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Sunday, September 24th, 2023
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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Bible Commentaries
John 1

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

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Verses 1-13

  1. INTRO:
    1. Why Gospel of John?
      1. 1st, I was asked again why I don’t teach from Genesis to Revelation.
        1. A: Why would I? The books are not chronological.
      2. I’m at the beginning of my 3rd time through the NT; I haven’t done John since 1999(10 yrs); I wanted to get back to 1 of the gospels; John is my favorite book of the bible; maybe its my New Years gift to myself.
        1. Why is it my favorite? It’s Simply Christ! - It’s back to basics.
        2. John is like “a pool in which a child may wade & an elephant can swim!”
    2. Why did John write a 4th gospel? (last written)
      1. Matthew wrote a masterpiece; To Jews; Portrays Jesus as “The Messiah”.
        1. Tells us what Jesus said!
      2. Mark gives a snapshot; To Romans; Portrays Jesus as “The Servant”.
        1. Tells us what Jesus did!
      3. Luke gave detail & chronology; To Greeks; Portrays Jesus as “The Man”.
        1. Tells us what Jesus felt!
      4. John declares Jesus’ deity & belief; To the World; Portrays Jesus as “Divine”.
        1. Tells us what Jesus was! Read - Jn.20:31(Key verse)
        2. Deity - “Jesus is the Christ” (to make His deity crystal clear).
          1. Coin: 2 sides of a coin are both valid, so Jesus has 2 natures, both valid!
        3. Belief - “that believing you might have life in His name” (forgiveness & brought near to God) [Believe is key word; 98 x’s]
      5. Illustration: In the San Diego Charger game yesterday, the game is more complete when shot from several different angles. {side-lines, end-zone, overhead, even blimp}
        1. Each sees from a little different viewpoint, thus a little diff slant/angle.
        2. Thus the 4 gospels doing the same.
      6. John writes topically not chronologically.
      7. We also get 6 miracles we didn’t know about; the upper room teachings ch.14-17; And we learn over 90% of John is unique to his gospel!!!
    3. When it says He went about healing “all kinds of disease” applies to the spiritual as well as to the mental & physical.
      1. His own words in connection with one of his own healings - Read Jn.7:23
    4. John 7:23 I made a man completely whole.
      1. Why are you angry with me for healing the whole man on the Sabbath? (NIV)
      2. I made an entire man well (NASB)
      3. I have made a man every whit whole (KJV)
      4. Greek holos, from where we get holistic.
      5. Jesus was arguing, “if care for one part of the body was permitted, then certainly the healing of a whole body (that of the paralytic) should be allowed on the Sabbath.”
        1. He dealt with the whole person. His supreme concern, man’s spiritual & moral malady.
    5. It is our business to bring the sin-sick, face to face w/the One Healer!
      1. To do this demands, we know Him & have a knowledge of His methods.
      2. He is the same yesterday, tomorrow & forever!
    1. Jesus’ Relationship to THE FATHER! (1,2)
    2. He is Eternal! (He always existed)
    3. As Mt. & Lk. give a genealogy, so John does here.
    4. “Johns gospel starts out in heaven, w/a glimpse of the creator before He became Christ the man. But it doesn’t stay there; it brings heaven to earth. Because only in Christ’s coming could we be forgiven of our sins & brought near to Almighty God!” (Swindoll)
    5. He’s introduces as “The Word”(logos) - He is one w/the very being & mind of God.
      1. He is the expression & intelligence & will & power of God.
      2. The fact that He is the Word of God shows us that He wants to communicate with people!
      3. A word is composed of letters, & Christ is the alpha & omega(& includes every letter in-between) who spells out God’s love to us.
      4. S.D.Gordon noted, “Jesus is God spelling Himself out in language that men can understand!”
      5. God had been revealed in part through nature & history, but now is known in full through His Son.
    6. He is God! (not just God-like)
    7. “a” god? - J.W.’s insist the word translated God(theos) has no definite article so it should be “a god”.
      1. They misquoted Dr. Julius Mantey (Gk. Scholar alive today). He tried to have them remove the misquote. He said…
      2. “He said there is a indefinite article “a” before participles not nouns!”
    8. Jesus’ Relationship to THE WORLD! (3-5)
    9. He is Sole Creator! (nothing exists that He didn’t make)
    10. You may not know this but at the bottom of the earth is a signature that says, “Made by Jesus Christ!” :-)
    11. Creation is the universal proof of the reality of God! It clearly testifies that an awesome Creator must exist!
      1. Sir Isaac Newton showed this to an atheistic scientist friend 1 day. He came into Newtons study & saw a grand model of the solar system. He asked “who made it”, Newton said, “no one, it just happened!”. “I’m not a fool, there must be a designer!” Newton said, “This thing is but a puny imitation of a grander system & I am not able to convince you that this mere toy is w/o a designer & maker?”
    12. John comes out of the shoot with the fact hat the origin of our world is creation & not evolution.
      1. A man’s view as to the origin of the universe fundamentally affects his whole outlook on human life & destiny.
      2. The Christian view of the universe leads to ethical nobility & intelligent optimism.
      3. The evolutionary or atheistic view necessarily & provenly leads to moral deterioration & philosophic pessimism.
    13. The world was made through Him(10) - i.e. It had good purpose not just blind chance.
      1. Most who call themselves atheist are probably just trying to shield themselves from the discomfort of Gods acknowledged presence.
      2. Real atheism...how sterile, blank, mocking, useless it is. Everything & all of us, on the way from nothing to nothing.
      3. Invite: What Darwin Didn’t Know Series! Jan.7,14,21 {worship service this Wed}
    14. He is Light & Life! (His life gives light to everyone; the darkness can’t extinguish it)
    15. 1st creative act by God (Gen.1) was producing light, for life comes from light.
  3. JESUS INCARNATE! (6-13)
    1. ​​​​​​​JOHN! (6-8)
    2. Bear witness - “This gospel is a record of testimony, & shows that faith is belief founded upon evidence!” (Erdman)
      1. What the moon is to the sun, so John is to Jesus!
      2. The moon is the lesser light that reflects the sunlight!
    3. Also John the author/apostle gives eye witness in vs.14 “and we beheld His glory”.
    4. (10,11) What sad verses.
      1. A General Electric ad raised the question: "What was Thomas Edison's biggest blunder?" The ad reveals that Edison opposed the theory of alternating current developed by Charles Steinmetz. The ad concludes by stating that Steinmetz was almost refused admission at Ellis Island as an unfit immigrant. "One of the men most responsible for the electrification of America was almost turned away at its gate."
        1. A greater tragedy, however, takes place all the time. - People turn Christ away on the doorstep of their lives because they do not want Him to reign over their lives. And just think of the light that He brings for our darkness!
      2. In Wales there is a village, Beddgelert, the name of which means “The grave of Gelert”. There is a famous legend about this Gelert, which was a dog, the hound of Llewellyn the Great. One day, on returning to his castle, Llewellyn found his child lying dead, & the hound Gelert laying beside it. Llewellyn at once plunged his sword in to the poor animal, only to discover too late a huge wolf which had attacked the child, & which the faithful hound had slain. In his blind rage, Llewellyn had killed a faithful friend.
        1. In a far more terrible sense, that is what all Christ-rejectors are doing today.
    5. (12) But the Gospel of John isn’t only about the tragedy of unbelief, it is also the great drama of the unfolding of faith!
    6. Received - Let's imagine that this is a bottle of medicine has been proven unmistakably to be a sure cure for coughing. I therefore could give you my word that it is able to rid you of your cough. "What do you think? Could that medicine do you any good?" "Not unless you take it!" As effective as the cough medicine might be, its benefits would never be enjoyed unless you took it.
    7. (13) This new birth is:
      1. Not of Blood – by heredity or inheritance.
      2. Not of the will of the flesh – by natural instinct.
      3. Nor of the will of man – by human volition.
      4. But of God – by the direct, supernatural exercise of divine power.
    8. End: In the early 1800’s, President Andrew Jackson issued a full pardon to George Wilson, a man sentenced to be hanged. Wilson refused it. But could he legally refuse the President’s pardon? Supreme Court Justice John Marshall declared, “The value of the pardon depends upon its acceptance. If it is refused, it is no pardon. George Wilson must hang.” And Wilson was hanged.
      1. To pardon your sin, Christ shed His blood on the cross. The price was paid. But each individual must first receive this forgiveness.

Verses 14-34

  1. INTRO:
    1. Story: A tourist visited a church in Germany and was surprised to see the carved figure of a lamb near the top of the church’s tower. He asked why it was there and was told that when the church was being built, a workman fell from a high scaffold. His co-workers rushed down, expecting to find him dead. But to their surprise and joy, he was alive and only slightly injured. How did he survive? A flock of sheep was passing beneath the tower at the time, and he landed on top of a lamb. The lamb broke his fall and was crushed to death, but the man was saved. To commemorate that miraculous escape, someone carved a lamb on the tower at the exact height from which the workman fell.
      1. This morning we will be introduced to, I think the most important metaphor of Jesus...as the Lamb of God!
    2. Last week we were introduced to Jesus as the Word.
      1. We know words are to express ourselves. “Jesus is God expressing Himself!”
    3. We were also introduced to Jesus as the Light.
      1. Jesus offers Himself to everyone w/o exception, though His light is shunned by many(9,10).
      2. Illustration: If you come out of a dark theater into the bright sunlight you have 2 choices: (1) Shrink back into the darkness (2) Stand in the light till your eyes adjust to the light!
        1. Many refuse to step into the light of Christ! See 3:19.
    4. Outline: Jesus, Revealing the Father! & Giving the Spirit!
    1. (14) The Word became flesh & tabernacled among us - Jesus’ flesh, the new localization of God’s presence on earth; the replacement of the old tabernacle.
      1. Read Rev. 21:3 - “to pitch one’s tent” [Tabernacle & dwell are the same word]
    2. Incarnation: deity funneled itself into humanity!
      1. Like taking the finest of wines & pouring it into an ordinary earthenware vessel
        1. (Swindoll) “Jesus traveled through the country as a common, unglazed earthenware bottle, corked until those special occasions when His glory was manifested & the fragrant beauty of deity filled the air with its aromatic presence.”
        2. For a few years, the worlds parched lips tasted of the kingdom of God.
    3. He came with grace & truth not law & judgment.
      1. Q: Does that reflect your Christianity?
    4. Full of grace and truth, that is, it was a gracious and truthful revelation.
    5. (16) And of His fullness we have all received - I picture the children in Haiti, coming to the well, & didn’t leave till each & every one of their containers were full.
      1. So Jesus fills us from His bottomless reservoir of grace & truth, until our cup overflows!
    6. Grace for grace - “grace in place of grace” comes to Christians as waves continue to come to the shore.
      1. The Christian’s total life is the constant reception of one evidence of God’s grace replacing another!
    7. (17) Moses gave the Law that reveals sin & condemns; Christ reveals the truth that redeems!
    8. (18) He ends his prologue on this climatic note the Divine sculpture became human clay!
      1. He has declared Him - Jesus explained God(NASB), made Him known(NIV).
        1. Literally exegeted Him, “to draw out, to expound, to explain.”
      2. He carefully presented Jesus to be none other than: Eternal(1,2); the Creator (3); the source of life (4-13); God’s manifested glory (14-17); & the unique expression of God (18).
      3. Think how rapidly human ideas of God deteriorated into ruinous perversions.
        1. Golden calf; brass serpent (nehushtan); fish god;
        2. We needed a corrective to fallen man’s distortion of who God was/is.
    9. Things to ponder so far: Can you define grace? Why is grace better than law? Did the law have limits? Does grace have limits? Who has best described God?
  3. GIVING THE SPIRIT! (19-34)
    1. ​​​​​​​John’s Testimony of Jesus! (19-28)
    2. We see a 3-fold purpose for John’s Testimony:
      1. To fulfill the prophecy of Is.40:3.
      2. To call people to repentance.
      3. To draw people’s attention toward Jesus.
    3. John earlier explained: He was the lamp but not the light, a wick but not the flame!
      1. He was simply a beggar telling other beggars where to find bread!
      2. Illustration: We all have different lamps in our home, desk lamps, chandeliers; some fancy, some pretty, some plain(white porcelain, keyless).
        1. The important thing though is the light not the lamp.
        2. It’s the glow of the bulb that lights the room, not the shine of the brass.
        3. Q: Are you exhibiting Jesus in your life, or do people only see you, the lamp?
        4. Q: Is light radiating from your life, or is it blocked by a bulky lampshade of sin?
    4. (23) John was a voice not the Word!
      1. Like the difference between the singer’s voice & the song’s lyrics.
    5. Why did John have to make straight the way?
      1. Imagery was taken from the days (Isaiah, 700 yrs earlier) when there were no paved roads, only tracks across the fields. If the king were to travel, the road must be built & smoothed out that the royal chariot might not find the traveling unduly rough, nor swamped in the mire. (Merill Tenney; John: The Gospel of Belief; pg.79)
        1. John was paving the path for the Messiah.
    6. Wilderness? Isaiah chose this metaphor to describe “Israel’s spiritual condition”.
      1. i.e. desolate, dry, & barren.
      2. The highway to heaven is paved over prepared hearts.
        1. Repentant hearts; soft hearts; fertile hearts.
      3. Rough terrain in our hearts needs to be smoothed before the Lord can come near. Read Is.40:3,4.
    7. When you read your bible & pray, first clear the way for the Lord.
    8. When you worship, first smooth the desert path for God.
    9. When God seems distant, do a little roadwork of repentance in order to prepare the way for Him.
    10. (24-28) John’s humility summed up in vs.27. (3 times: vs.15,27,30)
      1. John probably had in mind a rabbinical saying, “Every service which a slave performs for his master shall a disciple do for his teacher except the loosing of his sandlethong.” (Leon morris; Commentary on the Gospel of John; pg.141)
        1. John was willing to stoop to the lowest level of servanthood to defer to his Messiah
    11. Giving of the Spirit! (29-34)
    12. (29) The Lamb of God - the message of the Bible can be summed up in this title.
      1. The question in the Old Testament is, “Where is the lamb?”
        1. ​​​​​​​Isaac said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” (Gen. 22:7)
      2. In the 4 Gospels, the emphasis is “Behold the Lamb of God!” - Here He is!
    13. Whatever other offices belong to Jesus He is first & foremost the lamb of God.
      1. We don’t forget, He is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah; He is the Star of David(if you will); the True Vine; the Wonderful Counselor; & many others, but before everything else He is the the lamb of God!
      2. He is Prophet Priest & King: Prophet to teach; Priest to pray; King to rule. But before all else He became incarnate as the the Lamb to save us!
      3. Jesus is the Savior. So we, like John, need to point to Him as our substitutionary guilt-bearer. He took our place. He bore our sentence. He was offered for our sakes.
    14. The blood of lambs covered the sins of the Jews:
      1. Ps.32:1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered.
    15. The blood of Jesus takes away the sins of the world (see also 4:42).
      1. Heb.10:4 it is not possible that the blood of bulls & goats could take away sin.
    16. Speaking of the Messiah, Isaiah uses the terms of a sacrificial lamb in Is.53, “he was led as a lamb to the slaughter, & as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth.”
      1. John is declaring then, Jesus is the true sacrificial lamb for the Passover.
      2. 1 Cor. 5:7 For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.
    17. Sacrifice examples:
      1. First sacrifice was for the Individual (Adam/Eve; “Tunics of skin”; Gen.3:21).
      2. Second was for a Family (Passover Lamb; Ex.12).
      3. Third was for the Nation (Day of Atonement; an offering made by fire; Lev.23:27).
      4. Fourth is for the World (Jesus for the world; Jn.1:29).
    18. Jesus didn’t go to Calvary because it was the only way to show the love of God. No, it was because God hates sin! (Alan Redpath)
      1. It didn’t say, Behold the Lamb of God who shows the Love of God! (it did)
        1. ​​​​​​​No, our sin has a cost to it. Sin always takes you farther than you wanted to go; Keeps you longer than you wanted to stay; & costs you more than you wanted to pay!
      2. Our prayer: Lord, give me a holy hatred of what brought Jesus to the cross!
    19. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​How startled was this crowd, when John pointed to Jesus & shouted from the edge of the Jordan river, “Behold the Lamb of God!
      1. The Jews standing their must have immediately thought of: Abel & his propitiatory lamb; of Abraham & his memorable word, “God will provide Himself a Lamb”; of the Passover Lamb in Egypt; of the Levitical Lamb & the Tabernacle; & of the great prophecy in Isaiah, “He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter.”
        1. Yes, they would have immediately thought of these things, & then gasped that John was identifying Jesus as the type & fulfillment!!!
    20. (33) John would not have known Jesus, except by the Spirit.
      1. We cannot truly see Christ today, unless the Spirit opens our spiritual eyes.
    21. End: “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne(Father), and to the Lamb, forever and ever!” Rev. 5:13b
    22. I know a Lamb that broke man’s fall(sin) and in the process was crushed to death, but the man was saved...that Lamb’s name was Jesus Christ!
      1. ​​​​​​​Worthy is the Lamb who was slain. Rev. 5:12

Verses 35-51

  1. INTRO:
    1. This Tuesday, Jan.20, our next president Barack Obama will be sworn into office! I would like to remind us of our Biblical obligations:
    2. He is God’s sovereign choice!
      1. Rom.13:1,2 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.
        1. A reminder that this was written by Paul when Nero was emperor of Rome.
        2. Barack Obama is God’s sovereign choice for our country.
    3. Honor him! 1 Pet.2:17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king
      1. It is unacceptable for Christians to speak disrespectfully of their president.
        1. You can speak out against any policies, but not him.
        2. Ex.22:28 You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people.
        3. Eccl.10:20 Do not curse the king, even in your thought;
        4. If you have a tendency toward doing that, I encourage you to “grow up!
    4. Pray for Barack Obama!
      1. 1 Tim.2:1-4 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
      2. Shame on the Christian community who has come against Pastor Rick Warren for accepting the honored position to pray at the inauguration.
        1. Billy Graham(a democrat) participated in 9 presidential inaugurations: [Lyndon Johnson; Richard Nixon(twice); Ronald Reagan(twice); George H.W.Bush; Bill Clinton(twice); George W. Bush] Republican or Democrat.
      3. Pray daily for your president (a diff road ahead taking over the problems of our nation!)
        1. Let’s Pray for him now…
    5. Intro:
    6. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Do you remember the time when you first realized Jesus died in your place? When you came to Him by faith? When He embraced you with forgiveness?
    7. Jesus called a few men to follow Him; He transformed their lives; then used them to transform others.
      1. In each case: there is an evangelistic approach, which creates interest, & then a conversation with Jesus, which leads to a life-changing decision!
    1. ​​​​​​​ANDREW & ANOTHER DISCIPLE! (35-39)
    2. The next day - John’s daily diary records a 3-day period (note: 29,35, 43)
    3. John didn’t name the 2nd disciple, most think it is John the Apostle.
    4. (38) You finally meet Messiah & what are you going to ask Him? What a funny question!
    5. When Andrew and John ran up behind Jesus, what did Jesus do?
      1. He casually turned and said, “What do you seek?”
      2. He didn’t give them a sales pitch about all the things He could do for them. He didn’t give them all the benefits of being His disciple. He didn’t even ask them to follow Him.
      3. His first words to them were, “What do you seek?” But they didn’t tell Him, they fired back another question, “Rabbi, Where are you staying.”
        1. They probably addressed Him as Rabbi to let Jesus know that they weren’t interested in just a brief conversation. They were really wanting to know more about Him, & had deeper questions of life.
        2. Q: Are you looking for a rabbi/teacher this morning? Do you have questions that you just can’t figure out on your own? Questions about life & death, good & evil, heaven and hell? Questions about purpose and direction and meaning and hope? Jesus is telling you, “Come and see.”
    6. The Approach? Mass evangelism; Jesus confronted him directly on the street.
    7. The Message? “Behold the Lamb of God”.
    8. The Response? They followed Christ.
    9. PETER! (40-42)
    10. Here’s an interesting observation someone made of Andrew: Every time he is mentioned he is bringing someone to Jesus!
      1. In 1:42 he brings his brother Simon to Jesus; In 6:8,9 he brought a lad with a simple lunch to Jesus, that by it our Lord miraculously fed a multitude; In 12:22 he helped direct the seeking Greeks to Jesus.
      2. (Spurgeon) “I will not believe that you have tasted of the honey of the gospel, if you can eat it all yourself.”
    11. This soul winner starts at home!
      1. ​​​​​​​Often today, we want to get the new believer away from any unbeliever…
      2. “Get rid of your old friends. Your family probably wont understand. You need new friends, & we’re your new family!”
    12. Simon’s new name symbolized a new beginning in his life.
    13. We have found the Messiah!
    14. Petros - Seeing beyond the rough edges!
      1. Peter had a lot of rough edges. At times hardheaded & abrasive.
      2. But Jesus was able to see beyond all that - beyond the rough edges to the precious stone beneath. To see beyond stubbornness to stability.
    15. Jesus had a jewelers eye for spotting a diamond in the rough. Do you?
      1. Can you see the potential in others? (example: Marie/Haiti “She will be a leader!”)
      2. Can you see the potential in your children, in your mate, in your friend?
    16. There are over 130 species of minerals that have been cut into gemstones with 50 species in common use.
    17. Gemstones are first Cut; then Shaped on the grinding wheel; then Polished.
      1. Often they are Treated, to enhance color or clarity.
      2. Sometimes Heated (some Ruby’s); Sometimes Irradiated/Radiation (Blue Topaz); Waxing/Oiling (Natural fissures; some Emeralds, Turquoise); Fracture Filling (Diamonds, Emeralds, Sapphire).
    18. When a jeweler first sees a rough stone, a raw gemstone, he must see the final product: He pictures it Cut; Shaped; Polished; Treated; Heated; Irradiated; Waxed; Oiled; & depending on your past...maybe even Fracture Filled!
      1. Sometimes just the simple recognition of the presence of the Jewel is all the encouragement people need to start to chipping away at their own rough edges, to bring that precious stone to light! (Chuck Swindoll; Commentary on John; pg.26)
    19. The Approach? Personal Evangelism, brother to brother.
    20. The Message? “We have found the Messiah”.
    21. The Response? Peter’s face-to-face encounter w/Jesus, giving him the encouragement he needed to follow Christ.
    22. PHILIP! (43)
    23. After a sleep over with Jesus…
    24. Jesus initiates going & finding & calling Philip.
    25. Simple invitation, “Follow Me!”
    26. We have a very brief character sketch of Philip, thanks only to John’s gospel.
      1. We’ll see him as “scrutinizing, logical, somewhat pessimistic, & having a little difficulty stepping out in faith,” throughout this gospel.
    27. The Approach? Cold-Contact evangelism; Jesus confronted him directly on the street.
    28. The Message? “Follow Me”, simple & straightforward.
    29. The Response? Philip obviously followed Him.
    30. NATHANAEL! (44-51)
    31. (45) Philip shares his experience with another, Nathanael.
    32. We have found Him to whom the Scriptures gave witness has been found!
    33. (46) Nathanael the skeptic. “Nazareth, you mean sin city itself? Come on Philip”
      1. ​​​​​​​But Jesus turns his skepticism to faith!
    34. (47) No deceit/guile - Hebrew word for guile originally referred to “the bait used in catching fish.” A word that described when Jacob deceived Isaac.
    35. (49) During Jesus’ trial before Pilate, His kingship was the paramount issue, & it is still the issue today. Who is the king of your life?
    36. (51) Christ alludes to Jacob’s ladder Gen.28:10-17.
      1. Christ reveals the glory of heaven & opens it for us to enter in.
    37. Christ is “God’s ladder” between earth & heaven. (Like bridge analogy)
      1. Jesus replaces the ladder; Jesus is God’s link w/earth; Jesus is the new Bethel (God’s dwelling place).
      2. He reveals God to men & takes men to God.
      3. He opens the way to heaven & is the way to heaven.
      4. Christ is God’s “stairway to heaven!” (or if Led Zeppelin comes to mind); Christ is God’s “staircase to glory!”
      5. He bridges the gap between earth & heaven. (Morris; LKGNT)
    38. The Approach? Resembles Andrews approach to Peter (Personal Evangelism); but it’s also possible that the Word of God played an integral part in this.
      1. The Jewish Talmud encouraged sincere, searching Jews to seek out places of solitude where they could pray, meditate, & study the Scriptures.
      2. Rabbinic writings give evidence that scholars & students often studied under shade trees. Perhaps Nathanael was digging into the OT prophecies of the Messiah at the very time Jesus had seen Him. (Chuck Swindoll; John; pg.28)
    39. The Message? “We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law, & also the prophets, wrote - Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
    40. The Response? Nathanael’s unqualified statement of faith, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”
    41. Wrap up!
    42. What raw gemstones: Amber Andrew; Sapphire Cephas; Fire-Opal Philip; & Nephrite Nathanael...one day to be beautiful polished precious stones.
    43. Andrew & the other disciple were saved through a preacher (John the Baptist).
    44. Peter found Christ through his brother Andrew.
    45. Philip was called by Christ personally.
    46. Nathanael found Christ through the Word of God & Philip’s testimony.
    47. Andrew(mass evangelism); Peter(personal); Philip(cold-contact); Nathanael(the Word).
      1. God uses different people & circumstances to bring people to His Son.
      2. He is a God of infinite variety. (Warren Wiersbe; Outlines of the NT.)
      3. Which style did you come to Christ with?
    48. Jesus calls each one individually; uses different approaches; but the same Master calls
      1. Q: Have you headed His call?
      2. Read 1 Chron. 28:9 David wisely counsels his son Solomon, “If you seek Him, He will be found by you!”
    49. The disciples: The 1st 5 followed in Faith, though faulted & flawed. Disciples, ordinary human beings. No job descriptions given. Even Mary Magdalene though once afflicted by 7 demons wasn’t disqualified. Jesus didn’t spend a lot of time looking for the most qualified people. Instead, He chose people who were still childlike; not afraid to leave the known comforts of this world; even the security of their jobs; or their reasonable way of life,...to follow Jesus. “Come & See!” “Follow Me!”
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on John 1". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/john-1.html. 2017.
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