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The Gospel of John 6:16-24 (Jesus walks on water.)



 

We change gears into Chapter 6:16-24 where Jesus walks on water.

16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, 17 where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. 18 A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. 19 When they had rowed about three or four miles,[b] they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened. 20 But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” 21 Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.

22 The next day the crowd that had stayed on the opposite shore of the lake realized that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not entered it with his disciples, but that they had gone away alone. 23 Then some boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the people had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 Once the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum in search of Jesus.

Questions for discussion:

  1. After all that Jesus had done, why did the Disciples get frightened after seeing him walk across the water?
  2. Why do you think people went to Capernaum to search for Jesus?
  3. Does it frighten you, (like Peter) to put all of your trust in Jesus?
  4. Can you name a scene in any of my books or short stories that has a body of water in the presence of God?



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Bible Study; Angelic Wars; Christian Author; Musical Novels

The Gospel of John 6:1-15 (The Feeding of the 5,000.)



 

We change gears into Chapter 6:1-15 where Jesus performs one of his most popular miracles.

Sometime after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick. Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Festival was near.

When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.

Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”

Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”

10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). 11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.

12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.

14 After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” 15 Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.

Questions for discussion:

  1. Do you think the only purpose of this miracle was to feed 5,000 men (plus women and children), who would go hungry the next day?
  2. Why did the people call Jesus a prophet?
  3. Why did Jesus withdraw when they wanted to make him king?
  4. Have you experienced a miracle that yielded more than you asked for?



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The Gospel of John 5:31-47 (The testimony about Jesus.)



 

Now we move forward in John 5:31-47 where Jesus tells the religious leaders who validates him.

31 “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. 32 There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is true.

33 “You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. 34 Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved. 35 John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light.

36 “I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, 38 nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. 39 You study[c] the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

41 “I do not accept glory from human beings, 42 but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. 43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. 44 How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?

45 “But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. 46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. 47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”

Questions for discussion:

  1. Jesus mentions John the Baptist, not to validate the Messiah, but “mention[ed] it that you may be saved.” What did he mean by that?  What role did John the Baptist play in the coming of the Messiah?”
  2. Is there Scriptural support for, “For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me?”
  3. What did Jesus mean by, “…nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent?”
  4. Since we have started this study, do you feel like the Word is starting to dwell in you? Please explain.



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angelic wars; musical novel; Rick E Norris; Christian author

The Gospel of John 5:16-30 (Jesus saying he is God)



 

Now we move forward in John 5:16-30 where Jesus says he is God. Though he doesn't use that word, “God,” to those of his day, he was saying the same thing.

16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. 17 In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” 18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. 21 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. 22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.

24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. 25 Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.

28 “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned. 30 By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.

Questions for discussion:

  1. What is Jesus saying that makes the religious leaders angry enough to want to kill him?
  2. What authority is Jesus saying that he has in this section?
  3. Do you feel like you have experienced a new life when you accepted Jesus?



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The Gospel of John 5:1-15 (Healing through Faith)



 

We continue to Chapter 5:1-15 and Jesus's healing of the disabled man at the Sheep's Gate pool. It is a good example of faith and waiting for God's timing.

Sometime later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”

11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ”

12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?”

13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.

Questions for discussion:

  1. Why do you think that the healing of one paralyzed man is important here?  Others were waiting at the pool side for an angel to stir the water, so that they could jump in and be cured.  Why didn’t Jesus just use the angel and push the man in?
  2. Why do you think Jesus warned the man about sinning?  He said that worse things can happen.
  3. Have you relied on other people to help you, only to be disappointed?  Are you relying on God now?



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The Gospel of John 4:1-25 (Jesus’s compassion for the outcast).



 

We now move on to John 4:1-25 where Jesus reveals himself as the Messiah to a Samaritan woman.

Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a])

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”

17 “I have no husband,” she replied.

Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

Questions for discussion:

  1. Was the woman an outcast in her village?  If so, how do we know and what does it mean for our relationship with Jesus?
  2. What did Jesus mean about, “the gift of God?”
  3. What did Jesus mean by, “Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.”
  4. What also did he mean by: “Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
  5. Do some people treat you as an outcast because you follow Jesus?



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The Gospel of John 3:22-36 (Messiah or Prophet?)



 

Here is the next section: John 3:22-36 where John the Baptist distinguishes himself from Jesus.

After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized. Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were coming and being baptized.  (This was before John was put in prison.) An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”

 To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete.  He must become greater; I must become less.”

 The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. Whoever has accepted it has certified that God is truthful.  For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit. The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands.  Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.




Questions and discussion:

  1. What did John mean by “a person can receive only what is given them from Heaven?”
  2. What was John trying to say by his analogy of his story of the bridegroom and bridegroom’s friend?
  3. Who is speaking in verses 31-36, John the Baptist or John the Evangelist (Gospel writer?)



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The Gospel of John 3:16-21 (Salvation)



 

Here is your next section, including one of the most quoted verses in the New Testament.  John 3:16-21

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.




Questions and discussion:

  1. The Koran states that Allah loves those who obey him.  Does the God of the Bible only love those who obey him?  Why or why not?
  2. What does the line: “Light has come into the world…” mean?
  3. Do you have trouble showing the light of Jesus through your behavior?  Does giving into temptation dull that light?



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The Gospel of John 3:9-15 (Heavenly Things).



 

Here we are continuing the Nicodemus scene in John 3:9-15.

“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.

 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things?  Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.  I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?  No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”




Questions and discussion:

  1. Jesus directly told Nicodemus that Jesus came from heaven.  But he refers to himself as the Son of Man.  Why did he refer to himself as the “Son of Man,” and not the “Son of God?” 
  2. What did Jesus mean by that he will be lifted up like Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness? Is that idolatry?
  3. Have you had difficulty getting others to believe in Jesus because they could not see him?



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The Gospel of John 3:1-8 (Born again!).



 

Here is the next section, John 3:1-8.  Many Christian memorized John 3:16, but the overall story in John 3 is very fascinating.

Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spiritgives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘Youmust be born again.’  The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”




Questions and discussion:

  1. What did Jesus mean by “born again?”? 
  2. Can we be “born again?” How?”
  3. What is the “Kingdom of God?”
  4. What did Jesus mean by his analogy of the “wind?”
  5. Are you born again?



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