The Gospel of John – Do not Harden your Heart

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“You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life.” John 5:39-40 The Jewish leaders were blind. They could not see that the scriptures pointed toward Jesus Christ. Paul says it well, “You who call yourselves Jews are relying on God’s law, and you boast about your special relationship with him. You know what he wants; you know what is right because you have been taught his law. You are convinced that you are a guide for the blind and a light for people who are lost in darkness. You think you can instruct the ignorant and teach children the ways of God. For you are certain that God’s law gives you complete knowledge and truth. Well then, if you teach others, why don’t you teach yourself? You tell others not to steal, but do you steal? (Romans 2:17-21) You can know the Bible and know it all by memory and still not believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Satan knows the Word of God, but he still believes that he has won the battle. He still thinks that he has the power over us as followers of Jesus Christ. It is not the scriptures that save us; it is believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Yes, the scriptures are very important and God tells us that His Word will not return void. The Word of God is there to lead us to Jesus Christ our Savior. “Remember what it says: “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled.” (Hebrews 3:15)

The Gospel of John – Evidence

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“And the Father who sent me has testified about me himself. You have never heard his voice or seen him face to face, and you do not have his message in your hearts, because you do not believe me—the one he sent to you.” John 5:37-38 This is the third proof that Jesus is the Son of God. When Jesus was baptized, God testified that Jesus was His Son. “After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” (Matthew 3:16-17) The Old Testament Scriptures bear witness to Jesus Christ. The religious leaders read and studied the Words of the Old Testament, but they could not see that they were a witness of Jesus being the Son of God. “A man rejects God neither because of intellectual demands nor because of the scarcity of evidence. A man rejects God because of a moral resistance that refuses to admit his need for God.” (Ravi Zacharias) We reject God because we want to have our own way. All we have to do is open our eyes and we can see that God is real. How can you reject God when you look out at the beautiful world that He has created? Then we realize that God loved us and the world so much that He gave His Son so that we could be even closer to Him. If we believe in God, we have to believe in Jesus Christ. The evidence is overwhelming.

The Gospel of John – Submission

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“But I have a greater witness than John—my teachings and my miracles. The Father gave me these works to accomplish, and they prove that he sent me.” John 5:36 The second proof that Jesus is the Son of God was His teachings and His miracles. He taught with authority. God’s work issues from God’s throne. God’s throne is established upon authority. All things have been created by the authority of God. All things are held together by the authority of God. “The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.” (Hebrews 1:3) All of Jesus’ teachings and miracles came from the authority of God. If we are to serve God, we need to know the authority of God. Just as Jesus had to have the authority of God to do His miracles, we also need God’s authority. To have the authority, we need to have submission to God’s will. This was the key to the authority that Jesus had. He was submitted to God. He was submitted to doing whatever God wanted Him to do. “He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (Matthew 26:39) Even as Jesus was facing the cross, He only wanted the will of God in His life.

The Gospel of John – Proof

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“In fact, you sent investigators to listen to John the Baptist, and his testimony about me was true. Of course, I have no need of human witnesses, but I say these things so you might be saved.” John 5:33-34 Does Jesus really need a witness to prove that He is the Son of God? I don’t believe He does, but God wants to be fair. God could just force all of us to believe in Him. He has the power, but this is not His plan. His plan was a plan of loving us and wanting us to come to Him by our choice. In my life I need no proof that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. No one but the Son of God could have changed my life so that I live in complete dependence on God. The religious leaders were blinded by their pride and their greed. So Jesus in His loving ways wanted to be fair so He gave them three witnesses. The first was John the Baptist. He told the leaders that he was not the one they were looking for, but was the one sent by God to prepare the way for the Savior of the world. “John was like a burning and shining lamp, and you were excited for a while about his message.” (John 5:35) Then they realized that Jesus was a threat to their power and started plotting to kill Him. Do you need proof that Jesus Christ is the Son of God? If so, maybe you are still blinded as the religious leaders were. Let Jesus open your eyes so that you can see how wonderful life can be in obeying His command. “Come follow Me!”

The Gospel of John – Could you be a Witness

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“If I were to testify on my own behalf, my testimony would not be valid. But someone else is also testifying about me, and I assure you that everything he says about me is true.” John 5:31-32 Jesus had just testified that He was the Son of God. That He was equal with God in all things. His testimony was not enough. He needed at least three witnesses to show that Jesus’ claims were true. Jesus speaks as if he were on trial. The calling of witnesses is crucial because Jewish legal procedure was not based on the interrogation of the accused but on the examination of witnesses. According to the law there had to be at least two or three witnesses, “You must not convict anyone of a crime on the testimony of only one witness. The facts of the case must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” (Deuteronomy 19:15), and it was later specified that. “But never put a person to death on the testimony of only one witness. There must always be two or three witnesses.” (Deuteronomy 17:6) The Jewish leaders wanted to kill Jesus, they had to do it legally. The informal nature of Jewish legal procedure in such settings and the focus on witnesses meant it was not always clear who was judging whom. So it was not unusual for the accused to turn the tables, as Jesus does here with increasing clarity. In these scriptures Jesus does what He does often. He turned the tables on His accusers. Just as we have seen in Jesus’ conversation with the woman at the well, He knew how to say the right words in order to clear up the matter at hand. Our Lord’s claim is that there are valid witnesses that support […]

The Gospel of John – Judgment

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“Don’t be so surprised! Indeed, the time is coming when all the dead in their graves will hear the voice of God’s Son, and they will rise again. Those who have done good will rise to experience eternal life, and those who have continued in evil will rise to experience judgment.” John 5:28-29 In the future there will be a universal judgment by the Son of Man. The judgment has been given to Jesus. This judgment is connected with life-giving, which is described here as two resurrections. The judgment is basic on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.” (John 3:19-21) Verse 29 reads literally, “and they will come forth, those who did good things unto a resurrection of life and those who committed evil things unto a resurrection of judgment.” This seems to suggest that judgment will be made on the basis of works. But the context has already made it clear that the issue is whether one hears the Son and believes the Father. If we wish to share in the resurrection of life, we should make sure we do those deeds that enable us to have faith in Jesus. Nevertheless, once one is walking in the light it is clear that actions in keeping with God’s commands keep us open toward God. That is why God commands them. That is, they are in keeping with his very nature, so to live according to their pattern is to open oneself to […]

The Gospel of John – No Condemnation

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“I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life. “And I assure you that the time is coming, indeed it’s here now, when the dead will hear my voice—the voice of the Son of God. And those who listen will live.” John 5:24-25 To give life and to judge are related, for to have life is to escape condemnation. “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1) The great events of the last days are already taking place. With the coming of Jesus, we entered the last days. The judge they were expecting has come, before the final end of this age; the life of the age to come is already available. All of this is accomplished, Jesus says, in the one who hears my word and believes him who sent me. Those who recognize Jesus as the unique Son receive his words as having come from God and, accordingly, believe the Father who sent him. To know God is to have eternal life. Until we receive life from the Son, we are dead, under God’s wrath. “And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.” (John 3:36) If we hear the voice of Jesus and listen, we will live. The greater one is here that can speak to the dry bones and they will have life. (Ezekiel 37)

The Gospel of John – Jesus’ Authority

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“For just as the Father gives life to those he raises from the dead, so the Son gives life to anyone he wants. In addition, the Father judges no one. Instead, he has given the Son absolute authority to judge, so that everyone will honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son is certainly not honoring the Father who sent him.” John 5:21-23 These scriptures are Jesus’ claim to be God. Jesus explains that these greater works have to do with giving life and judging. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son. The Father has put everything into the Son’s hands, including the most fundamental realities of human existence, the giving of life and judgment. These two activities are at the heart of everything Jesus does in this Gospel, and these verses spell out his right to such responsibility and power. Jesus has been commissioned by God as his agent, but he transcends that role. He does not simply commit to the Father’s plan and faithfully execute it, as a good agent would do. He is to give life to whom he is pleased to give it. Jesus’ own will is involved. While Jesus can do nothing by himself, he does have a will of his own, and the Father authorizes Jesus to act according to that will. His human will, however, is completely in harmony with the Father’s will. So again we see the distinctness and the oneness of the Father and the Son. An agent might bring life in the name of God, but no agent could […]

The Gospel of John – The Father’s Love

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“For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing. In fact, the Father will show him how to do even greater works than healing this man. Then you will truly be astonished.” John 5:20 Jesus completes the revelation of the Father and it is grounded in the Father’s own love for the Son and the fact that the Father has not held anything back from the Son. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. The Father’s love is the heart of everything. “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) God’s love for the world leads him to send the Son so we may be able to share through the Spirit in the Father’s love for the Son. This eternal relationship is the source of Jesus’ activity, for it leads the Father to show the Son all he does. We see in this verse the Father takes the initiative; he is in control, and he is the source of all. This passage also emphasizes that the Father has held back nothing of his activities from the Son. Jesus’ healing on the Sabbath and his other deeds have amazed people, but he promises the Father will show the Son even greater things. Jesus’ desire for his opponents to be amazed is not due to any interest he might have in their acclaim–he does not care for human praise. Rather, Jesus works miracles that, like the miracles of Moses, will make people sit up and take notice and recognize that God has sent him. But on a deeper level, God seeks an amazement that comes from recognizing the Father in […]

The Gospel of John – Jesus and God are One

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“So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.” John 5:19 Who is capable of understanding all the ways and workings of God? There is no creature on earth that can understand God. Even the angels cannot understand all His ways. “They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now this Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen.” (1 Peter 1:12) This scripture in John is to prove that Jesus is the Son of God. He is saying that God and Him are one and that they are equal in all that they perform. When the Son exerts His Divine power, it is always in the conscious knowledge of the Father. It is this relationship that makes sense out of all that Jesus does. This conflict starts with Jesus healing the man on the Sabbath. The Jewish law allowed only God to work on the Sabbath. So Jesus claimed to be God and this infuriated the Jewish leaders, because Jesus was claiming to be God. The remainder of this chapter talks about the revelation that Jesus is God. We will look closer at this chapter in John. If we are to follow Jesus and give Him control of our life, we need the reassurance that Jesus is God and that He can do what He promises. This is what the Gospel of John is about.