Berean Bible Study Notes

John 4:25 - 5:47


Last time we ended here:

John 4:22 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 spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."

We talked about the "adopted" worship of the Samaritans, and how Messiah had to come through the Jews. (there were aspects of that that we didn't cover in our actual study, but were on the web site). We went over how Jesus is announcing a change - a new "must" to replace the old one. Formerly, the law insisted on worship of God to involve the Temple, but now worshippers will worship in spirit and in truth. That "in spirit" means lots of things, but primarily that we must have the Holy Spirit within us to truly worship. The "in truth" means that we must worship God as He is - as He has revealed Himself through His word - and not some kind of God that fits inside our imaginary box. In the words of C.S. Lewis, He is not a tame lion. Let's go on:

John 4:25 The woman said, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us."

Isn't it interesting that she had this perspective, having only the first five books of the Bible? (and corrupted ones at that). She knew that Messiah was coming, and she knew He would explain things. Among other places, she probably got that from here:

Deuteronomy 18:15 The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him.

Jesus responds:

John 4:26 Then Jesus declared, "I who speak to you am he."

Now, it's not obvious in the NIV, but this is the first of many "I am" statements in the Gospel of John. Literally, Jesus is telling her that the "I am" is speaking to her:

John 4:26 (Young's Literal) Jesus saith to her, 'I am [he], who am speaking to thee.'

John 4:26 (Interlinear) Says to her, Jesus, I am, the [one] speaking to thee.

This is how their dialog ends. Just for fun, how many times did Jesus speak to the woman? How many times did the woman speak to Jesus?

John 4:27 Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, "What do you want?" or "Why are you talking with her?"

Why were they surprised to find Jesus speaking to a woman? Apparently, there was a rule (a manmade rule - not one from God) that Rabbis could not speak to a woman alone on the street - not even his own wife.

John 4:28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 "Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?" 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him.

Note that this was a woman that may have been a little too well known to the men of the town. It's possible that they did not come because they wanted to see the Messiah, but because some of them may have been part of that "everything I ever did," and wanted to find out exactly what this stranger was saying. And, isn't interesting how the woman has gone from "Jew" to "Sir" to "Prophet" and now, finally, "Christ?"

John 4:31 Meanwhile his disciples urged him, "Rabbi, eat something."

32 But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you know nothing about."

33 Then his disciples said to each other, "Could someone have brought him food?"

34 "My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35 Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36 Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37 Thus the saying 'One sows and another reaps' is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor."

The disciples had yet to learn how very satisfying it is to do the work of God. Of course, they were misunderstanding that Jesus meant spiritually satisfying food, not physical food - just as the woman misunderstood living water. For fun, how many of those misunderstandings are there in John?

Here is what Gary Baumler says in the People's Bible (Baumler, Gary. The People's Bible: John, Northwestern Publishing, Milwaukee, 1997)

And from Jon Courson (Courson, J. 2003. Jon Courson's Application Commentary . Thomas Nelson: Nashville, TN):

Jesus is also reminding us here that 'One sows and another reaps.' You may have shared about Jesus with others, with little observable results. Yet, there may be some in heaven that wouldn't be there if you did not (or do not) do the sowing. God doesn't ask you to make believers. He asks you to share His Word, His Gospel. You simply sow the seed and leave the sprouting up to Him.

Now, quick note about the 'Four months more and then the harvest': Harvest begins with the Feast of First Fruits, which is on the day we call Easter. At that time (our March/April), the very first of the harvest is brought to the Temple. Harvest gets into full swing by Pentecost (our May/June). If this is referring to the first of the harvest, then, yes, this is probably somewhere from late November to early January. If it is referring to Pentecost, it would be January or February.

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.

I find it intriguing that Jesus stayed two days. Now, there may be many reasons that he stayed two days, and it's probably pointless to wonder any more about it. However, to me, it's interesting that Jesus had left Judea to avoid confrontation with the Jewish leadership who rejected what He had to say. So, He goes from a rejection of the Jews to what is essentially Gentile territory. How long does He stay there? Two days.

How long has Jesus stayed (figuratively speaking) in essentially Gentile territory since His full rejection by the Jewish leadership? About 2,000 years. It reminds me of these verses:

Hosea 6:1 "Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. 2 After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence.

Since Jesus' ascension, it has been about 1980 years (using 32 AD). However, if you count in 360-day years, we are already "early on the third day." Does it mean anything? I don't know. I do know that that "must" go through Samaria is there for a reason. I don't know what that full reason is.

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. (Making those "two days" even more interesting. However, 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 4:43 After the two days he left for Galilee. 44(Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country.) 45 When he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him. They had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, for they also had been there.

Now, it's not clear in John, but apparently, after the incident with John the Baptist and the Jewish leadership, John was thrown in prison. Matthew says this:

Matthew 4:12 When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he returned to Galilee. 13 Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— 14 to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:

15 "Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, along the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— 16 the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned."

Jesus went to be the great light that had been prophesied. Galilee was an area that included many Gentiles (that's why it was called Galilee of the Gentiles), but it had many Jewish people. Jesus Himself was Galilean, and so were 11 of His disciples. Some scholars believe that Galilee was mostly Jewish, including this guy: Mostly Jewish?

John 4:43 After the two days he left for Galilee. 44(Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country.) 45 When he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him. They had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, for they also had been there.

John 4:45 (NKJV) So when He came to Galilee, the Galileans received Him, having seen all the things He did in Jerusalem at the feast; for they also had gone to the feast.

That word "welcomed" is the word dechomai (dekh'-om-ahee). It means to receive passively, as when I have a gift for you, and set it next to you. It's yours, but you do nothing to take it or pick it up. That kind of goes along with verse 44, since the area of Galilee was where Jesus was from. However, it fits oddly with the second half of verse, having seen all the things He did in Jerusalem at the feast; for they also had gone to the feast.

The People's Bible says, "they were primarily impressed with the miraculous things he did, not with who he was and what he had to teach them." The fact that it was the Passover is inferred, and not directly from the Greek. The Greek simply implies one of the Jewish feasts. The last feast mentioned was back in chapter 2:

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.

So, it is assumed that that is the feast that is being referred to. However, if this is December or up to February, Jesus would also have attended both the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) in summer and the Feast of Tabernacles in the fall, since every able-bodied male was required to attend those in Jerusalem.

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."

The man begs, and Jesus replies with so much mercy, "You may go. Your son will live." Jon Courson points out another story of a Gentile nobleman (Courson, J. 2003. Jon Courson's Application Commentary . Thomas Nelson: Nashville, TN)

He may have started out demanding visible signs and wonders, but look at how he reacts to Jesus words:

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.

Speeding along to Chapter 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?"

Note that the King James and New King James include verse 4. You can find everything on the Internet from every angle on this, from "It's a Satanic deception of the modern translations to leave out vital information" to "Well-meaning scribes added the commonly held tradition to explain what was happening." Ivan Panin's work seems to support the addition idea. It is not important one way or the other. You can understand the story in either case, if you continue reading.

So, the feast is likely Passover, which is the next Feast that required attendance in Jerusalem, if Jesus was in Cana sometime between December and February. "Passover" came to mean the entire stretch of days between the day that the lambs were chosen (Nisan 10) and the end of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (began on Nisan 15 and continued for seven days), instead of just the 14th of Nisan when the lambs were killed and eaten. It doesn't have to be Passover, though. In any case, it will have been at least a year since the miracles mentioned at the last Passover.

The Sheep Gate is just one of the gates of Jerusalem and the Temple. If you're interested, here is some information from Nelson's Bible Dictionary (Youngblood, R. F., Bruce, F. F., Harrison, R. K., & Thomas Nelson Publishers. 1995. Nelson's new illustrated Bible dictionary. T. Nelson: Nashville):

Liberal scholars tried to say for years that this episode in John was a fanciful story because no such pool existed. However, the Pool of Bethesda was found in the 1960's and is a popular tourist destination today. It really had five porches. Apparently, there is also an intermittent spring that really does bubble the water up from time to time.

Pool of Bethesda

Does archaeology confirm or deny the claims of the Bible?

Archeology and the New Testament 

Back to the story:

John 5:1 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?"

A great number of people were there, but Jesus chose only one to go to - a man who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. (the same number of years that the Israelites wandered in the wilderness before being "cured.") He asks, "Do you want to get well?" and the man responds:

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.

Can you believe them getting upset because Jesus healed on the Sabbath day? The man certainly didn't mean to bring any difficulty to Jesus (he probably expected his "spiritual leaders" to rejoice as he was!), but the Jewish leadership was "itching for trouble." They truly didn't understand God's intent for the Sabbath. It was meant to be a time of praise and recovery, rest and restoration. It was never meant to cause harm. In Mark, Jesus says,

Mark 2:27 Then he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

Jesus responds by saying,  "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working." That was quite an answer and much was packed into it. Back in John 3, Jesus had said, The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands, but this is the first time in John where He says, "My Father." He is saying that the Father continues to work, Sabbath or not. It's a good thing that God does not take a day off! The Jews had no concept of what all Jesus was saying when He said, I, too, am working. Yes, He was doing His Father's work, following His Father's will - keeping His appointments, bringing people to faith, and healing on the Sabbath when necessary. (Perhaps healing on the Sabbath intentionally, with many reasons for doing so). That's just the beginning of Jesus' work. Remember this verse?

Colossians 1:17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Our universe would fly apart if Jesus wasn't holding it together. Jesus is also implying that the work of the Father and His own work are the same. How do the Jews respond?

John 5:18 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.

You need to mark that verse in your Bible if you have not. This is what "Son of God" means. When Jesus called Himself the "Son of God," He was making himself equal with God. Have you ever heard or read that "Jesus never said he was God. He just called himself the 'Son of God.'"? Liberal scholars say that. Jehovah Witnesses say that. This verse is the response to that.

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.

Now, Jesus will go on to expand on these three claims:

John 5:24 "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. 25 I tell you the truth, 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.

This is the spiritual rebirth, the spiritual "coming to life."

John 5:26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son 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 good will rise to live, and those who have done 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.

Or, as the NASB puts it (more word for word):

John 5:28 "Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, 29 and will come forth; those who did the good {deeds} to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil {deeds} to a resurrection of judgment.

This refers then to physical resurrection. The spiritual resurrection "has now come," while the physical resurrection is yet to come. Jesus is claiming to be the author of both! The word "hour" or "time" can mean a point in time or a period of time, as it does in verse 25.

John 5:31 "If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid. 32 There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is valid.

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 very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me.

John the Baptist testified truthfully about Jesus, but Jesus has even greater testimony - the very work that He is doing. Jesus is fulfilling prophecy - fulfilling the very Scriptures that these men claim to be experts in.

2 Peter 1:19 (more sure word of prophecy)

John 5:37 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.

We've discussed this verse before - that it was Jesus who made the appearances in the Old Testament, Jesus whose voice was heard.

John 5:38 nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent.

Paul speaks of this same thing:

2 Corinthians 3:14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.

1 Corinthians 2:14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

In other words, God's Word makes no sense with the Holy Spirit to help you understand. And, you will not have the Holy Spirit if you do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the savior.

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, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

The Bible is about Jesus. Jesus is saying that God, through Scripture, has testified about Him. He is fulfilling the very words that they have studied.

John 5:41 "I do not accept praise from men, 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.

Look at that last verse carefully. What does "accept him" mean? They are not accepting Jesus as their long-awaited Messiah, even though He has come in His Father's name. What does it say? Another guy is going to come in his own name, and they will accept that person as their Messiah. Someone will come in place of the true Messiah and will be accepted - a false Messiah.

John 5:44 How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise 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?"

Jesus is saying here that there are two who witness against these Jews - both the law and the prophets.

This section of Scripture is amazing. How can anyone - who actually reads and believes the Bible - say that Jesus never said He was God? Only a lunatic would say the things that Jesus said in this chapter - if He wasn't God, that is. John chapter 5 is a good chapter to remember when people raise those kind of arguments.

Here are some interesting maps that I ran across while preparing this lesson:

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 2/1/2012. If you have questions, comments, corrections or concerns, please write me.

Berean Bible Study Home Page