Classic Christianity – Book of John Part 35 (06-18-19)
Bob George shares from the gospel of John. He shares briefly what we have learned so far. Beginning with John 1 up until we pick up again in John 7, verse 14, we discovered quite a lot about Jesus. We read about how Jesus is the living word that came down from heaven. We read that he claimed to be God. He said that he is the the bread of life and the living water. We read that he demonstrated that he is God by the miracles that were performed through him. We read that he only did what he saw His Father doing, and said only what His Father told him to say and how to say it. He fulfilled the Father’s will perfectly, and at the right time. Numerous times he said his time had not yet come. He was truly the Spirit-filled man, who was the perfect model of how man was designed to live.
From studying the life and character of Jesus, we can come to believe he is God, that he alone is righteous and we were born spiritually dead and in need of life. The prerequisite to coming to know God is an attitude in our heart to want to know and do God’s will. When we find that we cannot carry out the requirements of the law, trying yet failing to apply the sermon on the mount, the things Jesus spoke of, we come to the end of ourselves and realize there is something wrong inside of us. We see that Jesus is perfectly righteous and we are not.
Indeed, that is the reason he came, to show us who God is, and by showing us who he is, pure righteousness, we come to see our own unrighteousness and our great need for new life that we cannot obtain. If you have seen Jesus, you have seen the Father. By showing us who he is, pure righteousness, we discover who we are, totally unrighteous. We begin to see our need to come to him to receive new life, His righteousness. Just as Jesus came to prepare his people, the Jews, to accept new life in Him, he also came so that all men might have an encounter with the living God unto receiving eternal life. All the Old Testament was in preparation for that final sacrifice of Jesus, shedding his blood on a cross only to rise again. The shedding of bulls and goats only covered sin and could never take sin away. If a bull or goat was sacrificed once it had to be sacrificed again, and that just to cover, or atone, for sin. There is a time of preparation, of the Spirit drawing all men unto Himself, so that at the right time, man recognizes his condition of spiritual death and accepts God’s offer of eternal life through the finished work of Jesus Christ, through his death, burial and resurrection. So the work Jesus came to do was to make possible the offer of eternal life to all men. He did this by dying on a cross to take away the sins of the world so that once the cause of death is taken away, where sins are remembered no more, in order that through His resurrection, you too might be raised to new life in Him. This is the message Jesus came to tell mankind, that if man believes and receives this message in their heart, he is born again spiritually, a spiritual new birth, with the same Holy Spirit living in Jesus, who also once lived in Adam, but is now living in you. This is eternal life, to know God and His Son, Jesus Christ.
Let us review what we have read in the book of John. First of all, we read about the pronouncement of the identity of Jesus, beginning in John 1.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
We see the identification, in the first chapter of John, as who Jesus is.
We read about the testimony of John the Baptist, who was a prophet sent by God so that the Jews might recognize the Messiah who had been prophesied to come by the prophets of old.
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
Behold the Lamb of God, who comes not to cover sin, but to take away sin!
The blood of bulls and goats was given by God to cover sin, which is called atonement. Jesus came to take away sins. Jesus came to do something with his blood, which is far greater than the shedding of bulls and goats. When you shed the blood of a bull or a goat, you have to do it again and again. The shed blood of Jesus on a cross took away sins.
1 The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. 2 Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 3 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. 4 It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,
We saw the first miracle of Jesus in John 2 where he turned water into wine. There are some people who do not believe Jesus turned water into real wine. The fermenting of water into wine is the miracle.
In John 4, we read how Jesus talked with a Samaritan woman, a man who told her everything she ever did.
“Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?”
She went back into her home town and told everyone what Jesus had said, that he indeed was more than a mere prophet.
In Matthew, a parallel account of an eyewitness of Jesus’ miracles, we read about Jesus healing the officials son when he was not even there.
Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.
He took Jesus at his word and on his route home, he met a man who told him his son was healed. After inquiring of the time he was healed, he learned that his son was healed that very hour that Jesus had said.
Jesus began to reveal himself, not only who he was, but backing it up with miracles. That indeed was the purpose of the miracles, so that man may know he is God.
In John 6, we read about Jesus feeding over five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish.
After feeding of the five thousand, the people who were fed saw Jesus get out of a boat and had not gone with the disciples. The disciples got in the boat without Jesus to travel across to the other side when a storm arose. Jesus was seen walking on water at night in the midst of the storm. Impetuous Peter asked Jesus if it was Jesus, and if so, to have him come out to Jesus. Peter was walking on water. Peter walked on water until he took his eyes off Jesus. When he took his eyes of Jesus, he immediately began to sink. Jesus told him , “Oh, you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Jesus was talking about the fact that if “I command you to do something then you trust me to give you what it takes to accomplish something”. That is true of all of our lives. Many times in People to People Ministries, a ministry Bob started since 1972, was that faith tested. Prior to the ministry, Bob was a wholesale distributor. When he started ministry, he had to raise his own funds. His wife came out of poverty and did not want to do so again. How important it is for a man and a woman to be in agreement together. Bob did not force the issue but waited until Amy was ready. Amy was in a bible study, and had been reading about Abraham’s faith. From that time, she had decided she did not want to miss out on a blessing. Then Bob did say that maybe he nudged her a little bit. Bob had to learn what it meant to know what it meant to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
Bob was in the scriptures constantly, reading and learning from the Lord. He decided to dedicate much of his time to the Lord. God blessed all of that decision to give of their time to serve the Lord. Bob was watching how faithful God was to them. Bob said they never struggled with that. God raised the funds. We do not sweat those things. If God wants us in the ministry then God will pay for it. If he doesn’t, then we will not be here. We do not have big faith. We have a big God.
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
God is not looking for somebody with big faith but someone who is looking for a big God. We have a big God that he will ensure that it will take place.
Bob was in a situation where he had to buy a management system program for the ministry. The band aids holding theirs together was wearing out, costing lot of people’s time. In order to do radio ministry, he needed $70,000. He announced it on the radio of his need. With about $9000 to go, a man called saying he would do a matching gift. Bob merely shared his need. “We need 40 people to give $100”, and then Friday it came true. God works that way. You put God first in your life and he adds.
So many make mistakes by not putting God first. When you go out on business, the results are totally in God’s hands. You cannot force results. The results are in God’s hands. Keep God paramount. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and he made a promise to you, that he will add to you.
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
The only thing that counts is what we do for him. Go out and put Christ first and let him do. It is a fun adventure to watch God add.
So we come to a point in our lesson where people begin to argue sharply about Jesus, the same thing people do today.
So Jesus fed these five thousand people and these people came the next day. Jesus told them, “The only reason you came following me is because I fed the five thousand and you were looking for food. Did you come to me for healing, for forgiveness, or did you come for me, for me to live in you”. We have a problem. We came into this world dead spiritually. The only solution to death is life. The only life available to us is the resurrection life of Jesus.
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
So with this, the need for life, the Lord Jesus Christ began to present himself as the bread of life (John 6:35).
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
Yes, it is true you need physical bread and water to live. Put that in your mind that this is a physical need that you have, but there is a need of spiritual food you have and Jesus is that food. Jesus said he is the bread of life. Jesus is the living water. There is no other food and water available to you than Jesus Christ. Come unto Jesus for rest for your soul. Do not come unto his forgiveness, his healing, his feeding but come unto Jesus to get what you need. Jesus knows what we need even before we ask. Come to him and he will give it to you.
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us.
That in Him we have, as our possession, forgiveness of sin. Are you in him? Then what do you have? Forgiveness of sin. In Him you have redemption of sin. Are you in him? Then what do you have? Redemption. You do not get it. You got it.
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.
In Him you have eternal life. Is eternal life something you get in the sweet bye and bye? Or, do you possess eternal life right now? You have eternal life.
Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
1 John 5:12
Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
We do not have an alley way in this life. Picture houses with a fence, a yard and an alley way. You say to yourself, “I do not want to get in this yard or that yard. I want to walk down this aisle”. You cannot be on the fence. You are either on this side or that side. There is no alley way when it comes to God. There is only a fence.
In John 6, we read where Jesus was making these claims, that he is God, and people were questioning his claims. The bible also records Jesus having brothers and sisters.
55 “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? 56 Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at him.
3 Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.
In the scriptures, Jesus’ brothers are named. It is not spiritual brothers but physical brothers. After Jesus was born, Mary and Joseph had relations to have more children. His own family did not believe in him. That is hard to imagine but it is true.
For even his own brothers did not believe in him.
So at the feast of the tabernacles, the celebration of the harvest in September or October, is where people built huts to dwell in to celebrate the 40 years the children of Israel living in the desert. This was a reminder of their desert experience. In this setting, his own brothers told him he should go to the feast and make himself known. “Since you are doing these things, turning water into wine, and miracles, wanting to make yourself known, go out and get yourself killed.”
Jesus would say, the right time has not yet come. This was something Jesus continued to say throughout his ministry, beginning with the miracle of turning water into wine.
“Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”
You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.”
At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come.
In Ecclesiastes, we read that there is a time for everything, a time to be born and a time to die. Jesus did everything at the right time.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
The time Jesus was talking about was when he, the Son of God, would become the savior of the world, by dying on a cross only to be raised again from the dead to give new life to man. So Jesus was heading for that time, which we call salvation. That is where Jesus was heading. Jesus was teaching under an Old Covenant and he buried us under that system, while teaching us about the New Covenant. Jesus is teaching what righteousness is, righteousness that is in him and not in you and me. He is showing us what pure righteousness is. We come to see that that pure righteousness is Jesus but not me, not any man. If you think Jesus’ teaching is hard, try applying sermon on the mount. Jesus’ teaching buried us. He was preparing us for the right time.
You had the right time in your life, the time you came to see Christ as your savior. Until that time came, God had to prepare me for that day. He prepared me by letting me get all the things I thought would make me happy. He showed me I could not be the husband and father I wanted to be. I came to the point to look in the mirror. I came not to look at what I was doing, but to see what was wrong with me. There is something wrong with me. The problem is I am a sinner and I am dead.
What does the world offer to dead people? The world sends them to a psychologist, who tells them that they are bipolar or manic depressive and then administer medicine to them to dull the brain. God wants us to become saved, children of God. All of Jesus’ teaching, the study in these gospels, is God’s preparatory work, to prepare us for that day, that day we will come to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
So his brothers went to the feast. Jesus also went to the feast, not publicly but privately.
10 However, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went also, not publicly, but in secret. 11 Now at the festival the Jewish leaders were watching for Jesus and asking, “Where is he?”
12 Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, “He is a good man.”
Others replied, “No, he deceives the people.” 13 But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the leaders.
Many things were said about him. Some said he is a good man while others said he deceived the people. The people were confused about him.
So we pick up in verse 14
14 Not until halfway through the festival did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach. 15 The Jews there were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having been taught?”
16 Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. 17 Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.
If anyone chooses to do God’s will. There is a prerequisite to be able to understand the word of God. That prerequisite is that I choose to do God’s will. I choose to read God’s will, not to get an intellectual assent to it, but so I can put it into practice. I want to know and do God’s will. When you have in your mind that I not only want to know but to carry out God’s will in your life, then would you not want to be like Enoch? Enoch walked with God.
Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.
18 Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.
Many people do a lot of talking to gain honor to themselves. Just look at a political campaign. So many talk about what they would do. “If I were president, I would do this or that. How crazy! You do not even know what you would do when met with circumstances. You do not know what you would do, do you?” It is talk. Talk is cheap. There are people who talk and there are people who work.
How are you going to know whether you really believe what you are talking is when you are given the opportunity to work it out. Then you know whether or not what you are talking about is working.
He who works to bring glory to God is a man of truth. There is nothing false about him.