John Part 1: Jesus is the Giver of grace upon grace.

Edited to update post: When I posted this awhile ago, I realized it was link-heavy and so I’m removing most of them and posting those links in another post. The content will remain the same though. Blessings to you and yours. 

Hello! Thank you so much for your continuing support and encouragement in reading this blog. I write these posts on the Bible as part of my worship to the Lord God. I share them with you to edify and support you and walk alongside you in your walk with Our Heavenly Father.

We are the Body of Christ. We are the Church. We are the Bride of the soon- coming Bridegroom. Together we win. Together we reach out to the hurting, the broken, the outcast and the lost. When one person hurts, the whole Body hurts. When one person triumphs, the whole Body rejoices. I hope to give you resources to understand the Bible and share what has been helpful to me.

I’ve written posts on books of the Bible and you can find links to the finished posts, here. I’ve spent close to a year on these posts and I have enough material to keep me occupied with this blog with this topic for at least another three years! (The Bible has 66 books in total, and I’ve only managed to write on 7 of them so far!!!)

Starting with the gospel of John ( starting because I fully expect this gospel to be as thought-heavy as the gospel of Luke was), it was written by the disciple/apostle John (he’s different from the person John the Baptist). The gospel of John is different from the other gospels in that over 90% of the content in this book is unique to John alone. The other three gospels are called the synoptic gospels because their content is similar. They add details and build on each other’s time lines and stories, but John is not like them.

I should say right at the beginning, that ALL four gospels talk about Jesus. His divinity, His life, His miracles, His teaching, Him. The old testament leads up to Jesus. There are prophesies about Him throughout the thirty-nine books. The four gospels talk about the fulfillment of those prophesies and include His life, His death and ultimately His ascension. The rest of the new testament takes His message to the world and gives us(new testament believers) advice on following Him and living for Him.

The gospel of Matthew was written to the Jewish people and dealt with the fulfillment of the prophesies of Jesus. Matthew talked mostly about Jesus’ teachings.

The gospel of Mark was written mostly to a gentile audience and dealt with the miracles of Jesus. In Mark people are always doing something and going some where.

The gospel of Luke was written(specifically) for a single person, but it was shared with people of other faiths who sought and wanted to know the truth about what they were taught. Luke does a lot of research and we receive a ton of details about Jesus’ life that we don’t find any where else.

The gospel of John was written so that we(all of us) may believe that Jesus is the Messiah and by believing, we will have life in His name. John showcases Jesus’ deity in every chapter. John includes several of Jesus’ I AM statements that were completely radical and totally foreign to the Jewish hearers.

Diving in….

In chapter 1: John connects Jesus with God and makes the case for Jesus being God right form the beginning (of creation). John(the Baptist) came to preach to God’s world about God(Jesus). The world did not want God even though it was His and made by Him. John mentions grace and truth twice and tells us that they only come from God alone.{1} John now connects Jesus with God(the Father) and tells us they are ONE{2}John the baptist denies being the Messiah, he has only come to tell of the Messiah. John(the baptist) testifies about Jesus for the first time. He tells the people that HE is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.{3} The next day John again testifies about Jesus, this time two of his disciples follow Him. One of whom was Andrew, who promptly bought his brother Peter to Jesus. Jesus then called Philip and Philip invited Nathanael.{4} Nathanael is skeptical about a prophet/messiah/rabbi/good person coming from Nazareth ( Jesus’ hometown) and then is convinced when he meets Jesus. Jesus tells Nathanael that he will see greater things.

 

In chapter 2: Jesus, his disciples and his family are invited to a wedding in Cana in Galilee. Jesus performs a miracle there, and John records it as the first of the signs through which he(Jesus) revealed His glory causing His disciples to believe in Him.{5} Jesus goes to the Temple in Jerusalem before the Passover Feast and He clears it of all the merchandise and money changers. He does this at the beginning of His three year ministry on earth. Later passages will show that He does so again just before His death. Many people believe in Him But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people…he knew what was in each person. Jesus challenges the people to destroy the Temple and He would re build it in three days. This is another thing we see at the bookends of Jesus’ ministry (the beginning and the end). 

RELATED POST: My hour has not yet come, but it will.

 

In chapter 3: Jesus talks to a prominent member of the Jewish ruling council, Nicodemus, about being born again (born of the Spirit/ born of God). {6} Jesus then tells of His purpose in coming to the world as a man. He came to save this world and not condemn it, John 3: 15-17. John(the baptist) testifies for the third time about Jesus. Jesus must become greater and John become lesser, for John compares himself to the friend of the Bridegroom who was waiting for the arrival of the Bridegroom. Once the Groom came, the friend’s role was diminished but his joy increased. John also reiterates that those who believe in Jesus will have eternal life(an echo of Jesus’ own words).

 

In chapter 4: Jesus goes through Samaria, we see Him get tired and sit by a well while the disciples go into town to buy food. A woman comes to draw water and Jesus engages her in conversation.{7} (A fellow blogger has written some great posts on this conversation which you can find hereherehere and here). Jesus goes to Galilee(Cana) and there He meets a royal official whose son was sick and in Capernaum. Jesus speaks healing over the son. The official leaves to his town and on the way he is met by his servants who tell him the child was healed at the exact hour that Jesus spoke. This story shows us that the official had immense faith because he took God at His Word, and went on his way, before he knew for sure that his son was healed.

{1} Grace is un-merited favor. We did not earn or deserve the blessings that God gives us. One translation mentions that we have been given grace for grace (KJV), another says we have received grace in place of grace already given (NIVUK) and still another says we have received grace upon grace spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, favor upon favor, and gift heaped upon gift. Would you tell me your thoughts on this verse (John 1:16) and which translation you liked the best and why in the comments below?

{2} To read more about how The Father, The Son and The Spirit are ONE, in essence, in function, in diety, read my previous post, here.

{3} The Lamb was a sacrifice. An Atonement. He gave His life for us. He took our sins on Him. He cleansed us by the shedding of His blood. To the Israelites a lamb was a familiar symbol, they used these animals and others in their sacrifices. john declaring that Jesus was The Lamb made them uncomfortable.

{4} Andrew was part of bringing three different people/sets of people to Jesus during His ministry here on earth( he may have bought more but that is not recorded in the Bible). He was some one who was content to work in the background while bringing people to Jesus. He knew Jesus had a plan and that He was bringing the Kingdom of God to earth and so he participated completely and fully.

{5} The wedding party had run out of wine, Jesus’ mother comes to Him, He replies My hour has not yet come but He makes the servants fill jars with water, which when they take to the master of ceremonies turns into wine. It tasted better than the wine the wedding family had served at the beginning and astounds the master.

{6} Being born again is a term we use to describe the person who has accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. It means confession of past sins and then a genuine repentance(change of heart, turning away from the things that kept us from God) and then following Him. Jesus likens it to birth. To know more please read my page, How can you come to Him?

{7} Jesus was Jewish, so a Jewish male speaking to a non Jewish woman would have been  a thing of incredulity. But Jesus did so anyway, this woman was an outcast in her town. Through her Jesus reached an entire town. He spoke to her with grace and kindness even while speaking hard truths and her heart was changed and her life restored. I write more about this, here.

 

Were you blessed by this post? Would you consider sharing it on Twitter? All you have to do is click to tweet! 

Looking forward to meeting you with the second part of John.

Until next week,

Vanessa.

 

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