John 9:1-10:21

Two accounts today

  • Jesus heals the blind
  • The good shepherd

If you go all the way back to the book of Job (seems like a lifetime ago we read that) you will remember one of his friends accused Job of sinning and his circumstance was a “punishment” for it.  You can see that false teaching still existed.  (still today).

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

Skip to: 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.”

The Law was never to be more important than the miracle!  Then they called Jesus a sinner for it.  Sometimes we can’t see the forest in the trees.

His own parents did not support the healing because they were too afraid of being excommunicated from the Synagogue.  The reasons people were kicked out were: insulting a learned man; calling a fellow Jew a ‘slave’; keeping an object or animal that could harm others, like a broken ladder or a rabid dog; taking God’s name in vain.  The parents did not want to insult the elders of the Jews. (I want to know why they thought it was even ok to allow him to be a beggar??)

THEN: The best scripture ever (today):

25 He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”

Yes, this is where the Amazing Grace hymn comes from.  A terrible man named John Newton, who was a slave trader,  became lost at sea.  He called out to God and was shipwrecked.  When he was rescued God sent another storm at sea.  During Newton’s conversion, these words spoke to him.  We now have this beautiful song that we can all relate to.

The good Shepherd.

Not sure if you read or remember my post about the “Sheep Gate” (the healing at the pool of water) But ohhhh how this adds to the account!    When people came to the Temple, they would bring their sacrifice to the Sheeps Gate.  The shepherd could ONLY enter through the sheepfold (a stone fence).  If one came in without permission they were a robber.  Honestly, I just assumed the sheep were “tagged” so they knew whose were whose 😂.  However, when a sheep had a good shepherd, they would make a distinct call, and the sheep knew the sound so well, only his sheep would come to him.

This parable deepens our understanding of Jesus that he is the good Sheperd, and His sheep will recognize His voice BUT we also see here He is the Gate, the Gatekeeper,  and the Shepard

Matthew 7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

John 10:3. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep…

18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

Jesus was NOT killed.  He gave up His life.  He is the gate, the gatekeeper, and the Shepherd.

John 7-8

We are only 6 months away from Jesus’ day before the Crucifixion.  It’s getting close.

John 7 can be broken into 3 sections:

  • Before the Feast- 1-10
  • During the Feast- 11-39
  • After the Feast- 40-53

Jesus’ brothers (half brothers) are going to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacle.  (1 of 3 pilgrimages Jews would go for). Mary’s other sons’ names are James, Joses, Simon, and Jude (this is not Simon Peter).  Jesus decides not to go because “My time is not yet here”.  He knows the crowd will be huge and the Jewish Council will be looking for him!  Even His own brothers did not believe He was the Messiah! (v.5).

When He was alone, He went there in private.

16 Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. 17 Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. 18 Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him. 19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?”

The Jews were seeking their own Glory!

20 “You are demon-possessed,” the crowd answered. “Who is trying to kill you?”

21 Jesus said to them, “I did one miracle, and you are all amazed. 22 Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually, it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a boy on the Sabbath.

Jesus is referring to an incident a year ago, also at the Feast of Tabernacles,  (told in Chapter 5) when He healed a man on the Sabbath and they went nuts over it.

Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Messiah? 27 But we know where this man is from; when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.”

In verse 26 they are basically saying…” they call this man the Messiah?  Can’t be.  We know where He is from (Nazareth).”  There was an urban legend circulating that we would NOT know where the Messiah would come from.  Seriously??  Have they ever read the scriptures??  We know the Messiah will be born in Bethlehem. (Micah 5:2) BUT they knew him as a man from Nazareth…they never asked him where he was born!

(I am going to skip a little because I know the reading was long.

Oh, but don’t miss the name, Nicodemus!  One of the leaders of the Jewish Council took up to Jesus.  He was the Pharisee that went to Him at night to ask questions about salvation.

Chapter 8- “Let anyone of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her”.

This might be a familiar passage, but what is happening here?  The teachers of the Law are attempting to test Jesus to break the law.  Does He know the Law?  OF course, He does.  Leviticus 20:10-10 “‘If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife—with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death.

They did not produce the guilty man, and they were unwilling or unable to produce the required witnesses.

They cared nothing about this woman; they were using her to trap Jesus

  • if He told them to set the woman free, they could claim He did not hold to the Law of Moses.
  • If He told them to stone her, they could claim He was not the Savior (He came for the Sinner)
  • if He said nothing, they could claim He lacked wisdom

We don’t know what He was writing in in the sand (I bet Jesus has GREAT handwriting though).  I have heard maybe it was their sins but in my head, I envision the word “Hypocrite”.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

The topic of witnesses has been brought up a lot and we will begin to see it more because on the day of the Crucifixion it will be asked that witnesses come forward to prove Jesus is guilty.  If the Law requires witnesses, we know Jesus will not break the Law.   We need 2 or more witnesses.  Does Jesus have them?  YES.  He has Himself and His Father.  If they would recognize WHO He is,  they would know WHOSE He is.  Two witnesses.

BTW, just this past weekend I had to discuss doctrine about suicide.  This morning I was blessed with ANOTHER scripture on the topic.  We were told to be careful of the ‘yeast of the Sadducees and Pharisees. Everything they have said has been Yeast! They made a comment “will he kill himself” because Jesus said, “Where I go, you cannot come”.  They assume THEY are going to Heaven and He is going to Hell because they have called him Satan in the past.  IF EVERYTHING they have said is “sinful yeast”, you can be confident in the scriptures that this is not true.  There is only ONE unforgiven sin that keeps you from the Father, and they are committing it RIGHT now, denying His Work in others.

Jesus’ mission is becoming very powerful and we are seeing conversions every day.  He knows we are months away and He begins using “Cross” terminology:

“When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. 29 The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” 30 Even as he spoke, many believed in him.

As you finish out the Chapter look for Key Verses: (some you may have used in your life out of context.  Hopefully after today we will know the doctrine behind them and quote it correctly 😘)

  •  32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (It doesn’t say “tell” the truth). Jesus as the Messiah IS Truth
  • “Slave to Sin”- Oh, we have said that wrong in our day to day conversations
  • The Jews said, “Abraham is our Father”.  They are looking at genealogy NOT Family.  Jesus said all those who believe are Family.

I know many of you are thinking…WHY  don’t they believe Jesus??  Well, it really is quite simple.  It is the same as today.  It is falling on deaf ears.

47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.

John 6

So when I see one chapter I think  “light day”.  And then I read it and say “Woah, that was heavy”.  This is one of those chapters. I hope you will read it: I am going to literally break down a section verse by verse.  I just have to it is so good!

I am going to start at verse 25.  Many had just been fed by Jesus the night before.  They wake up and look for him to eat again (or to see what else He might give them).

25 When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”

26 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill

Oh stars.  Why were they seeking Jesus?  To “get” something.   How many people do you know that seek Jesus ONLY when they need a favor?  They haven’t followed Him, prayed, lived for Him BUT when they “want” something they suddenly look for Him. (I wasn’t throwing a stone, I was looking in the mirror).

27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.

Sooooo being legalistic, they inquire about the word “work”. What good deed do I need to do to earn a blessing?  28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

THE ULTIMATE ANSWER:29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

The ONLY thing you must do is believe!  (This is not what they were expecting).  What they said next made me say a few 4 letter words)….yes I am a sinner, I know, but good grief Charlie Brown!!

30 So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”

  1.  They asked for a sign!  What in Sam Hill?  What’s Jesus been doing??? Healing the sick, blind, mute, paralyzed people, casting out demons, feeding about 15,000 people (5000 plus their wives and children)….what was that? A Vegas show?
  2. Then they threw Moses in His face!  “Well, Moses fed my ancestors manna for 40 years…you gave us only 1 meal!

See why I said a bad word!  I really shouldn’t have because what Jesus says was better!

32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven.


Now the next paragraph is HUGE.  It is PACKED with Salvation doctrine! (I will break it down in bullets)

  • 35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe.
  • 37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.  

Re-read verse 37.  Salvation:  First, God chooses you BUT we must choose HIM. It’s a relationship.  Think about that when you share the Gospel with young ones, I am seeing a HUGE church trend where we “choose” Jesus in our hearts without ever mentioning Sin, Cross, or Sometimes even God.  

  • 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

What is the Father’s Will??  What does God want? Everyone who seeks Jesus AND believes WILL have eternal life!  All believers will be raised up from the grave and taken to Heaven on the last day!

So what happens next you ask??  You won’t believe it…just like the other day, they went back to saying “WHOSE  He is, not WHO He is”. I am not kidding…look for yourself!

42 They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”

He ends this conversation with another ‘drop mic’ statement: Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

Wait….all this was said IN a Synagogue….oh, I wish I was there that day! The Rabbis must have been furious!

“Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 

We are really beginning to get small hints of what is to come.  We have heard about 3 days in the fish, pick up your cross, and now-what if I ascend to heaven.  (There are more.  I wish I had written them down because I know the Big Ones “I will rebuild this Temple in 3 days”….but this year I am seeing the little ones 😍.

After many decide not to follow Jesus, He asks His 12 men if they are going and Peter (Oh I love Peter) says “what??  no way man”.

68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

70 Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!”

Ok, thinkers:  Why was Judas CHOSEN?

No wrong answer.

John 5

I know what you are thinking “Yes!  a light day, just one chapter”.  Think again twisted sister!  John 5 is the turning point in Jesus’ ministry.  This is the point where Judean rulers formally set themselves in opposition to Jesus- leading to the Crucifixion.

The Sheep Gate

We glazed over Nehemiah 3 (The Gates), why?  because it’s boring (let’s be real people).  But look at the map and see where the Sheep Gate is.  It is just beside the Temple where the sacrifices would be.  When you came to the Temple, you would put your sheep (or animal) there to be held and it would be washed and ready for sacrifice. Really take that in for a moment.  Anticipate the Triumphal Entry, Jesus entered the Temple through the Sheep Gate.  Oh, the symbolism!  The Lamb that will be sacrificed to take away the sins of the World!

Jerusalem rebuilt | VISUAL UNIT

Before you read or reread this story let me ask you…Where in the Bible does it say “God will help those who help themselves?”  Isn’t that the whole point of the Gospel?  God helps those because we can’t help ourselves -contrary to what the Pharisees say. While I am rambling…where does it say “You must get their first, I only take the best”.  I think I read somewhere “So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.” 

I say all that to show you 5:4.

Look at John 5:4.  If you have a verse 4…you are old and your BIble is even older! Other scriptures that have been removed are Acts 8:37, 1 John 5:7, and Mark 16:9-20.

The KJV was translated in AD 1611,  the New Testament translators of the KJV used a Greek manuscript called the Textus Receptus. Since that time, biblical manuscripts have been discovered that predate the Textus Receptus. The “missing verses” mentioned above are simply not found in some of the oldest and most reliable manuscripts. So, the newer translations remove these verses or placed them in footnotes or in brackets.

So this verse that was removed was “From time to time an angel of the Lord would come down and stir up the waters. The first one into the pool after each such disturbance would be cured of whatever disease they had.”

At that time there was an “urban legend” telling this story, kind of cruel if you ask me.  It was written as a note in the margin and during the writing of the Textus Receptus, it was added in.  We know that verse 4 does not line up with the character of the Lord.  So if you have a Bible that has that verse cross it out!

Starting at Verse 16-read it like a “court case”– It’s not the trial of the century that is coming up soon, but Jesus testifying about His authority will devise a plan by the Pharisees to persecute him.

18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

  1. Jesus describes His work as the continuing work of the Father.
  2. Jesus brings forth witnesses  (the Jewish Law requires a witness in Deut 17:6)
    1. John the Baptist-“You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. 34 Not that I accept human testimony, but I mention it that you may be saved.
    2. His works/signs-“I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me.
    3. God-And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent.
    4. Scriptures- You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
  3. Closing argument- the root of the issue- “I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts”

I heard once that the distance between Heaven or Hell is 18 inches.  You can have all the knowledge in your head, you can read through the Bible 100 times….but if it is not in your heart, 18 inches below your brain, you will stand condemned.

John 2-4

Click here if you would like a printout of the Miracles of Jesus.

Jesus changes water into wine- We could talk about the details that prove this miracle: the pots were stone not red clay,  or that they were filled to the rim beforehand but instead let’s talk about Jesus’ role.  We know that Mary has known her whole life who her son is   -virgin conception, her visit with Elizabeth, the Sheppards, the Magi BUT she also knows Jesus knows who HE is.  When He was 12 and stayed at the temple he said “I am at my Father’s House”.    Maybe Mary feels this is the time…why??  ALL of her friends are there to witness that she didn’t lie and that she was really a virgin (maybe). But Jesus says:

“Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”

However, we now have a change in role here.  The word “woman” is a sign of respect-like “Ma’am”. I am sure Jesus has obeyed Mary up to this point (it’s in the Law).  But the role change here is now “What does The Father want” This is the moment he shows the world a miracle.

11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

Pilgrimages to the Temple were the equivalent of our “Black Friday”.  People would come from all over to bring a sacrifice.  However, when they brought their animal or money the businessmen or priests would tell them “Sorry, I see a blemish on that animal, you need to buy one of ours” or they would need to make an offering with a special coin they would sell.  When Jesus turned the tables over the Jews asked for a sign of His authority.   He responded:

18 The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”

19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”

We know that this is a play on words, BUT after Jesus’ resurrection, it all makes sense to them.

John 3File:Jesus and Nicodemus.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Chapter 3 Let’s back this up.  Back in Numbers 11, God told Moses to make a council to support his mission.

16 The Lord said to Moses: “Bring me seventy of Israel’s elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the tent of meeting, that they may stand there with you.

2000 years later a group of men called the Sanhedrin was a council that took this role.  Think of them as the Supreme Court and the Senate to the Jews.  Unfortunately, they believed their salvation lay in “works” and “genealogy”.  Nicodemus is one of the top leaders of the Sanhedrin.  He must have been watching Jesus for some time and visited him at night.  This could be for 2 reasons:

  • Secrecy- questioning Jesus would be in direct conflict with the Pharisees (the Sanhedrin)
  • 1:1 time- The Jews studied scripture at night.  It may have been simply that after studying, Nicodemus wanted to question him without a crowd (Jesus was gaining popularity)
  • Maybe both

Jesus speaks to Nicodemus about the reality of being “born-again”.  Being born (once) into the genealogy of Abraham and David is not enough (referred to as being born through the water in a mother’s womb).  But one must also be born (again) by the Spirit.  Jesus continues with…this should NOT surprise you!  You have been studying the scriptures your whole life Nico!

I know many of you will read John 3:16 BUT that verse rests on John3:14-15.

14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”

Jesus tells a story that will make sense to Nicodemus.  When the Israelites were in the wilderness for 40 years they sinned: They spoke against God and Moses.  What is the penalty for sin? death.   How can one be saved? Believing.  SO Jesus recalls this story of history for Nicodemus BEFORE correlating 3:16 to him SO THAT he would understand.

Numbers 21

The Bronze Snake

They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”  (The Sin)

Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. (The penalty of death)  Did God condemn them or save them?

The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived. (Faith through believing)

Why is a bronze serpent used to save the Israelites in Numbers 21:8-9? |

If you want to see the Numbers post and the picture on the ambulance click here.

SO NOW we can get to verse 16 as it was spoken to Nicodemus.  Without 14-15 it  would not have made sense because verse 16 has not happened yet (in Nico’s time) BUT he will be an eye witness when it does-and he reacts!  Jesus is setting up what he WILL see soon, BUT Nicidemous shouldn’t need to see it to understand “Faith”,  if he read Numbers 21!

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

After this, we jump back in the timeline and discuss again how the people were following John the Baptist still rather than following Jesus.   Of all the awesome things John says (not the author of this book, Jesus’ cousin,  John) my favorite verse is:

30 He must become greater; I must become less.”

This scripture has punched me in the stomach more times than I can count.


Jesus was going from Judea to Galilee.  Well, for 700 years there has been animosity between the Jews and the Samaritans.  During the Assyrian captivity in 722 BC the poor Israelites were not taken into captivity. In the meantime, tons of gentiles from enemy nations moved in.  They intermarried.  Well, do you remember during the time of Ezra some people came and gave them a hard time…those were the Samaritans.   So they typically went from Jerusalem across the Jordan River, through Perea, back over the Jordan to Galilee.  (That might help put some depth to this read)

Look at verse 4: Now he had to go through Samaria.

The Road Less Traveled By: A SOAP Study on John 4 |

If I start typing on this story, this post would be double the size.  Ask questions in the comments.  Seriously.

I want to share something new to me:

48 “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”

I used to read that in my head and think Jesus was frustrated.  “Ugggg  why do I need to prove to you people….”  But I am researching a little more of the miracles healings and for me this year,  I am not hearing that “tone” (for me). I hear the opposite.    “I must do signs and wonders SO THAT when I share my words you believe me.”

Think about that as you serve people.  How are you serving the unbelievers SO THAT when you share words they believe you. 

Matthew 4, Luke 4-5, John 1:15-51

This may be familiar to you, but now that you know from the Old Testament who the Devil is, where he came from, what he wants,-I hope you read this brand new today.  There are 3 temptations:

  1.  The temptation to satisfy the flesh.  It specifically says Jesus was hungry. Where the Israelites failed, Jesus will conquer.  He is recalling when the Lord provided in the wilderness. Jesus quotes from Deuteronomy:

Deut 8: Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

I can almost see the Devil saying “Oh, you want to play the Scripture game…I know it well, I use it to sway humans ALL THE TME.”

2.  The temptation of pride/power (prove it!): He comes back with Psalm 91:11-12

“If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus replies with scripture in Deut. 6:16

Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

So here is the deal: The Devil knows the End Game!  The Messiah came to be the Lord of ALL.  So what if the Devil tempts Jesus with a shortcut—bypass the Crucifixion…take it now, the easy way!  (Oh my, that would undo EVERYTHING,  but how tempting is that!).

3.  Temptation of having it all (material)- The Devil says:- “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”

I bet the Devil left cursing like a truck driver!  (I bet he did too when he left Georgia without the golden fiddle) LOL.

Temptations of Jesus

There are tons of good maps.  I will try to pick a different one each time, keep the one you like.  It is important to pay attention to Jesus’ travels.  Remember The Lord has a very specific timeline.  Every detail is planned out.  Jesus will give up His life on the Passover to fulfill the Passover.  But first, he has to teach.  So when you see a scripture like:

12 When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. 13 Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum,

One of the reasons (there are many)- was for safety.  It is not his time to be arrested! Galilee (I remember it from the G).

  • G- Galilee-the Gentile “area”
  • J-Judea- the Jewish “area”

Galilee was settled by the Greeks, taken over by the Romans became a melting pot of languages, radically different ideas of religion, architecture, government, philosophy, religion, and morality.

John the Baptist is imprisoned in Machaerus.  Jesus heads North and established his ministry headquarters in Capernaum. (In Galilee)

What do you do when there's nothing you can do? - ppt download

Now that you have all that ramblings-go back and look at verses 12-17 and see if that makes sense.  If you want to take it one step deeper click here for Land Distribution of the tribes.

Luke 4-5:  Oh this is a favorite!  Whenever I read this I picture Jesus dropping a Mic at the end! #dropmic

Picture the Scene:  Jesus, on the Sabbath (as it was his custom), goes into the synagogue (a place to study scripture).  It was customary that the ‘new’ teacher in town would speak.    Jesus walks up…takes the scroll of Isaiah 61 and reads..

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. DROP MIC!

Verse 21:“Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

(I promise I will keep this short!..I will bullet my thoughts)

  • Verse 4:28  They were furious BECAUSE the stories were of Gentile Healings.
  • Verse 4:34 Even the Demons know of God’s destruction and that He is the HOLY ONE of God (notice it was more than one demon “us”
  • Verse 4:35 He can subdue them with a WORD!
  • 4:37 Uh Oh!  Things are getting stirred up.  It’s beginning.  Rome is going to start to get aggravated
  • 4:41 He silences the demons- It is not time yet to reveal himself
  • 4:42 In Galilee (Gentile area) and Judea (Jews), Jesus says why He is sent

43 But he said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” 44 And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.

Luke 5…

Bible Map: Genneseret

I’m sorry this is long and posted so late.  I will make this part short.  If this is your first time reading it and have questions let me know.  Map above.

These 3 men: Peter, John, and James will be with Jesus the longest and are His “inner circle”. All three men were present with Jesus during special events, being eyewitnesses of Jesus’ transfiguration, witnessing Jesus raise Jairus’s daughter from the dead, and accompany Him while He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. Thus, these three witnessed Jesus’ greatest moments of glory and His darkest trials. They were His closest friends.  I will tell you one fact good/sad about each to

  • Peter-
    • when his net was full Jesus told him he would be fishers of men.  He will!  Peter preaches at Pentecost and catches 3,000 men that day! (in Acts)
    • Peter is eventually put to death and did not feel worthy to die the same way Jesus did so he requests to be hung upside down.  If you go to Rome you will see this-The Petrine Cross for St. Peter.

  • John
    • When Jesus dies, John is the one to take care of Mary going forward (this is how we know for certain Joseph had passed away
    • John will be exiled to the island of Patmos to be given the vision to write down.  The vision is Revelation!
  • James-
    • This is NOT the author of the book of James. (Jesus’ brother wrote it)
    • James was the only apostle that has a record of martyrdom in NT.  (Acts 12)

if you are interested in more click here for a pdf on the 12 Ordinary Men (and some others)


Luke 1 and John 1:1-14

Luke 1 (I bolded some fun words for those who have been reading through OT and NT)

  • The political figure in Rome was Caesar Augustus, but the appointed leader in Judah (Jerusalem) was Herod the Great).  The Jews were a self-governing body as long as they remained peaceful and quiet. (put that in your pocket for later)
  • Priests (from the tribe of Levi)  took turns taking care of the temple, chosen by “casting lots” (like dice that God controlled) to see whose turn it is daily.  Part of taking care of the temple was burning incense which represented prayer (the smoke going up to the Heavens like our prayers do).  So this day, it was Priest Zechariah’s day-chosen by God.
  • It is noted that Zechariah is a descendant of Aaron.   Aaron was Moses’ brother, which meant Zechariah came from a line of High Priests (great importance).

OK, back to Luke. Wait…before we begin:

  • Zechariah means “God Remembers”
  • Elizabeth means “HIs Oath”

We open the Gospel with GOD REMEMBERS HIS OATH!!

Zechariah was chosen (by God) to burn the incense in the Temple.  There were 20,000 priests at that time to be chosen…God chose Zechariah specifically for the duty of burning the incense: the incense in the Temple represented prayer.

QETORET: The Fragrance of Jerusalem | Halakha of the Day

The angel tells him that his barren wife will give birth.  (Impossible made possible) and here is the “Bridge” between Old Testament and the New Testament.  A scripture from Malach 4:5 bridged to Luke: (God remembers His Oath through Zechariah and Elizabeth)

“Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (Luke 1:16 and Malachi 4.5)

John will come before the Messiah in the spirit of Elijah the prophet. He will be dedicated to the Lord as “His” through a vow called a Nazarite Vow.

 Numbers 6 (click here), the Nazarite Vow.

A parent could dedicate their child to the Lord by committing them to not drink alcohol, cut their hair,  or touch a dead carcass. Other Nazarites in the Bible included Samson and  Samuel.

Elizabeth recognized the miracle that they were able to conceive.  Zechariah was in doubt and the Lord kept him silent until the day of the birth. (Wait for it…..there is a test of Faith here Zechariah will get an A+ on)

The same angel,  Gabriel,  now speaks to Mary about Jesus being born through her.  She is from a small town called Nazareth, so insignificant the Bible had to note:  Nazareth, a town in Galilee.

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David.

It is very important that the “legal” (not birth) father is a descendant of David.  In 2 Samuel 7 we read about the Davidic Covenant. This is an unconditional covenant made between God and David through which God promises David and Israel that the Messiah would come from the lineage of David, the tribe of Judah, and would establish a kingdom that would endure forever. The Davidic Covenant is unconditional because God does not place any conditions of obedience upon its fulfillment.  It’s HIS Covenant-His Oath.

Abraham's Family Tree Chart

Jesus, the Greek word for ‘Joshua’ in Hebrew means “The Lord Saves”. Do notice that Mary believes Gabriel not just because an angel is before her but because she is a woman of faith, and KNEW the Word of God through studying scripture.  How do I know this??  Read her song we call the Magnificat-weaved through this song are roughly 15 Old Testament quotes.  This young woman knew her Scriptures.

Explore the Life of Mary This Advent Season - LogosTalk

When John is born, Zechariah’s family adhered to the law by circumcising and naming him on the 8th day.  Naming a child after the father meant he would follow in his footsteps.  They knew this would be an only child so others at the circumcision just assumed he would be a “Junior”.  Zechariah’s decision to name him John was a profession that it was only by God that he had a son (even though he was conceived the old fashioned way).  A+ !  And Zechariah’s mouth was opened and he immediately praised God through a song too called the Benedictus. (To be Blessed)

(This reading was long and the post was long BUT if anyone wants to continue the conversation in the comments there are a million things I could have talked about) 😃

John 1:1-14

In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.

The word “Word” was Logos which spoke to both the Jew and the Gentile.  The word God was so reverent that they used other words in its place.

This is the foundational scripture of the Trinity being present at the creation of the World.  Genesis 1 says:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

and now add John 1:1 to it.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Jesus is the Word. (How do we know it is the 3rd part of the Trinity?… How can we defend Genesis 1 that Jesus was present at the creation? 

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.


John Overview for tomorrow

Who wrote the book of John? If you said John the Baptist you are in good company but you would be wrong. (Most people think that).  It is John the apostle (brother of James).  John is a disciple of John the Baptist.  He is also used by God to write 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and Revelation.

John is the book for ALL.  It is written to prove that Jesus was the promised Messiah to the Jews and the Son of God to the Gentiles.  The Keyword in John is “believe “(used 98 times). 

The theme of John’s book is Jesus Deity or Holiness. In this book, there is no genealogy because Jesus was In the Beginning with God at the Creation.

This book is not like the other 3 Gospels.  The other 3 are called Synoptic, for their similarities.  Jesus talks to the people in Judea.  The other 3 portray Jesus in action miracles, parables, and speeches to the multitudes.  John captures Jesus in mediation and communion.

As many of you may have picked up in the OT, 7 is a very important number.  The number of completeness.  In the book of John, there will be

  • Miracles,
  • 7 “I Am”
  • 7 Witnesses called to prove that He is God.