Gospel of John (CBS)/Week 2

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Congratulations on surviving the first week! Tests will be graded shortly and I will post the results when I am done. This week we begin Unit 2: The Book of Signs. This unit will continue through Week 5, when there will be another Unit Test.

Assignments[edit | edit source]

  1. Read John 1:19-2:11
  2. Write a well developed response that expands upon this week's topic.
  3. Begin working on the Study Guide
  4. Check test score feedback (optional, but highly advisable!!)

Discussion[edit | edit source]

This week's discussion will be held at TIME on DATE in the AWF virtual universe, Agape World at the AWF School facility. There is a section on the talk page where you can post topics and questions for us to go over. If you are unable to make it, your questions can also be posted in a separate section to the talk page, where I will do my best to answer them shortly.

Handouts[edit | edit source]

  • Study Guide -60 questions, due before Unit 2 Test in Week 5

Lesson[edit | edit source]

The Book of Signs is the second part of the Gospel of John. It is in this part of the Gospel that Jesus reveals himself as the Son of God and Savior of Mankind. Before we go into this, we need to address a key difference of John from the Synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Unlike the Synoptics, the author of this Gospel chose to ignore Jesus's early life. Instead, the author jumps right into the beginning of Jesus's ministry. We don't know why this is the case, and overall it doesn't really matter. The big focus is the Gospel that Jesus brought, not minutiae about his life.

In his earthly ministry, Jesus revealed himself as Messiah gradually. He was considered a great teacher, or Rabbi, and taught the Good News in the temple before he began to reveal himself. Many times he was asked if he was the Messiah, and he answered in ways that his questioners were unable to understand. If Jesus had simply claimed to be Messiah, no one would have cause to believe him. In order to lay out his claim, he had to gradually reveal himself through miracles, signs that fulfilled prophecies about his Coming.

These miracles form the signs that the Book of Signs is named for. Ultimately, this chapter is all about miracles, signs and wonders that proved that Jesus really was who he said he is. In the reading from this week, he starts out by turning water into wine, a fairly minor feat. By the time we are done studying this book, he will have moved onto the second biggest miracle he performed, the resurrection of a human being!

As Jesus performed these miracles, he caused an uproar among Jews. Each miracle builds upon the last one to demonstrate another facet of the Messiah, shaking up Jewish society. At the end, there could be no doubt that Jesus was the Messiah foretold in prophecy.

Chapter 1[edit | edit source]

John's public testimony concerning Christ. (19-28) Other testimonies of John concerning Christ. (29-36) Andrew and another disciple follow Jesus. (37-42) Philip and Nathanael called. (43-51)

Verses 19-28 John disowns himself to be the Christ, who was now expected and waited for. He came in the spirit and power of Elias, but he was not the person of Elias. John was not that Prophet whom Moses said the Lord would raise up to them of their brethren, like unto him. He was not such a prophet as they expected, who would rescue them from the Romans. He gave such an account of himself, as might excite and awaken them to hearken to him. He baptized the people with water as a profession of repentance, and as an outward sign of the spiritual blessings to be conferred on them by the Messiah, who was in the midst of them, though they knew him not, and to whom he was unworthy to render the meanest service.

Verses 29-36 John saw Jesus coming to him, and pointed him out as the Lamb of God. The paschal lamb, in the shedding and sprinkling of its blood, the roasting and eating of its flesh, and all the other circumstances of the ordinance, represented the salvation of sinners by faith in Christ. And the lambs sacrificed every morning and evening, can only refer to Christ slain as a sacrifice to redeem us to God by his blood. John came as a preacher of repentance, yet he told his followers that they were to look for the pardon of their sins to Jesus only, and to his death. It agrees with God's glory to pardon all who depend on the atoning sacrifice of Christ. He takes away the sin of the world; purchases pardon for all that repent and believe the gospel. This encourages our faith; if Christ takes away the sin of the world, then why not my sin? He bore sin for us, and so bears it from us. God could have taken away sin, by taking away the sinner, as he took away the sin of the old world; but here is a way of doing away sin, yet sparing the sinner, by making his Son sin, that is, a sin-offering, for us. See Jesus taking away sin, and let that cause hatred of sin, and resolutions against it. Let us not hold that fast, which the Lamb of God came to take away. To confirm his testimony concerning Christ, John declares the appearance at his baptism, in which God himself bore witness to him. He saw and bare record that he is the Son of God. This is the end and object of John's testimony, that Jesus was the promised Messiah. John took every opportunity that offered to lead people to Christ.

Verses 37-42 The strongest and most prevailing argument with an awakened soul to follow Christ, is, that it is he only who takes away sin. Whatever communion there is between our souls and Christ, it is he who begins the discourse. He asked, What seek ye? The question Jesus put to them, we should all put to ourselves when we begin to follow Him, What do we design and desire? In following Christ, do we seek the favour of God and eternal life? He invites them to come without delay. Now is the ( 2 Corinthians 6:2 ) is, wherever it be. We ought to labour for the spiritual welfare of those related to us, and seek to bring them to Him. Those who come to Christ, must come with a fixed resolution to be firm and constant to him, like a stone, solid and stedfast; and it is by his grace that they are so.

Verses 43-51 See the nature of true Christianity, it is following Jesus; devoting ourselves to him, and treading in his steps. Observe the objection Nathanael made. All who desire to profit by the word of God, must beware of prejudices against places, or denominations of men. They should examine for themselves, and they will sometimes find good where they looked for none. Many people are kept from the ways of religion by the unreasonable prejudices they conceive. The best way to remove false notions of religion, is to make trial of it. In Nathanael there was no guile. His profession was not hypocritical. He was not a dissembler, nor dishonest; he was a sound character, a really upright, godly man. Christ knows what men are indeed. Does He know us? Let us desire to know him. Let us seek and pray to be Israelites indeed, in whom is no guile; truly Christians, approved of Christ himself. Some things weak, imperfect, and sinful, are found in all, but hypocrisy belongs not to a believer's character. Jesus witnessed what passed when Nathanael was under the fig-tree. Probably he was then in fervent prayer, seeking direction as to the Hope and Consolation of Israel, where no human eye observed him. This showed him that our Lord knew the secrets of his heart. Through Christ we commune with, and benefit by the holy angels; and things in heaven and things on earth are reconciled and united together.knew the secrets of his heart. Through Christ we commune with, and benefit by the holy angels; and things in heaven and things on earth are reconciled and united together.

Chapter 2[edit | edit source]

The miracle at Cana. (1-11)

Verses 1-11 It is very desirable when there is a marriage, to have Christ own and bless it. Those that would have Christ with them at their marriage, must invite him by prayer, and he will come. While in this world we sometimes find ourselves in straits, even when we think ourselves in fulness. There was want at a marriage feast. Those who are come to care for the things of the world, must look for trouble, and count upon disappointment. In our addresses to Christ, we must humbly spread our case before him, and then refer ourselves to him to do as he pleases. In Christ's reply to his mother there was no disrespect. He used the same word when speaking to her with affection from the cross; yet it is a standing testimony against the idolatry of after-ages, in giving undue honours to his mother. His hour is come when we know not what to do. Delays of mercy are not denials of prayer. Those that expect Christ's favours, must observe his orders with ready obedience. The way of duty is the way to mercy; and Christ's methods must not be objected against. The beginning of Moses' miracles was turning water into blood, ( Exodus 7:20 ) ; the beginning of Christ's miracles was turning water into wine; which may remind us of the difference between the law of Moses and the gospel of Christ. He showed that he improves creature-comforts to all true believers, and make them comforts indeed. And Christ's works are all for use. Has he turned thy water into wine, given thee knowledge and grace? it is to profit withal; therefore draw out now, and use it. It was the best wine. Christ's works commend themselves even to those who know not their Author. What was produced by miracles, always was the best in its kind. Though Christ hereby allows a right use of wine, he does not in the least do away his own caution, which is, that our hearts be not at any time overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, ( Luke 21:34 ) . Though we need not scruple to feast with our friends on proper occasions, yet every social interview should be so conducted, that we might invite the Redeemer to join with us, if he were now on earth; and all levity, luxury, and excess offend him.

Unit Test[edit | edit source]

The Unit Test will be similar to the last Unit Test. There will be 30 free response questions drawn from information covered in readings and lessons for this unit. Many of the questions may be reworded study questions, so the study guide is your friend :). While it isn't going to happen until Week 5, you will receive the best score if you begin studying now. Attempt to complete at least 15 questions from the study guide this week, especially those which relate to this weeks topic.