturally skeptical of what you can’t understand so these people are skeptical.  However, they don’t believe the man nor his story.  This is today as well.  It’s hard to believe something unless you see it for yourself because you have to trust people and today that is hard to do.

10)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  He is much more confident in his testimony for Jesus as time passes and he probably realizes his sight is permanent.  As my life progresses towards God’s goals for me, I am encouraged and grow in faith for God and what He has for me.

11)  Personal Question.  My answer:  No one has ever confronted me about God’s work in my life.  I just don’t interact with that many people.

Conclusions:  It’s important to see how this man’s faith grows as the Pharisees try to discount the miracle.  The man moves from barely knowing what has happened to an ardent defender of Jesus, which results in his being thrown out of the church.  He stands for Jesus no matter what.  As God moves, we move.  Period.

End Notes:  Because this was a sign of the Messiah and had never happened before, the neighbors and everyone was shocked and it was hard to believe.  It appears all the man knew was Jesus’ name.  He hadn’t even seen Jesus at this point.

One of the works specifically forbidden on the Sabbath was kneading, which is technically what Jesus did with the mud.  Jesus chose this day to work the miracle to challenge all of man’s interpretations of the Sabbath.  The Sabbath was made for man not the other way around.

Jesus often divided people.  Here, the Pharisees had to chose:  either Jesus was wrong or they were wrong.  The same logic is what Nicodemus said in John 3:2.  No one can perform such miracles unless they were from God.

It’s unheard of for religious leaders to ask a layman what he thinks in terms of religion or religious people.  Obviously, the division and confusion ran deep.

The man says Jesus is a prophet.  He is now understanding more of Jesus.  Also, a prophet was allowed to break the law on the Sabbath.  This would change everything if this were true.  However, it was easier to not believe the man than believe Jesus did such a miracle.

The parents refused to speak to the how out of fear of excommunication (being thrown out of the church). This threat prevented many of standing for Jesus (John 12:42).

“Give glory to God” is a charge to tell the truth (Joshua 7:19).  Jesus is a sinner because he broke man’s laws around the Sabbath.

The man who is uneducated in the law knows one thing:  he was once blind and now he can see.  This is our testimony as well.  God’s work in our lives is merely additional support of our faith in Him.

The man born blind never wavers in his faith and in what happened to him.  He stands strong in his testimony for Jesus.  Do you?

So what do the Pharisees do?  They insult the man, who wonders why the Pharisees can’t figure out something so simple to him (miracle=God).

Isaiah 1:15 and Psalm 66:18 are passages that say God is not obligated to hear the prayer of a sinner.  God can hear the prayer of a sinner, but He doesn’t have to.  Spurgeon says of this passage:  “If Christ had been an impostor, it is not possible to conceive that God would have listened to his prayer, and given him the power to open the blind man’s eyes.”

The pride of the religious leaders about the man lecturing them led to his being excommunicated.  This is a common pattern in false religions and in political systems not steeped in freedom.  As we’ll see in the next section, this led to the man worshipping Jesus.  It turned out all for God’s good and glory.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 13, Day 3: John 9:1-7

Summary of passage: Jesus and his disciples come upon a blind man. His disciples wonder who sinner that this man was born blind (a commonly held belief of the times). Jesus said neither and is the result of God’s work. He put mud on the man’s eyes made with spit and told him to wash in the Pool of Siloam and he could see. Still, no one believed he was the same man.

Questions:

6)  It’s important because that’s why we’re all here.  Duh!  Nothing is more important than God’s work and nothing is more important to us humans than God’s work for Jesus which is to die on the cross for our sins.

7)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Our work is to believe in Jesus and do God’s good works for our lives.  My work is to be a loving wife and mother and I am called to write and teach and bring others to Him.  I do my best everyday to follow His call.

8 )  The disciples seem more curious about the sin than the sinner himself.  They want to discuss his condition instead of doing something about his condition.  They are focusing on the “why” instead of helping the man.  Jesus is more concerned that God’s work is displayed.  I need to be better about noticing the needs around me and acting on them.

Conclusions:  Personal questions on extrapolations.  See End Notes below for more.

End Notes: In this story, Jesus corrects a commonly held notion that suffering comes because of sin. The healed man became a loyal spokesman for Jesus. His testimony, however, failed to convince the Pharisees , who also rejected Jesus’ teaching about why the man had been born blind.

This continues right from the moment he was about to be stoned. Jesus was not ruffled by them.

The disciples were more interested in discussing the man’s case rather than helping him. Jesus does not care; he will be more practical as we are to be.

They thought the man’s blindness was due to a previous sin. Some Jews even thought babies could sin in the womb or some were punished for a sin they would commit in the future.

Jesus says right away that no specific sin caused this man’s blindness. Most often birth defects are the result of Adam’s sin when he brought death into this world and our fallen condition. Because we are to die our bodies die and this comes out in different conditions.

However, Jesus says there is always a purpose in such conditions so God’s work can be displayed. In this blind man’s case, the purpose was so Jesus can heal him and be a testimony for him. That doesn’t mean God made him born blind to show His character. It means God overruled his blindness so that man could see the light. In other cases, it’s to test someone through suffering. Nothing happens by accident in God’s world.

Jesus worked like we all must work. He saw the need and felt the urgency to help the man before his time on this earth was up. We all must be thus. Despite the fact Jesus knew he’d get in trouble for healing on the Sabbath, his compassion for man overrode that concern. Can we say the same thing?

Why mud and spit? He used dirt as God used dirt to make man. Also, the emphasis was not on the method but the result. He didn’t want anyone to believe he has a magic formula for healing that was outside of God. Furthermore, spitting on the eyes was a common thing in ancient times to either remove dirt or as a cure. Mark records two other healings where Jesus used his saliva (Mark 7:33 & 8:23).

Even though in this miracle Jesus approached the blind man, the blind man still had to show faith in Jesus to be healed. Jesus asked him to go the Pool of Siloam and wash. Siloam meant ‘sent’ because the water from the pool was sent through a conduit to the city and came through Hezekiah’s tunnel, a remarkable engineering feat built in Old Testament times. This water was used at the altar of the Feast of Tabernacles and today is still used to represent the pouring out of The Spirit.

Pool of Siloam
Pool of Siloam

Again and again John refers to Jesus as having been ‘sent’ by the Father. So now blindness is removed with the aid of the ‘sent’.

Acting in faith, the man went and washed his eyes despite not being promised he’d be healed if he did. He had to have had help down there since he was still blind.

Fun Fact: This is the first time in the Bible a man born blind has been healed. This is the work of God. Thus, Jesus is God. Isaiah prophesied this to be a sign of the Messiah (Isaiah 29:18; 35:5; 42:7).

Fun Fact:  Jesus performed more miracles of this kind than any other.

Some scholars speculate this as a foreshadowing of Jesus helping the Gentiles. They see the man in Chapter 5 as the archetype Jew to be healed and this man as the archetype Gentile to be healed. Again, we are not told if his man is Jew or Gentile.

The one sent by God uses the pool of sent to prove he is God and the light of the world, offering the greatest gift–the living waters–to all who have faith.

History of Pool of Siloam HERE

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 13, Day 2: John 9:1-7

Summary of passage:  Jesus and his disciples come upon a blind man.  His disciples wonder who sinner that this man was born blind (a commonly held belief of the times).  Jesus said neither and is the result of God’s work.  He put mud on the man’s eyes made with spit and told him to wash in the Pool of Siloam and he could see.  Still, no one believed he was the same man.

Questions:

3)  The Old Testament teaches that God punishes the children for the sin of the fathers for multiple generations.  Jesus says, “Neither, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.”

4)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  The man was blinded since birth and as far as we know this was the first time a man was healed who has been born blind.  No other prophet has done so.  According to Isaiah 35:5, this is a sign of the Messiah.  I learn Jesus can do anything and that he is more concerned about helping people now than anything else.

5)  Personal Question.  My answer:  He gives me the strength to overcome, knowing he is there with me.

Conclusions:  Weak.  Very.  Please see End Notes for much more meaning.

End Notes:  In this story, Jesus corrects a commonly held notion that suffering comes because of sin.  The healed man became a loyal spokesman for Jesus.  His testimony, however, failed to convince the Pharisees , who also rejected Jesus’ teaching about why the man had been born blind.

This continues right from the moment he was about to be stoned.  Jesus was not ruffled by them.

The disciples were more interested in discussing the man’s case rather than helping him.  Jesus does not care; he will be more practical as we are to be.

They thought the man’s blindness was due to a previous sin.  Some Jews even thought babies could sin in the womb or some were punished for a sin they would commit in the future.

Jesus says right away that no specific sin caused this man’s blindness.  Most often birth defects are the result of Adam’s sin when he brought death into this world and our fallen condition.  Because we are to die our bodies die and this comes out in different conditions.

However, Jesus says there is always a purpose in such conditions so God’s work can be displayed.  In this blind man’s case, the purpose was so Jesus can heal him and be a testimony for him.  That doesn’t mean God made him born blind to show His character.  It means God overruled his blindness so that man could see the light.  In other cases, it’s to test someone through suffering.  Nothing happens by accident in God’s world.

Jesus worked like we all must work.  He saw the need and felt the urgency to help the man before his time on this earth was up.  We all must be thus.  Despite the fact Jesus knew he’d get in trouble for healing on the Sabbath, his compassion for man overrode that concern.  Can we say the same thing?

Why mud and spit?  He used dirt as God used dirt to make man.  Also, the emphasis was not on the method but the result.  He didn’t want anyone to believe he has a magic formula for healing that was outside of God.  Furthermore, spitting on the eyes was a common thing in ancient times to either remove dirt or as a cure.  Mark records two other healings where Jesus used his saliva (Mark 7:33 & 8:23).

Even though in this miracle Jesus approached the blind man, the blind man still had to show faith in Jesus to be healed.  Jesus asked him to go the Pool of Siloam and wash.  Siloam meant ‘sent’ because the water from the pool was sent through a conduit to the city and came through Hezekiah’s tunnel, a remarkable engineering feat built in Old Testament times.  This water was used at the altar of the Feast of Tabernacles and today is still used to represent the pouring out of The Spirit.

Pool of Siloam
Pool of Siloam

Again and again John refers to Jesus as having been ‘sent’ by the Father. So now blindness is removed with the aid of the ‘sent’.

Acting in faith, the man went and washed his eyes despite not being promised he’d be healed if he did.  He had to have had help down there since he was still blind.

Fun Fact:  This is the first time in the Bible a man born blind has been healed.  This is the work of God.  Thus, Jesus is God.  Isaiah prophesied this to be a sign of the Messiah (Isaiah 29:18; 35:5 42:7).

Fun Fact:  Jesus performed more miracles of this kind than of any other.

Some scholars speculate this as a foreshadowing of Jesus helping the Gentiles.  They see the man in Chapter 5 as the archetype Jew to be healed and this man as the archetype Gentile to be healed.  Again, we are not told if his man is Jew or Gentile.

The one sent by God uses the pool of sent to prove he is God and the light of the world, offering the greatest gift–the living waters–to all who have faith.

History of Pool of Siloam HERE

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 12, Day 5: John 8:48-59 with Exodus 3:12-15

Summary of passages:  John 8:48-59:  The Jews wonder if Jesus is a demon-possessed Samaritan. Jesus rebukes them again, saying he is the way to eternal life. Again, the Jews do not understand his words and say Abraham died and so did the prophets so how can he live. Jesus says he was in existence before Abraham. The Jews attempted to stone him, but he slipped away.

Exodus 3:12-15:  This is the scene of God talking to Moses in the Burning Bush.  God tells Moses to worship Him on this mountain.  God says His name is “I am who I am”.  I am has sent him.  This is His name forever.

Questions:

11a)  John 8:51:  Jesus tells all the secret: Accept the Word and receive eternal life!

b)  John 8:56:  Jesus says Abraham has acknowledged that Jesus is greater than he.

12a)  Every Jew knew the name of God”  Yahweh or “I am”.  By Jesus calling himself this, he declares he is God.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  All.  Jesus is God and accepting him grants me access to the Father for all of eternity and guides my decisions and plans God has for my life.

Conclusions:  Just a break down of Day 4 a bit more and reading the passage where “I am” came from.

End Notes:  John 8:48-59:  Jesus asks them to name one sin of his. They cannot. Instead, they just called him names! They had nothing left to accuse him of and with each word of Jesus’ more and more believe him instead of them!

Jesus tells all the secret: Accept the Word and receive eternal life! Again, blasphemy from anyone but God’s Son. Keep here mean continue and abide in it.

“See” is an intense word in Greek meaning long, steady vision.

Once more trying to trap Jesus, they try to get him to say something offensive by asking him again who he is.

Jesus again says he knows God and claims he is greater than Abraham who also acknowledged this fact.

Fifty was the age a priest retired. The Jews are merely saying you are too young to have known/seen Abraham.

Jesus responds with the 3rd “I Am” statement (John 8:24, 8:28). The ancient Greek phrase is ego emi, which is the same term used in to describe the Voice from the burning bush.  Jesus used a clear divine title belonging to Yahweh alone (Exodus 3:13-14, Deuteronomy 32:39, Isaiah 43:10) and was interpreted as such by Jesus’ listeners (John 8:58-59). I AM was recognized by the Jews as a title of deity.

Finally, the religious leaders understood as demonstrated by the stones. They knew he was claiming to be God. They saw it as blasphemy. These stones would have been in the temple as it was still being constructed in some areas. Jesus escaped, probably mixing himself with the people in the temple but he could have vanished miraculously. We are not told.

Exodus 3:12-15:  God asserts how he will be with Moses and the sign is the burning bush and how one day all will worship Him on Mount Sinai.  Moses needed proof of his encounter with God so he asks him what he should tell the elders is his name.  God says “I am who I am.”  There is no equal. God is God.  This is the name by which God wished to be known and worshipped in Israel.  It’s the name that expresses his character as the dependable and faithful God who desires the full trust of his people.

This was not a new name for God.  The people knew it.  It’s recorded over 160 times in the book of Genesis.  It’s a call back to the patriarchs.

History of the word Jehovah:  In the English-speaking world, the pious Jews of later years did not want to pronounce the name of God out of reverence and thought it too holy to utter and feared violating Exodus 20:7 and Leviticus 24:16, so they left the vowels out of His name and simply said the word Lord (adonai) instead. If the vowels of the word adonai are put over the consonants for YHWH, you can get the name “Jehovah.” All this came about much later; in the days of the Bible, the name was pronounced Yah-weh or Yah-veh although the proper pronunciation today may be different.

Yahweh is the Hebrew name for God and is not Jehovah.  It means “He is” or “He will be” and is the third-person form of the verb translated “I will be.”  When God speaks of himself, He says “I am”.  When we speak of him, we say “He is.”

I am.  God has always existed and always been.  He simply is.  God is completely independent.  He relies on nothing for life or existence (Isaiah 40:28-29; John 5:26). This is aseity (we talked about it in Lesson 7 Day 4), meaning  God doesn’t need anybody or anything – life is in Himself.

God is eternal and unchanging.  There is no past or future tense in the Divine Vocabulary.

God is “the becoming one”; God becomes whatever is lacking in our time of need.  The name I Am invites us to fill in the blank to meet our need – when we are in darkness, Jesus says I am the light; when we are hungry, He says I am the bread of life, when we are defenseless, He says I am the Good Shepherd. God is the becoming one, becoming what we need.

God’s name is both an announcement and an introduction. It announces God’s presence, and invites any interested to know Him by experience, to taste and see that the Lord is good.

I Am: This is a divine title that Jesus took upon Himself often, clearly identifying Himself with the voice from the burning bush.

“Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I Am [He], you will die in your sins.” (John 8:24)

Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I Am [He], and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.” (John 8:28)

Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I Am.” (John 8:58)

Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I Am (John 13:19)

Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, “Whom are you seeking?” They answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I Am [He].” And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. Now when He said to them, “I am [He],” they drew back and fell to the ground. (John 18:4-6)

Interesting Trend in the Bible:  The first word had to come to the people of God (Exodus 3:16) and then to the world (Exodus 3:18).  Often God will not speak to the wider world until He speaks to His people and He has their attention.  First the Jews, then the Gentiles.

This is My name forever: God refers to the name mentioned in the same verse, the Lord God (Yahweh Elohim). “Forever” emphasizes the eternal faithfulness of God to His covenant.