John Chapter 7: Sharing Thoughts

Tim – vs 5 For even his own brothers did not believe in him. 

And yet later on, both James and Jude became leaders in the church.  I am challenged not to count anybody out, even if they don't believe...yet.  Sometimes they are mean, rude, uncaring and/or uninterested, but the power of knowing Jesus can change everything.  (It also reminds me how lucky my sister is to have me as a brother.  

Dennis - There is a lot of Judging going on in our culture. Haters that are spreading lies. v 24 talks about making a right judgement. The only right judgement is to have your heart set on being in harmony with Jesus. WWJD.

Melissa - Starting in verse 50 Nicodemus uses the Pharisees’ own law to show them that what they were doing was not right. You would think that since they are so concerned about the law that would give them pause but their reaction shows they don’t really care about the law they care about being in charge. It is so easy for me to judge the Pharisees but truthfully how often do I know what is right but choose not to do it and try to justify it somehow?

Rodney - For some reason this verse stood out to me.  I wonder how often (Christians) pass up saying how they feel about our Lord and Savior for fear of what their friends will think.  In other words, peer pressure sometimes may cause us not to spread the Good News.  I think there are a lot of “Pharisees” in the world today.  Are we willing to testify for Jesus no matter where we are?

Floyd - I was just ready to write about verses 49 and following and seen that Rod had beat me, but I will still make my comments, The Pharisees had implied that no leader believed in Jesus, But Nicodemus of the Jewish council spoke up and pointed to their own disregard for the law in this matter. How often are we ready to step forward to defend scripture when we know we will be put down for during so? 

Jeff - So much misunderstanding about who Jesus is in this chapter, even by those closest to him. Definitely still true today!

Penny - Lately God has been showing me the word We. Our Wed. Bible class is looking at 1 Thessalonians. Paul saw that they were working together in love. He was concerned about the We that was searching for Jesus. Sunday sermon was We are seeking those who are seeking Him. verse 10 The Jewish leaders were watching for Him. Verse 25 begins to talk about the division over who Jesus is. I want to be with the We who look for Him!

Renee - Verse 13 ”...no one had the courage to speak favorably about him in public, for they were afraid of getting in trouble with the Jewish leaders.”  May we always have the courage to speak favorably about Jesus in public!

John - “But when His brothers had gone up, then He also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.”John 7:10 NKJV. On the surface it's hard to believe Jesus would do anything in secret.  He was always ready to proclaim the truth or answer questions to those who were seeking.  But as I think about it, He has constantly worked in secret in my life.  Leading me down paths I probably wouldn't have chosen myself, directing me in decisions that I didn't have a clue about, and bringing me to where I am today, closer to Him despite all the mistakes I have made.  Please, keep working your secrets on me.

Joshua - I find this chapter to be a reminder of how easy it is to miss Christ working when you do not want to see it. Does even a single one of us believe - Verse 48?

Megan - I pray that I have such a deep thirst for knowing God. I pray the Spirit lives in me and His waters fill me up and run over!

“On the final and climactic day of the Feast, Jesus took his stand. He cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me this way, just as the Scripture says.” (He said this in regard to the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were about to receive. The Spirit had not yet been given because Jesus had not yet been glorified.)”  John 7:37-39 MSG

John Chapter 4: Sharing Thoughts

Tom - Jesus tells the woman that the time has come when “true worshippers” will worship the Father in Spirit and Truth, because the Father who is “Spirit” seeks those  kind of worshippers.  To worship God means to hold God in the highest reverence because of who he is, his character and his conduct, as opposed to worshipping worldly things such as our work or money.  We worship Jesus in our actions, our attitudes, our treatment of our family and others, scripture reading, prayer, tithing, and our gratitude.  In short we live in an abiding relationship with Jesus.  To worship in Spirit and Truth means that our spirit is the core of who we are.  We have our body, our soul and at the very center is our spirit.  We must love and worship from the very center of our core.  And truth means acknowledging who Jesus is and who we are in all of our circumstances.

 

Melissa - I love in verse 39 when it says “many in the town believed because of the woman’s testimony.” She was considered a nobody and an outcast yet she brought many people to Christ. It just shows what God can do through us when we let Him.

Megan - In chapter 4 there is some great stuff! Jesus said if you knew the generosity of God you would be asking me for water. It is so uplifting to think that if we know God we know that He is so generous and we can feel free to ask for what we need. I also loved that Jesus said true worship involves standing before God as ourselves in adoration. We don't have to be fake or perfect to worship Him. The Samaritan woman also witness to her people about Jesus by showing them that He knew her problems yet still did not shy away from her. The people believed in Jesus because of that not because she was perfect and had everything in order in her life. Why do we feel like we have to have it all together in order to worship and witness?

 

Dennis - I love how Jesus treats Nicodemus (top of social ladder) and the Samaritan woman (bottom of social ladder) with equal respect and opens the kingdom to both. 

 

Renee - Jesus' words: (John 4:23-24)

"But the time is coming- indeed it's here now- when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth."

I want to learn more about this 'spirit and truth'. Worship from our innermost beings? The truth being The Trinity's Way for our salvation?    A phrase to ponder and study.

Ben - 

Verse 1-3 Why would the Pharisees care that Jesus and his disciples are baptizing more than John, and why does this information prompt Jesus to return to Galilee?

Verse 6 “Jesus was tired.” We tend to forget about the humanity of Jesus because we know that He was Gods son, but He actually felt everything that we feel today. He knew what it was to feel betrayed, exhausted, frustrated, overjoyed, and amused. He had to learn how to walk, talk, and tie his shoes like the rest of us. He was 100% human, so he is the perfect mediator between God and man.

Verse 7-9 Jesus was always breaking social conventions and boundaries in order to minister to people. As a result, many people who would not otherwise have been exposed to the gospel were saved.

Verse 10-12 Jesus is speaking about spiritual things to a person whose mind is focused on the natural realm. Just as with Nicodemus, the woman’s natural mind cannot perceive things of the spirit.

Observation: We need the Holy Spirit to discern the truth of God’s Word

Verse 14 Jesus is clearly speaking of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is intended to be a spring of living water within us, refreshing our soul, and flowing out of us to refresh others.

John Chapter 3: Sharing Thoughts

HERE ARE A FEW THOUGHTS I HAVE RECEIVED FROM OTHERS

8 - The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” 

If faith is believing what we cannot see, it only makes sense that people who have the Spirit are not always  going to see (know) where He is leading.  I guess one of the ways you know the Spirit is guiding you is if you have constant surprises in your life.  

--Tim 

 

It always is amazing that Jesus knows what everyone is thinking. Nicodemus has not said anything about the kingdom but that is how Jesus answers him. Nicodemus does not say where did that come from. It also scares me to know He also knows what I'm thinking. Jesus is also taking nic from the physical to the eternal, spiritual. 

--Dennis

 

Open Doors is one of my favorite organizations - helping persecuted Christians.  Here is a link to a man who found Jesus from reading the book of John while in prison.  I thought you might find it interesting.  

https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/stories/drug-smuggler-bible-smuggler/?utm_source=nl&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=September

--Tim

 

John 3:15 -   Shows we have a relationship with God now (today) and forever.

--Floyd

 

I find it very sad when Jesus talks about people living in the darkness refusing to go into the light because they fear that their sins will be exposed. One of the biggest things we need God's help with is the very thing that keeps us hiding from him sometimes. And that is how darkness works. If you never think about it, then maybe it will just...go away?

--Joshua

 

Verse 34 is a verse that I feel applies to all of us.  I once said that I would like to have the voice of James Earl Jones and was told that God gave you the voice that you have, and that is the voice God wanted me to have.

--Rod

 

One thing I take from this is verse John 3:31

 

The one who comes from heaven is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks of one from the earth.

I can't help but think of those who have no belief or influence in Godly values. I can't imagine choosing not to acknowledge what God has done and can do for us.

My heart goes out to those who are truly seeking but have not yet found God. Hopefully the way we live our lives will be a testimony and example to those seeking something greater and it is those times that we can truly serve.

--Steve

 

I was struck by John the Baptizer's response to his followers in John 3:30.

"He (Jesus) must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less."

This is an amazing goal/mission statement for all fillers of Christ. 

Father God,

Help me become less of me and become more like Your Son."

--Renee

John Chapter 2: Sharing Thoughts

Verse 13-17: Jesus so deeply offended, and moved to an extreme response?

It is likely that the place in the temple where the market had been set up was in the Court of the Gentiles. Thus, occupying that particular place was in essence excluding the nations from the worship of the one true God. The Temple was intended to be a place of prayer for all nations--not just the Jews.

Isaiah 56:7: These I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” 

It seems unlikely that the people would not have known this, as it was called the Court of the Gentiles. So, occupying that place was in direct violation to a command of God--not a misunderstanding. Thus, it was wholly appropriate for Jesus to bring judgment rather than reason.

-Ben

John Chapter 1: Sharing Thoughts

While I know it isn't feasible to go too far in depth, the historical background is extremely rich on John. The reference to "The Word" and Light would have meant a lot to John's audience that we miss. But both speak to the way people were trying to makes sense of the world in John's day. Jesus is THE WORD (the force that brings order to the universe) the LIght (the SOURCE of life) and the MESSIAH (the Savior the prophets wrote about.)

When we are introduced to the disciples the theme becomes "we have FOUND HIM." We have found the one we (and others) have been looking for. I really get the impression that the men Jesus called were those who had been searching and spent time discussing that search. So when Jesus found them, they went to find others who had been searching. Not everyone is that serious about the search, and unfortunately, many settle(d) for cheap imitations. "I am a Jew, or a Pharisee or a Gnostic or ascribe to this or that philosophy. Good enough, I will pay my dues and be a good member in standing." It is tempting to "cast a broader net" so those who are not that serious about the search don't go away. When Jesus encountered Nathaniel he praised his healthy skepticism. No imitation Messiah would do. As we proceed through John we see that occasionally Jesus "thins the herd" by intentionally discouraging those who are not that serious.

John Mayer has a song, "Who do you love?" He asks, Who do you love, me or the thought of me?" Jesus asks a similar question: "Do you love ME or the thought of me?"

Patrick