Bible Study: John One
My good friend overseas and I are going to go through the book of John together. Everytime she reads a chapter, she sends me her thoughts or questions and I do the same back…..Since we are typing this anyways, I thought I would open it up as a basic Bible study with anyone who wants to jump in. Feel free to read along with us and post any follow up questions or thoughts here….
Notes to my friend……
“I suggested John because you wanted to learn about Jesus and John (who is one of the 12 apostles) has a good way of telling the story of Jesus. I’ll just run through some thoughts on John One and you respond with any thoughts you have.
John One (Most of this you probaly figured out. I’m just putting down random thoughts….)
- One thing to notice is the word “Word” is capatlized because John is using this as a nickname for Jesus. So if you reread the verses replacing Word with Jesus, it gives you a little better understanding. Jesus is the Word because his life shows us God’s words of love and mercy.
- Jesus always was since the beginning and was with God and is God (which is part of that Trinity part I told you about earlier)
- In Jesus is life by accepting Him as Leader and Forgiver
- The light (Jesus) shines in the darkness (the world) but the darkness (the world) did not understand it
- It’s kinda like poetry where the poet uses methaphors to help us understand things from a new perspective.
- The John he speaks of is a different John….He is Jesus’ cousin (Luke 1) who was a prophet who was sent to tell people Jesus was coming
- Those who recieved Him, those who believed in His name are those who are saved which we talked about
**Now for your question** “And what does it mean ” for the law was given through Moses”
In the Old Testament, a prophet by the name of Moses (mostly in Exodus but he wrote the first five books of the Bible) was given the law by God and he was to give it to the people. It was basically a bunch of rules of what we should and should not do (The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-21); Leviticus; Dueteronomy). God’s people lived for years following the “law”
When Jesus came, He said “Do not think I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17)
He also said …..
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commendment. And the second is like it “Love your neighbor as yourself.” All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 37-40
So, here’s what it all means…….Jesus fulfilled the Law by showing us that all we need to do is Love; Love God, Love Each Other, Love Ourselves. If we act in Jesus’ love, then the Law is fulfilled because we won’t do bad things. If I am acting in Jesus’ love I won’t want to lie, kill, commit adultry, gossip, and the like. We don’t have to earn peace with God which really we will never earn but through Christ’s love, we can have it.
- Story of John the Baptist (Jesus’ cousin from above) His ministry of telling people about the coming Messiah became so popular that some of the preists and Levities (also like priests) came to see what he was doing. The priests and religious people of the time were more worried about power, tradition, and doing things thier way than they were about the life Jesus would have for us. They believed in the Law (doing all the right things and looking good) but did not care about Love (which is still a problem sometimes today).
- So John tells them about the coming Messiah and they leave.
- Jesus is announced by John in public and starts His ministry at age 30. John says he came to baptize so that Jesus could be revealed. This was to fulfill the prophecy they all would have learned since they were kids that there would be a voice in the wilderness preparing the road like he quoted of Isaiah earlier.
- Then the Holy Spirit (the third part of God) came in the form of a dove and landed on Jesus so John would know He is the Messiah and he announced this.
- The start of the Apostles….two hear from John the Baptist and follow Jesus. One is Andrew and many believe the other was John, the author himself. But they follow and then Andrew goes and tells his brother. A lot of people when they find Jesus want to tell others.
- When Jesus meets Peter, named Simon by birth….Jesus says he will be know as Peter (which means Rock) Names meant alot back then. (Like with Nadezhea means hope which is fitting since she is the fulfillment of our hope for a daughter) As we read more, you’ll notice that Jesus always called him Simon while Jesus was here and Simon was learning how to be strong like a rock. It was after Jesus’ death and resurrection that people started calling him Peter. He went from a common fisherman to a powerful leader in the early church after many mistakes, fears, and lessons.
- The calling of more Apostles to follow and learn. One hears from others who experienced Jesus, One is invited. Philip wonders if anything good can come from Jesus’ hometown because it is such a common place. God often uses the common to do big things with.
- Jesus does a small miracle to convience one to follow but promises a life of miracles and being able to see eternity.