STUDY OF THE HARMONY OF THE GOSPELS
Lesson 8 – John 1:29-51 - The First Followers of Jesus
Lesson 9 – John 2:1-12 - A Miracle in Cana of Galilee
Lesson 10 – John 2:13-21 – Cleansing the Temple
Lesson 11 - Jesus and Nicodemus – John 3:1-21
Lesson 12– John 3:22-36 – Ministry in Judea
Lesson 13 – John 4:3-54 - A Return to Cana of Galilee
Lesson 14 - A Return to Cana of Galilee - John 4:46-54; Matt. 4:12-16; Luke 4:16-31
OF THE GOSPELS
In this section of our study we follow Jesus as he begins his personal ministry. After his temptation he gathers disciples. John the Baptist is instrumental in gathering the first disciples. He calls on some who had been with him to follow Jesus and declares Jesus to be “The Lamb of God.”
Jesus made a brief visit to Galilee where he spent the most of his time here on earth. His followers were Galileans. While in Cana of Galilee he did his first miracle by turning water to wine at a wedding feast. He spent a brief time at Capernaum.
He returned to Judea where he visited the temple and found the Jews engaged in commercial enterprises. He showed his righteous wrath and drove money changers out of the temple. While in Jerusalem he was visited by one of the chief rulers, Nicodemus. The conversation involved not only Nicodemus recognizing Jesus as coming from God, it also introduced the new birth. To Nicodemus Jesus affirmed his divine origin as being from above. He also affirmed his divine nature.
On his way back to Galilee he encountered a woman from Sychar. He spoke with her about worship offered to God. He then returned to Cana where his first miracle was performed. He performed his second miracle.
Jesus then returned to Judea to attend an unnamed feast in Jerusalem. During this time he healed a man at the pool of Bethesda on the Sabbath day. This provoked the anger of the Jewish leaders and began their efforts to discredit him and ultimately destroy him.
8 – John 1:29-51 - The First Followers of Jesus
1. What did John, the Baptist, say about Jesus as Jesus approached? What significance is there to this?
2. What questions did the Priests and Levites ask John? Please explain his answer.
3. They asked why he baptized since he was not ______ __________. What does this say about their ideas about baptism?
4. How did John describe the difference between himself and the one he said was coming? (John 1:26-27).
5. How did John show his feeling of inferiority to the one he said was coming?
6. In what region did all this take place?
7. What proof was given to John that Jesus is the Son of God?
8. Who were the “two disciples” with John when he told them to “behold the Lamb of God”?
9. What did John tell these two disciples?
10. Who was Andrew?
11. Where was Bethsaida?
12. Who was Nathanael? What did Philip say to him? What prophecy was applied to him?
13. What was Nathanael’s reaction?
14. What appraisal did Jesus make of Nathanael?
15. What was there about Jesus that showed his deity in this instance?
16. What does being “under the fig tree” indicate?
17. What promise did Jesus make to Nathanael?
Helps with Answers to Lesson 8
lamb was also the victim of the morning (9 a.m.) and evening
(3 p.m.) sacrifice (Ex. 19:38) – the hours when Jesus was
nailed to the cross and when he expired. A lamb was also the
victim of the paschal (Passover) supper. The great prophecy
of Isaiah, setting forth the vicarious sacrifice of Christ (Isa.
53:1-23) depicts him as a lamb, and in terms which answer
closely to the words here used by John.” (FG)
Levites were commissioned to teach (2 Chron 35:3; Neh.
8:7-9) as well as wait in the Temple; and it is as teachers,
similar to the Scribes, that they are sent to the Baptist.
Probably many of the Scribes were Levites. The mention of
Levite as part of this deputation is the mark of an
eyewitness.” (CGNT). John’s answer: “As the
questioners ran down the scale from ‘Christ’ to ‘that
prophet,’ John felt himself diminishing in their
estimation, but firmly declined to take honors which did not
belong to him.” (FG).
right have you to treat Jews as if they were proselytes and
make them submit to a rite which implies that they are
impure?” (CGNT). “Baptism on receiving a proselyte from
heathenism was common before the time of John, but it was
not customary to baptize a Jew. John had changed the custom.
He baptized all, and they were desirous of knowing by what
authority he made such a change in the religious customs of
the nation.” (AB)
use the common form, though I direct the baptized to a
different end, viz. that they shall repent of their sins,
and believe in the Messiah.” (AC). “There is one
standing in the midst of you, and ye know him not. . . .
Whom ye who question me know not, but whom I the questioned
unloose the latchet was a peculiarly servile office. The
Talmud says, ‘Every office a servant will do for his
master, a scholar should perform for his teacher, except
loosing his sandal thong.” (FG).
Bethany or Betharba must have been near Galilee: compare
verse 19 with verse 43. . . . Betharba has been identified
with Abarah, one of the main Jordon fords about 14 miles
south of the sea of Galilee, and ‘Bethania beyond
Jordan’ has been identified with Bashan; Bethania or
Batanea being the Aramaic form of the Hebrew Bashan, meaning
‘soft level ground’.” (CGNT).
decent of the Spirit served at least two purposes: 1. It
enabled John to identify the Messiah. 2 It was, so to speak,
an official recognition of Jesus as Messiah similar to the
anointing or crowning of a king.” (FG).
of his disciples One of them was Andrew, John 1:40, and it
is very likely that John himself was the other; in every
thing in which he might receive honour he studiously
endeavours to conceal his own name.” (AC).
we admire the foremost apostle through whom 3,000 were added
to the church on Pentecost, let us not forget that, without
Andrew, Simon would never have become Peter. So well known
was his love for souls, that when certain Greeks desired to
see Jesus, Andrew was the person to whom Philip (whose name
also is Greek, and who, like Andrew, when called, in turn
called Nathanael) brought them. Then he and Philip (the two
whose names imply connection with the Greeks; an interesting
coincidence, and who had shown their zeal for conversions)
brought them to Jesus (John 1:43-46; 12:20-22). (FBD)
of fishing, 1. A city in Galilee, on the western shore of
the lake of Gennesareth, a little north of Capernaum; it was
the birthplace of the apostles Philip, Andrew, and Peter,
and was often visited by our Lord, Matt 11:21; Mark 6:45;
disciple of Christ, probably the same as BARTHOLOMEW, which
see. He was a
native of Cana in Galilee, John 21:2, and was one of the
first to recognize the Messiah, who at their first interview
manifested his perfect acquaintance with Nathanael's secret
heart and life, John 1:45-51.
He was introduced by Philip to Jesus, who on seeing
him pronounced that remarkable eulogy which has rendered his
name almost another word for sincerity: "Behold an
Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile." (ATSD).
– gift of God, one of the Lord’s disciples ‘of Cana in
Galilee (John 21:2) . . . His name occurs only in the Gospel
of John, who in his list of the disciples never mentions
Bartholomew, with whom he has consequently been identified.
He was one of those to whom the Lord showed himself alive
after his resurrection, at the Sea of Tiberias.” (EBD).
wonders how Christ should know him, having not been of his
familiar acquaintance. Christ tells him he saw him under the
fig tree, before ever Philip called him.” (MP).
an Israelite,’ one living up to the covenant name, Israel
at its best (Ro 2:29), without the guile (dolo$, deceit, bait for fish, from deleazw, to
catch with bait) that Jacob once had of which Isaac
complained (Gen. 27:35, dolo$, here
in LXX). The servant of Jehovah was to be without guile (Isa.
of His (Jesus’) miraculous knowledge convinces Nathanael,
as it convinces the Samaritan woman (4:29) and S. Thomas
(20:28) that Jesus must stand in the closest relation to
God; hence he sees this title of the Messiah (1137; Matt.
26:63; Mark 3:11; vs. 7; Luke 4:41) rather than the more
common ‘Son of David’.” (CGNT).
phrase probably means ‘at home,’ in the retirement of
his own garden (1 Kings 4:25; Mic. 4:4; Zech 3:10). He had
perhaps been praying or meditating, and seems to feel that
Christ knew what his thoughts there had been.” (CGNT).
having referred to Nathanael as a true Israelite, promises
to him – and to those like him – a blessing answering to
Jacob’s vision of the ladder; that is, that the ascent and
descent of ministering angels shall be by means of Christ.
Jesus calls himself the Son of Man upwards of eighty times.
The expression is found in all four Gospels, but is there
invariably used by Christ himself.”
Lesson 9 – John 2:1-12 - A
Miracle in Cana of Galilee
1. What celebration do we see in this passage?
2. Where did this take place?
3. What was the “wine” of verse 3?
4. When Jesus referred to his mother as “woman” was that being rude to her?
5. What quantity does “firkin” represent?
6. How was the water in the pots turned into wine?
7. What was the responsibility of the “ruler’ of the feast?
8. How is the quality of the wine described?
9. What is meant by “well drunk”?
10. How did this manifest the glory of Jesus and what effect did it have on his disciples?
Helps with Answers to Lesson 9
Palestine the marriage ceremony usually began at twilight.
The feast after the marriage was at the home of the
bridegroom, and was sometimes prolonged for several days.
(Gen. 29:27; Judg 14:12), but in this case it seems likely
that poverty limited the wedding feast to one day.” (FG).
“Usually the marriage took place at the home of the
bride's parents and was celebrated by a feast to which
friends and neighbors were invited and which lasted seven
days (Gen 29:22,27). The word wedding does not occur in the
OT; but it is probable that some ratification of the
espousal with an oath took place (see Prov 2:17; Ezek 16:8;
Mal 2:14) and that a blessing was pronounced (Gen 24:60;
Ruth 4:10-12). (UBD)
of Galilee," a name found in the gospel of John only,
but in such references no clue is given as to its locality;
supposed to be near Capernaum. Cana of Galilee is
distinguished from Cana of Asher (Josh 19:28, NASB and NIV,
"Kanah"). It was the birthplace of Nathanael (John
21:2) and honored as the scene of Christ's first recorded
miracle (2:1,11; 4:46). (UBG).
liquors of this land in the strength of their intoxicating
properties differ so widely from the light wines of
Palestine that even the most moderate use of them seems
immoderate in comparison. In creating wine Jesus did no more
than as Creator and Renewer of the earth he had always done.
From the beginning God has always so created or replenished
the earth as to allow the possibility of excess.” (FG).
term, as used here, seems to imply reproof, as if she was
interfering in that which did not properly concern her; but
it is evident that no such reproof or disrespect was
intended by the use of the term woman instead of mother. It
is the same term by which he tenderly addressed Mary
Magdalene after his resurrection (John 20:15), and his
mother when he was on the cross, John 19:26.” (AB).
is a Greek measure, equivalent to the Hebrew bath,
and containing seven and a half gallons. The quantity of
wine produced by the miracle at Cana was large: but the
assemblage was also large; the festivities continued, it may
be, a whole week, Judg 14:12; and many would be drawn to the
scene by hearing of the miracle.”
water that became wine is called “the first miracle (sign)
Jesus did. This beginning of miracles. “This (is) his
first public miracle. This is declared by the sacred writer
to be a miracle-- that is, an exertion of divine power,
producing a change of the substance of water into wine,
which no human power could do.” (AB).
governor of the feast-The bridegroom generally procured some
friend to order all things at the entertainment.” (JWN).
“The ruler of the feast, and the governor of John
2:8, are the same. It was customary to choose, sometimes by
lot, a president who regulated the whole order of
adjective ‘good’ refers rather to flavor than to
9. “When men have drunk freely (hotan methusthsin). Indefinite temporal clause with otan and first aorist passive subjunctive of methuskw. The verb does not mean that these guests are now drunk, but that this is a common custom to put "the worse" (ton elassw, the less, the inferior) wine last. It is real wine that is meant by oino$ here. Unlike the Baptist Jesus mingled in the social life of the time, was even abused for it (Matt 11:19; Luke 7:34). But this fact does not mean that today Jesus would approve the modern liquor trade with its damnable influences. The law of love expounded by Paul in 1 Cor 8:1-10 and in Rom 14:1-23, 15 teaches modern Christians to be willing gladly to give up what they see causes so many to stumble into sin.” (RWP)
10. “It manifested the glory of Christ, part of which glory is his power to change the worse into the better, the simpler into the richer. It is the glory of Christ that he can transform sinners into his own likeness – 1 John 3:2; 1 Cor. 15:42-44; Phil. 3:20, 21). (FG).
Lesson 10 – John 2:13-21 –
Cleansing the Temple
1. What reason did Jesus have for going to Jerusalem?
2. What did he find in the temple when he got there?
3. What did he do about it?
4. What sign did Jesus say he would give to the Jews?
5. What was the reaction of the Jews and what was their misunderstanding?
6. What event caused the disciples to recall what happened in the Temple?
7. What caused many in Jerusalem to believe in him?
8. What does believing on his name mean?
9. The “signs” Jesus did in Jerusalem are: mentioned or not mentioned. (Underline the correct answer). What possible reason is there for this?
What do verses 24 and 25 tell us about the deity of
with Answers to Lesson 10
1. It was fitting for Jesus to go to Jerusalem. This marks the actual beginning of his public ministry. McGarvey: “It was fitting that he should enter upon his full ministry in this city, as it was still the center of what was recognized as a heaven-revealed worship. The fitness of Jerusalem for such beginnings was afterwards recognized in the preaching of the gospel of the New or Christian dispensation – Acts 1:8. (FG).
2. “In the sacred enclosure, viz., the Court of the Gentiles, sometimes called ‘the mountain of the house;’ whereas tw=| (erw= would mean in the sanctuary, in the Temple proper; the traffic would be great on the eve of the Passover. The account is very graphic, as of an eyewitness; note especially kaqhme/nou$; the money-changers would sit, the others would stand. The animals mentioned are those most often wanted for sacrifice.” (CGNT). -- He made a whip – “This whip was made as an emblem of authority, and also for the purpose of driving from the temple the cattle which had been brought there for sale. There is no evidence that he used any violence to the men engaged in that unhallowed traffic. The original word implies that these "cords" were made of twisted "rushes" or "reeds"-probably the ancient material for making ropes.” (BN). – ““Incensed at the sacrilege, Jesus went into action. Quickly he fashioned a scourge out of the ropes lying about the place. With this whip he drove the men (them) and the animals out of the temple area and upset the tables of the money changers, sending their coins ringing here and there on the pavement.” (WBC)
3. “The Jews felt that only a divinely commissioned person could thus interfere with the ordering of God’s house. They therefore called upon Jesus to give them a sign as an evidence that he possessed such divine commission. The manner in which he had cleansed the house of its trafficers was of itself a sign, if they had only had eyes to see it. Jesus could not have thus cleansed the temple unaided had he been a mere man.” . . . The sanctuary was a figure or symbol of the body of Christ, and the words of Jesus were a covert prediction that as they were desecrating the symbol so would they destroy his body, which it symbolized. They reverenced the Spirit of God neither as it dwelt in the sanctuary nor as it dwelt in the body of Christ. (FG) – “It is S. Matthew (26:61) and S. Mark (14:58) who tell us that this saying was twisted into a charge against Christ, but theyd o not record the saying. S. John, who records the saying, does not mention the charge. Such coincidence can scarcely be designed, and therefore is evidence of the truth of both statements.” (CGNT).
4. Jesus’ reply to their request for a sign: “Jesus replied by referring them to the miracle of his own resurrection. Only in appealing to it as proof of his mission from God, he prudently expressed himself in terms somewhat obscure, that the Jews might not be hindered from accomplishing the divine purpose. ‘Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up,’ pointing perhaps to his body, which with the greatest propriety he called a temple, on account of the Divinity residing in it.” (MKNGT HOG)
5. “His accusers turn this (raising) into ‘build’ which is not appropriate to raising a dead body.” (CGNT). “The temple which then stood on Mt. Moriah was the third structure which had occupied that site. The first temple, built by Solomon (B.C. 1012-1005) was destroyed by Nebuchadnezar. The second temple, built by Zerubbabel and Jeshua (B.C. 520), had been torn down and rebuilt by Herod the Great, but in such a manner as not to interfere with the temple service. The sanctuary was completed in one year and a half, while the courts required eight years. Josephus says eighteen thousand workers were employed in its erection.” (FG).
6. “It was three years before they understood this saying. Thus truth often lies dormant for years before it springs up in the heart and bears fruit – 1 Cor. 15:58; Eccl. 11:1).” (FG). See John 21:14; Acts 3:15; 4:10, 30.
7. “During the whole of this Passover, our Lord performed many miracles on purpose to engage the attention of people. They read every day in their sacred books astonishing accounts of miracles; but it was several ages since any thing supernatural had happened among them publicly. Wherefore miracles being now revived again, they were beheld, no doubt, with great pleasure and made a strong impression upon the spectators, leading many of them to believe in Jesus as the Messiah.” – (MKNGT HOG).
8. See John 20:30-31. To believe in the name of someone is to believe in the person. “To believe in Christ's name, and to believe in Christ himself, are one and the same thing; as it is the same to call upon God, and to call upon the name of God: so Ac 3:16. The meaning is, that they believed the things which were published concerning his person and office: yet the periphrasis, Believed in his name, is not vain; but declareth a mutual relation between God and the word, by the preaching of which he maketh himself known to the world.” (MP).
9. “None of these signs are recorded; compare John 4:45; 7:31; 11:47; 12:35; 20:30; Mark 1:34; 6:55, 56. The number of miracles wrought by Jesus during his public life wa so great, . . . that the writer inventing a Gospel would almost inevitably place them throughout his whole life. That the Evangelists rigidly confine them to his last few years, greatly adds to our confidence in their accuracy. But the faith which was born of wonder would be likely to cease when the wonder ceased as here: cmpare: Simon Magus (Acts 8:13).” – (CGNT).
“Jesus knew all things; and why? Because he made
all things, Joh 1:3, and because he was the all-wise God,
Joh 1:1; and he knew all men, because he alone searches the
heart, and tries the reins.” (AC). “The word here
translated ‘trust’ is the same as that translated
‘believe’ in the preceding verse. They trusted him, but
he did not trust them, for he knew them. He did not tell
them any of his plans and purposes, and the conversation
with Nicodemus which follows is a sample of this
reticence.” (HG). Compare these verses: John 2:1 Sam.
16:7; 1 Chron. 28:9; Matt. 9:4; Mark 2:8; John 6:64; 16:30;
Acts 1:24; Rev. 2:23. Only God has the power to know the
thoughts and intents of man’s heart.
Lesson 11 -
Jesus and Nicodemus – John 3:1-21
1. Who was Nicodemus? What did he know about Jesus?
2. What did Jesus mean by saying “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God”? Define “see”.
3. What are the elements of the new birth?
4. How did Jesus explain the new birth to Nicodemus?
5. What does verse 13 indicate about the nature of Jesus?
6. What is the gift of God (verse 16) and what does “believeth in him” include, or is it limited to faith only?
7. Who is the light that came into the world? (verse 19)?
8. What is the “condemnation” of the world?
the difference in all who will not come to the light and all
Help with Answers to Lesson 11
1. “NICODEMUS -- A member of the Jewish Sanhedrin, at first a Pharisee, and afterwards a disciple of Jesus. He was early convinced that Christ came from God, but was not ready at once to rank himself among His followers. In John 3:1-20, he first appears as a timid inquirer after the truth, learning the great doctrines of regeneration and atonement. In Joh 7:45-52, we see him cautiously defending the Savior before the Sanhedrin. At last, in the trying scene of the crucifixion, he avowed himself a believer, and came with Joseph of Arimathea to pay the last duties to the body of Christ, which they took down from the cross, embalmed, and laid in the sepulchre, John 19:39.” (ATSD). – “The rulers knew that Jesus was not the product of any of the rabbinical schools, and his miracles marked him as a prophet and distinguished him from all who were guided merely by reason, no matter how learned.” (HG).
2. “To ‘see’ the kingdom means to possess or enjoy it – Psa. 16:10; 90:15.” – (HG). – Read Eph. 1:15-18. Note: “the eyes of your heart enlightened.” – “A beautiful figure, the heart regarded as having eyes looking out toward Christ.” (RWP). – “Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he that is from God, he hath seen the Father” (John 6:46) is to see in the sense of understanding, knowledge and appreciation. – “The things of God's kingdom are not apparent to the natural vision. A new power of sight is required, which attaches only to the new man.” (VNTWS).
3. The term “except” literally means “cut out.” It is from a combination of the Latin EX – (out) and CEPTE (cut). It is used in such passages as Luke 13:3, 5; John 6:44; 15:4 and numerous other references. It establishes the absolute necessity of a thing that must happen.
4. “By far the vast majority of scholars consider the word ‘water’ in this verse as a reference to Christian baptism. The Cambridge Bible says ‘the outward sign and inward grace of Christian baptism are here clearly given, and an unbiased mind can scarcely avoid seeing this plain fact.’ This becomes still clearer when we consider John 1:26, 33, where the Baptist declares, ‘I baptize in water,’ the Messiah baptizeth in the Holy Spirit.’ The fathers, both Greek and Latin, thus interpret the passage with singular unanimity.” Men would have no difficulty in understanding this passage were it not that its terms apparently exclude ‘the pious unimmersed’ from Christ’s kingdom. But difficulties, however distressing, will justify no man in wresting the Scriptures of God (2 Pet. 3:16; Rom. 3:4). Water and Spirit are joined at Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:38; 19:1-7; Titus 3:5).
5. “Jesus can so teach, for he did not begin on earth and ascend to heaven, but he came from heaven to earth, and returned thence (afterwards) to heaven. Jesus speaks of himself as being present in heaven, because his divine nature was in constant communication with the powers of heaven. If we conceive of heaven as a locality (a proper conception), Jesus was upon the earth, but if we conceive of it as a present communion with the presence of God (also a proper conception), then Christ was in heaven as he talked with Nicodemus.” (FG). - Lest a wrong meaning should be taken from the foregoing expression, and it should be imagined that, in order to manifest himself upon earth he must necessarily leave heaven; our blessed Lord qualifies it by adding, the Son of man who is in heaven; pointing out, by this, the ubiquity or omnipresence of his nature: a character essentially belonging to God; for no being can possibly exist in more places than one at a time, but HE who fills the heavens and the earth.” (AC).
6. See 2 Cor. 9:15 – “On this verse we may observe, (1) that the Saviour is a gift to men. So he is uniformly represented. See Joh 3:16; Ga 1:4; 2:20; Eph 1:22; 1Ti 2:6; Tit 2:14. Man had no claim on God. He could not compel him to provide a plan of salvation; and the whole arrangements the selection of the Saviour, the sending him into the world, and all the benefits resulting from his work, are all an undeserved gift to man.” (AB).
7. See John 1:4-9; 8:12; 9:5; 12:46.
8. The American Standard uses “judgment” rather than condemnation. The judgment of the world is that men love darkness (wickedness and sin) more than the precious light of life in Jesus Christ.
men who cleave to their sin because of the present pleasure
they find in it, cannot endure true doctrine, for this
reason, that it shews their actions in a proper light,
condemns them, and raises qualms of conscience that are
extremely painful. – He that is exercised to righteousness
and goodness, (for so truth signifies, . . . cometh
to the light, every good man desires, and rejoices in
the knowledge of his duty, that his deeds may be made
manifest, that they are wrought in God; every good man
loves the knowledge of his duty, and receives it, being
desirous always to behave in such a manner as to show that
his actions are agreeable to the divine will, and are
performed by virtue of that union with God, which is the
perfection and happiness of the rational nature.” (MKNT
Lesson 12– John 3:22-36 – Ministry in Judea
1. John tells us, “After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized” (verse 22). Who does this verse tell us baptized? (note verse 26).
2. Where is the place called Aenon near to Salim? Why did John select this place to baptize?
3. Why would his disciples call John “Rabbi”? What is a Rabbi?
4. What did John mean by his use of the bride and bridegroom?
5. John said, “He must _______________, but I must __________.
6. From where did John say that Jesus came -- how does this show a difference in Jesus and ordinary men?
7. What does John say was the source of the things Jesus testified?
8. Discuss the statement that “No man receives his testimony.”
9. Earlier in the study of Jesus, John introduced him as “the word.” Now he says that the one whom God sends speaks the word of God. What does John say about Jesus and the Spirit?
10. Verse 35 tells us what the father gave into the hand of the Son. What does this mean? When did this transction happen?
11. What does the have mean in verse in verse 36? When does the believer have it?
12. What difference does John describe between the believer and the unbeliever?
Thought question: If the believer has everlasting
life, is it possible for the believer to ever lost eternal
Help with Answers to Lesson 12
1. The Judean ministry occupied, it is thought, about seven months, from the first of May to the first of December. It is not mentioned by the other Evangelists, who limit their narratives of the ministry of Christ before his last Passover, to what he did in Galilee. Yet it serves to account for several facts mentioned by the other Evangelists (see Matt. 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-7; Matt. 23:37-39; Luke 13:34, 35). It brings the ministry of Christ himself into accord with that of his servants, inasmuch as the gospel is first offered to those who are pre-eminently ‘the Jews,’ the chosen people of God. Jesus himself acted as a teacher. He also administered baptism, but only by the hands of his disciples (see verse John 4:2).” (ACNT).
2. “The place where John was baptizing "because there was much water there" (Joh 3:23). It was on the west side of the Jordan, the place where John baptized at the first being on the east (Joh 1:28; 3:26; 10:40). We may be sure it was not in Samaritan territory.” (ISBE). - “A literal translation of the verse renders its meaning perfectly plain: ‘And John also was immersing in Aenon, near Salim, because there was much water there; and they were coming, and being immersed.’ The process was continuous, hence the tense of the verbs. This passage virtually affirms that baptism could not be conveniently administered without a considerable body of water. The plea that the water was needed for other purposes than baptizing is set aside by the language of the sacred water. For the reason why John was baptizing there (not why he was preaching there), was because there was much water in the place.” (ACNT).
3. These are John’s disciples. They refer to him as Rabbi because he was their mentor, tutor, or teacher. Rabbi means, “my master, a title of dignity given by the Jews to their doctors of the law and their distinguished teachers. It is sometimes applied to Christ (Matt. 23:7,8; Mark 9:5 (R.V.); John 1:38,49; 3:2; 6:25, etc.); also to John (John 3:26). (EBD).
4. “John looks on the disciples as the Lord’s bride, and prophetically anticipates the very title which was subsequently applied to the church. It was the duty of ‘the friend of the bridegroom’ to arrange the preliminaries of the wedding, and to promote the mutual interests of the bride and bridegroom. His duties greatly exceeded that of our ‘best man,’ for it was his place to demand the hand of the bride, and to prepare everything for the reception of the bride and bridegroom. Joy at the sound of the bridegroom’s voice is part of the drapery of John’s figure.” (FG).
5. John said he must decrease and Christ must increase. “Noble words! ‘He must increase:’ because the divine law had ordered it, and prophecy has foretold it (Isa. 52L13).: (FG). “By a holy necessity, grounded in the purpose of God, in the nature of the Messiah, and in the work which he does for the world, must the power, the influence, and the glory of Jesus become greater and greater forever. ‘Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end’ (Isa. 9:7).” (ACNT).
6. Verse 31ff - “This language describes Jesus as one who, from the heavenly world where he was from eternity, comes down and draws near to men in his ever-present and continuous work. The word all in the expression is above all, though probably masculine, does not refer, as has been supposed, to a single class of men, viz., the authorized interpreters of God’s will, but to all men without esception.” (AMCNT).
7. “And what he hath seen and heard - i.e., in heaven before his appearance among men. This interpretation is required by the context. By the use of the perfect tense ‘hath seen and heard,’ the past is closely connected with the present. That he testifieth. For one who has seen and heard, is competent to bear witness. His knowledge is original and positive.” (AMCNT).
8. “The tragic tone again; see on 1:5, and compare to 1:11. ‘No man is an exaggeration resulting from deep feeling; comparatively speaking no, so few were those who accepted the Messiah. Compare the similar exaggeration on the other side, verse 16, ‘all men come to Him.’ These extreme contradictory statements, placed in such close proximity, confirm our trust in the Evangelist as faithfully reporting what was actually said. He does not soften it down to make it look plausible.” (CGNT). - “A hyperbole, revealing deep sadness on the part of the Evangelist because so few had received the Lord in faith. ‘The close of the apostolic age, was a period of singular darkness and hopelessness.’ = Westcott. So few, as compared with the world of mankind, had accepted the gospel, that it seemed as if no one was willing to believe.” (AMCNT).
9. “‘Not by measure’ (first for emphasis) ‘giveth He the Spirit,’ least of all to Jesus, ‘for it pleased (the Father) that in him the whole plenitude (of Divinity) should have its permanent abode (Col. 1:19).” - “This statement assigns a reason for the preceeding one. It must therefore show hy the Sent of God is to be regarded as speaking the words of God. Hence the giving of the Spirit here mentioned must be a giving of the Spirit to Jesus, the Son of God. Even the Baptist had witnessed the descent of the Spirit, in the form of a dove, to remain upon Christ.” (AMCNT).
10. The giving of “all things” into the hand of the Son is giving him control of all things. It is the same as Jesus said in Matthew 11:27 “All things have been delivered unto me of my Father: and no one knoweth the Son, save the Father; neither doth any know the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son willeth to reveal him.” (ASV). It is the same as Jesus told his disciples before giving them the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18). This probably has reference to eternity when the eternal scheme of redemption was formed by the Godhead.
11. “Present; ‘hath,’ not ‘shall have.’ Believers already have eternal life. We often think of it as something to be won; but it has already been given. The struggle is not to gain, but to retain.” (CGNT). “The New Testament presents everlasting life as a present possession obtained by belief.”
12. The believer has eternal life. The unbeliever shall not see life. As long as a believer remains believing he enjoys the blessings of eternal life. The unbeliever shall never see life in unbelief. “Shall not see life. Shall neither enjoy true life or happiness here nor in the world to come. Shall never enter heaven.” (AB).
Compare John 3:36 and 5:24: In 3:36 the text says he
that believeth (obeyeth, ASV) not shall not see life. In
5:24 the text says, “He that believeth on him that sent me
hath everlasting life and shall not come into
condemnation.” The same “shall not” is in both
passages. To say it is impossible for one who believes to
ever be lost would obligate one to say that the one who does
not believe can never be saved.
Lesson 13 – John 4:3-54 - A Return
to Cana of Galilee
1. What very famous thing was the city of Sychar near?
2. Why did the woman come to where Jesus was resting and what did she find to be strange?
3. What were the relations between the Jews and Samaritans and what was behind it?
4. Jesus told the woman that if she knew to whom she was talking, she could have asked for and received what?
5. How did Jesus compare literal water from the well to the water he promised?
6. What was the marital status of this woman?
7. What caused her to recognize Jesus as a prophet?
8. How did Jesus talk about true worship of God?
9. When the woman returned to her city, what did she do?
10. Why did the disciples think someone had given Jesus food?
11. What did he say his food really was?
12. How did Jesus express the urgency of bringing the lost to salvation?
13. What is the meaning of “gathering fruit unto eternal life?”
14. Who could be the “other men” on whose labors the disciples had entered?
Give the results of the woman’s testimony to her
Help with answers to Lesson 13
1. Read Gen. 33:19; 48:22; Josh. 24:32. “The most valuable interpreters agree, that this Sychar is the city called Shechem; it was originally a parcel of a field bought by Jacob of Hamor, the father of Shechem, Ge 33:19. Jeroboam built the city there, called Shechem, 1Ki 12:25. It was in the lot of Mount Ephraim. Joseph's bones were there buried, Jos 24:32. Jacob gave it to his son Joseph, as a parcel above his brethren, Ge 48:22; a parcel of ground near unto which was this city called Sychar, anciently Shechem.” (MP).
2. Jesus told the woman of Samaria to get him a drink from the well. “The pronouns are in emphatic opposition; she is half amused and half triumphant. She would know him to be a Jew by his dress and speech. In his request he would use the testing letter (Judg. 12:6), ‘Teni lischekoth,’ which a Samaritan would pronounce ‘lisekoth’.” - CGNT.
3. “The ancestors of the Samaritans were introduced into the land of Israel by the king of Assyria, after he led the ten tribes into captivity (2 Kings 17:24-41). When the Jews returned from their captivity in Babylon and began to rebuild the temple, the Samaritans asked permission to build with them, and when this was refused, an enmity arose between the two peoples which never died out (Ezra 4:1-5; Neh. 2:10, 19; 4:1-3.” (FG).
4. “By living water is here meant the grace of God in Christ, which is renewing, sanctifying, peace-giving, unfailing. ‘By the gift he means the life, emanating from him; and the point of comparison is its freshness and perennial character.’ (Tholuck.) Living water is rather a figurative designation of the source of that life, and is therefore very nearly equivalent to ‘grace and truth,’ by the united influence of which the spiritual life is originated and sustained.” (ACNT).
5. “Jesus here draws a contrast between earthly and heavenly blessings. No worldly joy gives lasting satisfaction, but Jesus is the bread and water of life to his disciples (John 6:35); their unfailing satisfaction.” (FG).
6. She had been the wife of five husgands. “Quite literally; they were either dead or divaorced and she was now livcing with a man without being married to him. The emphatic position of sou (you) may possibly mean that he is the hustand of some one else.” (CGNT).
7. Jesus responded, “Jesus saith unto her, Thou saidst well, I have no husband: for thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: this hast thou said truly,” By this, “the woman admits the perfect truth of his statement, inasmuch as she virtually tracaes it back to God as its author; for a prophet was one who spoke for God, delivering to men truth received from him. The woman therefore, perceiving that Jesus had superhuman knowledge, ascribes that knowledge to God and calls him a prophet.” (ACNT).
8. While the woman mentioned the place of acceptable worship, “Jesus draws the mind of the woman from the place of worship to the Person or Being worshiped, and from the form to the spirit of worship. God seeks for genuine, and not formal worshipers, and for those who worship him in trueh; i.e., those who render him the obedience of faith with a filial spirit, and not those who render him the empty service of types and shadows, ceremonies and rites, which, through disbelief, have lost their meaning.” (FG).
9. Leaving her water pot, she returned to her city and told the people of her encounter with Jesus. “Her leaving it to take care of itself (vs 3) shows that her original errand is of no moment compared with what now lies before her; it is also a pledge for her speedy return. This graphic touch is from one who was there, and saw, and remembered. . . . The people, those whom she met anywhere. She feels that the wonderful news is for all, not for her ‘husband’ only (vs. 16). like Andrew, John, and Philip, her first impulse is to tell others of what she found and in almost the same words, ‘Come see’ (1:41-46) The learned Nicodemus had given no sign of being convinced. This ignorant schismatic goes forth in the enthusiasm of conviction to proclaim her belief.” (CGNT).
10. “While the woman was fetching her citizens to come and see and hear Christ, his disciples, knowing that he must be weary and hungry with his journey, and having brought him some food out of the city, where they had been to fetch it, put him upon refreshing himself with the food they had brought.” (MP).
11. “I have a greater satisfaction doing the will of god than in any sensual enjoyment whatever.” - (MKNT HOG).
12. He told his disciples to lift up their eyes and look at the harvest that was ready. “The people from the city, it may be presumed, were now visible at no great distance, hastening through the fields towards the well; and by turning his eye upon them, or stretching forth his hand towards them, Jesus interpreted his words to his disciples. More precious than the waving harvests of Mukhna -- a valley or plain unsurpassed in point of fertility by any other region of Palestine, were these approaching Samaritans, who could not be gathered into the garner of the Lord.” - (ACNT).
13. “Converts souls, who shall inherit eternal life. The harvest is not temporary, like gathering grain, but shall result in eternal life.” (AB). “He that conducts other into heaven, alluding to the gathering of reaped corn into barns, such a person reapeth wages, that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together; namely, in the reward bestowed on them, the pleasure of which will be increased by their joint participation of it.” (MKNGT hog).
14. “It is not unreasonable to suppose that Jesus used 5the word others because he wished to associate with himself John the Baptist; for he was addressing a band of men who had been, most of them at least, recently disciples of John.” (ACNT). “Other men labored. (1.) The prophets, who long labored to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah. (2.) The teachers among the Jews, who have read and explained the law and taught the people. (3.) John the Baptist, who came to prepare the way. And, (.) The Saviour himself, who by his personal ministry taught the people, and prepared them for the success which was to attend the preaching of the apostles. Especially did Jesus lay the foundation for the rapid and extensive spread of the gospel. He saw comparatively little fruit of his ministry. He confined his labours to Judea, and even there he was occupied in sowing seed which chiefly sprang up after his death.” (AB).
“It is noteworthy that they used very strong
language in expressing their present faith, namely, we
know, and that they recognize in Jesus the Savior of
the world. Having accepted him as the Messiah, they were
prepared to learn that his mission was to the world, rather
than to the chosen people only. In this respect they were
more docile than the Jews, and, though Jesus tarried with
them but two days, he was able to convince them that he was
the Son of man appearing in the world for the salvation of
mankind.” - (ACNT). “These Samaritans outstrip the Jews,
and even the Apostles, in their readiness to believe. The
Jews rejected the testimony of their own Scriptures, of the
Baptist, of Christ’s miracles and teaching. The Samaritans
accepted thee testimony of the woman, who had evidently
become an ‘apostle’ to her contrymen. . . . How
different from his own people at Nazareth (Matt. 13:58; Luke
4:29) and from the Jews at Jerusalem after many miracles and
much teaching. And yet he had uncompromisingly pronounced
against Samaritan claims.” (CGNT).
- A Return to Cana of Galilee - John 4:46-54; Matt. 4:12-16;
1. Who did Jesus meet when he came back to Cana and what request was made of the Lord?
2. Jesus said, “Except ye see _______ and ____________ ye will not _______________. Define these two words.
3. What was the nobleman’s response?
4. What answer did Jesus give and what did the nobleman believe?
5. Who met the nobleman on his way home and what did they report to him?
6. At what time did the nobleman know his request was answered.
7. When Jesus went from Nazareth to Capernaum, what prophecy was fulfilled?
8. From that time what did Jesus begin to preach?
9. When Jesus arrived in Nazareth what did he do on the Sabbath Day?
10. Jesus read from what passage of prophecy and how did he apply it?
11. What was the reaction of those in the synagogue?
12. What did Jesus mean by saying, “No prophet is accepted in his own country?”
When the mob led Jesus to the brow of the hill to
throw him off, how did he avoid that?
Help with Answers to Lesson 14
1. “And there was a certain nobleman (literally, ‘king’s man:’ a word which Josephus uses to designate a soldier, courtier, or officer of the king.” (FG). “Royal official of Herod Antipas, who though only tetrarch was given his father’s title of basileu$ (king or king’s man). (CGNT). “He heard that Jesus was come out of Judea into Galilee (and was therefore within not very easy reach of his sick child’s bedside, he went unto him (literally, ‘he went away unto him.’ and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death.” (FG).
2. “Christ’s miracles are never mere tepata, wonders to excite astonishment; they are ‘signs’ of heavenly truths as well, and this is their primary characteristic.” (CGNT). “Though Jesus spoke these words to the nobleman, yet he intended them for those who stood by, for he used the plural, ‘ye.’ That the Galileans in general deserved reproof for their lack of faith is shown by the upbraiding words which he spoke concerning their cities (Matt. 11:20-24). Signs: Is used “of miraculous acts, . . . as tokens of divine authority and power.” Wonder: “something strange,” causing the beholder to marvel . . . is always used in the plural.” (WEV).
3. “The father felt that the case was too urgent to admit of delay for argument. It seemed to him that he raced with death. His faith differed from that of the centurion in that he felt that the presence of Jesus was required to perform the miracle. He also regarded the powers of Jesus as limited to the living; but we must not censure his faith as particularly weak, for in both these respects it resembled that possessed by Mary and Martha - John 11:21, 22, 32,3 39.” (FG). “The grieving heart of the father cried out for help without delay. The situation was desperate. There was no time for argument; only action. He did not ask for a sign, he begged for his son’s life.” (GA).
4. “Go thy way; thy son liveth. These words must have been spoken with divine authority; for the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. Hence the remark of Alford; ‘The bringing out and strengthening of the man’s faith by these words was almost as great a spiritual miracle as the material one which they indicated.’ The healing was wrought by the will of Christ acting directly without the intervention of any angelic or magnetic influence. This certainly was the view of the Evangelist.” (ACNT).
5. “Because Cana was a day’s journey from Capernaum, and it was seven o’clock in the evening (ver. 52) Jesus refused to go down, being able to work by his power effectually where he was not personally present. Nevertheless, he bade the nobleman depart, firmly persuaded that his son was well. Accordingly, believing what Jesus told him, he went away, and somewhere on the road, next day, he met his servants coming with the agreeable news of his son’s recovery, to prevent him from taking the trouble of bringing Jesus down.” (MKNGT HOG).
6. “After his interview with Jesus, he began the return trip, evidently spending the night on the way. This meeting with the servants occurred on the day following the visit with the Lord. The father inquired of the servants when his son ‘began to amend,’ that is, gradually to get better. Evidently, he had not expected sudden and complete healing. His servants, not knowing, of course, of the reason, pointed out that the fever had ‘left’ him, i.e., had wholly vanished. The healing was total and complete.” (GA). “During the seventh hour, would better represent the meaning of the Greek original. At some time during that hour, or gradually, as that hour was passing, the fever subsided and disappeared. According to Jewish reckoning, the seventh hour was one o’clock p.m.” (ACNT).
7. “In the present instance (Matt. 4:14, drs) a direct prophecy concerning the Messiah is fulfilled by Christ. The passive to to\ r(hqe\n implies Yahweh as the speaker, and dia marks the prophet as his mouthpiece; the reference is to a word that was first spoken and then written by Isaiah (9:1,2).” (LENSKI).
8. “From that time; the phrase expresses not merely ‘at that time,’ but ‘from that time,’ as the starting-point. Henceforth this was to be his message, even though its form might be altered. The phrase marks, as in chapter 16:21, the commencement of a new state in his life. His earlier work with John the Baptist is not included in the oral Gospel, probably because the twelve were not yet joined to him in formal and continuous adhesion. Repent, etc. His words are exactly the same as the Baptist’s (chapter 3:2), with whom, indeed, he had been very lately associated. There is no evidence that he meant by them anything else than the Baptist meant.” (PULPIT).
9. “Luke reminds us that Jesus had been brought up at Nazareth, and he tells us that in that city Jesus went to worship on the Sabbath as his custom was. There are many references to Jesus’ attendance at worship, but this is the only one that tells us that it was his habit. Many commentators tell us how synagogue services were conducted and point out where Luke agrees. But we should bear in mind that this is the earliest description of a synagogue service we have, so that this passage is of critical importance for the study of the synagogue.” (TNTC).
10. “He read from Isaiah 61:1f, followed by 58:6. The words prophesy of the Messiah’s ministry to people in distress, the poor, the captives, the blind, and the oppressed. Jesus’ application of the words to himself shows that the sense of vocation that came with the heavenly voice at his baptism remained strong. . . . Jesus saw himself as coming with good news for the world’s troubled people. The acceptable year of the Lord does not, of course, represent any calendar year, but is a way of referring to the era of salvation.” (TNTC).
11. ”Instead of taking to heart what Jesus said, dropping their presumptions, and allowing themselves to be humbled so that God might thus bless them through Jesus they what into a rage at what they heard. Many modern preachers would regard this as the gravest kind of mistake on Jesus’ part. They think it the part of wisdom to be soft and yielding toward unbelief and presumption and never to strike it down with the cudgel of the law. But Jesus kept causing commotions like this, and Peter and James followed his example (Acts 4:10, 19, 20), so did all the apostles (Acts 5:30-32), likewise Stephen (Acts 7:51-54). The harder the unbelief, the harder the blows it receives from Jesus.” (LENSKI).
12. “People are always more ready to see greatness in strangers than in those they know well.” (TNTC). “The Master was evidently looking far beyond the little prejudices of Nazareth. His own country,’ meant far more than the narrow circuit bounded by the Nazareth hills. The Speaker was thinking of all the chosen people -- the Jews, who as a nation he knew too well would not accept him. But if Israel would have none of him, he would reign in the hearts of that unnumbered multitude who peopled the isles of the Gentiles.” (PULPIT).
13. “But he passing through the midst of them went his way. Not necessarily a miracle. There is nothing hinted here that our Lord rendered himself invisible, or that he smote his enemies with temporary blindness. He probably quietly overawed those angry men with his calm self-possession, so that they forbore there cruel purpose, and thus he passed through their midst, and left Nazareth -- as far as we know -- forever.” (PULPIT).
Back to List of Books