Friday, May 03, 2013

Bible Study: Meet Jesus, Son of God/Son of Man - John - Chapter 4

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the Gospel of John, although they are a bit better formatted than former efforts. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. I’m not sure of the condition of the world at the time of this publication. But at the time of its writing, fall 2009 through late spring 2010, things are looking increasingly bleak with the economy, health care and unemployment, there is a renewal and increase of racism, and godly principles of living being disregarded, there are floods in India, earthquake and tsunami in Samoa. Are these the first stages of birth pains? The last? God only knows. And He is very busy these days. Seek His wisdom. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming to deliver His people and judge the wicked…


Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 4 of the book of John. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

4 – Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Thirst is a gift from God. Water is meant to be shared, not hoarded. (Bad Girls – Higgs)

4:1-2 – Jesus headed toward Galilee from the Judean countryside when He heard about the Pharisees. Why would He be avoiding confronting them at this time?

4:3 – Why would hearing that the Pharisees learned about Jesus baptizing more than John draw Jesus back to Galilee?

4:5-31 – This cluster of ten towns, the Decapolis, was Gentile and pagan. (When the Good News Gets Even Better – Hayden, p.49)

Imagine you’re John. You weren’t present when Jesus interacted with this woman. How did you come to know this story?

4:6-7 – Would noon be busy around the well at Sychar? Probably not. This is the start of the hottest part of the day in the desert. The other women probably got their water first thing in the morning and visited with each other. This woman probably chose this time of day because she knew she’d be alone. Do you think the woman thought twice about stopping for water when she saw Jesus there? Did she only decide to stop because He was a stranger and wouldn’t know enough about her to ostracize her?

4:14 – speaks of spiritual life, eternal life. See Jeremiah 2:13.

4:16 – Where did this question from Jesus come from? Apparently left field. Why did Jesus bring up her husband at this point? Before we can accept Jesus, we are seeking for something to fill up that empty void in our lives where He belongs. The things we fill up with are different. The void that Jesus was going to fill in her life was now being filled by physical relationships with men.

Jewish law stated a woman could be divorced a maximum of three times. Divorce was only a man’s prerogative, so if a divorce occurred, the husband initiated it. (When Good News, p.51)

Inability to bear children was the most common reason for a man seeking a divorce. One school of Jewish thought said it was only acceptable to divorce in the case of adultery. The more liberal school allowed divorce for any reason. (When Good News, p.51)

Remember that the penalty for adultery is stoning. Do you think this woman was afraid when Jesus began to talk about her “husbands”?

4:20 – How does place of worship relate to her statement in the previous verse about Jesus being a prophet? She is deflecting attention away from her sin.

4:21 – Jesus is prophesying about the future when the Holy Spirit would dwell in us and we sould worship anywhere.

4:22 – Samaritans adopted various kinds of worship, but didn’t know the Lord.

4:23 – Worship in spirit and truth – what other kind of worship is there?

4:25 – This Samaritan woman had awareness of the Messiah!

4:27 – As a rabbi, Jesus shouldn’t have been talking to a woman! As a Jew, He shouldn’t have been talking to a Samaritan!

4:28 – The woman left her water jar. What does this tell you? Consider the value of water and personal possessions in that culture.

4:29 – Do you boast in Jesus revealing your sin to you? Would this woman’s comment entice you to seek Jesus or stay away?

4:34 – Jesus’ food was to do God’s will and finish His work. Is that your food? What does food do for us? Does doing God’s will accomplish the same thing for your soul?

4:35-38 – Another apparently unrelated comment from Jesus. What does spiritual harvest have to do with food? What is God’s will according to this passage?

4:39-42 – What affect did Jesus’ visit have on Philip’s visit recorded in Acts 8:4-7?

4:40 – Jesus spent time with people. Do you? How valuable of a gift was this for Christ to give? Consider the limited time He spent in ministry.

4:42 – “believe” – accept that Jesus is Savior of the world.

4:43-54 – Second piece of evidence for Christ – Jesus heals the royal official’s son without traveling to see the boy. This shows Jesus is omnipresent.

This is a man used to giving orders, yet he was humble enough to beg for his son. And after Jesus’ rebuke, he persisted in his request. I want to be the kind of person who doesn’t give up.

If you were the royal official, would you have taken Jesus at His word?

Has Jesus ever physically healed you? Take a few minutes to pray or write Him a card thanking Him for what He’s done for you.

4:44-45 – Jesus was welcomed as a prophet in Galilee because it wasn’t His home? Why else mention it?

4:47-50 – The official persisted after Jesus’ rebuke and He rewarded him.

4:50-54 – How did John know this? The man had left. Did he send word back? Did he return to say thank you? Did the news spread like wildfire?

4:50 – The official showed great faith to leave rather than convincing Jesus to accompany him. Do you think his faith waned, stayed the same, or increased as his walk toward home progressed?

4:51-53 – The Lord knows that we sometimes need reassurance when we step out in faith. I believe He sent the official’s servants at the perfect time – when the official may have begun to doubt Christ’s word. When was the last time He did this for you?

• The book of John is called the “Love Gospel”. How have you seen God’s love at work in this chapter of scripture and how will you apply it to your life this week?
• What attributes of God do you see in this book?
• What verse of scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?

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