BSF Study Questions John Lesson 29, Day 5: John 21:24-25

Summary of passage:  John says this is his testimony that he recorded and Jesus did many other things he didn’t record.

Questions:

12)  John recorded these events in Jesus’ life so people will believe Jesus is the Christ, the Sone of God, and have faith in him and his name and thus receive eternal life with the Father.

13)  Personal Question.  My answer:  My faith has grown.  My depth of love for Jesus and God have grown.  My path is clearer.  My love is stronger.

Conclusions:  Why are we being asked a question that is not in this passage at all (question 12)?  Question 13 should be in Lesson 30.  Weak ending to the study of John.

End Notes:  We have been given all we need to know.  John refers to the ongoing work or Christ throughout the centuries–so much good it could not possibly be written down.  Awesome!

John, once known as the “son of thunder” in Mark 3:17 changes as he journeys with Jesus and becomes known as the apostle of love.  Scholars speculate that as John looked back and wrote these episodes of Jesus’ life that these are the ones that convinced him Jesus was the Son of God.  As we journey with God and Jesus, we change as well.  We grow, we expand, we deepen, we love.

I hope you all have done all of this and more throughout this study.  Have a great summer break and I’ll see you all in the Fall for the Book of Romans!

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BSF Study Questions John Lesson 1, Day 5: John 1:14-18

Summary of passage:  The Word (Jesus) became flesh and was sent by the Father to us.  John testifies for Jesus, saying Jesus is greater than him.  Jesus is the source of our blessings.  Jesus has made God known to all of us.

Questions:

12a)  God has blessed us out of faith through Jesus.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Way too many to choose but a recent one is God has given me a job to help support my family and continue His financial blessings upon us AND it’s a job He picked for me because it fits me and the people and company I work for are fantastic.

13)  “The law was given through Moses”:  God sent His law (the rules for livings) through Moses.

“Grace came through Jesus Christ”:  Because of Jesus, God gives us grace (forgiveness, etc).

“Truth came through Jesus Christ”:  Jesus brought the Truth which is there’s only one way to God and that’s through him (Jesus).

In essence, this entire phrase together (separated is confusing) means Christ is replacing the law brought by Moses and only Jesus is grace and truth and life.

14)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Incredible and heart-wrenching.

Conclusions:  Based on this first lesson of John, I’m gonna say that BSF has stopped marking questions as challenge questions and personal questions.  Now, BSF provides the reference verses for us to look up (which I think is a good thing especially for new believers who have no clue where to look in the Bible for such things).  And I’m assuming the personal nature of BSF questions is here to stay, especially after Revelation where it seemed every question had a personal twist on it.  I’ll leave it up to you whether you think this is a good thing or not.  I’m ambivalent.  I think it’s a good thing except where it gets repetitive i.e. the same question worded slightly different for each lesson.  We do need to apply the Word (note the pun) to our daily lives and I love that.  However, there’s only so many ways to apply the same subject to my life at any given time.  I just can’t take in big changes.  Small steps and let’s focus on those.

End Notes:  Verse 16 should say:  “Of his fullness we have all received, and grace for grace”.  John means here grace is never-ending with God.

Verse 18:  In the Greek, “God” here is missing the definite article which indicates a person.  Here, John is speaking of God’s deity or his nature of being.  “At the Father’s side” is better translated as “who is in the bosom of the Father”.  This is how children are to parents–connected and one.  Jesus and God are one.

“God the One and Only” is Jesus here. “Made him known” can be read as “declared”.  Jesus has declared the nature of the unseen God and IS the unseen God.

Because no one can look upon God and live (Exodus 33:20), God became human and sent Jesus in order to make Him known.

Final Conclusions to Lesson 1:  Admittedly, my Bible had dust on it when I pulled it out after the study of Revelation ended.  I’m so glad BSF has started because I need that push to know God and I need the structure of a bible study to make me do so.  Great opening verses to dive right into God and Jesus and who they are.  This is the essence of the book of John and what he’s trying to convey and what we as believers need to know.  We got a nice introduction to John the Baptist and we’ll see him again next week.  Knowing God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit are one and have been since before time began and all God asks of us is to believe that statement should lift the heart of any struggling with doubts of worthiness or shame or any other lies from Satan.  We are worthy.  We are His.  And He is ours.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 1, Day 2: John 1:1-5

Summary of passage:  The Word (Jesus Christ) was in existence from the beginning with God and is God.  All things are made through him and he contains life.  He shines to unbelievers who do not understand him.

Questions:

3)  1)  “In the beginning was the Word”.  The Word is Jesus.  This means he has always existed.

2)  “the Word was with God”.  Jesus is always with the Father (God).

3)  “the Word was God”.  This means Jesus and God are one and the same, referring to the Triune God where God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are One entity.

4)  Genesis 1:1:  “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  Jesus has always existed so Jesus was there in the beginning and he created the heavens and the earth since he and God are one and the same.

Colossians 1:15-17:  Jesus is the image of God and was first in creation.  Jesus created all things and all things are created for him.  He is above all things and he holds all things together.

Hebrews 1:2-3:  The universe was created through Christ.  Jesus is the world’s light and the sustainer of this world (creation).  Jesus and God are equally responsible for this world, for Creation, and for its ongoing perpetuity.  They are in ultimate control of everything.

5)  We are told even thrones, powers, rulers, and authorities were created by Jesus and for Jesus.  All things on heaven and earth.  God is in control of us and our flourishing upon this earth and in heaven.  God is responsible for our life and therefore is at the center of a fulfilling life and should be the center of my fulfillment in life.

6)  Part personal question.  My answer:  Light is God/Jesus.  Darkness is Satan/devil.  Figuratively, light is also believers and darkness is unbelievers and evildoers.  Too many examples to list.  Light is all the good people do for others.  The aiding in disasters and in daily life.  Missionary work.  Even just bringing a meal to a sick neighbor.  That is light.  Darkness unfortunately is everywhere.  Terrorism.  War.  Senseless deaths and violence humans wreck upon each other.  Very, very sad.

Conclusions:  I’m SO excited to begin the study of John.  After Revelation last year, I’m looking forward to something more clear-cut, easy to understand, and Jesus’s words to us.  My kids struggled last year due to the nature of Revelation so I’m praying they love this study and look forward to BSF every week.

Good lesson on the Word and light and darkness, which is frequently used by John in this book.  If we understand nothing else in this study, understand the first line:  God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are one in the same and have been since before time existed.  Life is in the belief in Jesus.  Period.

End Notes:  John deliberately opens his book with a parallel to Genesis 1:1.  There, God speaks creation into existence.  Here, God through John speaks salvation into existence by announcing Jesus’ presence in the world.  Everything is spoken.  Jesus speaks the Word of God and is the Word of God.

In Greek, word is logos.  Jews referred to God himself as “word of God.”  The ancient Greeks used the word logos as meaning turning chaos into order.  John uses the concept of word to speak to everyone:  the word is God–always has and always will be.  He lays out from the first sentence the Trinity so all can understand.

The Word created all things, meaning the Word himself is an uncreated being.  In the Word is the source of all life–physical and spiritual.  The Word is the life of all men.  Without Jesus we are dead and in darkness.  Most of us have a natural fear of darkness because of this fact.

The Greeks also used logos to mean the unspoken word as well that lingers in the mind–reason.

Life is Christ’s gift and is central to this Gospel for Christ is life (John 14:6).

Light is also Christ (John 8:12), who illuminates all spiritually–prominent in the Book of John as well.  Psalm 36:9 holds the connection to the Old Testament:  “in your light we see light.”  We see Jesus.

In verse 5, understand can also be overcome.  Essentially, darkness cannot overcome light.  The devil cannot defeat God.  The Greek word is difficult to translate here, meaning laying hold onto something to make its own.  In Genesis 1:2, the earth was dark until God called into light.  Until God decided to banish darkness with his light and gift us all with life.

Fun Fact:  The Greek word “life” is used 36 times by John while no other New Testament book uses it more than 17 times.

Introduction to the Book of John

The Book of John (written by John the Apostle scholars believe at the end of the first century AD in Asia Minor) spells out clearly who Jesus is, why he was sent here by God, and what we must do a) to be saved b) once we are saved.  John states his purpose near the end of the book: “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.  But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:30-31).

John skips the baby Jesus images and instead focuses on 20 days in Jesus’ life and the important words Jesus said during those days from his baptism to his resurrection.  We will read 7 miracles, best read in units (although I’m sure we’ll break it up in BSF to analyze them in pieces).  We will read some of the most famous words in the Bible (John 3:16) and see familiar verses and phrases such as Jesus “I am” sayings.  We will read more teachings on the Holy Spirit than any other gospel.

From the beginning John asserts Jesus is God and came from heaven.  John tells us no one knew Jesus better than he did.  He walked with Jesus.  Stood by the cross.  Entered his tomb.  This is the spiritual gospel, different from the first three gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), which are commonly known as the Synoptics.  Synoptics means “common view”.  The first three have a view of the whole and go over the same stories, themes, sequence, and wording.

The emphasis in the book of John is on the King, not the kingdom.  Christ’s work in Judea is highlighted.  Time and place of events are in the forefront.  It focuses on great length of 24 hours of Jesus life (chapters 13-19) and of the Holy Spirit.

Evidence shows this gospel was widely read from the second century on and therefore probably influenced Christian thought more than any other New Testament book.

The first half of this gospel shows how Jesus revealed his glory to the world and was still rejected (chapters 2-12).  The second half of the gospel (chapters 12-21) shows Jesus’ last hours on earth, his death, and his resurrection (perfect for Easter when we get there!).

You will note John explaining Jewish customs throughout this book and where places are located.  This is because his target audience was Gentile Christians living in and around Ephesus.

Major themes from the first sentence to the last:  Jesus as the Word, light, life, regeneration, grace, forgiveness, and truth and the revelation of God the Father in Jesus His son.  Jesus has come to reveal the Father to all and bring eternal life to all who believe in him.

John is essential reading for all Christians and gives us tools to explain to others (using Jesus’ own words) who Jesus is and what he does for us.  Understanding the book of John is the key to understanding Jesus and therefore God.  This study will change lives!

OUTLINE OF THE BOOK OF JOHN

A)  Jesus’ public ministry (John 1-12)

1)  Revealing himself to ever-widening circles, rejected (ch 1-6)

2)  Making his tender appeal to sinners, bitterly resisted (ch 7-10)

3)  Manifesting himself as the Messiah by two mighty deeds (the raising of Lazarus and his triumphal entrance into Jerusalem), repulsed (ch 11-12).  This is the turning point in the narrative.

B)  Jesus’ private ministry (John 13-21)

1)  Issuing and illustrating his new commandment (ch 13)

2)  Tenderly instructing his disciples and committing them to the Father’s care (ch 14-17)

3)  Dying as a substitute for his people (ch 18-19)

4)  Triumphing gloriously (ch 20-21)

(Outline taken from Zondervan’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary)