BSF Study Questions John Lesson 12, Day 2: John 8:1-11

Summary of passage:  Note:  Many early manuscripts and other early witnesses do not have John 7:53-8:11.  Scholars wonder if it was added later or fell at a different place in the Gospel.  Here, the Pharisees weren’t following Moses’ law (anyone surprised?), which required the woman’s partner in crime to appear also.

Jesus retreats to the Mount of Olives and then appears in the temple to teach.  The Pharisees, attempting to trap Jesus, brought a woman who committed adultery to him and asked if she should be stoned like the Bible says to do.  Here, Jesus writes in the sand and says his famous line “If any one of you is without sin, let hi be the first to cast the first stone.”  Of course, we’ll all sinners so all dispersed.  Since no one condemned her, Jesus tells her to go and leave off her life of sin.

Questions:

3)  Jesus retreats again to be alone with the Father.  He appears again in the temple even at risk to himself in order to shepherd His people.  Jesus once again points out man’s hypocrisy and shows mercy to the woman by telling her to not sin.  His heart is overflowing with love for his people.

4)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Galatians tells us to restore a person gently who is caught in a sin.  Carry each other’s burdens.  Be humble and not think you’re better than someone else.  Share the gospel with others.  Forgive those who fail.  Truthfully, it doesn’t matter to me about other’s disobedience (except my family) because it’s between them and God.  My family is different.  It’s my job to teach my kids obedience and I appropriate consequences accordingly.  To adults that are close to me, I try to forgive.  I think it reflects Jesus’ character.  Not perfectly of course but close.

5)  Forgive sin.  Don’t be a hypocrite.  There is still a place for exposing and rebuking and directly dealing with the sins of others in God’s family, but it must always be done with a heart that recognizes itself as a forgiven sinner.  When done right, confronting sin is done more often with tears and a broken heart than with anger and condemnation.

Conclusions:  Not sure about the last question.  Seems thrown in.  Love this verse about not casting stones.  We all sin and are deserving of eternal judgement.  Instead, Christ redeems and forgives and we need to remember that when others sin.

End Notes:  Jesus has been teaching at the temple on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles.  Now, everyone has gone home and Jesus has retreated to the Mount of Olives to sleep.

This passage is the most controversial in John because scholars argue whether it even belongs in the Bible and if so, scholars argue where.  This passage was omitted in most of the early Greek versions of the Gospels.  Some later versions marked it with an asterisk.  Some insert this passage after Luke 21:38 or John 21:24 or John 7:36.

Some early scholars purposely omitted this text (St Augustine included) because they thought it made Jesus approve of sexual immorality.  However, most modern scholars believe this actually happened since it appears in writings in the early 100’s AD and it is true to Jesus’ character.  They also believe it is consistent with John’s writings.

Others believe it was either Simeon or Jude (early 2nd century), who seem to have been connected with the editing of this gospel, for they are probably the ‘we’ of John 21:24 and the two unnamed disciples of John 21:2.

Taking this account to belong here, Jesus remained in Jerusalem then a few days after the Feast of the Tabernacles to preach at the temple despite the authorities quest to silence him.

The Pharisees did this as Jesus publically taught in the temple courts to be as public as possible, to embarrass both the woman and Jesus.

Scholars believe her accusers had some special vindictiveness against her since her crime could have been dealt with in private.

The verb “caught” is in the perfect tense, meaning ‘taken with her shame upon her’, or the continuing act of adultery.

It takes two to commit adultery and note the man is not brought out publicly–a clear example of how women were treated as lower than second-class citizens in ancient times.

For adultery to be charged, the act had to be physically witnessed by two people.  Hence, this was a setup in order to trap Jesus.  Since the evidence was so high, execution was rare in these cases.

If Jesus said to let her go, he’d appear to be breaking Moses’ law.  If he said execute her, he’d be breaking Roman law since the Romans now were the only ones who had the authority to execute (where Pontius Pilate comes into play).  Matthew 22:15-22 is a similar dilemma recorded.  It seems the Pharisees were relentless in their pursuit of Christ.

Jesus ignores them and stoops down, a stance of humility and identifying with the woman.

Jesus writes!  But what?  Scholars have speculated since this was written.  The verb wrote could also mean to draw so some say he doodled or to write down a record.  Some say he quoted the Bible.  Others say this was a stalling tactic.  Some say he wrote the names of the accusers or their sins.  No one knows but it’s fascinating to speculate.

Still being pestered, Jesus rises up and addresses the men.  In Jewish law, witnesses to crimes were the first to cast the first stone in a stoning verdict.  Jesus’ point:  people are quick to point out others’ sins while ignoring their own.

Jesus again stoops, out of concern for the women and not to gloat over the shame the men must certainly be feeling.  Christ is merciful to all.

Some versions have “being convicted by their conscience” as they leave.  Seemingly it was Jesus’ words and not what he wrote that convicted them.

Scholars are unsure why the oldest left first.  Some say it pertained to what Jesus was writing on the ground, perhaps the sins of the oldest first.  They kept on going away.

The verb for standing could be a figurative sense and this is the only reference to the woman’s posture.  Based on Jesus’ stance, scholars believe she was stooping as well during this ordeal although she could have been forced to stand the entire time.  This is unknown.

Jesus notes her accusers are gone.  The woman must have felt relief with her accusers gone and her life regained–all a gift of Jesus who took her sin upon himself, foreshadowing the cross.  “There is no condemnation for those in Christ” Romans 8:1

Jesus did not approve nor accept her sin.  Here, we see a great example of how we are to move on from our sin in life:  admit you were sinning, repent and give up sinning, and continue in the hope of Christ.  No doubt this woman’s life is ruined as she’d be shunned and rejected by her husband and community.  Jesus gives her hope as he does us all.

Fun Fact:  Verse 6 records the only time in the Bible of Jesus writing.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 11, Day 5: John 7:40-53

Summary of passage:  Here we see repetition from earlier in the chapter.  The people are divided on who Jesus is:  The Prophet, The Christ, or just a man from Galilee.  Again, no one could lay on hand on Jesus because his time had not yet come as the guards admit he speaks so differently.  The Pharisees don’t understand how the educated ones (them) don’t believe in Jesus but the uneducated ones (the rabble) do.  Nicodemus, not admitting he may believe, says they shouldn’t be so quick to condemn him.  Again, the Pharisees say no prophet can come from Galilee.

Questions:

11)  The promised ruler or prophet to rescue them from the Romans.  Because he was one of them who performed miracles and spoke of ushering in a kingdom (of heaven of course) but they thought on earth.

12a)  Feebly if you ask me and it was barely a defense.  Instead of saying he may believe in Jesus, he just pointed out how Jesus needs a fair hearing before being condemned.  No.  The Jewish leaders had already convicted Jesus because he was wielding too much power and a threat to them and their rule and way of life.  Nicodemus did point out the leaders hypocrisy in not following the law as written but claiming they do.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus has his timing is a frequent defense of mine when others complain of unanswered prayers.  I think Nicodemus defended Jesus half-heartedly, afraid still for his life.  I defend him whole-heartedly.

Conclusions:  Nothing has changed in terms of the people since Jesus first stepped out on the scene.  Some believe; some don’t.  Seeing the tentativeness of Nicodemus is eye-opening.  We can’t be like that.  Jesus desires every warrior on his side whole-heartedly.  We must be bold, not timid, and answer his call when it comes.

End Notes:  Some thought an ancient prophet would be risen from the dead and precede the Messiah.  Others thought of Jesus as the Messiah.  Some rejected him and some were ignorant of Jesus’ origins and his birth.

Jesus elicted strong opinions about who he was.  “Divided” is a strong word.  However, the followers of Christ should never be divided.  We are united because of Christ and the cross.

Again, the officers could not arrest Jesus because it was not his time yet.  He spoke like no man and the Greek implication here is that he’s more than a man.

The pride of the Pharisees shines here as they can’t believe commoners/uneducated people can believe in Jesus when they are the ones who obviously know everything.  This is the pilgrim crowd who has come for the Festival of Tabernacles.  The Pharisees exaggerated the ignorance of the people knowledge of Scripture (which was probably better than the average Christian of today and they couldn’t read).  However, the average Jew did pay little attention to the details, being too bogged down with the struggle for daily subsistence and hard physical labor.  Hence, these regulations were widely disregarded.

Nicodemus did point out the untruth of a leader believing in Jesus and did point out their hypocrisy as they disregarded their own laws in condemning Jesus by hearsay.

Again, we see the prejudice against Galileans as the religious leaders believe nothing good comes from there.

In fact, a prophet had risen from Galilee.  Jonah (who was a picture of Jesus Christ) came from Gath Hepher, which was three miles north of Nazareth in Lower Galilee (2 Kings 14:25).  Elijah was from Thisbe; and perhaps also Nahum and Hosea were from Galilee.  Their contempt for Galilee made them lose sight of historical accuracy.  Most importantly, the Pharisees overlooked the idea that God can choose a prophet from anywhere He likes.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 11, Day 4: John 7:28-39; 14:16-18

Summary of passages:  John 7:28-39:  There are many who doubt he is the Christ, especially since they know Jesus and where he came from. Jesus says he is from God. Many try to seize him but they can’t because it is not Jesus’ time yet. Some believed in him. The Pharisees sent guards to arrest him. Jesus says how he is only here for a short time and where he goes, they cannot come. No one understood he was speaking of his death and resurrection.

Jesus continues speaking and on the last day of the Feast repeats his call for those thirsty to come to him and receive streams of living water or the Spirit.

John 14:16-18:  Jesus promises to ask God for the Holy Spirit to abide in believers so he’ll be with us forever.

Questions:

8 )  The crowds were whispering Jesus’ words that pointed out how the Pharisees are hypocrites and he may be the Messiah.  Basically, Jesus is threatening their authority and power.  They failed because Jesus is protected until it is his time and it’s not his time yet.  The guards put it this way in John 7:46:  “No one ever spoke the way this man does.”  This shows powerfully how God is in control of everything, even my situation and circumstances and my life.

9) I think he meant two things.  To believers, he meant he would be in heaven and we cannot come until the appointed time.  To unbelievers, I think he meant they would never find him and never get to heaven.

10a)  God and the Holy Spirit.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  When I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior as a kid.  It overflows to others as I do God’s work and put Him first and put others first.

Conclusions:  So much here!  Please read the End Notes as they are extensive.  We read John 14:16-18 but didn’t touch on it. We probably will when we get there.  It’s part of the assurances Jesus gives to the disciples (and to us) before he leaves earth–the promise of the Holy Spirit.

End Notes:  John 7:28-39 (Taken from yesterday’s analysis):  Jesus is probably being sarcastic in verse 28. “You know me; yet, you doubt!” Jesus repeats he is from God.

Jesus could not be arrested until his time had come. Till then he was protected by God. (John 7:46)

Many believed. After all, who could do as much as Jesus has already done?

Jesus assures the temple guards he will go away–at the appointed time.

The people did not understand Jesus was speaking of heaven so they guessed the Greeks. From the time of the exile, many jews lived outside the Holy Land and could be found in most cities throughout the Roman Empire.

The Feast of Tabernacles lasted eight days. During the first seven days water from the Pool of Siloam was carried in a golden pitcher and poured out at the altar to remind everyone of the water God miraculously provided for a thirsty Israel in the wilderness. Most probably on the eighth day there was no pouring of water – only prayers for water – to remind them that they came into the Promised Land.

On the eighth day the people ceased to dwell in the tabernacles and was probably no feasting. Philo says it was a solemn conclusion.

This was the last feast-time Jesus would spend in Jerusalem before the Passover of His death. This was the last day of the last feast; the last time He would speak to many of them before His crucifixion.

Notice Jesus said IN A LOUD VOICE. This was the most important thing he said the entire time so you’d better listen (personally, I can’t picture Jesus screaming so this must have been a sight!). Also, teachers usually sat so Jesus standing was to draw attention.

The celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles emphasized how God provided water to Israel in the wilderness on their way to Canaan. Jesus boldly called people to Himself to drink and satisfy their deepest thirst, their spiritual thirst.

Anyone is invited. Since there is no water being poured out on the 8th day of the feast, this was an impressive statement indeed. Jesus is the water.

Drinking is a common act. All of us can drink. But do we drink of the right stuff?

If you trust in Jesus, living water will flow from your heart and into your life and the life of those around you. Revelation 22:1 (which was not written yet at this time) speaks of waters flowing after the End Times perpetually. What a picture!

The Greek is “out of the belly”.

Zechariah that one day a fountain would be open to the house of David, and living waters would go out from Jerusalem (Zechariah 13:1, 14:8); and of Isaiah that God would pour water upon the thirsty (Isaiah 44:3, 55:1).

The Spirit is not yet given until after the Ascension and Pentecost (Acts 2)

“Given” was added. The true meaning is “it was not yet spirit”. It is more a sense of “working” and “dispensation”.

“Glorified” is Jesus’ exaltation, crucifixion, and resurrection. The fullness of the Spirit’s work depends on Jesus’ prior work of salvation.

John 14:16-18:  This is the first in a series of important passages about the Holy Spirit (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7-15).  The second of three assurances given to the disciples on the night of Jesus departure.

Jesus is assuring the disciples he will give them a helper after he leaves; he will not abandon them.  He knew they would need God’s help to do the work set forth for them.  He will ask when he gets to heaven.

“Counselor” is actually the Greek parakletos meaning advisor, mediator, legal defender, or intercessor.  It denotes strengthen and is another of the same kind.

The devil is the accuser.

The Holy Spirit will be with you forever, contrasting with the Old Testament where cleansing was temporary.

The Spirit is characterized by truth.  He brings people to the truth of God.

“Know”, “with”, “in” are key here.  Jesus was with them.  Later, it will be in them.  Knowing Him is all of our goals.

The disciples of a particular teacher among the Hebrews called him father; his scholars were called his children, and, on his death, were considered as orphans.

Spurgeon considered several ways that the followers of Jesus are not like orphans.

· An orphan has parents who are dead; the Spirit shows us Jesus is alive

· An orphan left alone; the Spirit draws us close to God’s presence

· An orphan has lost their provider; the Spirit provides all things

· An orphan is left without instruction; the Spirit teaches us all things

· An orphan has no defender; the Spirit is protector

Jesus again promised to come to the disciples (John 14:3), fulfilled by His resurrection, by the sending of the Spirit, and by the promise of His bodily return to this earth.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 11, Day 3: John 7:14-39

Summary of passage:  Still at the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus preaches.  All were impressed by his learning and Jesus says it comes from God and if you work for God it is truth, not honor for yourself.  Jesus says the people are trying to kill him, which they deny and say he is demon-possessed.  Jesus points out their hypocrisy, saying circumcision can be performed on the Sabbath but not his healing of a man who could not walk.

There are many who doubt he is the Christ, especially since they know Jesus and where he came from.  Jesus says he is from God.  Many try to seize him but they can’t because it is not Jesus’ time yet.  Some believed in him.  The Pharisees sent guards to arrest him.  Jesus says how he is only here for a short time and where he goes, they cannot come.  No one understood he was speaking of his death and resurrection.

Jesus continues speaking and on the last day of the Feast repeats his call for those thirsty to come to him and receive streams of living water or the Spirit.

Questions:

5)  Those who speak on his own do so to gain honor for himself but those who work for God speak the truth.  Those working for God will know his teaching is from God.

6a)  Healed the man who could not walk.  Keeping the Sabbath holy and doing no work.

b)  That they are hypocrites and do not follow the law of Moses and basically interpret it however they want.

7a)  God’s.  They didn’t know him because they don’t know God.  Men are of the devil, the darkness, corrupt, and blind to Him.  Their hearts are not His.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  All the difference.  I am inept on my own.  With him anything is possible.

Conclusions:  I love how Jesus points out man’s hypocrisy over and over again and points out their hearts to them.  If you don’t know God, you won’t know Jesus.  If you don’t know Jesus, you won’t know God.  And the Holy Spirit will never come either.  Love it!

End Notes:  The Jewish leaders questions Jesus’ credentials since they cannot question his content.  Jesus had never been the disciple of a recognized Jewish teacher.  Jesus never says he’s self-taught.  He’s God taught.  Just reading the words won’t cut it.  You have to obey God and the words will infiltrate your heart.

“The Jews” are distinct from “the crowds” (verse 12)–all of which are Jews.  “The Jews” usually refer to the leadership.

In this Gospel, only God is spoken of as “being” and Jesus (here).

Jesus tells them how he always keeps the law and none of them do.  Yet he is the one they are trying to kill when they are the guilty ones.

The “crowd” didn’t know Jesus was being sought for his healing of the man by the well so they thought he was crazy thinking he was wanted. They weren’t the leadership or those who knew of the plot.  The accusation of “demon-possessed” seems to have been a popular one back in the day as it shows up again in John in 8:48-52; 10:20-21)

Circumcision can be major surgery if one is older.  Jesus is saying you are cutting people on the Sabbath and I am making them whole.  Appearances can be deceptive (hence Justice wears a blindfold).

He cites the law of circumcision (Leviticus 12:3; Exodus 12:44) to show that work was done on the Sabbath, necessary work, which deeds of mercy fall into.  This law actually went back to Abraham (Genesis 17:10-12).  His point was that the leadership did not understand what the Sabbath meant.

The people from Jerusalem know Jesus is a wanted man and are wondering why he is still preaching.

Doubt of the Messiah again is routed in the Bible but twisted with man’s preconceived ideas of the Word.  Malachi 3:1 says that God’s messenger will come suddenly to the temple.  This was the kind of saying that made them think the Messiah would come out of nowhere to show Himself to Israel.  That he would just appear and be a magical being.  Even though God’s Word never says this this is the idea the Jews have built up in their minds.

Jesus is probably being sarcastic in verse 28.  “You know me; yet, you doubt!”  Jesus repeats he is from God.

Jesus could not be arrested until his time had come.  Till then he was protected by God. (John 7:46)

Many believed.  After all, who could do as much as Jesus has already done?

Jesus assures the temple guards he will go away–at the appointed time.

The people did not understand Jesus was speaking of heaven so they guessed the Greeks.  From the time of the exile, many jews lived outside the Holy Land and could be found in most cities throughout the Roman Empire.

The Feast of Tabernacles lasted eight days.  During the  first seven days water from the Pool of Siloam was carried in a golden pitcher and poured out at the altar to remind everyone of the water God miraculously provided for a thirsty Israel in the wilderness.  Most probably on the eighth day there was no pouring of water – only prayers for water – to remind them that they came into the Promised Land.

On the eighth day the people ceased to dwell in the tabernacles and was probably no feasting. Philo says it was a solemn conclusion.

This was the last feast-time Jesus would spend in Jerusalem before the Passover of His death. This was the last day of the last feast; the last time He would speak to many of them before His crucifixion.

Notice Jesus said IN A LOUD VOICE.  This was the most important thing he said the entire time so you’d better listen (personally, I can’t picture Jesus screaming so this must have been a sight!).  Also, teachers usually sat so Jesus standing was to draw attention.

The celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles emphasized how God provided water to Israel in the wilderness on their way to Canaan. Jesus boldly called people to Himself to drink and satisfy their deepest thirst, their spiritual thirst.

Anyone is invited.  Since there is no water being poured out on the 8th day of the feast, this was an impressive statement indeed.  Jesus is the water.

Drinking is a common act.  All of us can drink.  But do we drink of the right stuff?

If you trust in Jesus, living water will flow from your heart and into your life and the life of those around you. Revelation 22:1 (which was not written yet at this time) speaks of waters flowing after the End Times perpetually.  What a picture!

The Greek is “out of the belly”.

Zechariah that one day a fountain would be open to the house of David, and living waters would go out from Jerusalem (Zechariah 13:1, 14:8); and of Isaiah that God would pour water upon the thirsty (Isaiah 44:3, 55:1).

The Spirit is not yet given until after the Ascension and Pentecost (Acts 2)

“Given” was added.  The true meaning is “it was not yet spirit”.  It is more a sense of “working” and “dispensation”.

“Glorified” is Jesus’ exaltation, crucifixion, and resurrection.  The fullness of the Spirit’s work depends on Jesus’ prior work of salvation.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 11, Day 2: John 7:1-13

Summary of passage:  Jesus stays in Galilee because Jews in Judea were threatening his life.  When the Feast of Tabernacles approached, Jesus was urged by his brothers to go to Judea and perform miracles there so all can see.  Jesus said his time yet has not come, and he stayed in Galilee.  Later, by himself, Jesus went secretly to the Feast where the Jews were watching for him.  Some believed; others didn’t.  However, none spoke of him for fear of the Jewish leaders.

Questions:

3a)  Because in Judea the Jews were looking for him to kill him.  The Feast of Tabernacles is one of the three required days Jewish men must appear before the Lord.

b)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus’ time is the time till the cross.  He knows when it will come; whereas, his brothers do not know their time or Jesus’.  He is following God’s will for his life and not conforming to what others tell him to do.  It’s very challenging to me.  My life is packed and it only seems to get even more packed!  What’s challenging to me is continuing to do God’s will in my life throughout the busy-ness.  So I blog and work and read and take care of my family and hopefully will return to writing my novel very soon.  I try to stay focused on His work and not mine.

4a)  Some think he’s good; others think he’s evil.  Some believe in him; others don’t.  The same is today.  Some believe; some don’t.  Some half-heartedly know him but don’t accept him as the Son of God.  Others think him pure evil.  Man never changes so why would opinions of Jesus change?

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Good question!  Honestly, no one asks me.  But I would say this:  Jesus is love.  He is good.  He is the Truth, the Life, and the Way.  Belief in him is the path to salvation.  Jesus forgives.  He listens.  He guides.  He helps.  He picks you up when you fall.  He’s there in your heartaches.  He never forsakes.  He is God.

Conclusions:  I like this lesson.  Good emphasis on “not following the crowd” and giving in to peer pressure.  Jesus calmly says, “It’s not time, yet, guys.”  I loved how BSF brought out that opinions on Jesus never change throughout time.  It’s our job to trust in him and guide others to him, but ultimately it’s all in God’s hands who chooses Jesus and who doesn’t.

End Notes:  John chapters 7 & 8 is where John seems to have gathered the major arguments against Jesus as Messiah and answers them here.  Strong opposition to Jesus and repeated threats on his life is recorded (7:1, 13, 19, 25, 30, 32, 44; 8:37, 40, 59).

The Feast of Tabernacles was a joyful, weeklong celebration in September or October when families camped out in temporary shelters to remember God’s faithfulness to Israel in the wilderness on the way from Egypt to Canaan under Moses and celebrate the end of harvest.  It was also called the festival of booths (sukkoth) or ingathering because for the full week that it lasted people lived in makeshift booths of branches and leaves (Leviticus 23:40-43) to remind themselves of how their forefathers had wandered the wilderness and lived; town-dwellers erected them in their courtyards or on their flat housetops.  It was the last of the sacred festivals under the Old Covenant instituted by God.  It began 5 days after the Day of Atonement (Lev 23:34; Deut 16:13) and lasted for 7 days.  There were more sacrifices at this feast and it marked the conclusion to the ecclesiastical year.

Yes!  Jesus had real brothers as John has already mentioned (2:12; Matthew 12:46-7).  Matthew also mentions sisters of Jesus as well (Matthew 13:55-56).

In this light, the fact Jesus said no is even more impressive.  It’s harder to say no to family than it is to strangers.

Jerusalem Jews saw themselves as better than the Galileans (just like city folk versus country folk of today).  His brothers thought in order to be proved as Messiah, he needed to prove himself to them.  His brothers were thinking of the world (becoming a public figure and what others thought of Jesus) instead of heavenly and eternal rewards.

How sad that even his brothers didn’t believe in him (Mark 3:21) until after his death (Acts 1:14).  What a missed opportunity!  I can’t imagine growing up with Jesus and not believing in him.

Jesus emphasizes timing and will.  Both matter.  Just because it’s God’s will doesn’t mean the time has come yet and vice versa.  Both must align.  Any time was right for the brothers because they were not in tune with God’s will for them.

The Greek word used here for time (kairos) means the best time to do something.

The brothers could not be hated because they are of the world.  Jesus was not.

Jesus does go the Feast but privately, not publicly like the brothers wish.  Most Jews traveled to these feasts in large caravans.  Jesus did not, not wishing to attract any attention and put his safety at risk.  His refusal is not to go at all but rather in the manner his brothers wished.

The “whispering” is often translated “complaining”.  Why?  Because we as man want Jesus to be who we want him to be (for the 1st century Jews, the overthrower of Rome).  Can you relate?

There was probably some penalty for talk of Jesus being heard.  Think Communist Russia.  The idea is to suppress talk so talk won’t gain momentum and lead to a revolution.  Quite common in ancient times for the people to fear their leaders and to fear something that would lead them to be accused of rebellion, which often led to execution.

 

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 10, Day 5: John 6:60-71

Summary of passage:  Many of Jesus’ converts were offended by his bread and blood analogies and abandoned him.  Jesus, of course, knew this would happen because the Father did not draw them to him.  He directly asked the 12 disciples if they want to leave him too.  Simon Peter says no, they believe him, and besides, where else will they go? (Not the best logic here, Peter).  Jesus said he chose them but one of them is from the devil (Simon Iscariot who will betray Jesus).

Questions:

11)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  The flesh (our physical bodies) will rot away.  Only the Spirit remains.

12)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  They were offended by Jesus’ bread and blood analogy and just couldn’t accept it.  Not similar teachings on the truth.  Teachings on the untruth, yes, have offended me and I won’t listen.  I just found a different church that spoke the truth.

13)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Both agree there is no one else to turn to and God/Jesus is their refuge.  “God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”  There is no one else but God.  There is nothing on earth but Him.  I live and breathe for Him alone.

Conclusions:  I love here how Jesus knows everything.  How he knows who’ll reject him, but he never quits.  He faces it head-on.  What an example of power to follow.

End Notes:  Jesus’ words were hard to accept, not understand.  I think most people understand Jesus as the way, the truth, and the life.  But accepting that is what is the stumbling block for most.

Jesus offends and that is ok.  Jesus takes nothing back.  He keeps telling the Truth.  It will offend some.  Some, however, will see the light.  That is who Jesus is fighting for here.

Here was probably were many of his groupies realized the free stuff was going to end.  Following Jesus was much, much more.  Much more difficult and challenging and sacrificing.  Some preferred the easy life.  They are the ones who abandoned him.  Can you imagine?

Jesus says better to be offended now than when he ascends in glory to the judgement throne!

Jesus repeatedly emphasizes it’s the Spirit, not the flesh, that matters.

“From this time” could mean “because of this”

Scholars believe only the 12 were left standing.  Hence, Jesus asked them if they would leave as well.  This must have been excruciatingly painful for Jesus to see so many lost souls reject him.  Many would return.  But the point had to be made:  I’m not here to increase your wealth or ease in life.  I’m here for your souls!

Jesus asks the question with the answer “no” expected.

Peter speaks for the 12 here.  He calls Jesus “Lord”.  He recognizes there are no alternatives.  He realizes it’s about the spirit and eternal life.  He calls Jesus the Messiah or Holy One of God.

Jesus chose the 12 disciples (remember, he called them).  Devil is better translated as slanderer or false accuser.

There are Judases even today amongst God’s people who are in church undetected.  We must always be wary and never let anyone (nor them) cause us to stray from God’s path for our lives.

It’s bad when Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, calls you a “devil”.  Judas is a prime example of a man who let one sin lead to other, bigger sins–a trap all of us can get caught in.  If you take your sins to Jesus, he will forgive.  Don’t let shame and remorse overcloud you and lead to despair.  Nothing is too big for Jesus.

Judas was from Karioth, as we learn from all four gospels.  All call him Iscariot, which means ‘a man of Karioth’, which was a city in the southern part of Judah (Joshua 15:25), south of Hebron in the dry Negeb.  Map HERE

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 10, Day 4: John 6:51-59

Summary of passage:  The word “flesh” did grab the Jews attention and began to argue how Jesus could sacrifice himself.  Jesus says whoever eats his flesh and drinks his blood will have eternal life at Capernaum.

Questions:

8 )  The blood of the Passover lamb was the sign for God to passover their houses and not bring judgment on them.  It represents atonement for sins.

9)  The Jews ate the meat as the Lord’s Passover.  If the people ate of the meat and used the blood as atonement for sins, eating of his flesh and using his blood will atone for their sins as well.  Jesus’ was just forever, granting eternal life.

10)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  If you don’t eat and drink of him, you will have no life.  Whoever does eat and drink of him, will have eternal life and be raised at the last day.  You will remain in him and he in you.  Eating and drinking is what becomes a part of you, fuels your body, and grants you energy for life.  Having Jesus be my fuel, my energy, my everything encourages me to keep up the good fight even and always work for him.  It increases I believe little by little everyday as I see others struggle and suffer and life move on.

Conclusions:  Jesus says the same thing over and over again for us dunderheads:  eat of me and be saved.  A profound truth for all believers.

End Notes:  Scholars believe the Jewish leaders here willfully twisted Jesus’ words.  They are choosing not to believe him.  And we all know what those consequences are.  However, it was probable that some did take Jesus’ words as cannibalism.  Remember this is the time of Rome and barbarians.  These acts did occur and still do today.

Eating of flesh and drinking of blood also points to sacrifice.

Jesus is our food and drink.  When we truly receive him, he abides in us.  Eating and drinking is receiving.  We receive Jesus through faith.  We must actually take him in satisfy our hunger and thirst.

Jesus’ statements offended many.  They were meant to.  Jesus made his analogies stronger to emphasize his points.  He needs us to understand.

This whole conversation of the bread of life took place in a synagogue where Jesus was speaking no doubt on a Sabbath.