PLEASE NOTE :
THE BIBLE STUDY GROUP HAVE NOW JOINED UP WITH THE PRAYER GROUP
MEETING IN THE SESSION ROOM AT 2.00 p.m. EVERY THURSDAY
STARTING WITH A SHORT TIME OF PRAYER FOLLOWED BY THE STUDY OF PASSAGES FROM THE BIBLE.
EVERYONE MOST WELCOME.
Each week a group gather to Pray and study the Bible. They meet each Thursday at 2.00 p.m. in the Session Room, Everyone is welcome. After a short time of prayer the group consider one chapter and a summary of the Chapter studied each week. The lessons from previous weeks study are shown below.
Lessons from John: Chapter 12:
1. Christ and His Friends (12:1–11)
Martha can be seen representing as the Christian working for Christ whilst Lazarus speaks of our walk and witness for Christ. Mary’s role speaks of Christian worship (in the Gospels, she is always found at Jesus’ feet) her example of devotion is one we should follow. She gave her best; she gave lavishly; she gave in spite of criticism; she gave lovingly. Christ honoured her for her worship (see Mark 14:7) and defended her from her critics. Perhaps we should all examine our own hearts and homes to ask whether we are bringing joy to His heart by our worship, work, and witness.
2. Jesus and the Gentiles (12:12–36)
At His birth, Gentiles came from the east; now at His death approaches , Gentiles come once again. Jesus has been rejected by Israel. The Jews had said, “We want to see a sign!” (Matt. 12:38); but the Gentiles said, “We want to see Jesus!” .There is no record that Jesus did talk with these men, but the message that He gave in response contains truths that all of us need for in fact He challenges us today to surrender our lives to Him. Note the contrasts: loneliness or fruitfulness; losing your life or keeping your life; serving self or serving Christ; pleasing self or receiving God’s honour.
3. Christ and the Jews (12:37–50)
The last words of Christ’s public ministry (vv. 35–36) were a terrible warning against letting the opportunity for salvation pass by. In the verses that follow, the John explains why the Jews were condemned. They had rejected the evidence (v. 37). The light had been shining, but they refused to believe and follow the light. John’s Gospel repeatedly draws attention to the conflict between light and darkness. Light symbolises salvation, holiness, life; darkness stands for condemnation, sin, death. In vv. 42–50, John quotes Christ and shows why many people reject the light. In v. 48 Christ states that rejecting the Word of God leads to condemnation for Salvation comes through the Word (John 5:24).
This chapter closes John’s record of Christ’s public ministry. It is a solemn chapter. It reminds us again that we dare not trifle with the spiritual opportunities that we encounter
Jesus is anointed at Bethany
Six days before the Passover Jesus was at Bethany and had a meal with Lazarus and his sisters. Mary took expensive oil and poured it over Jesus’ feet and wiped it with her hair. Judas Iscariot objected saying the money could have gone to the poor. Apparently Judas who looked after the money was also a thief and would have stolen some of it. Jesus defended her by saying that they would always have the poor but not him.
The Plot against Lazarus
A large crowd of Jews came, not only to see Jesus but also Lazarus, who had been raised from the dead. So the Chief priests decided that Lazarus had to die as people were deserting them to follow Jesus because of what had happened to Lazarus.
The Triumphal entry into Jerusalem
The next day crowds took Palm branches and went out to meet Jesus when he arrived. They kept shouting Hosanna the blessed one, the King of Israel. Jesus came on a donkey as it was written. At first the disciple could not understand but it came clear to them after he was glorified. The crowd’s enthusiasm was also enhanced by what he had done to Lazarus. The Pharisees were concerned as they saw the world going to Him.
Jesus Predicts His Crucifixion
Some Greeks who were also there asked through the disciples about Jesus. Jesus said that his hour had come.
He describes a grain of seed that when it dies crops will grow. He says that those who love their life will lose it but those who hate this life in this world will keep eternal life. If anyone serves me the Father will honour them.
He is then troubled and a voice from heaven said to him “I have glorified it and I will glorify it again”. The crowd standing around heard this voice and Jesus said to the questioning crowd that the voice was not an angel but God. The crowds continued to ask questions as they thought the Messiah would remain forever. He said the light would be only with them a little longer.
Isaiah’s prophecies Fulfilled
Even although he had given many signs they still did not believe but this had been prophesied in Isaiah. Nevertheless many did not believe as the Pharisees could ban them from the Synagogue as they loved praise from men rather than from God.
A Summary of Jesus’ Mission
Then Jesus gives a brief summary of this mission. By seeing Him, one sees who sent Him. He has come as a light for the world. I have not spoken on my own but through the Father who has sent me. I know his command is eternal life.
Lessons from Lazarus (Chapter 11):
This is one of three occasion when Christ raises someone from the dead. It is the final example for which the evidence is very powerful.
1. He was Dead verse 14
There can be two deaths. A physical death and a spiritual death ( see Eph 2.1 -3).
2. He was decayed verse 39
3. He was raised and given life verse 41-44
He was raised out of love and it brought glory to God.
4. He was loosed verse 44
Being bound represented the old life from which he was now free.
5. He witnessed to others verse 45
Even though many saw this miracle some still reported it to the Pharisees who then were motivated to start action leading to his death on the cross. Others who saw it were absolutely convinced that he was the Son of God.
Lazarus dies at Bethany
Lazarus, whose sisters were Mary and Martha, was sick. Mary was the one who anointed the feet of Jesus with oil and wiped it with her hair. So they sent a message to him.
When Jesus heard this he said that his sickness was for the glory of God so that the Son of God may be glorified through him.
He stayed where he was for two days then said to his disciples let us go back the Judea. The disciples were concerned because the Jews had tried to stone him in Judea.
Jesus said to his Disciples that if anyone walks in the night they stumble because the light is not on them. He went on to say that their friend, Lazarus, was asleep and he was going to awaken him. They were confused. Jesus was referring to his own death but some thought he meant Lazarus was just sleeping. He clarified it by saying that Lazarus was dead and that he was glad they had not been there earlier for what he would now do would help them believe.
The Resurrection and the Life.
When they arrived they found that Lazarus had been buried for four days. Many Jews had come to comfort Mary and Martha. When Jesus came, Martha went out to meet him and Mary stayed in the house. She said that had he arrived earlier he would not have died but whatever you ask God he will give. Jesus asked Martha if she believed that anyone who believed in Me, even if they die would live? Martha said she believed him to be the Messiah, the Son of God.
Jesus shares the sorrow of Death
Martha then went to get Mary. She went to him along with the Jews who were consoling her. They all came to Jesus and he was angry in spirit and deeply moved and wept. Some of the Jews said if he could have given a blind man sight why could he not avoid Lazarus dying?
Raising Lazarus from the Dead
Then Jesus, angry with himself went to the cave and the stone was removed. He spoke to God so that people who had came could hear. Lazarus came out bound in the linen strips.
The Plot to Kill Jesus
Many of the Jews who had come to see Mary then believed. But some of the Jews went to tell the Pharisees. The Pharisees called a meeting to consider what to do given that his man was doing many signs. They were worried people might start believing him and this could threaten their position with the Romans. But Caiaphas the Chief Priest said that it was to their advantage that one should died for the people rather than a whole nation perish. He prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation. So from then they plotted to kill him.
The Passover was near and the Pharisees had given orders if anyone saw Jesus they had to report it so they could arrest him.
Lessons from Chapter 10:
1) The first part is described as a parable but it is more of a
description of how the sheep are kept.
2) In the section called the good shepherd he is the door through
which the sheep find safety.
3) There is, in verse 11 to 15 a contrast between Jesus and the
Pharisees who are viewed as the gatekeeper not concerned
about the sheep.
4) Christ as the good shepherd is willing to put his life before the
sheep an reference to what is to happen.
5) There is continued debate as to who Jesus is.
The Parable of the Shepherd
Jesus started by saying he was telling the truth. A man who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate is a thief. The shepherd opens the gate and the sheep here his voice and follow him. They do not follow someone else’s voice but run away. Those who heard this did not understand.
Jesus the Good Shepherd
Jesus said he was the gate. The others who came before me were robbers. Those who hear me will be saved. Robbers only come to steal and kill; I come so you might have life in its fullness.
I am the good shepherd who is willing to die for his sheep. When a wolf comes a hired man runs and leaves the sheep to be scattered as he does not care for his sheep. As my father knows me and I know him, I know my sheep and will die for them. There are sheep not in the sheepfold which will hear my voice and will come. One flock one shepherd.
The Father loves me so that I may give my life up so that I may get it back. This confused many. Some thought he was a demon while others did not.
Jesus is Rejected
When Jesus was walking in Solomon’s Porch a crowd gathered around him asked if he would plainly state if he was the Messiah? And Jesus said he had explained but as they were not his sheep they did not hear.
But they picked up stones and threw them at Him. And He asked why they stoned Him? They said not for his good deeds but because blasphemy. He was only a man and he was trying to make himself God.
But Jesus referred them to scripture which said that for those whom the message were given, God called them Gods? Since the Father chooses me to come into the world how can you say I blaspheme? If you cannot believe in me believe then believe in my deeds so that you may know the Father is within me
Then again they tried to seize them but he eluded their grasp. He crossed the Jordan and many followed Him.
Learning points from Chapter 9: 5.2.15
1 The blind man was an example of a sinner. He was blind, he begged, he was helpless.
2 By gaining his sight this showed how Christ saved sinners.
3 The Jewish authorities had power as his parents were frightened to openly tell them want had fully happened to their son.
4 The blind man gradually saw that Jesus was the Son of God.
5 Because the blind man sees, he sees the truth. But the pharisees because they reject the truth become more spiritually blind.
Key points from John 9
Healing the Blind man
The disciples asked Jesus whose sin had made the man blind?
He answered “no one, he was blind so that they could do God’s work.” He then put mud on the blind’s mans eyes and told him to wash them in the pool Siloam (which meant sent). He then gained his sight.
On telling his neighbours and friends he could now see they asked how. He told them what Jesus did.
The Healed Man’s Testimony
He was then taken by the Pharisees and he told them what Jesus had done on a Sabbath day.
The Pharisees were divided, some said he was no God as he acted on a Sabbath, others said he was, as who could do such a thing.
They asked the blind man, who said he was a prophet. The Jews did not believe him so they asked his parents. His parents confirmed he could now see, but said they would have to ask him as to how it happened. They did this because if they said he was the Messiah the Jews would ban them from the synagogue.
The Jews called back the blind man a second time. The Jews said Jesus was a sinner. The blind man did not know who Jesus was, but he could now see.
They ridiculed him saying they were Moses disciples. Moses had spoken to God but they did not know where Jesus came from. This amazed the blind man saying, if this man was not God he would not be able to do anything.
The Jews then throw him out saying he was trying to teach them their role.
The Blind’s Man Sight and the Pharisee’s Blindness
When Jesus heard how the Pharisees had thrown out he blind man he found him and asked, ”Do you believe in the Son of God?” The blind man asked who he was so that he could believe in him. Jesus said it was he, and the blind man believed.
Jesus said that he had come into the world to judge in order that they who could not see will see and those who do see will become blind.
Some Pharisees heard him say this and asked,” Surely you don’t mean we are blind too?
Jesus answered “if you were blind then you would not be guilty; but since you think you can see, this means that you are still guilty.”
Lessons from John 8
An adulteress is forgiven
Jesus sat at the Temple and people gathered to hear Him teach. The Pharisees brought a woman charged with adultery. They quoted the law of Moses that said she should be stoned and asked his view. Realising they were trying to trap Him he pondered then said ” he who without sin cast the first stone”. They all left quietly. Then he said to the women “As no one charges you go free and sin no more.”
Light of the World
Then Jesus said “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life”. To the Pharisees this was not valid. But he said it was not just his view but also his Father and according to the law two statements made it valid. He also said they judged him by human standards but he knew where he had come from and where he was going. The Pharisees knew neither. The Pharisees asked where his Father was? In reply he said that if they knew him they would know the Father.
Jesus predicts his Departure
Jesus then said ” he was going but they could not come”. The Pharisees could not understand and they asked who he was? He said he was here to say many things and to judge. But they still could not understand.
Truth and Freedom
Many believed him and he said the truth would set them free. But many said as Jews they were free. But Jesus said if they had committed a sin they were enslaved to sin. He said that they wanted to kill him because he was not welcome.
Jesus and Abraham
The Jews said Jesus was a Samaritan with a demon. He denied this by saying he honoured his Father while they dishonoured him. Jesus said if anyone kept his word they would never die. He said he was before Abraham. At that they picked up stones and threw them at Him.
Lessons from John 7
The Jewish leaders have seen Christ’s sign and heard His sermons and begin to oppose Him.
Unsaved people can go as they wish but the child of God must let the Lord lead.
The Chapter highlights
His Character (vv 10-13),
His Doctrine (vv 14-18),
His Works (VV 19-24)
His Origins (VV 25-31)
His Warnings (vv 32-36)
It highlights the diversity of views towards Jesus among the people and the depth of unbelief among the Jewish Authorities.
Jesus and His Brothers
Jesus went about Galilee. He was reluctant to go to Judea as the Jews were likely to kill him. They suggested he should go to Judea so people would see what he did. Even his brothers did not believe in him. Jesus said his time had not come yet and he was hated for he told the world that their ways were bad.
After his disciples had gone ahead he secretly went up to Judea. The Jews were looking for him. Some people said he was a good man others said he deceived people. These views were not public so the Jews did not hear them.
When Jesus was at the festival he went to the Temple to teach. The Jews were amazed at his scriptural knowledge. In answer Jesus said, ”his teaching was not his but Gods. The one who speaks for himself seeks his own glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one speaks the truth.” He went on to say, ”was it not right he should make someone well on the Sabbath? Should we not judge by the righteous judgment not according to outward appearance?
”Is he the Messiah?
Some in Jerusalem saw Jesus talking in public but the Jews who wanted him dead did nothing. They wondered if they thought he was the Messiah. He said, “he had come with the authority from he who was truthful”. Many believed who he was.
Guards sent to arrest Him
Because of what the Jews heard they sent guards to arrest him. Jesus said he would be only here for a short time after which he would go back to who had sent him. The Jewish authorities could not understand what he meant.
Streams of Life Giving Water
On the last day of the festival Jesus stood up and said “whoever is thirsty should come to me and drink “. The Scripture said whoever believed in me, life giving water will pour out of their hearts. This was before the Spirit had come since he had not been raised to Glory.
Division among the People
Of those who heard some thought he was a prophet others the Messiah. As a result some wanted to seize him but no one laid a hand on him.
The Unbelief of the Jewish Authorities
When the guards returned and said they had not arrested Jesus because of how he spoke. The Pharisees said the guards had like many been taken in by this man. The Pharisee Nicodemus said that according to their law they should hear what Jesus had to say for himself. Other Pharisees said according to the Scriptures no prophet ever comes from Galilee.