Berean Bible Study Notes

John 1-8, Summary

Time to pause and summarize the first eight chapters:

Who wrote the Gospel of John?

The early church had no question that the "Gospel of John" was written by John the Apostle, one of the Twelve. Many very early writers bear witness of that, including Irenaeus, a student of John's disciple Polycarp, who was certainly in a position to know. (John taught Polycarp who taught Irenaeus).

(more in Introduction to John)

What is the purpose of the Gospel of John?

John tells us why he wrote the Gospel:

John 20:30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

John's Gospel seems to be the last of the Gospels to be written. The other Gospels were apparently already widely distributed in the church. The other three are called the Synoptic Gospels because they share many things in common. John's Gospel is very different and only rarely repeats information that is found in the other three.

John's purpose is two-fold. First, he writes that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Accepting Jesus as God can be a stumbling block. Even if they don't believe it, people have to admit that the Gospel of John clearly portrays Jesus as God. That's why the Jehovah Witnesses need their own corrupt Bible version of John, where Jesus is just "a God."

The second reason is very profound: and that believing you may have life in His name. While unbelievers may gain something from this Gospel (God's Word does not return in vain!), it is written primarily for believers.

Matthew was written to Jews, to help them believe in Jesus as their Messiah. Mark is fast-paced, full of action, and presents Jesus as the suffering servant. Some believe it was written to the Romans. Luke seems to have been written for Gentiles. Some people believe that Luke and Luke II (otherwise known as Acts) were actually the court documents that preceded Paul's trial in Rome. Luke presents Jesus as the Son of Man. John, more than any other of the Gospels, was written for the edifying of the church. As he says in his purpose for writing, John presents Jesus as the Son of God, in whom we have life. He seems to be writing for both Jewish and Gentile believers.


Who was John?

John was known in the early church for his emphasis on loving one another. The church historian Eusebius (who wrote at the time of the Emperor Constantine, around 325 AD) said that John's sermons in the churches of Asia were usually, "Children, love one another." Perhaps because John's Gospel and Epistles do emphasize love, paintings of John, such as Leonardo DaVinci's "Last Supper," show John as slight, almost feminine. In real life, that could hardly be true. Before being an apostle, he had made his living as a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee. Chances are, he probably had deeply tanned skin and bulging muscles. Jesus referred to John and his brother James as "Sons of Thunder," maybe somewhat because of their appearance, but also because of their early tendency to shoot off their mouths:

Luke 9:51 Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, 52 and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. 53 But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. 54 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, "Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?"

Just another example of the transforming work of the Holy Spirit - from a "Son of Thunder" to the "Apostle of Love!"

John and his brother James were the sons of Zebedee, probably a man of means and influence. He had a profitable fishing business, with hired employees, and he was known to the High Priest. John's mother was Salome, who may have been the sister of Mary, the mother of Jesus. If that's true, it would make John a first cousin of Jesus, probably someone he had known all his life. Again, if that's true, it would make John's Gospel all the more remarkable, that he had come to know Jesus, his carpenter cousin, as Yahweh, creator of heaven and earth, the "I AM THAT I AM" of Scripture.

Here is one article that presents that argument: Cousins?

According to legend, the Roman emperor, Domitian, ordered John put into a cauldron of boiling oil, and he miraculously survived. Several early church fathers wrote that John was sent into exile on the island of Patmos by Domitian. It was there that he wrote the Book of Revelation around 95 AD. Eusebius says that after his release, when John was nearly 100 years old, he was carried from church to church on a stretcher. Some believe that it was during this time that he wrote his final epistles before his death around 100 AD.

The text of the Gospel of John

As we begin to get into the text of the Gospel of John, there are some things that we can begin to notice. There are no mysteries revealed in John. Remember that a biblical mystery is something that was not revealed in the Old Testament, but is explained in the new. The Greek word, musterion (moos-tay'-ree-on), is used 28 times in the New Testament, including each of the other three Gospels, but not in John. It is used four times in the Book of Revelation, which was written even later, so it's not that all the mysteries had been revealed. In the other three Gospels, the word is used when Jesus is explaining the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven or the kingdom of God. John leaves all that out.

There are no parables in John. If you remember the purpose of parables, it was to conceal, not reveal. John certainly heard many, many parables. Yet, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, he chooses to completely leave them out of his Gospel. Why? Perhaps since this Gospel is written primarily for the church, of whom Jesus said, it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, there is no reason to conceal anything. I'm sure there are deeper reasons also.

Just like the Book of Revelation, the Gospel of John is structured in sevens. They're just not as obvious as in Revelation. There, you have seven churches, seven seals, seven trumpets and so on, all spelled out. John is based on sevens also, but they're not as obvious. There are seven miracles:

John 2:11, Water into Wine

John 4:43-54, Healing the Official's Son

John 5:1-9, The Healing at the Pool of Bethesda

John 6:1-5, The feeding of the 5000

John 6:16-25, Walking on the Water

John 9:1-4, Healing The Man Born Blind

John 11:1-44, Raising Lazarus From The Dead


There are seven "I AM" statements:

John 6:48
I am the bread of life.

John 8:12
I am the light of the world.

John 10:9
I am the door.

John 10:11
I am the good shepherd.

John 11:25
I am the resurrection and the life.

John 14:6
I am the way, and the truth, and the life.

John 15:1
I am the true vine.


There are seven main discourses. The sevens continue even down to the words chosen. This was the book that caused Ivan Panin to begin looking into the hepatic structure of Scripture.

John 1

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God.

There is one other place in the Bible that begins the same way:

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

In a casual reading of that, in the beginning, we picture the beginning of something. You might say, "In the beginning of my work day, I woke up," and you're thinking back a few hours. When we read these words in Genesis and John, we think back to something a long time ago. If the world is 6,000 years old, then God must be much further back - millions, billions, trillions, infinite years back. That's not what these words are saying, though. This is actually the beginning of time itself. Time did not always exist. Time is a created property.

Way more on that in this study.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God.

In the beginning was the WORD, the logos. It's where we get our word "logic" from. In the sixth century BC, a Greek philosopher named Heraclitus seems to have been the first to use the word "logos" in a larger sense. According to the article Logos,

Perhaps John WAS playing off the Greek idea, but using the "Word" to apply to God goes back much further than Heraclitus! In the Bible, it first appears here (remember that the first time something appears is usually important):

Genesis 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward." 2 But Abram said, "Lord GOD, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?" 3 Then Abram said, "Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!"

4 And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, "This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir." 5 Then He brought him outside and said, "Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them." And He said to him,"So shall your descendants be."

6 And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

If you read this carefully, it's not really saying that words came to Abraham, but the word came, saying. The word came in a vision, saying "I am your shield." What, did Abraham see words written on the sky or something? Or, is this referring to God and calling Him "the word?" In verse 4 and 5, you can actually see the personification of the word. The word of the LORD came... Then He brought him outside. Who brought Abraham outside? Grammatically, it actually says the word brought him outside!

Try going to Blueletterbible or Biblegateway and doing a word search on "word of the Lord." Then, as you read through some of them, read with the idea that that "word" is Jesus, and see how it reads. That doesn't mean that words from God didn't just somehow come to the prophets. Scripture says they were inspired by the Holy Spirit! But, it's kind of interesting to wonder if "the word of the Lord came to Isaiah" might mean more than that. It's another on my growing list of things to ask Jesus about when I can learn at His feet!!

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God.

The Word was with God. He was face to face, in the closest relationship possible. The Word was with God and the Word was God. How can we ever fully understand what that means? Jesus tells us some of what that was like when He prays in John 17:

John 17:5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

John 17:10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine.

John 17:20 "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.


John 1:3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

I remember the first time I read this verse and actually paid attention to it. All my life, I had heard and understood that God created the heavens and the earth, but somehow I missed the fact that Jesus is the Creator. My Creator is also my Savior. Amazing.

Much more

John 1:3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

Jesus - the light - shines in the darkness. The darkness belongs to Satan. Evil hides in the darkness. Evil lurks in our hearts when our hearts are darkened. Jesus said, if the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness. But, He comes and shines a light in that dark place. He puts the spotlight on our sin, so that we can see it.

I'm obviously skipping tons. More at original.

John 1:6 There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9 The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.

Now, John the Baptist is introduced. There is a lot written of John the Baptist. In fact, Jesus says:

Matthew 11:11 I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

John came as a witness to the Light. He himself wasn't the Light, but he came to tell people that that Light was coming.

John 1:10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.

The world did not recognize Him. The Creator stepped into His world, but the world did not recognize Him. I think creation recognized Him, because He said that if men did not speak, the very stones would cry out - but people didn't. In a way, it's kind of understandable why the pagan world would not, but look at the next line: He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. His own were the Jews, who should have known Him. They were given the Scriptures, which were about Him - from one end to the other: The entire Old Testament was given so that they might recognize Him.

John 5:39 You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me,

Gabriel even gave Daniel a prophecy that pinned down the time of Messiah exactly. Martin Luther became very frustrated with the Jews because the prophecy in Daniel was so clear. Jesus held them accountable to know this prophecy:

Luke 19:42 "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace — but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you."

The Jewish leadership rejected Jesus, and as a result, physical Israel was blinded. (See Romans 11) Then, in 70 AD, Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed, all because his own did not receive him.

John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

I have a full Bible study on Jesus taking on flesh. You can find that here: Fully man

In one of his letters, John says:

1 John 4:2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

You remember that the tense of that is perfect, meaning once and for all. Jesus took on flesh for more than 33 years. He has resurrected flesh now, but still flesh.

Again, more on this here.

John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

In the Greek, it says He tabernacled among us. That is why some speculate that His actual birth date may have been on the Feast of Tabernacles, which is on the 15th day of Tishri (October 18 this year). The Feast of Tabernacles was the most joyous of Israel's feasts, and held after the last of the harvest is gathered in - a time when the shepherds were still in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. (There were lots of links in last year's early studies on the fall feasts, if you're interested) If that's true, it would be kind of a fun pun, because that day is always a full moon:

Galatians 4:4 But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, 5 to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.

So, the Word took on flesh and tabernacled among us. That word "tabernacled" also immediately sends our thoughts back to the Old Testament and the Tabernacle in the wilderness. Every aspect of the Tabernacle pointed to Jesus. We talked about that last year, too. It was really kind of a fun study: The Bible is About Jesus

Lots of info in the original study about John the Baptist.

John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

So, the next day, the day after John was questioned about who he was, Jesus Himself comes on the scene. John immediately proclaims not only who He is, but His mission: "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

John 1:35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, "Look, the Lamb of God!"

37 When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, "What do you want?"

They said, "Rabbi" (which means Teacher), "where are you staying?"

39 "Come," he replied, "and you will see."

So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him. It was about the tenth hour.

We talked a lot about the calling of Jesus' first disciples. You can find that here

John 2.

John 2:1 (NKJV) On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, "They have no wine."

We talked about how the "third day" hinted at resurrection, and how this whole story may hint at the upcoming wedding of the church as the bride of Christ. That was a really fun study, one of my favorites to put together for you. I guess I'd just encourage you to reread it if you're interested:

John 2:1-12, The wedding at Cana

I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to that future wedding to come!

Revelation 22:17 The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.

John 2:13 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

Remember that it is in the days leading up to Passover that houses are cleaned from top to bottom (spring cleaning comes from this) and every speck of yeast is removed. Throughout the Bible, yeast symbolizes sin and evil. Last year we went through every verse to test that. God is very serious about the symbolism:

Exodus 12:15 Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.


So, Passover is at hand, and Jesus prepares for it by cleaning His Father's house, the center and symbol of purity for Israel:

John 2:14 And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. 15 When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers' money and overturned the tables. 16 And He said to those who sold doves, "Take these things away! Do not make My Father's house a house of merchandise!"

There was a ton of symbolism in all that - way more than we can even begin to explore here. If you're interested, please read that study.

John 3

Now, we get into where Jesus met Nicodemus:

John 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him."

Now, we have the believers with no root contrasted with Nicodemous, one who is - or will be - a genuine believer. He is a ruler of the Jews, one of the Sanhedrin. In fact, his name even means "rule over the people." Nikao (nik-ah'-o) means to conquer, overcome, prevail, get the victory, and demos means the general public or people. When you read in Revelation about the Nicolaitans, that word means "to rule over" the laos, which is where we get our word laity.

Some quick information from Chuck Missler about Nicodemus:

Now, Jesus knows the questions that Nicodemus hasn't asked: Are you the Messiah? Are you going to save us from the Romans? Are you going to rule as our political king? Is it finally time for the kingdom of God to begin? Jesus bypasses all that and gets to the heart of the matter - what it will really mean to participate in the kingdom of God:

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

Now, poor Nicodemus is probably confused for a number of reasons. For one, he doesn't yet realize that the spiritual aspect of the kingdom of God must take precedence over anything else he is wondering about. For Nicodemus, it probably seems like a statement that comes out of nowhere. Didn't it for you, the first time you read it? So, he's trying to get his bearings on where this conversation is going. Perhaps to give himself time to figure it out, he wants Jesus to define his terminology:

John 3:4 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?"

Jesus answers:

John 3:5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."

If you remember, there was a lot packed into that answer. We went through the three main views of that verse in this study.

John 3:6 (NIV) Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' 8 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."

Being born again is God's decision, not ours:

John 1:12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.

1 Peter 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you

Matthew 16:15 "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" 16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ , the Son of the living God." 17 Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.

Being born again is accomplished through the work of the Holy Spirit:

Titus 3:4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,

1 Corinthians 12:3 Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.


The Spirit works through the Word of God:

1 Peter 1:23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

James 1:18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

Romans 10:17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.

John 15:3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.

John 6:63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.


That Word is the Gospel:

1 Corinthians 15:1 Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.


The Spirit continues to work within us, as living water:

John 4:13 Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

John 7:37 On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."

John 3:14 (NIV) 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.

16 "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. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."

Here is where Moses "lifted up the snake:"

Numbers 21:4 They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; 5 they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!"

6 Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. 7 The people came to Moses and said, "We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us." So Moses prayed for the people.

8 The LORD said to Moses, "Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live." 9 So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived.

This is really weird, if you think about it. What does the snake - or serpent - represent in the Bible? Satan and the entry of sin, right? But, Jesus is now saying that the snake somehow represented Him? How can that be? Remember this verse?

2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

The snake was made out of bronze, which symbolizes judgment. So, the snake on the pole was sin and Satan, judged. It goes even deeper than that, though. The people sinned, and God sent snakes among them, to kill them physically, just as their sin was killing them spiritually. So, the snakes are a direct representation of sin. The people weren't told to get rid of the snakes. There was no Moral Majority declaring that the people needed to band together to oust the snakes. They weren't told to treat their snake bites, either. There were no snake bite therapists.

No, they had to only do two things. First, they needed to acknowledge that they'd been bitten. Second, they needed to look at the snake on the pole and live. That word "look" in verse 8 is ra'ah {raw-aw'}. It means:

ra'ah {raw-aw'} Strongs #07200
1) to see, look at, inspect, perceive, consider

2) to look at, see, regard, look after, see after, learn about, observe, watch, look upon, look out, find out

3) to see, observe, consider, look at, give attention to, discern, distinguish

It can mean more than just "looking." It can mean just "see," but it often means to look with understanding or to gain understanding.

The "looked" of verse 9 is a different word, but it means pretty much the same thing. It's the word nabat {naw-bat'}:

nabat {naw-bat'} Strongs #05027

1) to look

2) to regard, show regard to, pay attention to, consider

3) to look upon, regard, show regard to

It's kind of fun that the word "snake," or serpent - same word as in the Garden, (nachash {naw-khawsh'}), the word "bitten" (nashak {naw-shak'}) and the word "brass" or "bronze" (n@chosheth {nekh-o'-sheth}) are all very similar words.

So, what does this mean? It means that there was nothing the people could do to help themselves except acknowledge that they'd been bitten and look at the snake on the pole, understanding what that meant for them. They couldn't just look at it blindly. They had to really SEE it, knowing what it was there for.

John 3:14 (NIV) 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.

Just as that snake was lifted up for snake-bitten Israelites, so Jesus was lifted up for a sin-bitten world. If you acknowledge that you are a sinner and need a savior and look to Jesus' work on the cross as the answer for your sin-bites, you will have eternal life.

We were designed to be three-part people - body, soul and spirit. When Adam and Eve sinned, we became two-part people. A two-part person is incomplete and forever seeking to fill that empty space. Possessions, people, power - we may look to all of them to fill that hole we feel. None of those are really what we need. We need the Spirit of God living inside us. We need to be born again.

So, to sum up this section, we must be born again. A new person must be born inside us. You can't revamp the old one. I am born again when I actively believe that Jesus died for MY sins.

John 3:22 After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized.

John 3:25 An argument developed between some of John's disciples and a certain Jew (some manuscripts say "Jews" - probably the same ones who were asking John if he was the Messiah) over the matter of ceremonial washing. 26 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 — well, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him."

John 3:27 To this John replied, "A man can receive only what is given him from heaven. 28 You yourselves can testify that I said, 'I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of him.'

John 3:29 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.

John 3:30 He must become greater; I must become less.

Here is one of those "musts" that we kept running across in that lesson. Each one was a big deal. We must be born again. Jesus must be lifted up. And, now this one: He must become greater; I must become less. Here John gives us a truth for himself. As a forerunner to the Messiah, the Messiah must become more important while the forerunner fades away. The one he was preparing the way for was here! This is another greater truth, though. Again, John (through the Holy Spirit) is making a commentary of what Jesus had said previously. What is the secret to being truly changed after being born again? Jesus must become greater, and we must become less. The worldly part of us needs to diminish; our pride needs to be wiped away; our selfish, fleshly desires must be put to death. How do you do that? How do you get rid of the "me first" attitude of your heart?

I must be humble. I must stop thinking of myself. I must think of others first. I...I...I. Isn't it weird that the very effort to do that prevents its success? What is the secret to I must become less? It's right there in the verse - He must become greater. The secret is not to try to stop thinking about ourselves (which inevitably leads to thinking about ourselves), but to concentrate on Jesus. Fix your eyes on Jesus. Seek Him with all your heart, and the I must become less just happens automatically.

Tons more here: John 3:22-36

John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him."

Now John the Baptist proclaims the Gospel, in nearly identical language to what Jesus said earlier:

John 3:18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

John 4

John 4:1 The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John, 2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3 When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

John 4:4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

This is our fourth "must." It's the same word used previously - Must be born again. Must be lifted up. He must increase. This implies that it is just as important. Why?

Jesus is following the same evangelistic pattern as set out in Acts:

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

First He was in Jerusalem with Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. Then, He was in Judea, where He gained followers and His disciples were baptizing people. Now, He moves into Samaria. Again, why "must?" Is the pattern so important? Sometimes it is. Look what happened to Moses when he messed up God's pattern; he was forbidden from entering the promised land. Is it the pattern so important now? I don't really know. I know that Jesus always does as His Father desired, so maybe it was that important.

At the very least, His Father has set up an appointment and Jesus must keep it. Did the woman know that Jesus would be there? No. Jesus works things out so that she is there at the exact time that He is. Everything is under God's control. There are no accidents. Those divine appointments continue today. They continue THIS day. You are where you are, doing what you're doing, learning what you're learning - all for a reason.

John 4:13 Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

"This water" is, of course, referring to the well water or to any natural water. You can also apply that idea to anything in our world that we attempt to quench our "thirst" with. If our thirst is for pleasure, any quenching we do is just temporary. We will thirst again, in even greater amounts. Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. What kind of water is that? That's the Holy Spirit, as John the Apostle includes later in his Gospel:

John 7:37 On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

That "never" is the strongest negative you can have in Greek. It means never, never, ever! He is saying that that living water cannot fail. "Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." If you have the Holy Spirit inside you, you HAVE eternal life, as has been said twice before in the previous section. This is a favorite theme of John:

John 6:35 Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.

Revelation 7:15 Therefore, "they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. 16 Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. 17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

Lots, lots more from that lesson: John 4:1-24

John 4:39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me everything I ever did."

40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers.

42 They said to the woman, "We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world."

They may have come originally for the wrong reasons, but when they met Jesus, they believed. She spoke about what Jesus had said to her, and they came. Whether they came because they were genuinely intrigued that this might be the Messiah, or whether they were worried about what the stranger might be saying about them, they came because of her testimony. And, when they met Jesus and heard His words, they believed.

Many people may come seeking God for the wrong reasons, but when they truly meet Jesus, they will believe for the right ones.

Now, before we totally leave this story of the woman at the well, let's note some things. What is the woman, symbolically? She is an unnamed, Gentile woman - an obvious sinner, yet forgiven when she believes in the "I am" savior. Symbolically, she is a type of the church. (NOTE - before I get going here, don't ever lose track of the fact that this was a real woman with real sin who really met the Savior. I'd rather you never see the symbols than get the idea that the Bible is just a big allegory.) Did she seek out Jesus? No, He sought her. When was the appointment to see her made? You could argue that it was made before the creation of the world. Did Jesus have success with the Jews? What did John say? No one accepts his testimony. (John 3:32) Remember how the Gospel of John started?

John 1:11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.

Who were his own? The Jews. But, his own did not receive him. Does He have success with these Gentiles, without signs and wonders? Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, . . .And because of his words many more became believers.

In this little story, we have the history of the church. Paul says, Jews demand miraculous signs (1 Corinthians 1:22). Yet, even with miraculous signs, the Jews rejected Jesus and were hardened or blinded, and the Gospel went out to the Gentiles. The Gentiles believed based on His Word alone, without signs and wonders.

John 4:46 Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.

48 "Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders," Jesus told him, "you will never believe."

Now, the "royal official" was apparently someone from King Herod's court. Since King Herod was not a Jew, it is unlikely that his court was Jewish. So, this was probably a Gentile. Jesus is keeping another appointment set up by His Father - this time in Cana with an unnamed courtier. The official was aware of the "signs and wonders" that Jesus had done at the Passover in Jerusalem and wanted a miracle of his own. Notice what Jesus says to him, "Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders," Jesus told him, "you will never believe." Unlike the Samaritans, who believed Jesus at His Words, the people in Galilee want signs and wonders in order to believe.

John 4:49 The royal official said, "Sir, come down before my child dies."

50 Jesus replied, "You may go. Your son will live."

John 4:50(b) The man took Jesus at his word and departed. 51 While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. 52 When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, "The fever left him yesterday at the seventh hour."

53 Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, "Your son will live." So he and all his household believed.

54 This was the second miraculous sign that Jesus performed, having come from Judea to Galilee.

He stops demanding that Jesus come to his house, and he simply believes! And, look what happens to his entire house - they all believed. It's been born out by research that when the father believes, it is much more likely that the household will believe. A believing mother has far less influence on her children than a believing father. (That doesn't mean it's hopeless for households with unbelieving fathers, though - look at Timothy!)

Now, that last verse can be a little confusing. In the King James, it reads:

John 4:54 This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee.

It's not the second miracle overall. Remember that back in Chapter 2, it said,

John 2:23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his name.

It's the second miracle in Galilee, and it's the second specific miracle in the Gospel of John. (How many specific miracles are there in John?) Now, why does the Holy Spirit make a point of mentioning this? This miracle took place in Cana - the same place that the first miracle of the water into wine took place. Obviously, we are supposed to put the two side by side for some reason. Wish I could tell you what that reason is! It's obviously meant to show us something, but I have no idea what. Both involved "the third day." Both involved unnamed servants that actually saw the miracle take place. Both involved a gentle rebuke followed by belief and trust. Other than that, I don't know.

John 5

John 5:1 (NIV) Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews. 2 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. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie — the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 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?"

That's from the NIV, and because this is one place where the Greek texts differ, I'll give you the same thing from the New King James:

John 5:1 (NKJV) After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. 5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, "Do you want to be made well?"

John 5:7 "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."

8 Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

Note that the man is not displaying any kind of faith. We'll see in a bit that he didn't even know who Jesus was. Jesus found him - he didn't find Jesus. Jesus' very words contain the power to cure the man. And, he doesn't stick around to create a scene. He picks up his mat and walked! It was part of Jesus' command, and the man's body obeyed.

The plot thickens:

John 5:9 (b) The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jews 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.

God had forbidden work on the Sabbath, and the Jews had made up all kinds of rules as to what that meant, and one of them was that you couldn't carry anything. Again, "the Jews" here means the Jewish leadership. They are leaping on an opportunity to enforce their law. The man who was healed didn't know who healed him! Isn't that interesting? So, was he healed by his faith in Jesus? Not in this case. It was pure mercy on Jesus' part - another appointment set by His Father.

This is third of the seven miracles in the Gospel of John. So far, none of these are recorded in the other Gospels. I firmly believe they were all chosen for a reason. What that is, I don't know.

John 5:14 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 Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.

The man seems to have gone to worship God at the Temple. I would, too, if I'd just been cured of a 38-year ailment! Because of the "Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you," some people believe that his ailment had been some kind of sexually transmitted disease.

J. Vernon McGee says (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible Commentary Series: John, 1991, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville):

John 5:16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jews persecuted him. 17 Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working." 18 For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

Now, the Jewish leadership was not trying to actually kill Jesus right then. The word "tried" in the NIV or "sought" in the King James and New King James is zeteo {dzay-teh'-o}. It means to seek [in order to find out] by thinking, meditating, reasoning, to enquire into or to seek after, strive for. They were beginning to plan how to kill Him, and the more they heard Him speak, the more they wanted it. They actively wanted Him dead and were working on how it might be accomplished.

The claims of Jesus

What did Jesus think about that? Does He try to soothe them?

John 5:19 Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, 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.

Did you catch that? Jesus is saying that whatever the Father does, He can also do! Gary Baumler, in The People's Bible, says, "The words of Jesus clearly enough said to the Jews: 'You feel I claim to be equal with God. You're right, but you haven't seen anything yet.'"

Claim #1: The Son can do whatever the Father does.

Think about how that sounded to these guys!

John 5:20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these. 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.

Claim #2: The Son will raise the dead and give life to whoever He wants to.

That claim was both spiritual and physical. We've already seen Him give spiritual life. Later, He will give physical life. Jesus will actually raise the dead. Don't let your familiarity with that rob you of the wonder of that statement. He is telling the Jewish leadership that He will raise the dead!

John 5:22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son,

Claim #3: All judgment has been given to the Son.

These people were very familiar with the idea of "judgment day" and the "wrath of God." They knew that one day God would destroy all sinners. It was a constant theme of Scripture. Yet, Jesus is here claiming to be that instrument of judgment.

John 5:23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.

Now, pay attention to this. Because these three things are true, Jesus is saying that He deserves as much honor as God the Father. These three are wild, wild statements. C.S. Lewis said about this that there are only three possibilities. Either Jesus knew He wasn't God and was therefore a liar. Or, He only THOUGHT He was God, and was a raving lunatic. In either case, He deserves no honor. The only other possibility is that they are true, and that Jesus is God and truly deserves our honor, our worship, our obedience, our very lives.

So, John 5 has two big things - the healing of the invalid man and these three claims of Jesus:

Claim #1: The Son can do whatever the Father does.

Claim #2: The Son will raise the dead and give life to whoever He wants to. (Both spiritual and physical)

Claim #3: All judgment has been given to the Son.

John, chapter 5, is a very good chapter to remember if you are in a discussion with someone who claims that Jesus never said He was God - or who says that Jesus was just the "son of God."

More here: John 4:25 - 5:47

John 6

Jesus feeds the 5,000. This was the fourth specific miracle in the book of John. Lots and lots of interesting things going on. If you don't remember, you might want to review it. It would take too long today. A bit later in chapter 6, Jesus walks out to His disciples on the water. This is the fifth miracle in the Gospel of John, but it is a 4-part miracle. Jesus walks on the water, Jesus makes Peter walk on the water, the huge wind vanishes, and the boat is instantly at the shore.

So, the people who had eaten bread stayed overnight to see what would happen the next day. The New Living Translation explains this very clearly:

John 6:22 (NLT) The next morning, back across the lake, crowds began gathering on the shore, waiting to see Jesus. For they knew that he and his disciples had come over together and that the disciples had gone off in their boat, leaving him behind. 23 Several boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the Lord had blessed the bread and the people had eaten. 24 When the crowd saw that Jesus wasn't there, nor his disciples, they got into the boats and went across to Capernaum to look for him. 25 When they arrived and found him, they asked, "Teacher, how did you get here?"

As usual, Jesus skips all the preamble and gets to the heart of the matter:

John 6:26 (NKJV) Jesus answered them and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. 27 Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him."

Their minds are on the food they ate the day before, and now they want Jesus to keep taking care of them that way. He's telling them, "No, that's not what I'm here for." He was there to give them eternal life. Their minds immediately go the Law, and God's requirements of them:

John 6:28 Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?"

Jesus is telling them that the job of the Law is done. The one they were supposed to recognize is here. He's talking "give," and they're talking "do."

John 6:29 Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent."

Look how they answer Him:

John 6:30 Therefore they said to Him, "What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'"

They're basically saying, "Look, buddy, the bread yesterday was great, but it wasn't any different than what Moses did. And Moses was the one who gave us the Law to keep. Who are you to tell us something different?"

John 6:32 Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."

Their response sounds promising:

John 6:34 Then they said to Him, "Lord, give us this bread always."

But, Jesus knows they do not really believe:

John 6:35 And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."

This is the first of seven "I am" comparisons in the Gospel of John.

I'm going to skip a bunch here and go on:

John 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.

This is such an amazing verse. He is saying that the words ARE spirit and ARE life. His very words create that in you. That's why God's Word is different from any other book in the world. No other book has the power to actually change you from the inside out. That word "life" is zoe {dzo-ay'}. It means (from BlueLetterBible):

1) life

a) the state of one who is possessed of vitality or is animate

b) every living soul

2) life

a) of the absolute fulness of life, both essential and ethical, which belongs to God, and through him both to the hypostatic "logos" and to Christ in whom the "logos" put on human nature

b) life real and genuine, a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed, in the portion even in this world of those who put their trust in Christ, but after the resurrection to be consummated by new accessions (among them a more perfect body), and to last for ever


John 6:64 But there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. 65 And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father."

66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. 67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?"

68 But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

A couple of you have mentioned that this was your favorite study. You can read more here: John 6


John 7

John 7 takes place primarily at the Feast of Tabernacles. This was one of MY favorite studies, so I can't even start here or I wouldn't stop. John 7

John 8

John 8:1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. 3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, 4 they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?" 6 This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.

John 8:12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."

This statement is the second of the seven "I am" metaphorical statements in John. It begins a long discourse with Jesus and the Pharisees. Every one of the seven long discourses is preceded by some kind of event that relates, in this case, the story of the adulterous woman. The Pharisees and scribes bringing her to Jesus walked in darkness. Jesus had brought their hidden sins into the light:

1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one's praise will come from God.

John 8:23 And He said to them, "You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am (He), you will die in your sins."

That "He" is not in the Greek.

This long discourse with the Pharisees ends this way:

John 8:57 Then the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?"

58 Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM."

59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

Jesus was in full control of the timing of His death - and it was not time. Nor was stoning the manner in which He intended to die. It had been prophesied that He would die by crucifixion, not stoning.

All of this happened on that eighth day, the day that the Jews celebrate the fulfillment of the Law - the day that seems to represent eternity.

Chapter 8 is another good chapter to remember (along with chapter 5) for when you want to show people that Jesus specifically called Himself God. You can find the full study here: John 8


The Berean Bible Study of the Gospel of John


Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. - Acts 17:11

© 2012 This study was written by Jacqui Komschlies and last updated 3/6/2012. If you have questions, comments, corrections or concerns, please write me.

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