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.

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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 Revelation Lesson 13, Day 5: Revelation 7:9-17

Summary of passage:  John saw an infinite number of people in white robes from every nation standing before the throne in front of the Lamb with palm branches in their hands.  Angels all around fell down and worshiped God.  One of the elders revealed the people in white robes to be those who have come out of the Great Tribulation.  They will serve God day and night, never again be hungry or thirsty or cry, and Jesus will be their shepherd and lead them to springs of living water.

Questions:

10a)  “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”  They were acknowledging that they were saved by God and the Lamb.

b)  They were from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne in front of the Lamb wearing white robes and holding palm branches.  Very similar.  Believers are from every nation on earth and they stand before the Lamb clothed in Jesus’s righteousness as the Savior.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I am unsure about some family members’ faith.  Invite them to church and BSF to learn more about God.

11)  They are justified, made righteous, cleaned of all sin, so they can stand before God.  Isaiah calls them “garments of salvation” and “a robe of righteousness.”  Also, the white robes signify how we are made into priests, ready for holy service to the Lord.

Specifically here, these Christians have died for Jesus as he died for them, hence being washed in the blood of the Lamb.

12a)  Lamb:  Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

Shepherd:  Jesus is the shepherd for his people (lambs).  Whoever comes to him will be saved and have life to the full (eternal).  We will see this again in Revelation 21.

Living Water:  Jesus gives living water (eternal life) to those whom ask (have faith in him and believe in him).  John 7:39 says the living water is the Holy Spirit.  Both are correct for if you have the Holy Spirit, you are a believer and thus will have eternal life.  We will see this again in Revelation 22.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  We are to serve the Lord day and night.  Overall, more reverence for what Jesus has done for me.

Conclusions:  Good questions.  Brings out highlights of passage.  10c is very similar to question 5 in Lesson 7 Day 2  Good thing to keep in mind as we head up to the holiday season where we will mix with many family and friends who don’t know the saving grace of Jesus.

End Notes:  John is speaking of two different groups of believers here.  The first are sealed prior to the Great Tribulation (Revelation 7:1-8).  The second is this multitude who have come out of the Great Tribulation and made righteous (Revelation 7:9-17).

In the Greek, “the” is emphatic in verse 14, definitely referring to “the Great Tribulation” before the End Times.  This multitude were those who were rescued during that time, leading many scholars to speculate they are all martyrs.  Coming right after the 144,000, some scholars speculate this means the 144,000 were evangelists who saved the multitude.  Cool!

The phrase “great tribulation” is used only once outside of Revelation in the New Testament.  It’s in Matthew 24:21 and Jesus speaks of it.  He speaks of it in the same way Daniel does in Daniel 12:1, leading scholars to speculate that the scrolls Daniel speaks of in Daniel 5 are the same Jesus holds here in Revelation.

As a reminder, the Great Tribulation is a time of intense persecution for Christians.  Scholars debate when this will occur.  Some say its in the future right before Jesus’s Second Coming.  Others say it occurred during John’s time under the Romans.  Regardless, John’s point is the tribulation will not last forever.

The multitude is God’s promise to Abraham fulfilled (Genesis 15:5), which Jacob repeats (Genesis 32:12).

We will all be different in heaven just like on earth.

White robes appear again (Revelation 6:2, 11).

The palm branches harken back to Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem (John 12:12-16), where Jesus was also praised as Savior and King.  They also signified victory after a war.  The Romans would wave palm branches during a triumphal procession after a great Roman war victory.  They would also wave it for emperors.

The victory here is God’s.  Our salvation is from Him.

All created beings will worship God on His throne as we saw in Revelation 4 with the living creatures and elders.

There are no barriers to God in heaven; all can come before His throne and dwell with Him. The Greek word for “temple” here is the temple proper where God dwells not the larger precincts.  Thus, no longer are the Levites the only ones allowed to approach God and be in His presence, but all believers will serve God and have been made priests in God’s service (Revelation 1:6; 5:10; 10:6).

“Shelter them with his presence” harkens us to the tabernacle in the wilderness.

In heaven, the Savior protects and nurtures and provides.  Jesus does that here, but in heaven it’s so much more.  No sorrow or pain will exist in heaven as God wipes away the tears which are caused by our past sufferings.  On earth there is pain and He consoles us, but does not take it away.  God’s tend is spread over them–nothing more will ever happen to them.  There is nothing to worry about or fear.

But won’t we cry for loved ones in hell?  Spurgeon answered this by saying we won’t because we will so understand divine will and our compassion for those suffering will be balanced out by our detestation of sin.

Living water also appears in Isaiah 49:9-10.  He says they will neither hunger nor thirst nor be scorched by desert heat.

Conclusions to Lesson 13:  In Revelation 7, we see the first half (verses 1-8) of God’s promise to seal believers.  The second half (verses 9-17) is the result of the sealing, God’s promise being kept.  No more suffering.  No more pain.  No more tears.  Great images and hope to believers as the End Times ever creep closer to consummation.  Great summary of Bible’s message as a whole:  God chooses us, seals us, and dwells with us.  Who else can’t wait to serve God forever night and day?  What a glimpse God has given us into heaven via John.  Amazing!

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 13, Day 4: Revelation 7:1-8

Summary of passage: John saw 4 angels holding back the 4 winds of the earth from the 4 corners of the earth. Another angel with the seal of the living God told the 4 angels to not harm the land until a seal is placed on the foreheads of God’s servants, a total of 144,000 from the 12 tribes of Israel (12,000 each).

Questions:

8 )  Personal Question.  My answer:  We see in Genesis 6 God sparing Noah who is a man of righteousness while punishing the rest of the world.  Moses asked God to spare His people repeatedly or God would have started over with Moses (Exodus 32:10; Numbers 14).  God is just.  He is holy and as holy He must punish sin.

Awesome passage in 2 Peter 2:4-10 where Peter points out God spares no one judgment.  He judges angels, Noah, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah but saves Lot.  God knows how to rescue the godly and condemn the ungodly.

9)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It has deepened my gratitude for being among the chosen.  My understanding of why judgment occurs and suffering occurs in the world has deepened.  God’s mercy and grace are infinite; only man puts a limit on it.

Conclusions:  Thematic questions to the passage.  Helps us to understand why God does not save everyone.  Because everyone doesn’t want to be saved.

End Notes:  See Previous Lesson HERE

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 13, Day 3: Revelation 7:1-8

Summary of passage: John saw 4 angels holding back the 4 winds of the earth from the 4 corners of the earth. Another angel with the seal of the living God told the 4 angels to not harm the land until a seal is placed on the foreheads of God’s servants, a total of 144,000 from the 12 tribes of Israel (12,000 each).

Questions:

5)  The seal of the living God and it signifies the Holy Spirit of God.  Hence, the angel is marking people with a seal which is the Holy Spirit which is the mark that will save them from God’s wrath and judgment like in Ezekiel 9.

6)  Judah.  Jesus (Hebrews 7:14).  He is the first and the last.

7a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  My assurance is several fold:  1) I’ve accepted Jesus as my Savior.  2)  I have the Holy Spirit with marks me as His.  3)  God’s word assures me I am His.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I think I interact and relate with unbelievers the same I do with believers.  I try to walk in Jesus’s ways always no matter who is watching and give Him all the credit in my life.

Conclusions:  Why no questions on the identity of the 144,000?  This is crucial for Gentiles (which is most of us).  Once again disappointed that BSF does not ask the hard questions.

End Notes:  The tribe of Dan is left out.  Some scholars believe this is because Dan is most probably the tribe of the Antichrist (Daniel 11:37; Jeremiah 8:16).  We do know they were the ones who introduced idolatry to Israel (Genesis 49:17; Judges 18:30).  However, Dan will be in the millennial kingdom (Ezekiel 48).  Further, some say this proves birth does not matter in the end; it’s faith in Christ that does.

The tribe of Joseph is the tribe of Ephraim.  They also were strongly associated with idolatry (Hosea 4:17).

Who are the 144,000?  Literally:  Messianic Jews specifically chosen to seal protectively for the Tribulation, first fruits to God (Rev 14:4), as a beginning of the salvation of Israel (Romans 11:1, Romans 11:26, Matthew 23:37-39).

Symbolically:  12,000 is the number of completeness is Revelation 21:16 so the complete number of believers from each tribe are being sealed.  This includes both Jewish and Gentile Christians.  Because the tribe of Dan is missing and the tribe of Joseph never existed, this would support the theory as the church here.  Also, when Assyria conquered Israel in 722 BC, the tribes were scattered and again in 70 AD when the temple was destroyed.  The Jews had no idea which tribe they came from.

Hence, 144,000 pictures the remnant (Romans 9:27-28;11:5), the fullness of the church of both Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians, leaving none out, the new Israel.  The believer in Christ is the true Jew (Romans 2:29).

Revelation is a book of symbols and all numbers have meaning.  Hence, most scholars believe 144,000 is not to be taken literally and Israel means the church as a whole.  144,000 (12 x 12 x 10x 10 x10) shows the 12 tribes of Israel in the Old Testament multiplied by the 12 apostles in the New Testament multiplied by 10’s which suggests an indefinite and infinite figure.  The two 12’s is the church, God’s redeemed people from both covenants, for all of history–what we call the church today.

Revelation 14 goes into more detail on their identity.  Israel in the Old Testament always refers to the Jewish nation, not to the church.  However, when John is writing, which is after Pentecost where the Holy Spirit was gifted to all, the church included Israel and Gentiles.  No where in the book of Revelation is a distinction made between Jewish and Gentile Christians.  God makes no distinction so why would He here?

You can be part of the remnant (the 144,000) through grace (Romans 11:5) by choosing Jesus.  It’s that simple.