JOHN 1-3

INTRODUCTION: (John 20:30‑31; 21:25)

 

1. Many false doctrines are prefabricated by man today because they do not take Scripture as a whole and understand a portion of Scripture in context; therefore, they are in error. Example: Some boys were looking through peep holes in a fence when the circus came to town.  One saw the tail of an elephant and said, "It is a bush."  Another saw the elephant's trunk and said, "It is a limb."  Another saw one of the elephant's legs and said, "It is a tree."  But one opened the gate and got an overall view and said, "Why, it is an elephant."

2. I want us to get an overall view of the book of John so we can understand it in context.  It is true all Scripture is profitable for doctrine but we need to know the context before we can understand doctrine. (II Tim. 3:16)  Even if we apply Scripture out of context for doctrine, it must agree with the principle of God's Word.

 

       1. Writer of this book.

1. John 21:24 tells us who this writer is by referring to John 21:20 which refers to John 13:23.  This disciple was John the apostle, brother of James, son of Zebedee, and one of the inner circle of the apostles along with Peter and James.  The reason Jesus had an inner circle was not because He showed partiality, which is forbidden by Paul in I Tim. 5:21, but because these three demonstrated more love and closeness to Jesus than the rest of the apostles.  When it came time for rebuke, Jesus did not hold back but rebuked them as well as the other nine apostles. (Mat. 16:21‑23)

2. Thus, John the apostle is the human instrument that the Lord used to pen down this book, about AD 85‑90 which was about 55 or 60 years after the cross, but the real writer is the Holy Ghost. (II Peter 1:21)

 

       2. Reason for the writing of this book.

1. John 20:31 states very clearly a two‑fold purpose for this book to have been written.

A. That ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.

B. That believing ye might have life through His name.

2. To really understand this verse we need to place it in its proper setting and also in its proper relationship to the first three books of the NT, all four of which are referred to as the gospels.

3. Compare this overview to taking a trip.  I like to get a road map out and get a general idea of where I am going, the directions the roads are going, and the area I am going through, all before I ever leave.  Then I am not as apt to get lost.

4. The same is true as we study the book of John.  It will help us to understand better the chapters and verses as we study, if we have a general overview of the book.

 

       3. Comparison to the other Gospels.

1. The first three‑‑Matthew, Mark, and Luke‑‑are called synoptic Gospels.

2. "Synoptic" is from a Greek word which means "to see together."

3. Matthew, Mark, and Luke as well as John all view the life of Christ in a similar way, each with their own emphasis.

A. Matthew pictures Christ as the King of the Jews and it is written with emphasis for the Jews.

B. Mark shows Christ as the Servant and writes especially for the Romans.

C. Luke, being a doctor, views Christ as the Son of Man‑‑the human side, and he is writing for the Greeks.

D. John reveals Christ as the Son of God‑‑the God side, and he writes for the whole world.

4. The first three deal primarily with the events in Christ's life while John deals with the meaning of these events.

5. The first three are mainly occupied with His Galilean ministry, while John is almost wholly devoted to His Judean ministry.

6. The first three shows us Jesus outwardly, while John interprets Him inwardly.

7. The first three emphasize the human aspects, while John unveils the Divine aspects.

8. Matthew says to the Jews, "The Promised One is here; see His credentials."

9. Mark says to the Romans, "This is how He worked; see His power."

10. Luke says to the Greeks, "This is what He was like; see His nature."

11. But John says to the whole world, "This is who He really is; see His Godhead." (Heb. 11:6, John 20:31)

 

       4. Theme of the book‑‑Christ, the Divine Son of God.

1. In Exodus, Moses met God at the burning bush and He revealed Himself to Moses as, "I AM THAT I AM" the great "I AM" = the ever present, self existent one. (Exo. 3:14)

2. John lifts up Christ as the "I AM" approximately 23 times in this book.  From these times we can pick out seven tremendous metaphors that express His saving relationship towards mankind. ("Metaphor" = a figure of speech containing an implied comparison.)

A. John 6:35 = I Am the bread of life.

B. John 8:12 = I Am the light of the world.

C. John 10:7 = I Am the door of the sheep.

D. John 10:11 = I Am the good shepherd.

E. John 11:25 = I Am the resurrection and the life.

F. John 14:6 = I Am the way, the truth, and the life.

G. John 15:1 = I Am the true vine.

3. Our Lord's message was Himself.

A. He did not come merely to give bread: He said, "I Am the bread."

B. He did not come merely to shed light: He said, "I Am the light."

C. He did not come merely to show the door: He said, "I Am the door."

D. He did not come merely to name a shepherd: He said, "I Am the shepherd."

E. He did not come merely to preach the Gospel: He, Himself is the gospel because He said, "I Am the resurrection and life."

F. He did not come merely to point the way: He said, "I am the way, the truth, the life."

G. He did not come merely to plant a vine: He said "I Am the vine."

4. I AM THAT I AM  = He is. (Heb. 11:6)

5. That's why John was written. (John 20:31)

A. That you might believe that Jesus is the Christ = believe that God is.

B. That believing you might have life.

6. There are two key words in this verse:

A. "Believe" = mentioned 99 times in John.

B. "Life" = mentioned 55 times in John.

7. If something is mentioned one time in the entire Bible it is important but just in John "believe" is mentioned 99 times; therefore, it must be important to believe.

8. "Believe" = to be persuaded; to trust; to have faith; to commit to; comes from a Greek verb which is also translated:

A. In Acts 5:40‑‑"agreed" = means the Pharisees believed what Gamaliel had spoken and they agreed with him.

B. In I John 3:19‑‑"assure" = to make certain.

C. In II Thess. 3:4‑‑"confidence" = convinced; to induce one by words to believe.

D. In Gal. 3:1‑‑"obey" = to comply with.

E. In Rom. 8:38‑‑"persuaded" = convinced.

F. In Phil. 2:24‑‑"trust" = to rely on.

G. In Acts 23:21‑‑"yield" = reveals the young man told Paul concerning the Jews, "Don't believe them."

9. When we place all these different English words together we have a full definition of what it means to believe‑‑agreed, to be assured, obey, persuaded, trust, and yield‑‑means to believe that God is and thus believing you will have life.

 

       5. What John spoke about so that one might believe.

1. In John 20:31 "these" refers to "signs" of John 20:30.

2. Jesus did many things (John 21:25) or signs but only "these" (John 20:31) the Spirit chose for John to write down so that one might believe.

3. John says if all that Jesus did was written down the world could not contain the books. (John 21:25)

4. But these signs (that by which a thing is known; something authenticating the divine mission of the doer) were the seven miracles performed by Jesus, thereby authenticating His divine mission.  These signs are given in a specific order for a perfect picture of salvation.

 

               1) First three miracles show HOW salvation comes.

1. John 2‑‑Water turned to wine; water represents the Word and wine represents joy; therefore, salvation is by the Word and it brings joy.

2. John 4‑‑Healing of the nobleman's son; he believed Jesus' word; therefore, salvation is by faith.

3. John 5‑‑Healing of the paralytic at the pool of Bethesda which had five porches; five is the number of grace; therefore, salvation is by grace.

Notice: we have the Word, faith, and grace‑‑all involved in salvation.

 

               2) Fourth miracle‑‑THE TURNING POINT.

1. John 6‑‑Feeding of the five thousand; shows that Christ uses human instrumentality to bring the miracle of salvation to a lost world.

2. Jesus' discourse on the bread of life refers to Himself as the bread of life.  This shows the significance of this miracle.

A. The multitude ate the bread that was multiplied from the little boy's lunch, but when Jesus put the demand of whole‑hearted reception of Him as Lord (verse 53) the multitude said it's too hard for us (verse 60) and they turned from Him (verse 66) because they had not experienced in their hearts what the first three miracles pictured.

B. But the apostles stayed with Jesus and stated that He had the words of eternal life. (verses 67‑69)  They said this because they had experienced what the first three miracles pictured (all except Judas who just went along with the rest for personal gain).

 

3) Last three miracles show the RESULTS of salvation in the believer.

1. John 6:15‑21‑‑Stilling the storm; salvation brings peace.

2. John 9‑‑Healing the blind man; salvation brings light.

3. John 11‑‑Raising of Lazarus; salvation brings life.

Notice: The result of salvation is peace, light, and life.

 

4) All these miracles also as a group reveal salvation as each one within itself reveals that transformation that takes place when one is saved.

1. Water turned into wine‑‑reveals transformation from sadness to gladness.

2. Healing the nobleman's son‑‑reveals transformation from disease to health.

3. Healing the paralytic‑‑reveals transformation from paralysis to energy.

4. Feeding the 5000‑‑reveals transformation from hunger to fullness.

5. Stilling the storm‑‑reveals transformation from fearfulness to tranquillity or peace.

6. Healing the blind-man‑‑reveals transformation from darkness to light.

7. Raising of Lazarus‑‑reveals transformation from death to life.

Notice: These signs are given that you might believe "God is" and have life. (John 20:31)

 

       6. Warning given.

1. Jesus said a wicked and evil generation seek after signs more than what has already been given. (Mat. 12:38‑40)

2. John said these signs were written (seven miracles in the book of John) that you may believe and have life. (John 20:31)  They are all we need.  That which is perfect (the Word of God) is come. (I Cor. 13:9‑10)

3. Do not look for other signs for the Devil will give you some.  John said these signs are all you need to believe that Jesus is the Christ and believing you might have life through His name.

4. "Might have" = does not mean there is a possibility you will not have life; instead in the Greek it means that when you believe you will possess eternal life‑‑something definite, something sure.

 

       7. The title of this book.

1. Note the title of this book in your Bible: "The gospel according to St. John."

2 This title is in the Greek text with two exceptions:

A. The word for gospel has an adjective "holy" identifying what kind of gospel = a holy gospel.

B. There is no word in the Greek for "St." or saint.  John was not a special saint but a saint is the same sense as you and I who are born again.  The placing of "Saint" was a Roman Catholic practice observed by some Protestants.  Therefore, it was placed there by the translators.

3. "Gospel" = glad tidings; good news.

4. The gospel is not the gospel "of" John, but "according to" John.  This is the gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

CHAPTER 1:

 

I. Jesus, the Divine Son of God. V. 1‑18

       1. His deity. V. 1‑2

V. 1

1. "Deity" = the essential nature and condition of being God.

2. "In the beginning" = that by which anything begins to be; man being the finite being he is must have a point of beginning so he can comprehend; therefore, the Word of God is written with man in mind, so the Word gives us a point of beginning.

3. It is not that way with God.  Gen. 1:1 states; "In the beginning God" = go back to any beginning you can think about and shine light upon that starting point and you will find God was already there.

A. God asked Job in Job 38:4 "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?"  Eph. 1:4 states, "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world."‑‑He was before the foundations of the earth.

B. You can go back as far as time allows you to search and you open up to the first page of that time = there's God = the eternal one.

4. "Word" = Jesus Christ, the Living Word; this is not referring to the written Word; the Greek has a definite article "the" which means that which stands alone and there is no other; we know Jesus is The Word because John 1:14 states the Word became flesh‑‑referring to the virgin birth of the Son of God.

5. "Was" = existence without origin; Jesus is the only person who was as old as His Father when He was born and older than His mother; He told the Pharisees "Before Abraham was, I am" (John 8:58); pick any beginning you want and you will find the Word (Living Word = Jesus) was present.

6. "With" = facing toward; refers to being face to face; Jesus was face to face with God the Father in the beginning; implies mutual fellowship and intercommunication.

7. "God" = refers to God the Father.

8. "The Word was God" = Jesus was God and is God‑‑not just past tense. (John 10:30; Col. 2:9; John 14:8-9,11)

 

V. 2

1. "The same" = this is a repetition of the truth stated in verse 1: the Holy Spirit knew the time would come when men would deny the trinity of the Godhead‑‑three co‑equal, co‑existent, co‑eternal persons of the Godhead, therefore, the truth is stated twice to give double emphasis.

2. Jesus is the Word.

A. Words reveal one's heart and mind to others, so Christ reveals the mind and heart of God to man.

B. A word is composed of letters and Jesus said, "I am Alpha and Omega" (Rev. 1:8) = the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.  Christ is the beginning and the ending, the One who is all in between, and the One who spells out God's love to us.

 

       2. His pre‑incarnation work. V. 3‑5

V. 3

1. "All things" = the whole; includes all created beings, things, the earth, and the whole orderly universe, even far beyond where our astronauts have been.

2. "Were made" = to come into existence; refers to the creative process; the Greek construction portrays the creative activity looked at as one event in contrast with the continuous existence of "was" in verses 1 and 2.

3. "By" = through; Eph. 3:9 speaks of God who created all things by Jesus Christ.

4. "Him" = Jesus Christ; the Word of verse 1; refers to the Living Word not the written Word. (Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2)

5. "Without" = apart from.

6. "Not any thing" = not even one thing.

7. John puts a stop to two heresies in this verse:

A. That matter is external for all things were created--came into existence.

B. That angels had a share in creation.

 

V. 4

1. "In him" = refers to that which has come into being in the Living Word, Jesus Christ, was life.

2. "Life" = the word includes all forms of life including spiritual and physical life; one part of the creation consisted in breathing into man the breath of life (Gen. 2:7); but there is more involved here than just the physical because this word specifies the highest form of life known in Scripture‑‑spiritual life; therefore, Jesus Christ, the Living Word is the source or the fountain of both natural and spiritual life.

3. "Was" = existence without origin; the Word who is God always existed and when one is saved he is "in Him" and there is where life, real life‑‑spiritual life--is; this word could be translated "is" for our benefit today; I John 5:12 reveals that if a person is "in Him"‑‑ hath the Son‑‑the Living Word‑‑has life; this is because he believed the written Word (record) but didn't stop there but went to the Living Word‑‑Son‑‑and that is were real life is. (I John 5:10‑12; John 5:39‑40)

4. "Light" = that by which we see objects distinctly (Eph. 5:13); implies knowledge or truth; this means that the Living Word is the instructor or teacher of mankind; He did and does this by:

A. His personal ministry when on earth.

B. The Holy Ghost. (John 14:26)

C. His apostles (did), prophets (did), evangelists (does), and pastor‑teachers (does). (Eph. 4:11‑12)

5. "Men" = human beings whether male or female; includes all human individuals.

6. The Greek construction of the last phrase of this verse makes "life" and "light" interchangeable‑‑the light was the life of men.  This is also true.  He is "life" and He is "light."

 

V. 5

1. "Light" = refers to the Lord Jesus. (John 8:12)

2. "Shineth" = to shine; the tense is continuous; "the light keeps on giving light."

3. "In darkness" =  "in the darkness" = an evident allusion to the darkness brought on by sin‑‑the fall of Adam in sin.

4. "Comprehended" = has two general meanings both of which could apply:

A. = to understand; perceive; learn; the idea is that the darkness could not understand the light with the reason being found in John 3:19‑20 and II Cor. 4:3‑4.

B. = to seize; to lay hold on so as to make it one's own and put it out; the idea is that the darkness could not put out the light; light resists the darkness and will overcome it in the end.

5. "It" = light.

       3. His forerunner. V. 6-8

V. 6

1. God sent a man.  He has always used human instrumentality.

2. "There was" = there came.

3. "Sent" = to appoint to go to a place with a purpose; the tense is perfect which means a past completed action with existing results; refers to being divinely commissioned by God even before he was conceived and he continued to be commissioned until the Lord called him home.  (Luke 1:5‑25, 57‑80)

4. "From God" = from the side of God.

5. "Whose" = his.

6. "Name" = John; John the Baptist (Mat. 3:1); forerunner of Christ.

7. "John" = name means the gift of God; he was a prophet‑‑forth- teller. (Luke 7:26‑28)

 

V. 7

1. "The same" = this one; refers to John the Baptist.

2. "Came" = to appear; make one's appearance; come before the public. (Mat. 3:1,4)

3. "For" = gives the purpose of John the Baptist's ministry.

4. "Witness" = testimony.

5. "Bear witness" = to testify; to give testimony; to give a detailed evidence of a firsthand experience; implies being a reflector like a mirror which reflects the image of the one who looks in it; John reflected Christ by lip and life to a lost and dying world.

6. "Of" = concerning.

7. "Light" = capitalized; therefore, it is referring to Jesus who is the source of Light. (John 8:12)

8. Just as the Lord has the written Word to point men to the living Word, He has men with a ministry to bear witness‑‑to be reflectors of the true Light so men "might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that believing ye might have life through His name." (John 20:31)

9. "That" = also gives purpose of John's ministry‑‑that all men through him might believe.

10. "All" = everyone; whosoever; "men" is in italics, thus not in the original but supplied by the translators; this refers to males and females and includes all mankind not just the elect, for the Lord's will is for all to be saved. (II Peter 3:9)

11. "Him" = John the Baptist, the human instrumentality; God's design is to use human instruments to declare the truth of the gospel. (John 17:20; I Cor. 1:21,18)

12. "Through" = primary preposition denoting the channel of an act; by means of his testimony. (Rom. 10:13‑15a)

13. "Believe" = to trust; to commit; refers to saving faith; the Greek construction includes "might" which reveals the possibility for all to believe unto salvation and if they don't, it will not be God's fault for He made a way for all‑‑whosoever. (John 3:16)

 

V. 8

1. "He" = John.

2. "That" = "the" = a definite article referring to Jesus as the Light; means that which stands alone and there is none other.

3. "But" = shows contrast.

4. "Was sent to bear witness of that Light" = reemphasis of v. 7.

 

       4. He, the true Light.  V. 9‑10

V. 9

1. "That" = in italics thus not in the original, but supplied by the translators to refer to the Light John bore witness to as "the true Light" = Christ.

2. "True" = opposite to what is fictitious, counterfeit, imaginary, simulated, or pretended; refers to a dependable light such as would guide a ship to a harbor of safety.

3. "Lighteth" = to give light; to enlighten; to give understanding to.

4. "Every" = each and everyone, individually.

5. "Man" = a human being; includes all human individuals whether male or female.

6. "That cometh into the world" = some commentaries say this refers to Christ the Light that came into the world through a virgin's womb; others say this refers to every man; it is true that Christ came into the world through a virgin's womb and He is the Light of the world, but I believe in context this phrase is referring to "every man" since the Greek construction bears this out as well as the English; every man receives light in two ways; therefore, he is without excuse.

       A. Conscience‑‑inside. (Rom. 1:19)

       B. Creation‑‑outside. (Rom. 1:20)

7. Titus 2:11 also bears this out.

 

V. 10

1. "He" = Christ Jesus, the true Light.

2. "Was" = existence without origin; Christ became flesh and dwelt in the world (refers to Incarnation‑‑God robed with flesh).

3. "World" = the universe and all that is in it.

4. "Was made" = came into being; refers to creation.

5. Third "world" = refers to mankind.

6. "Knew" = to understand; to have knowledge of; to know by experience; negated by "not" thus indicating man either refused or failed to recognize Him.

7. "Him" = Christ Jesus, the true Light.

 

       5. His Born Ones. V. 11‑13

V. 11

1. "He came" = to come from one place to another; refers to the Incarnate Word‑‑God who left glory and came into this world through a virgin's womb.

2. First "his own" = His own land or country; the Greek construction brings this out; the world was His own home because it was created "for" Him (Col. 1:16); this is really more specific than just the world for He came into His land because it was the place of His birth, and also because it was the chosen land where God delighted to dwell and to manifest His favor.

3. Second "his own" = His own people; brought out by the Greek construction being in the masculine gender while the first "his own" is in neuter gender; refers to the Jewish people‑‑the chosen people to whom Christ was sent first (Mat. 15:24); the distinction in the original words are not preserved in the translation.

4. "Received" = not to reject; to acknowledge; to take to one's side; to welcome; negated by "not"; refers to the fact that the Jewish people‑‑God's chosen people‑‑did not welcome nor acknowledge Jesus as the Christ but instead rejected Him and hanged Him on a tree. (Mat. 13:57)

 

V. 12

1. "But" = shows contrast.

2. "As many as" = whosoever.

3. "Received" = means to believe on Him or acknowledge Him as the Christ.

4. "Him" = the Word; the Light; the Lord Jesus Christ.

5. "Them" = the whosoever who believed.

6. "Gave" = to give; to furnish; to supply; salvation is a gift and every ingredient is also a gift from the Lord. (Eph. 2:8)

7. "Power" = right; authority; privilege with power and authority included. (Mat. 28:18; I Thess. 1:5)

8. "To become" = to come into existence; to become what they were not before; refers to being a new creation in Christ. (II Cor. 5:17)

9. "Sons of God" = born ones; children of God by being born again (from above). (John 3:3,5; I Peter 1:23)

10. "Even to them that believe on his name" = equivalent to as many as received Him.

11. "Them" = whosoever.

12. "Believe" = to put trust in or on; refers to saving faith.

13. "On" = to come to a point, place, and time with a purpose which can only be accomplished by work of the Holy Ghost in godly sorrow‑‑Holy Ghost conviction. (II Cor. 7:10)

14. "Name" = the name is used for everything which the name covers and is often put for the person himself. (John 20:31)

 

V. 13

1. "Which" = who; refers to the whosoevers who are persons, not things; therefore, the gender in the Greek is masculine not neuter.

2. "Were born" = refers to the new birth which is a passive experience on the part of the individual but an active participation on the part of God; the Greek construction brings this out.

3. "Not of blood" = the Greek word is plural‑‑not of bloods, which means the new birth is not of man‑‑not out of the mingling of blood nor out of the union of human ancestries; the Jews prided themselves of being descendants of Abraham (John 8:33) and Nicodemus was in this category when Jesus told him, "ye must be born again" (John 3:3); the fact is our blood line traces back to Adam and is totally corrupted because of Adam's sin (Rom. 5:12); this verse in no way is referring to the blood of Christ.

4. "Nor of the will of the flesh" = not by natural generation; the new birth does not proceed from the natural human desire for children; refers to natural birth.

5. "Nor of the will of man" = not by the special desire (will) of the husband (man) for progeny (offspring) to carry on the family name; this could refer to adoption as well as the physical birth.

6. The design of using these three phrases indicate that one does not become a child of God by being descended from godly parents like Abraham, nor by their natural birth, nor by being adopted by man.

7. "But" = shows contrast.

8. "Of God" = God produces the new birth and confers the privilege of being called His children; He does this by a completed work of the Holy Ghost in His work of reproval called Holy Ghost conviction or godly sorrow. (I Cor. 12:3; John 16:8‑11; II Cor. 7:10)

9. Salvation is totally of the Lord‑‑grace all the way‑‑to Him be all glory.

A. He wrought me‑‑fashioned me referring to creation.

B. He bought me‑‑shed His precious blood on the cross. (I Peter 1:18-20)

C. He sought me‑‑loved me when a sinner (Rom. 5:8) and draws me with cords of love. (John 6:44)

D. He caught me‑‑arrested by the high sheriff (Holy Ghost) of heaven by Holy Ghost conviction.

E. He taught me‑‑both before and after salvation.  (Psa. 25:8; Titus 2:11‑13)

 

6. His incarnation (God robed in flesh). V. 14

V. 14

1. "The Word" = Jesus, the Living Word.

2. "Was made" = became; God became "flesh" = took on Himself human flesh but He did not cease to be God; this implies humility (Phil. 2:7‑8); the Lord Jesus took on Himself the flesh (body) of man but He did not take man's blood (Heb. 2:14) because He was conceived by the Holy Ghost (Luke 1:35) without the aid of man‑‑this is the virgin birth.

3. "Dwelt among" = tabernacled with; means that the Word was with them as a friend and as one of the family, so that they had full opportunity of becoming familiarly acquainted with Him, and could not be mistaken in supposing that He was really just a man.

4. "Beheld" = to look upon; to view attentively.

5. "Glory" = manifestation of His majesty, dignity, splendor, and brightness which brings forth praise.

6. "Only begotten" = only one of its kind; used of Christ and denotes the only begotten Son of God (Father).

7. "Full" = filled up, as opposed to being empty; refers to the Word made flesh being declared to be full of grace and truth.

8. "Grace" = unmerited favor, including gracious help that is the outflow of divine life and love; the Word was kind, merciful. gracious, doing good to all, and seeking man's welfare by great sacrifices and love.

9. "Truth" = uprightness; fidelity; reality; in the Word there was no falsehood.

10. "And" = a conjunction which shows that grace and truth are inseparable.

11. "Us" = "we" = mankind; refers to the disciples, including John the Baptist, who all saw (beheld) the glory of God shine through the Word‑‑Christ Jesus‑‑who was robed in a human body (flesh) demonstrating grace and truth.

 

       7. John the Baptist's witness of Him. V. 15‑34

V. 15

1. "John = John the Baptist.

2. "Bare witness" = to give a first hand detailed account of what one has heard and seen; the tense is continuous; his witness proves that Jesus was the Messiah‑‑the Christ‑‑God incarnate.

3. "Of" = concerning.

4. "Him" = the Word.

5. "Cried" = to cry out aloud; this is equivalent to "preaching" = to be herald (Mat. 3:1‑2); refers to loud crying; the tense is perfect which means a passed, completed action with existing results; John the Baptist came forth at an appointed time crying (preaching) and he continued to do so the rest of his life. (Isa. 40:3‑5)

6. "Saying" = to point out with words; this word is repeated to emphasize the voice in the wilderness (John the Baptist's) which John, the apostle (writer of this book) can still hear echoing through the years.

7. "This was" = the Greek refers to past time when John looked forward to the coming of the Messiah; in our time we could say, "this is."

8. "He" = the Word Incarnate.

9. "I" = John the Baptist.

10. "Spake" = said; say.

11. "After me" = John the Baptist means later in time; the apostle John had heard John the Baptist say these very words. (verse 27)

12. "Is preferred" = is become.

13. First "before" = refers to rank and dignity; John the Baptist is not comparing himself with Deity but with the office of the Messiah.

14. "For he was before me" = refers to His pre‑existence; He came after John in His public ministry and in His human nature, but in His divine nature He had existed long before John the Baptist had being‑‑from eternity, as already proved in verse 1.

 

V. 16

1. "His" = the Word; the Light; Jesus the Christ.

2. "Of" = out of; gives an explanatory reason for verse 14; it was out of His fullness that we have received fullness and grace for grace.

3. "Fulness" = filled up, as opposed to being empty; refers to the Word being full of grace and truth (verse 14); indicates abundance.

4. "All" = "we" = refers to all saints.

5. "Have received" = to get; to obtain; the tense is point action and refers to the point of salvation.

6. "Grace" = undeserved favor.

7. "For" = upon; a preposition of replacement.

8. Saints derive from the Lord's abundant truth and mercy‑‑grace to understand the Lord's work in salvation and be saved, grace to preach the gospel, and grace to live lives of holiness.  Grace teaches you how to live (Titus 2:11‑13) and then enables you to live the way the Lord said.  That's grace upon grace.

9. This is a picture of "grace" taking the place of "grace" like the manna each morning‑‑new grace for the new day and the new service. (Lam. 3:22-23; that's grace)

 

V. 17

1. "Law" = the OT economy; the institutions under which the Jews lived; included the moral law, civil law, dietary law, and social law.

2. "Was given" = the tense is point action past time and refers to the fact that Moses passed on (gave) to the Israelites the law God gave him.

3. First "by" = through; indicates a go between‑‑a mediator‑‑Moses. (Gal. 3:19)

4. "But" = in italics, thus not in the originals but supplied by the translators because a contrast is implied; shows contrast between the mediatorship of Moses and Jesus Christ.

5. "Grace" = unmerited favor, including gracious help that is the outflow of divine life and love; Jesus Christ was kind, merciful, gracious, doing good to all, and seeking man's welfare by great sacrifices and love.

6. "Truth" = uprightness; fidelity; reality; in Jesus Christ there is no falsehood.

7. "And" = a conjunction which shows that grace and truth are inseparable.

8. "Came" = to come into existence; through Moses the law was given which made great demands but gave nothing, which was a true revelation of God's will, and was good, but brought men no ability to become like God; but through Jesus Christ came into existence grace and truth which has ability to make men like God; this doesn't mean grace and truth did not exist in the OT economy for they did, but they were only a shadow (Heb. 10:1) of that which would come through (by) Jesus Christ.

9. "Jesus" = the earthly name of God incarnate (God robed with flesh); the Saviour of mankind.

10. "Christ" = the Anointed One; the Messiah of the OT.

 

V. 18

1. "No man" = none; not one.

2. "Hath seen" = to see with the human physical eye; the tense is perfect indicating a past action of seeing which is held in the mind so that it may be related to others; negated by "no man."

3. "God" = God the Father; refers the Divine essence (His qualities, glory, nature, and splendor) and His own triune Person (part of the Godhead).

4. "At any time" = ever.

5. "Only begotten Son" = one of a kind; single of its kind; unique; used of Christ Jesus who was virgin born‑‑one of a kind.

6. "Which" = who; Christ is a person not a thing.

7. "In the bosom of the Father" = this expression denotes intimacy, friendship, and affection; refers to the truth of His deity and shows the reason He had the ability to give the full revelation of God.

8. "He" = emphatic pronoun referring to the Son.

9. "Him" = God the Father; supplied by translators.

10. "Hath declared" = to lead out; to draw out in narrative; to recount. (Heb. 1:1‑2)

11. The sense of this verse is that the Son in qualified to reveal the Father by reason of the continual fellowship with the Father, both in eternity past, while He was bodily on earth, and even when in eternity future. (Col. 2:9)  Since He is God He had the ability to give the full revelation of God.

12. This verse reminds me of Moses in Exo. 33:18‑23 where he has to hide in the clift of a rock, which is a type of Christ, to see God's glory for no man can see God and live.  This verse does not deny that men had witnessed manifestations of God such as when:

A. Joshua saw the Captain of the Host in Josh. 5:13‑15‑‑an OT pre‑incarnate appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ called a theophany.

B. Abraham in Gen. 18:1‑2.

C. Many laid eyes upon Jesus Christ as He walked this earth for 33 years robed in flesh through a virgin's womb and when John wrote the epistle of I John no wonder he could say "I saw Him and still see Him." (He did so by using a perfect tense verb in I John 1:1)

 

V. 19

1. "Record" = testimony; what one testifies or bears witness (to give a first hand detailed account of what one experiences) to, which has already been alluded to verses 7 and 15.

2. "John" = John the Baptist, not John the apostle.

3. "Jews" = belonging to the Jewish nation; descriptive of the people as distinct from the Gentile world and from the followers of Christ; here the term refers to the Sanhedrin (the great council of the nation who had been given charge by Rome of the affairs of the Jews), the Jewish leaders and rulers who soon took a hostile attitude toward both John and Jesus.

4. "Sent" = to order one (in this case a group) to go to a place or person appointed.

5. "Priests" = one who offers sacrifices and in general are busied with sacred rites.

6. "Levites" = one of the tribe of Levi; refers to those who were not of the family of Aaron (also Levites, but his family was reserved for the priesthood) who served as assistants to the priests; it was their duty to keep the sacred utensils and the temple clean, to provide the sacred loaves, to open and shut the gates of the temple, to sing the sacred hymns in the temple, and to do many other things in and around the temple.

7. "From Jerusalem" = the city where the Sanhedrin was located.

8. "To ask" = to question.

9. "Him" = John  the Baptist.

10. "Who art thou?" = a direct question sharply put to John for him to define his claims concerning the Messiah; the Sanhedrin wanted to get John the Baptist's view of himself.

 

V. 20

1. "He" = John the Baptist.

2. "Confessed" = to declare openly; speak out freely.

3. "Denied" = to refuse to acknowledge; negated by "not."

4. "The Christ" = the Messiah; the nation was expecting that the Messiah was about to come, and multitudes were ready to believe that John was the Messiah (Luke 3:15); this confession proves that John was not an imposter.

 

V. 21

1. "They" = the priests and Levites (a committee) sent to question John the Baptist.

2. "Asked" = to question.

3. "What then" = if you are not the Christ, then are you Elias?

4. "Art" = are.

5. "Thou" = "he" = "I" = John the Baptist, whom they were questioning.

6. "Elias" = Elijah; this is the English word for the Greek way of writing the Hebrew word, Elijah; the Jews expected that Elijah would appear before the Messiah came, because of Mal. 4:5.

7. "Saith" = to point out with words; to speak.

8. "That" = the; that which stands alone and there is no other.

9. "Prophet" = foreteller; this question was asked in reference to the prediction of Moses in Deut. 18:15 who is interpreted as Christ in Acts 7:37, the Son of God whom the Father said "Hear Him" (Mat. 17:5); John the Baptist was a prophet but not "that Prophet" or "the Prophet."

10. "No" = not; shortest possible denial; the absolute negative; used to answer a direct question to which an affirmative answer was expected.

 

V. 22

1. The priests and Levites (they; a committee) persisted by probing yet farther.  They needed an answer to take back to Jerusalem.

2. "Give" = supply; furnish; deliver; they had to tell those who sent them something.

3. "Answer" = reply.

4. "Sent" = to order one (in this case a group) to go to a place or person appointed.

5. "What sayest thou of thyself" = this time they opened the door wide without placing a specific name as to who he was.

6. John the Baptist had no desire to emphasize himself or identity for his mission was to point men to Christ.  His example is a good one to follow. (John 3:30)

 

V. 23

1. In humility John the Baptist quoted the OT prophecy concerning his mission. (Isa. 40:3)  In doing this he identifies himself to the committee as the forerunner of the Messiah.

2. "Voice" = refers to the sound of uttered words.

3. "Crying" = to speak with a high, strong voice; refers to preaching. (Mat. 3:1‑3)

4. "Wilderness" = a solitary, lonely, desolate, uninhabited place.

5. "Make straight" = one word in the Greek; means to lead or guide straight.

6. "The way" = road; this language was used of rulers who had road crews going before them to prepare the way so that their travel would be made easier; John the Baptist heralded (preached; crying out) the coming of the King; therefore, the road had to be made ready.

7. "Prophet" = foreteller; one moved by the Spirit of God declaring what he has received by inspiration (God‑breathed) concerning future events. (II Tim. 3:16)

8. "Esaias" = Isaiah.

 

V. 24

1. "They" = the priest and Levites (committee).

2. "Of" = from among.

3. "Pharisees" = a Jewish religious sect which was organized during the period between Malachi and Matthew when there was no recorded revelation from God; they placed oral tradition equal to or above the Word of God; they were bitter enemies of Jesus.

 

V. 25

1. "They" = the priests and Levites (committee).

2. "Asked" = questioned.

3. "Said" = to speak.

4. "Him" = John the Baptist.

5. "Why" = in view of your repeated denials (three mentioned here); they did not interpret his claim to be "the voice" to be important enough to justify the ordinance of baptism.

6. "Baptizest" = to immerse; to make fully wet: the tense is continuous; Jewish history shows that proselyte baptism was probably practiced before John's time, but its use by John was treating the Jews as if they were themselves Gentiles.

7. "Then" = these things being so; refers to the facts that he was not "the Christ," nor "Elijah," nor "the Prophet."

 

V. 26

1. "John" = John the Baptist, not the human instrument who penned down this book of John.

2. "Answered" = to give an answer to a question proposed.

3. "Saying" = to speak.

4. "Baptize" = to immerse; to make fully wet.

5. "With" = in; that into which one is immersed and made fully wet; "with" in our English language could imply sprinkling or pouring but those methods are not scriptural.

6. "Water" = the liquid used to picture a burial (the old man is dead), and a resurrection of the new man in Christ.

7. "But" = shows contrast; John passed over the explanation as to why he baptized but contrasted his ministry with that of the One (who is) among you.

8. "Standeth" = in the presence of others; in the midst; there was nothing extraordinary about the Lord Jesus' appearance that would cause men to be drawn to him. (Isa. 53:2)

9. "One" = Jesus, even though not mentioned by name.

10. "Among" = the midst.

11. "Know" = to have an absolute positive knowledge of the facts; negated by "not;" this informs them of their ignorance of the Messiah's presence for John had already baptized the Lord Jesus before this time and the Father let John know who Christ was. (verses 33‑34)

12. This lets us know that unless the Holy Spirit reveals the Lord Jesus to us we would never know Him for He is hidden in the bosom of the Father and only the Holy Spirit can reveal Him to man.

 

V. 27

1. "He" = the Messiah; the Lord Jesus.

2. "Me" = John the Baptist.

3. "Coming after" = refers to the fact that John's birth was prior to Christ's; John as a forerunner of the Messiah has preceded Him in time, but not in rank as he instantly adds.

4. "Is preferred before me" = is become before me; refers to rank and dignity; in verse 15 the phrase was added "for he was before me;" Christ came after John in His public ministry and in His human nature but in His divine nature He had existed long before John the Baptist had being‑‑in eternity, as already proved in verse 1; therefore, John takes his place as a servant.

5. "Whose" = Christ.

6. "Shoe's latchet" = a thong of leathers or a strap that fastened sandals to one's feet.

7. "Worthy" =  deserving; befitting; refers to one who has merited anything worthy; negated by "not."

8. "Unloose" = to untie the thong of leather that bound Jesus' sandals to His feet; to unloose them was the office of a servant and John means he was unworthy to perform the lowest office (that of a servant) for the Messiah; this demonstrates John's humility.

9. John was well known, highly honored and thousands came to here him.  Jesus was at that time unknown but John says that he was unworthy to be His lowest servant.

10. Apparently this startling declaration (verses 26‑27) caused no further inquiry from the committee.

 

V. 28

1. "These things" = refers to the committee questioning John the Baptist.

2. "Were done" = took place.

3. "Bethabara" = means house or place of a ford; a place on the east side of the Jordan about 12 miles above Jericho; this place is also called Bethany beyond Jordan.

4. "Beyond" = on the other side; means east of Jordan because Jerusalem is the geographical center of the world then and now; therefore, many times location were stated with direction from Jerusalem; even today the countries east of Jerusalem are considered the Eastern world and the countries west, the Western world.

5. "John" = John the Baptist.

6. "Was baptizing" = carrying out the rite of baptism on those who brought fruit which met the requirement of repentance; this was done by immersion; the tense is continuous action which means John was baptizing day after day continually those who met the requirements. (Mat. 3:7‑8)

7. Some try to say John's baptism was different from what is practiced today because the Bible called it a "baptism of repentance." (Mark 1:4)  This just refers to a baptism connected with repentance of the individual.  This is a baptism which involved an obligation to repent.  The same holds true for our day as well--man must repent before he can be scripturally baptized.

 

V. 29

1. "The next day" = refers to the next day after the committee questioned John the Baptist whether he was the Christ; this is not the next day after John baptized Jesus (Mat. 3:13‑17) because Mark 1:12‑13 states that Jesus was immediately driven (to lead one forth or away somewhere with a force which he cannot resist) by the Spirit (Holy Spirit) into the wilderness to be tempted (tested) by Satan; therefore, over forty days had elapsed between Jesus baptism and the encounter of verse 29.

2. "Seeth" = to turn the physical eyes upon someone.

3. "Jesus" = the earthly name of God incarnate (God robed with flesh); the Saviour of mankind.

4. "Coming" = to come from one place to another.

5. "Unto" = toward.

6. "Him" = John the Baptist.

7. "Saith" = to point out with words.

8. "Behold" = look; John was fulfilling his ministry as prophesied by his father Zacharias in Luke 1:76‑79 as he speaks to John for the sake of those present even though John is incapable of hearing and knowing what he said.

9. "The Lamb of God" = this is a forceful declaration indicating that it had been revealed to John the Baptist that the Saviour's death was to be a fulfillment of Isaiah 53 and the Passover lamb of Exodus 12; any Jew would connect a lamb with the passover but not all Jews looked for a suffering Messiah but a remnant did. (Luke 2:35; Simeon's prophecy to Mary)

10. "Of God" = appointed by God; approved by God and very dear to Him; it was the sacrifice which He chose and which He approves to save men from their sin.

11. "Taketh away" = to bear away the sin of the world; refers to the sufferings which made an atonement for sin--the cross.

12. "Sin" = preceded by a definite article "the" thus "the sin;" it is also singular not plural; speaks of the root source and nature of sin passed to all mankind from Adam; this does not refer merely to the symptoms (fruits) called sins.

13. "World" = mankind; refers to all mankind not just the Jews.

14. For us to understand what John meant when he said this phrase, we need to understand the day of atonement described in Lev. 16:2‑22:

A. The high priest had to make a sin offering and burnt offering for his own sin before he could offer the sacrifice for the people.  Jesus, our high priest, did not have to do this for Himself because He had no sin of His own.

B. Two goats were presented to the Lord and lots were cast, one lot for the Lord (sacrifice) and the other lot for the scapegoat (substitute).

C. The goat upon which the Lord's lot fell was killed‑‑sacrificed.

D. The scape goat, after the sins of the people were confessed over it, was let go into the wilderness, never to return into the camp‑‑never to be seen again.

E. The goat that was killed, its blood was to be carried by the priest and sprinkled upon the mercy seat.

F. Jesus' work is a fulfillment of all this.  He was sacrificed on the cross.  He was our substitute while He hung on the cross paying our sin debt.  He was buried, resurrected, carried and sprinkled His own blood upon the mercy seat in heaven.  And those sins will never come up in our presence again. (Heb. 9:12; 10:1)

G. The word for atonement in the OT means "covering." When all this was carried out on the day of atonement, it only covered sin for one year.  It had to be done all over again the next year.  But Jesus' blood atoned for our sin, did not just cover it. (Heb. 10:12‑14,17)  John the Baptist knew that and that's why he could boldly claim, "Behold the Lamb which taketh away the sin of the world."

H. Sacrifice, substitute, and mercy seat is the meaning of the word "propitiation." (Rom. 3:25; I John 2:2)  The word "merciful" in Luke 18:13 is the same base word as "propitiation."  Therefore, the publican having an under-standing of OT typeology realized that the Lord Jesus was his sacrifice, substitute, and mercy seat.  Anyone can be saved if that much understanding becomes a reality (not just a revelation; head knowledge) in one's heart.

15. If you would like to have a message preached on this subject, call or write and ask for the message on John chapter 1 #4.

 

V. 30

1. "This is he" = refers to the prior verses and that which was said about the Lord Jesus‑‑the Lamb of God.

2. "Of" = concerning.

3. "Whom" = Lamb of God‑‑Lord Jesus.

4. "I" = John the Baptist.

5. "Said" = the tense reveals that John had said this before; quoted in verse 15 and also in verse 27.

6. "After me cometh" = refers to the fact that Christ's birth is after John the Baptist's.

7. "A man" = male; Christ was a man because He was robed in flesh; God incarnate (God robed in flesh).

8. "Which" = who; masculine gender not neuter; Christ is a person not an it.

9. "Is preferred before me" = is become before me; refers to rank and dignity.

10. "For he was before me" = refers to His pre‑existence; He came after John in His public ministry and in His human nature, but in His divine nature He had existed long before John the Baptist had being‑‑from eternity as already proved in verse 1.

 

V. 31

1. "I" = John the Baptist.

2. "Knew" = to have an absolute positive knowledge of the facts; negated by "not;" even though related, John was not acquainted with Him as the Messiah; he had not recognized Jesus for what He was, even though he may have been acquainted with Him as a human and as a cousin.

3. "Him" = Jesus the Christ, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.

4. "But" = shows contrast.

5. "That" = in order that; the recognition of who Christ was, was not to be John's alone.

6. "He" = Christ.

7. "Should be made manifest" = one word in the Greek; to make visible or known what has been hidden or unknown.

8. "Israel" = the name given to the patriarch Jacob (Gen. 32:28) just after being saved; means "prince of God;" refers to the descendants of Jacob through his twelve sons (tribes) which as a nation was chosen by God to be a light to all other nations; later they are referred to as Jews.

9. "Therefore" = in view of the fact that the purpose of John's ministry was to make known the presence of the Messiah to Israel.

10. "Baptizing" = to immerse; to submerge; to make fully wet; the tense is continuous because John baptized day after day.

11. "With" = in; that into which one is immersed and made fully wet; "with" in our English language could imply sprinkling or pouring but those methods are not scriptural.

12. "Water" = the liquid used to picture a burial; the old man is dead, and now there is a resurrection of the new man in Christ.

 

V. 32

1. "John" = John the Baptist; John the apostle is writing concerning John the Baptist's witness of the Messiah (Christ).

2. "Bare record" = to bare witness; to give a first hand detailed account of what one has heard and seen; the tense is point action, past time‑‑time when he baptized Jesus and reported what he saw.

3. "Saying" = to point out with words.

4. "I" = John the Baptist.

5. "Saw" = to see with the eyes; the tense is perfect which indicates a past completed action with existing results; John saw this occurrence and it remains ever before the eyes of his mind‑‑he still sees it, in fact he would never get over this experience.

6. "The Spirit" = the Holy Spirit; third part of the Godhead.

7. "Descending" = to come down.

8. "From" = out of.

9. "Heaven" = John could only see the first heaven (our atmosphere) and part of the second heaven (place where the stars, moon, sun, planets, and etc. are) but the Holy Spirit descended out of the third heaven (the abode of God).

10. "Like" = as; this is a simile (a figure of speech in which two unlike things are compared); therefore, this was not a real dove but the Spirit descended like a dove (to be honest I do not know all that means).

11. "Dove" = a bird considered to be harmless (Mat. 10:16) and that is true of the Spirit.

12. "It" = the Spirit, who is a person and not an "it."

13. "Abode" = remained; stayed; to continue to be present.

14. "Him" = Jesus the Christ, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.

 

V. 33

1. "I" = John the Baptist.

2. "Knew" = to have an absolute positive knowledge of the facts; negated by "not;" even though related, John was not acquainted with Him as the Messiah; he had not recognized Jesus for who He was even though he may have been acquainted with Him as a human and as a cousin.

3. "Him" = Jesus the Christ, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.

4. "But" = shows contrast.

5. "He" = God. (verse 6)

6. "Sent" = to appoint to go to a place with a purpose; refers to being divinely commissioned by God.

7. "Me" = John the Baptist.

8. "Baptize" = to immerse; to make fully wet.

9. "With" = in; that into which one is immersed and made fully wet; "with" in our English language could imply sprinkling or pouring but those methods are not scriptural.

10. "Water" = the liquid used to picture a burial (the old man is dead) and a resurrection of the new man in Christ.

11. "The same" = God; the One who sent him.

12. "Said" = to speak; this is evidence that God does speak to man.

13. "Me" = John the Baptist.

14. "Whom" = a certain individual who was Jesus.

15. "Thou" = John the Baptist.

16. "Shalt see" = shall see; it will be certain to come to pass‑‑what God had said to John, probably in the wilderness before he came baptizing.

17. "The Spirit" = the Holy Spirit.

18. "Descending" = coming down from heaven.

19. "Remaining" = staying; continuing to be present.

20. "Him" = "the same" = "He" = Jesus the Christ.

21. "Which" = who; Jesus is a person, not a thing.

22. "Baptizeth" = to immerse.

23. "With" = in; that into which one is immersed.

24. "Holy Ghost" = Holy Spirit; Spirit of God; Spirit of Christ; all one and the same.

25. "Baptizeth with the Holy Ghost" = this phrase refers to one being saved and receiving the Holy Ghost to live within one's heart (new heart); this does not refer to speaking in an unknown tongue as some try to claim in this day and time.

 

V. 34

1. "I" = John the Baptist.

2. "Saw" = to see with the eyes; to become acquainted with by experience; the tense is perfect which indicates a past completed action with existing results; John said I saw the fulfillment exactly like God said (verse 32) and I still see it.

3. "Bare record" = to bare witness; to give a first hand detailed account of what one has heard and seen; the tense is perfect which indicates John bore witness of this fact at Jesus' baptism in the past and he does so in the present; a witness tells what he knows and he knows what he sees and hears.

4. "This" = this One.

5. "Is" = not was, but is, because Jesus Christ lives.

6. "Son of God" = this phrase means more than just Messiah and expresses the peculiar relation of the Son to the Father like that of the Word "with" (face to face) God in verse 1; implies the virgin birth because He was conceived by the Holy Ghost not man‑‑a descendant from Adam. (Luke 1:35)

7. John the Baptist heard the Father's voice proclaim Him as, "my Beloved Son" (Mat. 3:17); that with the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Him as God had said caused John to give an infallible, certain, and sure testimony that Jesus Christ is the "Son of God" = Nathanael uses it as a Messianic title in John 1:49 as does Martha in John 11:27; the synoptic Gospels use it also of Christ in Mark 3:11, Mat. 14:33, and Luke 22:70; Caiaphas applies it to Christ as a Messianic title in Mat. 26:63 and Jesus confessed under oath that He was in Mat. 26:64; Jesus applied the term to Himself in John 10:36.

8. Thus John the apostle records John the Baptist's witness of the Lord Jesus so that you too might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and be saved. (John 20:31)

 

III. Period of Consideration. (V. 1:35‑6:71)

       1. Christ and the Disciples. (V. 1:35‑2:12)

V. 35

1. "Again" = repetition of the action.

2. "The next day after" = points to the day after John the Baptist stood and introduced Jesus as the Lamb of God (verse 29); this is two days after the committee came from Jerusalem to question John (verse 19); this is about six weeks after His baptism because He fasted in the wilderness 40 days where He was tempted by Satan.

3. "Disciples" = a learner; pupil; denotes one who follows one's teaching to the extent they are said to be imitators of their teacher.

4. "His" = John the Baptist's.

5. "Two" = one was Andrew (verse 40) and the other was John the apostle, the writer of this book, who records this incident with happy memories.

 

V. 36

1. "Looking" = fixing his (John the Baptist's) eyes intently upon Jesus.

2. First "he" = Jesus.

3. "Walked" = the tense is continuous; Jesus was passing by.

4. Second "he" = John the Baptist.

5. "Saith" = to affirm over; John spoke the basic same message as he did in verse 29.

6. "Behold" = look; in country terms, "look yonder."

7. "The Lamb of God" = this again is a forceful declaration indicating that it had been revealed to John the Baptist that the Saviour's death was to be a fulfillment of Isaiah 53 and the Passover Lamb of Exodus 12.

8. "Of God" = appointed by God; approved by God and very dear to Him; it was the sacrifice which He chose and which He approves to save men from their sin.

 

V. 37

1. "The two disciples" = Andrew and John. (See verse 35)

2. "Heard" = to perceive by the ear what is announced in one's presence; implies to understand.

3. "Him" = John the Baptist.

4. "Speak" = to use words in order to declare one's mind and disclose one's thoughts.

5. "They" = the two disciples.

6. "Followed" = to join one as a disciple; the physical act expressed the intent to follow in a spiritual sense.

7. "Jesus" = the earthly name of God incarnate (God robed in flesh); the Saviour of mankind.

 

V. 38

1. "Then" = after the two begin to follow Jesus.

2. "Turned" = to turn around; a vivid picture of the sudden act of Jesus on hearing their steps behind Him; of course He knew what they would do for He was the all knowing God.

3. "Saw" = to see with the eyes; implies He studied them with a long look.

4. "Them" = the two disciples.

5. "Saith" = to point out with words.

6. "What seek ye?" = this question was not asked to obtain information; it was a kind inquiry concerning their desire; it was an invitation to lay open their mind, to state their desires, and express all their feelings concerning the Messiah and their own salvation.

7. "What" = not "who;" yet the "what" comes with the "who;" in Mat. 6:33 Jesus taught His disciples to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness which is "what" they were to seek, and this "what" came in the person of Jesus Christ, the King of the kingdom.

8. "Seek" = to desire; to make a search or investigation.

9. "Ye" = "they" = the two disciples.

10. "Him" = Jesus, the Messiah.

11. "Rabbi" = a title used by the Jews to address their teachers; means "my great one" or "my honorable sir."

12. "Being interpreted" = to explain; to translate what has been spoken in a foreign tongue into the native language of the people of John's day; John does this several times throughout this gospel which reveals he wrote not for the Jews only but for those who did not understand the Hebrew language.

13. "Master" = teacher; one who is fitted to teach.

14. "Dwellest" = abide; refers to the dwelling where Jesus (thou) was staying.

15. This question was probably asked in order to signify their desire to be with Him and to be instructed by Him.  They desired a place for a quite conversation with Jesus.

 

V. 39

1. "He" = Jesus, the Messiah.

2. "Saith" = to point out with words.

3. "Them" = "they" = the two disciples.

4. "Come and see" = a gracious invitation for John's disciples to become His disciples. (Mat. 11:28‑30)

5. "They came and saw" = they responded to the Lord Jesus' gracious invitation.

6. "Dwelt" = to abide; refers to the dwelling where Jesus was staying; probably in a room provided for Him by someone else. (Luke 9:58; not a place called His own)

7. "Abode" = to remain; stayed with Him the rest of the day and the night as well.

8. "Tenth hour" = this would be 4:00 PM Jewish time; Roman time would be different but it matters not which time John used to mark this occasion for this was an experience which he never forgot, not even the time of day it occurred.

9. Note: Any encounter with Jesus will not be forgotten.  This is why salvation occurs at a time and place and that event will not be forgotten, thus, we have a know so salvation.

 

V. 40

1. This verse identifies very clearly that one of these disciples was Andrew.

2. "Simon" = Peter's old name before he met Christ.

3. "Peter" = means a rock or stone; really identifies him as a piece of the rock, with the Rock being Christ upon which the church is built, not upon Peter, who is just a piece of the Rock. (Mat. 16:18)

4. "Brother" = from the same womb; in context it refers to having the same two parents.

 

V. 41

1. "He" = Andrew.

2. "First" = before going and telling anyone else.

3. "Findeth" = after searching to find a thing sought; to find by searching or making an effort, not by chance or just happen to, but premeditated; Andrew would not let anything or anybody hinder him as he begin searching to find Simon, his own brother.

4. "Saith" = to point out with words; no doubt excitement was in his voice.

5. "Him" = Simon.

6. "We" = Andrew and John; the two disciples who followed Jesus when John the Baptist revealed who He was.

7. "The Messias" = the Greek form of the Messiah; the Anointed One.

8. "Being interpreted" = to explain; to translate what had been spoken in a foreign tongue into the native language of the day.

9. "The Christ" = the English word for the Messiah or the Anointed One of the OT.

 

V. 42

1. "He" = Andrew.

2. "Brought" = to lead by accompanying to a place or person; Andrew was an effective witness (to give a firsthand detailed account of what one has seen, heard, and experienced) to Simon; thus, he was influenced to go to Christ and Andrew went along with him.

3. "Him" = Simon.

4. "Jesus" = the Messiah.

5. "Beheld" = to turn one's eyes on; indicates that Jesus gave Simon an intensified, penetrating look that penetrated the character of Simon.

6. Second "he" = Jesus.

7. "Thou" = Simon.

8. "Art" = are.

9. "Jona" = Simon's father.

10. "Shalt be called" = to give a name to one.

11. "Cephas" = Aramaic for the Greek "Petros" = which means a stone as John interpreted it in this verse.

12. "Stone" = "Petros" = Greek for Peter; this is the only time this word is translated "stone" while all other times it is translated "Peter."

13. The question has risen, "Where was Peter saved?"  Some say when the Lord called him to make him a fisher of men in Mat. 4:18‑19.  There the Lord called them into service which was after this meeting in John.  Some say here is where Peter was saved for the Lord changed his name to indicate a change in character.  This could be the time Peter was saved but it could also be that this event in Peter's life was just an outward expression (coming to meet the Messiah) of what he had previously believed in his heart (there was to be a coming Messiah) at which point righteousness was put on his account.  Whatever the case may be, Peter was saved at this meeting with the Christ, if not already before.

 

V. 43

1. "The day following" = refers to after His encounter with Simon.

2. "Jesus" = the Messiah.

3. "Would" = purposed and determined; signifies a choice; denotes an active purpose; He seems to have actually began His journey.

4. "Go forth into" = to go forth to a place with a purpose and that purpose was to "find" Philip.

5. "Galilee" = the name of a region of northern Palestine, bordered on the north by Syria, on the west by Sidon and Tyre, on the south by Samaria, and on the east by the Jordan.

6. "Findeth" = to find by searching or making an effort, not by chance or just happen to, but premeditated; the word shows that Jesus set a course to find Philip and knew before He left who He was to meet.

7. "Philip" = one of the Lord's chosen apostles; name means "lover of horses."

8. "Saith" = to point out with words.

9. "Him" = Philip.

10. "Follow me" = an invitation to join Him‑‑the Lord Jesus--as one of His disciples; a gracious personal invitation.

 

V. 44

1. "Bethsaida" = a small fishing village on the west shore of the Sea of Galilee.

2. "Of" = from; Andrew and Peter were from the same city as Philip.

 

V. 45

1. "Findeth" = to find by searching or making an effort, not by chance or just happen to, but premeditated; the word shows that Philip set a course to find Nathanael.

2. "Nathanael" = name means "God has given;" he was from Cana of Galilee (John 21:2), a city not far from Bethsaida; he is the same man as the apostle Bartholomew.

3. "Saith" = to point out with words.

4. First "him" = Nathanael.

5. "We" = Philip, Andrew, John, and Peter.

6. "Have found" = after searching, to find a thing sought; the Greek construction implies they had been looking and expecting the Messiah to come and now Philip could say he had laid his eyes upon Him.

7. Second "him" = "whom" = Jesus of Nazareth.

8. "Moses in the law" = refers to Moses as the human instrumentality God use to write the first five books of the Bible called by the Jews "the law."

9. "Prophets" = foreteller; one moved by the Spirit of God to declare (write) to men what he had received by inspiration concerning future events; refers to those books of the OT we call major and minor prophets.

10. "Did write" = refers to a point in past time where men, inspired by God, wrote letters on a tablet, parchment, paper, or other material.

11. "Jesus" = the Messiah.

12. "Of Nazareth" = the town where Jesus grew up is even though He was born in Bethlehem of Judea.

13. "The son of Joseph" = Joseph became the husband of Mary after she conceived by the Holy Ghost and no doubt, adopted Jesus as his own son; therefore, Jesus was known as the son of Joseph because of the law concerning adoption.

14. Philip realized that Jesus was the long‑awaited Messiah whom Moses and the prophets wrote about and at the same time he realized that He was the son of Joseph.

 

V. 46

1. "Said" = to speak; Nathanael asked a question.

2. "Can" = is it possible?

3. "Good thing" = upright, honorable.

4. "Come" = exist; happen; be present.

5. Nazareth was noted as a wicked place and those of that city were considered of bad character.  To be called a Nazarene was an expression of contempt.  As a result Nathanael was skeptic as to whether it was possible that the Messiah should come from a place considered wicked.  Others had claimed to be the Messiah.

6. Philip did not answer Nathanael's question but simply presented him an invitation that he would have to act upon.  Philip was wise when dealing with Nathanael.

7. "Come" = to come from one place to another.

8. "See" = to have absolute positive knowledge of the facts.

9. Skepticism disappears through knowledge and experience in the Lord.

 

V. 47

1. "Saw" = to perceive with the eyes; implies a casual look; it did not take long for Jesus to determine Nathanael's character; in fact He already knew since He was God with omniscience (having all knowledge).

2. First "him" = Jesus.

3. "Saith" = to point out with words.

4. Second "him" = Nathanael.

5. "Behold" = look; an exclamation.

6. "An Israelite" = one of the nation of Israel.

7. "Indeed" = truly; most certainly; of a truth; refers to one being an Israelite, not by birth only, but one worthy of the name by possessing character of that which becomes a man who is really a Jew‑‑one who fears God and obeys His law.

8. "Whom" = refers to Nathanael.

9. "Guile" = deceit; subtilty; craftiness; negated by "no" = "not."

10. Jesus did not treat Nathanael as a skeptic but He viewed his question as an honest seeker after truth.  It is alright to question if our motive is right. (Acts 17:11)

 

V. 48

1. Nathanael answered back with a question.

2. First "him" = Jesus.

3. "Whence" = from where; implies, "How can this be?"

4. "Knowest" = to come to know.

5. "Thou" = Jesus.

6. "Me" = Nathanael.

7. "Answered" = to give an answer to a question asked.

8. "Said" = to speak.

9. Second "him" = Nathanael.

10. "Called" = to invite.

11. "Thee" = Second "thou" = Nathanael.

12. "When thou wast under the fig tree" = the fig tree was a familiar object in Palestine and was valuable for food; the Greek construction may suggest that Nathanael had gone there for prayer for the Jews had a habit of selecting places such as this for the purpose of meditation and prayer; also Jesus judged his character by what had occurred under the fig tree‑‑which was not picking figs for this conversation occurred in the spring just before the Passover. (John 2:13)

13. "I" = Jesus.

14. "Saw" = to have an absolute positive knowledge of the facts; Jesus let Nathanael know He knew his thoughts, desires, and secret feelings; this was the exercise of omniscience‑‑having all knowledge‑‑which only God has.

 

V. 49

1. "Answered" = to begin to speak, but always where something has preceded to which the remarks refer.

2. "Speak" = to point out with words.

3. "Him" = "thou" = Jesus.

4. "Rabbi" = a title used by the Jews to address their teachers; means my great one or my honorable sir; master; teacher; one who is fitted to teach.

5. "Art" = are.

6. "The Son of God" = Nathanael confessed that he now believed that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed the Messiah, the Son of God as John the Baptist had presented Him in verse 34.

7. "The King of Israel" = this was one of the titles by which the Messiah was expected and this was the title which was attached to His cross. (John 19:19)

 

V. 50

1. "Him" = "thee" = "thou" = Nathanael.

2. "Because" = is that the reason you believed what you said in verse 49?

3. "Believest" = to think to be true; to be persuaded of.

4. "Shalt see" = to look at; behold; the tense is future.

5. "Greater things" = fuller proof of His Messiahship, particularly what is mentioned in the next verse.

 

V. 51

1. "He" = "I" = Jesus.

2. "Him" = "you" = "ye" = Nathanael.

3. "Verily" = surely; truly; of a truth; used twice, which expresses the speaker's sense of the importance of what he is saying and the certainty of it as he speaks.

4. "Shall see" = to look at; behold; the tense is future.

5. "Ye" = the word is in the plural; therefore, it means more than just Nathanael; He is referring to all of His disciples including us.

6. "Heaven open" = this is a figurative expression denoting the conferring of blessings (Psa. 78:23‑24); the Greek construction refers to heaven not only being opened but it will continue to stand open; these words remind us of what took place at the baptism of Jesus (Mat. 3:16); refers to the opened heaven as the symbol of imitate fellowship between God and man; this was later illustrated in the death of Stephen (Acts 7:56); reminds us of Jacob's vision at Bethel (Gen. 28) which was a dream to him but Christ is Himself the bond of fellowship between heaven and earth, between God and man.

7. "Angels of God" = messengers from God; refers to those pure and holy beings that dwell in heaven and that are employed as ministering spirits to our world. (Heb. 1:14)

8. "Ascending and descending" = refers to the fact that Nathanael and all the disciples would have evidence that angels came to their aid, and that they (disciples) would have the kind of protection and assistance from God which would show more fully that He was the Messiah.

9. "Son of Man" = a term by which Jesus often describes Himself; it shows His humility, His love for man, and His willingness to be esteemed as a man. (Phil. 2:6‑7)

10. Jesus is both "the Son of God" and "the Son of Man."  God and man meet in Christ.  He is the true Jacob's ladder. (John 14:6)  He is more than King of Israel, He is the Son of Man and the Son of God which is brought out in this first chapter in the witness of John the Baptist, the faith of His first disciples, and the claims of Jesus Christ, Himself.

 

CHAPTER 2:

 

V. 1

1. "The third day" = on the third day after Jesus' conversation with Nathanael; this is about 47 days after Jesus' baptism.

2. "Marriage" = a Jewish wedding or marriage festival; it involved more than a festival because vows were taken by the bride and groom to love each other until death parted them; the marriage ceremony, not a sex act, binds a couple together in the sight of God.

3. "Cana" = a village in Galilee about 5 miles NE of Nazareth, Jesus' hometown; it is called Cana of Galilee to distinguish it from another Cana in the tribe of Ephraim; the native place of Nathanael. (John 21:2)

4. "Mother of Jesus" = Mary, the virgin who conceived by the Holy Ghost (Luke 1:35); Mary is never called by name in this gospel, which may be for the purpose of down-playing her part in salvation since this gospel is written so that one may believe--on Christ, the Son of God, not Mary‑‑and be saved. (John 20:31)

5. "Was there" = present at the marriage feast and ceremony.

 

V. 2

1. "Both" = also; meaning Jesus and His disciples were invited (called) to the marriage as well as Mary.

2. "Disciples" = a learner; pupil; denotes one who follows one's teaching to the extent they are said to be imitators of their teacher; we don't know how many were with Jesus at this time but we can account for six; on His way to Galilee He met Philip and Nathanael, whom I believed went with Him; He had met John, Andrew, and Peter in chapter one and it seems they had gone on ahead of Jesus and went back to their local area‑‑the Sea of Galilee‑‑and begin fishing (their occupation); Jesus then (during the interval between the time He talked with Nathanael and went to the marriage in Cana) went by the Sea of Galilee and called Andrew, Peter, John, and James into full time service, to become fishers of men (Mat. 4:18‑22); thus, there seems to be at least six disciples with Jesus at the marriage in Cana.

 

V. 3

1. "They" = those responsible for furnishing wine for the marriage festival.

2. "Wanted" = to lack; they had run out of wine; a marriage feast or festival was commonly observed for seven or eight days, therefore a lot of wine would be consumed.

3. "Wine" = that which they drank at the marriage feast; the Greek word for "wine" here is "oinos" and corresponds to the Hebrew word "yayin" both of which are general words used in the Scripture for any part of the fruit of the vine‑‑grapes, grape juice, intoxicating drink, raisins, and vinegar; the context and principle of the Bible determines what form is meant; for Jesus to make an intoxicating wine would have been a violation of the Scripture for the Bible says, "don't even look at it" in Pro. 23:31; Jesus would never violate Scripture; therefore, this wine that Jesus made was grape juice‑‑not intoxicating; it was no trouble for Him to speed up the natural process of making grape juice (water out of the ground comes up through the vine, forms the grape, and when you squeeze the grape you have grape juice) called by the generic term "wine" in this first miracle; in the Bible the press used to squeeze the juice out of the grape is called a winepress not a grape juice press; we just need to realize wine is a general word and the context and principles of the Bible determine what form it is.

4. "Mother of Jesus" = Mary.

5. "Saith" = to point out with words.

6. "Him" = Jesus.

7. "They have no wine" = a statement of fact; Mary knew that Eastern hospitality would consider a shortage of wine a disgraceful calamity; thus, she makes a request to Jesus; why? we do not know for certain but it seems that she had a belief that He was able to supply it; she had treasured in her heart the wonders connected with the birth of Jesus (Luke 2:19) and His understanding way beyond His years when He was only twelve years old (Luke 2:51); she knew He was the Messiah and after hearing what John the Baptist had declared she no doubt knew His public ministry had begun, thus this statement.

 

V. 4

1. "Her" = Mary.

2. "Woman" = this is not an address of reproof (as if she was interfering in that which did not properly concern her) or disrespect (because the same word is used in John 19:26 in a tender address to His mother); Jesus' use of this word instead of the Word for "mother" clearly shows she can no longer exercise maternal authority, especially in His Messianic work.

3. "What have I to do with thee?" = "what is it to us?" = these words sound harsh but they may have been spoken in a tender manner as a mild exhortation for her to dismiss her fears and anxiety and put proper trust in Him.

4. "Mine hour is not yet come" = means the time for public manifestation of the Messiahship; the hour of His public manifestation had not come; the wording of verse 3 may indicate that the wine was not yet entirely exhausted but running dangerously low; the wine had begun to fail but He would not work a miracle until it was entirely gone.

5. This miracle was the first sign (the primary purpose of our Lord's miracles [signs] was to prove His Messianic claims to be true, and that His message was from God) of the Messiah.

6. These words of Jesus were designed by an all knowing God who knew what man would face in the future and put a warning against the worship of Mary‑‑Maryolatry.  Catholics pray to Mary to gain favor with Jesus who is God, but Jesus is our mediator not Mary.

 

V. 5

1. "His mother saith" = it is evident from this verse that His mother did not take Jesus' words as being harsh or disrespectful.

2. "Servants" = slaves who served the wine at the marriage feast.

3. "Whatsoever" = what ever.

4. "Do" = to carry out; to execute; refers to a command demanding instant obedience.

 

V. 6

1. John's gospel records details in order to show the extent of the miracle.  This speaks of the fact that details or specifics should be present in every person's salvation experience.

2. "Waterpots of stone" = vessels for holding water made of stone.

3. "After the manner of" = after the usual custom or tradition, not law.

4. "Purifying" = washing; refers to the washing the hands of the Jews before and after their meals which they considered law but really it was a tradition. (Mat. 15:2)

5. "Jews" = Jews by birth; also of Jewish descent and religion; means belonging to Judah but also a term that applies to the descendants of all Israel; first called Jews in II Kings 16:6 which was referring to Judah and was about the time the Northern Kingdom went into captivity.

6. "Containing" = to have space or room for receiving or holding something.

7. "Firkins" = unit of measure used for liquids containing approximately 8 1/2 gallons (the exact size, we do not have a record); the exact size of the vessels is not known but estimated.

8. "Apiece" = each one; each one held from 17 to 25 1/2 gallons, thus in total they held from 102 to 158 gallons of water.

 

V. 7

1. "Fill" = to fill full; this is a command to the servants, which they obeyed.

2. "Water" = just plain water.

3. "They" = the servants at the marriage feast; it was done by the servants so that there would be no opportunity for anyone to say Jesus' disciples did this and produced a deception.

4. "To the brim" = to the top; so full that no wine could be poured in to give the appearance of a mixture.

 

V. 8

1. "He" = Jesus.

2. "Them" = the servants.

3. "Draw out" = to draw water; apparently the water was still water when it came out of the jars; another command which the servants obeyed.

4. "Now" = at this time; just as soon as the last pot was filled to the brim Jesus commanded them to draw out the water.

5. "Bear unto" = to carry to; this is also a command.

6. "Governor of the feast" = one word in the Greek; the superintendent of the dining room, not some government official as we tend to think; the one who had charge of providing food for the occasion and also tasted the food to make sure it was satisfactory to serve the guests.

7. "They bare it" = the servants carried the drawn water to the governor of the feast.

8. Jesus did not make a show of what He did.  In fact it does not appear that He even approached the water pots.  He willed it, and it was done‑‑a clear demonstration of divine power, made in such a manner that there could be no doubt of its reality.  It seems that somewhere between the drawing of the water and the taking it to the governor of the feast, the water was changed into wine.

 

V. 9

1. "Ruler of the feast" = governor of the feast; he was usually a slave (a trustee) who oversaw the arrangements of the wedding party and saw to the comfort and well‑being of the guests; he was like a butler or cupbearer who protected the health of those invited.

2. "Tasted" = this was his job to do.

3. "Was made" = had become.

4. "Wine" = grape juice; not intoxicating as explained in verse 3.

5. "Knew" = to have absolute positive knowledge of the facts; negated by "not;" refers to the governor of the feast not knowing whence it was.

6. "Whence it was" = the origin or source the wine came from; the governor did not know its origin but the servants did.

7. "Servants" = one who executes the commands of another.

8. "Called" = to speak with a loud voice.

9. "Bridegroom" = the husband to be at this marriage; apparently he was responsible for the supply of wine.

 

V. 10

1. "Saith" = to point out with words.

2. "Him" = the bridegroom.

3. "Every man" = indicates that what he is about to say is generally done or is customary at marriage feasts.

4. "At the beginning" = at the first of the marriage feast which sometimes lasted eight days.

5. "Doth set forth" = serves.

6. "Good" = excellent in its nature and characteristics.

7. "Wine" = grape juice; not intoxicating as explained in verse 3.

8. "Well drunk" = this does not mean that they were intoxicated but it means they had drunk so much that the keenness of their taste was destroyed so that they could not readily distinguish the good from that which was worse.

9. "Then" = at that time.

10. "Worse" = of an inferior quality.

11. "Thou" = the bridegroom.

12. "Kept" = reserved.

13. "Now" = a time when the feast had been going on for days because they were running low on wine.

 

V. 11

1. "Beginning" = the first miracle Jesus performed which showed His public manifestation as the Messiah.

2. "Miracles" = a sign; an exertion of divine power, producing a change of substance of water into wine, which no human power could do.

3. "Did" = performed.

4. "Cana of Galilee" = location of the marriage Jesus attended.

5. "Manifested forth" = showed; exhibited.

6. "His" = "Him" = Jesus.

7. "Glory" = the manifestation of that which brings forth praise; refers to His power and proper character as the Messiah and also to the fact that God the Father had commissioned Him.

8. "Disciples" = learner; pupil; denotes one who follows one's teaching to the extent they are said to be imitators of their teachers.

9. "Believed" = to put trust in; to be persuaded; this does not mean that they did not believe on Him before, for they had already believed Jesus was the Messiah in chapter one, but their faith was strengthened when they saw He was invested with almighty power; their faith was established. (It has been said, "one picture is worth a thousand words.")

 

V. 12

1. "After this" = after attending the marriage in Cana of Galilee.

2. "He" = Jesus.

3. "Went down" = Cana was on a higher elevation than Capernaum.

4. "Capernaum" = a city on the NW shore of the Sea of Galilee which is 682.5 feet below sea level.

5. "His mother" = Mary.

6. "His brethren" = half brothers born to Joseph and Mary after Jesus' supernatural birth; James, Joses, Simon, and Judas. (Mat. 13:55)

7. Jesus seems to be the head of the family now, since His mother and His brothers accompanied Him to Capernaum.  Joseph must have died because he is not mentioned after Jesus began His public ministry.

8. "His disciples" = followers, probably six at this time‑‑John, James, Andrew, Peter, Philip, and Nathanael.

9. "They" = refers to Jesus and all who accompanied Him.

10. "Continued" = remained.

11. "There" = Capernaum.

12. "Not many days" = indicates a brief stay of only a few days, the reason being the Passover was near and they went up to Jerusalem to attend it.

 

       2. Christ and the Jews. V. 2:18‑3:36

V. 13

1. "The Jews' passover" = the feast among the Jews called the Passover; a feast that Israel was supposed to observe since the day of their deliverance from Egypt; this feast was connected with the feast of unleavened bread as outlined in Exo. 12:14‑18 and Lev. 23:5‑8; all Jewish males had to attend three feasts each year, one of which was this feast (Deut. 16:16); therefore, Jesus, in obedience to the law, went to the Passover, His first one during His public ministry.

2. "At hand" = near, as to time.

3. "Went up" = refers to geographical elevation since Jerusalem is at a high elevation.

4. "Jerusalem" = the city where the Lord chose to put His name and where the temple was built. (I Kings 11:36)

 

V. 14.

1. "Found" = to come upon; this is written for man's benefit for nothing escapes the all knowing eye of the Lord.

2. "Temple" = this is not inside the temple proper but in the Court of the Gentiles within the temple precinct.

3. "Those" = merchantmen and business men.

4. "Sold" = to barter; no doubt they haggled over the price.

5. "Oxen and sheep and doves" = such were required to sacrifice.

6. "Changers of money" = these were necessary because worshippers were required to bring an half shekel to the temple, thus men needed money changers who would exchange their money for shekels so they could enter and worship (Exo. 30:11-16); the problem that Jesus had was that the money changers were crooked and changing at an unfair exchange rate.

7. Also men had to travel a great distance to come and sacrifice and it would have been difficult to bring an animal for sacrifice; therefore, the Lord allowed them to sell their animals at home and bring the money and purchase one at Jerusalem to offer sacrifice. (Deut. 14:24‑25)  The problem in Jesus' day was that those selling animals were selling the blemished, sick, and those unacceptable to God, but they had made a deal (a little kickback) with the priest so that he would accept these unacceptable sacrifices.  That was the situation facing Jesus when He came to Jerusalem at this Passover.

 

V. 15

1. "He" = Jesus.

2. "Had made" = twisted together for strength.

3. "Scourge" = whip; an emblem of authority; also for the purpose of driving from the temple the men and their cattle and sheep.

4. "Small cords" = twisted rushes or reeds; the ancient material for making ropes.

5. "Drove out" = to cause one to depart in haste; force is implied.

6. "All" = masculine gender thus referring to the men who sold the animals and exchanged the money.

7. "And the sheep and the oxen" = Jesus cleansed the temple of both the men and the animals they were selling.

8. "Temple" = the court of the Gentile which was within the temple precinct.

9. "Oxen" = cattle.

10. "Poured out" = scattered them about.

11. "Changers" = men who exchanged the money.

12. "Money" = small pieces of money; coins.

13. "Overthrew" = to turn upside down; overturn.

14. "Tables" = a stand of a money changer, where he sits, exchanging different kinds of money for a fee.

15. Jesus demonstrated God's attitude toward those who hinder others from coming to and worshiping God in Spirit and in truth.  Two cleansings of the temple are recorded.  This one at the beginning of Jesus' ministry and the second time three years later at the end of His ministry. (Mat. 21:12)

 

V. 16

1. "Them" = men that sold doves; he spoke to them and told them to carry out the doves which may have been in baskets or cages and had to be taken out by the traders.

2. "Sold" = to barter; to sell.

3. "Doves" = birds accepted by God as a sacrifice when a family was poor and did not have cattle or sheep.

4. "Things" = the doves and the containers they were in.

5. "Hence" = from this place.

6. "Make not" = stop making; the Greek construction reveals an action going on that needed to be stopped.

7. "My" = refers to Jesus as He speaks.

8. "My Father's" = a clear cut Messianic claim.

9. "House" = the house of God; the temple.

10. "Merchandise" = a place where trade is carried on; market house.

11. No one opposed Him in His action.  Why?  It may be attributed to the authority expressed by His action and by the expression on His face.  The majesty of the Godhead no doubt gleamed in His face. (Col. 2:9)

 

V. 17

1. "His" = Jesus.

2. "Disciples" = a learner; pupil; denotes one who follows one's teaching to the extent they are said to be imitators of their teacher.

3. "Remembered" = to be recalled to mind; refers to the Scripture they had read and maybe memorized come to mind.

4. "It was written" = to commit to writing things not to be forgotten; the tense is perfect which means at a point in past time these words were written down and they stand on record at present and will continue to do so (Psa. 119:89); Psa. 69:9 is the Scripture that came to their mind.

5. "Zeal" = fervor of spirit and strong enthusiasm in defense of something‑‑in this case the house of God.

6. "Thine" = God; refers to His Father.

7. "Hath eaten me up" = hath absorbed Him and engaged His entire attention.

8. Jesus was affected with great zeal or concern for the pure worship of God; therefore, He would have been negligent if He had not demonstrated by His actions God's attitude against offensive abuses in His Father's house.

 

V. 18

1. "Then" = after Jesus drove out these men and their merchandise, and it was reported to the Sanhedrin which caused the Jews to corner Jesus.

2. "Answered" = to begin to speak, but always where something has preceded (either said or done) to which the remarks refer.

3. "Jews" = belonging to the Jewish nation; descriptive of the people as distinct from the Gentile world and from the followers of Christ; refers here to the Jewish leaders not to the mass of people.

4. "Him" = Jesus.

5. "Sign" = miracles and wonders by which God authenticates the men sent by Him, or by which men prove that the cause they are pleading is God's.

6. "Shewest" = to give evidence or proof of a thing.

7. "Thou" = Jesus.

8. "Us" = Jews.

9. "Seeing that thou doest these things" = drive out the men and their merchandise; they were demanding proof of His Messianic assumption of authority over the temple worship.

10. This occurred after they were outside the temple where they rallied together and demanded proof of His authority to assume such a position as He did (Messianic authority of temple worship).

 

V. 19

1. "Jesus" = God incarnate (God robed with flesh).

2. "Answered" = to give an answer to a question asked.

3. "Them" = the Jews who had asked the question in verse 18.

4. "Destroy" = to loose; to break up into component parts which in many cases means to destroy; the Greek construction actually gives a permissive command meaning "you destroy;" this is in plural form and has the force of the future.

5. "This temple" = refers to His body as verse 21 brings out.

6. The meaning may be expressed:

A. You are now profaners of the temple of God.

B. You have defiled the sanctuary.  You have made it a place of merchandise.

C. You have also despised my authority, and have not been moved by the miracles which I have already performed.

D. Your wickedness will not end here.  You will oppose me more and more.

E. You will reject and despise me until you will take my life and destroy my body.

7. Later the false witnesses testifies that Jesus claimed He would destroy the temple. (Mat. 26:61)  Even when Jesus was on the cross the passers‑by repeated what the false witnesses had said.  (Mat. 27:40)  But Jesus did not say "I;" He said, "You destroy this temple."

8. "In three days I will raise it up" = this is clearly the Lord foretelling His own resurrection.

9. "In three days" = means within the space of three days; this means three 24 hour periods of time not just a part of three days. (Mat. 12:40; Note: three days and three nights)

10. "I will raise it up" = He was God and so was the Holy Spirit; Jesus was resurrected by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:11) who is also called the Spirit of Christ (Rom. 8:9); the Holy Spirit is in every saint (John 14:16‑17) which is equivalent to having Christ in you if saved (Col. 1:27); we know the Bible says that Jesus did miracles (John 2:11) yet He did so by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 10:38)

11. "It" = temple; referring to His body.

 

V. 20

1. "Then" = after Jesus had said what He did in verse 19.

2. "Jews" = those who were questioning Jesus' authority; they thought He was referring to the temple (physical edifice) at Jerusalem.

3. It is easy to see how they believed it was the temple at Jerusalem for they were standing just outside the temple and the conversation had begun concerning the temple for Jesus had just driven out those who were making it a house of merchandise.

4. "Forty and six years was this temple in building" = the Jews were referring to the renovation of the temple by Herod which was built under the leadership of Zerubbabel when the Jews returned to Jerusalem after the 70 years of Babylonian captivity; this is called the second temple:

A. Solomon's temple is called the first temple which took only seven years to build (I Kings 6:38) and that was destroyed in 586 BC.

B. The second temple took 20 years for it to be completed with several years of that time passing with out any work being done on the temple.

C. The size of the second temple when compared to the first temple was said to be as nothing. (Hag. 2:3)

D. This caused many of the older men what had seen the first temple to weep but the younger men who had not seen the first temple rejoiced. (Ezra 3:11‑12)

E. Thus the 46 years mentioned here refers to the restoration, repairing, and rebuilding of the second temple.  This was started by Herod 16 years before Jesus was born and He is 30 years old at this time thus 46 years in building because it was still not completed according to Jewish history.

5. "Rear it up" = to reconstruct that which was torn down.

6. "Wilt thou rear it up in three days" = an expression of contempt; this is an evident sneer in the use of the word "thou" = Christ; an unknown upstart from Galilee, of the peasant class; not one of the Sanhedrin; not one of the crust of society; not even an architect.

7. This, in their judgment, was ridiculous, and showed, as they supposed, that He had no authority to do what He had done in the temple.  The amazing thing was that they were still outside the temple because Jesus had cleaned house.

 

V. 21

1. "But" = shows the contrast between what they thought and what Jesus meant.

2. "He" = Jesus.

3. "Spake" = to mean to say.

4. "Temple" = His body which was to be bruised and put to death on Calvary and after three days He arose by the power of the Holy Spirit.

5. John places this verse here to explain to us what Jesus meant in verse 19 even though he did not fully understand at the time this was spoken.

 

V. 22

1. This saying of our Lord at this time was obscure and difficult, thus the disciples did not fully understand what Jesus had just said.

2. But John the apostle inserted this verse to allow us to know that after verse 19 became a reality (Christ being risen from the dead) then the disciples remembered what Jesus said to the Jews here.

3. "From" = out from among.

4. "Dead" = deceased; departed; one whose soul is in heaven or hell.

5. "He" = "His" = Jesus.

6. "Disciples" = a learner; pupil; denotes one who follows one's teaching to the extent they are said to be imitators of their teacher.

7. "Remembered" = to be recalled to mind.

8. "Said this" = refers to verse 19.

9. "They" = disciples.

10. "Believed" = to put trust in; to be persuaded; this does not mean that they did not believe on Him before, for they had already believed Jesus was the Messiah in chapter one (at which point they were saved), but their faith was strengthened even more when they saw He was risen from the dead; in fact the Greek construction implies to believe again.

11. "Scripture" = God's inspired Word (II Peter 1:21; II Tim. 3:16); refers to the OT because the NT had not yet been written; the Scripture they may have recalled to mind was Psa. 16:10 which Peter quoted on the day of Pentecost in Act 2:27,31; the word "hell" is a translation of the Hebrew word "sheol" in the OT and the Greek word "hades" in the NT; Jesus paid our hell while hanging on the cross sometime between 12:00 Noon and 3:00 PM the day He was crucified; when He descended into the heart of the earth He went to paradise as He told the thief in Luke 23:43; this corresponds to Abraham's bosom which was across a gulf from the burning compartment called "hell;" He stayed there three days and arose leading captivity captive (Eph. 4:8) and emptied Abraham's bosom and carried the souls of the departed saints into the third heaven which is also identified as paradise in II Cor. 12:1‑4; today all that is in the heart of the earth is a burning "hell."

12. "Word" = refers to the statement made in verse 19 which agrees with Scripture.

13. It is interesting to note that these disciples had understanding of some of Jesus' teaching only after He had died and risen from the grave.  This ought to help us as we teach and preach because we may be misunderstood now, but there will come a time when some will come to an understanding of what has been taught and preached.  This may be after we have gone to eternity.  Isa. 55:11 applies in this case.  We may not know when but His Word will accomplish what He purposed and planned.  If we will just preach the Word as Paul told Timothy in II Tim. 4:2.  After all, is not the outcome left to the Lord? (I Cor. 3:6)

14. Oh, may the ground become good ground so that understanding of the Word that has been taught and preached may become a reality and bring forth fruit. (Mat. 13:23)  To God be the glory!

 

V. 23

1. "Now" = relates to what was done previously; John associated the cleansing of the temple with the response of hostility from the Jewish leaders (verses 18‑21); also he stated the positive results with regard to Jesus' disciples (verses 17,22); "now" he sets forth how Jesus' ministry affected those who came to the feast.

2. "He" = Jesus.

3. "In Jerusalem at the passover" = all Jewish males had to attend as required by law. (See verse 13)

4. "In the feast day" = day is in italics showing it is supplied by the translators and not in the original text; actually the feast was called the Passover which included eight days‑‑the day of Passover plus seven days of the feast of unleavened bread which immediately followed the Passover.

5. "Many" = refers to a large number.

6. "Believed in his name" = to think to be true; to be persuaded of; refers to the miracles Jesus did; Nicodemus was one of them (John 3:2); they believed facts about Jesus with their intellect (head) but did not believe with their heart unto salvation as the next verse brings out.

7. "They" = the many who believed with their intellect.

8. "Saw" = to be a spectator; to view attentively.

9. "Miracles" = signs; an exertion of divine power by which God authenticates those sent by Him; these miracles were not recorded here but John recorded those needed to convince us that Jesus is the Son of God and be saved (John 20:31); also John told us there were many more not recorded. (John 20:30; 21:25)

10. "He did" = He was doing; Jesus used the occasion to work miracles and to preach at this time for a great multitude were present from all parts of the known world; it was a favorable opportunity for making known His doctrines and showing the evidence (miracles) that He was the Christ.

 

V. 24

1. "But" = shows the contrast between those who believed and Jesus.

2. "Commit" = same word as "believe" in verse 23; to think to be true; to be persuaded of; negated by "not;" Jesus did not believe them.

3. "Them" = the many of verse 23 who believed.

4. "Because" = indicates the reason He did not believe them.

5. "He" = Jesus.

6. "Knew" = to have knowledge of; to understand; refers to Jesus' omniscience because He was God; He knew all men because He had created them and observed and worked with them through the centuries.

7. "All men" = men is in italics thus placed by the translators; refers to all mankind whether male or female.

 

V. 25

1. "And" = connects this verse closely with verse 24.

2. "Needed" = necessity; negated by "not;" He did not need man to speak up in behalf of someone else for He knew the thoughts and intents of all men's hearts.

3. "Testify" = to be a witness and give a firsthand detailed account.

4. "Of" = concerning.

5. "Man" = general word for a human being, whether male or female.

6. "He" = Jesus.

7. "Knew" = to have knowledge of; to understand. (Heb. 4:12‑13)

 

CHAPTER 3:

V. 1

1. This chapter is still a continuation of Chapter 2 concerning men who said they believed but Jesus did not believe them.

2. "Man" = general word for a human being whether male or female but in this case if refers to a male.

3. "Pharisees" = a Jewish religious sect which was organized in the Second century during the period between Malachi and Matthew when there was no recorded revelation from God; they placed oral tradition equal to or above the Word of God; they were bitter enemies of Jesus.

4. "Named" = means a man whose name was "Nicodemus" = he was a member of the Sanhedrin (Jewish court appointed by the Roman Empire to take care of Jewish problems) and wealthy.

5. "Ruler" = leader; all the Sanhedrin were considered rulers.

6. "Jews" = belonging to the Jewish nation; descriptive of the people as distinct from the Gentile world and from the followers of Christ; first called Jews in II Kings 16:6 which was referring to Judah and was about the time the Northern Kingdom was about to go into captivity.

 

V. 2

1. "The same" = Nicodemus.

2. "Came" = to come from one place to another; the reason for his coming seems to have been to inquire more fully of Jesus about the doctrine He came to teach.

3. "By night" = indicates privacy‑‑the reasons may be many:

A. It might have been that, being a member of the Sanhedrin, he was engaged all the day and this was the only time he could have come.

B. Or it may have been because the Lord Jesus was occupied all the day in teaching publicly and in working miracles, and that there was no opportunity to talk with Jesus as he desired.

C. Or it may have been that he was afraid of ridicule and contempt of those in power, and fearful that his life would have been in danger if it were publicly known.

D. Whatever the motive, he came and the Lord did not rebuke him for coming.

4. "Him" = Jesus.

5. "Rabbi" = a title used by the Jews to address their teachers; means my great one or my honorable sir.

6. "We" = Nicodemus and those connected with him; may also refer to the "many" who believed. (John 2:23)

7. "Know" = to have absolute positive knowledge of the facts.

8. "Thou" = Jesus.

9. "Art" = are.

10. Teacher" = one who is fitted to teach.

11. "Come from God" = sent by God.

12. "For" = gives the reason he had just made this statement.

13. "No man" = no one; none; nobody.

14. "Can" = to be able; to have power.

15. "These miracles" = not recorded anywhere in Scripture as best we can tell.

16. "Do" = "doest" = to produce; to perform.

17. "Except" = unless.

18. "Except God be with him" = refers to God aiding Him to perform these miracles; the Greek construction presents this as a probability, not as definite fact; this means Nicodemus was not saved as Jesus makes very clear in the next verses; all he saw was a good teacher worthy of respect, because he knew God has aided Him.

19. One thing different from Nicodemus and the others who believed is that he moved toward the Lord Jesus and desired to know more while the rest did not.  Nicodemus seems to have been saved three years later probably when he experienced firsthand the unlawful Sanhedrin trial, the Roman trial, and the cross. He utilized what light (truth) he had by seeking to know more about the Lord Jesus' doctrine.  He stepped in what light he had.

 

V. 3

1. "Answered" = to begin to speak when something has preceded to which the remarks refer; actually these remarks seem not to be connected to what has been said but Jesus knew Nicodemus' heart better then he did himself.

2. "Verily" = surely; truly; of a truth; used twice for emphasis.

3. "I" = Jesus.

4. "Thee" = Nicodemus.

5. "Except" = unless; the Greek construction is undetermined but with a prospect of determination.

6. "Except a man" = does not just refer to Nicodemus but is all‑inclusive.

7. "Born again" = born from above; refers to a spiritual birth; "again" is used because a spiritual birth is a second birth.

8. "He" = a man; an individual.

9. "Cannot" = is not able; does not have the capability.

10. "See" = to perceive with the spiritual eye.

11. "Kingdom of God" = refers to the kingdom that Jesus would (future time) literally set up; refers after that to heaven but now it is within the hearts of the saints where its ruler, King Jesus, sits upon a throne as Lord.

12. One thing for sure, Nicodemus had abundant truth on which to meditate.

 

V. 4

1. How" = in what way; by what means; after what manner.

2. "Can" = to be able.

3. "Man" = general word for mankind; human beings, whether male or female.

4. "Born when he is old?" = Nicodemus was referring to the physical birth which is indicated by his second question which is stated in such a way as to expect a negative answer.

5. This was Nicodemus' problem.  He was depending on his first birth‑‑his being a descendant of Abraham‑‑to qualify him for the kingdom of God.  In fact he felt he was already a child of the Kingdom, a subject under the rule of God.

6. Jesus knew (John 2:25) Nicodemus' problem and He dealt with it straight forward (verse 5) and drew Nicodemus to Himself so that He could be saved.  We do not know men's hearts; therefore, we just need to present truth and let the Holy Ghost draw them unto Jesus that they might be saved.

 

V. 5

1. "Answered" = to give an answer to a question proposed; actually His answer did not have anything to do with the question Nicodemus asked but Jesus' answer dealt with his primary need of salvation.

2. "Verily" = truly; surely; of a truth; used twice to emphasize the importance of what He was about to say.

3. "Say" = to point out with words.

4. "Except" = unless.

5. "A man" = anyone; the Greek word includes all mankind.

6. "Born" = refers to the spiritual birth not physical.

7. "Water" = used in a spiritual sense therefore, it does not refer to the physical birth nor to water baptism as some teach; refers to the Word of God which is necessary in one's salvation. (Rom. 2:2; John 17:17; Eph. 5:26; I Peter 1:23)

8. "Spirit" = the Holy Spirit; third person of the Trinity; the One Jesus promised would come to comfort (John 14:16‑18) and reprove lost humanity of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8‑11); the Word is necessary in one's salvation but so is the Holy Spirit (I Thess. 1:5); this verse clearly reveals that one's heart must be changed by the work of the Holy Spirit.

9. "He" = anyone; a man.

10. "Cannot" = is not able and does not have power of his own ability and resources.

11. "Enter" = refers to the entrance into any condition; implies to share in and enjoy but negated by "not."

12. "Kingdom of God" = a phrase which signifies the rule, power, and authority of God; this means when one is saved he enters the kingdom of God where he submits to the King of kings‑‑the Lord Jesus Christ‑‑He is Lord at salvation; therefore, the kingdom of God is within the heart of man (saved) now and one day there will be a literal kingdom upon this earth where the Lord Jesus will rule from His father David's throne for 1000 years; this rule by the Lord Jesus will be carried on in heaven after the great white throne for all eternity.

 

V. 6

1. Jesus puts emphasis once again on the fact that the new birth from above is the work of the Spirit as He contrast the flesh and the Spirit.

2. "Born of the flesh" = partakes of the nature of the parents; as parents are corrupt and sinful, so will their descendants be.

3. "Is flesh" = used as meaning corrupt, defiled, and sinful.

4. "Born of the Spirit" = born again by the agency of the Holy Ghost. (II Thess. 2:13)

5. "Is spirit" = is spiritual, like the Spirit‑‑holy and pure.

 

V. 7

1. "Marvel" = to wonder; negated by "not."

2. "I" = Jesus.

3. "Thee" = "ye" = Nicodemus.

4. "Must" = it is necessary; there is need of; it is right and proper.

5. "Born again" = born from above; this is used because a spiritual birth is a second birth.

 

V. 8

1. Jesus chose to give Nicodemus an example of the mystery of the new birth from the unexplainable activity of the wind.  Nicodemus had objected to the doctrine of the new birth because he did not understand how it could be.  Jesus shows him that he ought not reject it on that account, for he constantly believed things just as difficult--such as the wind.

2. "Wind" = a movement of air; the same Greek word as "Spirit" in this verse.

3. "Bloweth" = breathes.

4. "Listeth" = to will; as it pleases; man can't control it, yet the Lord is in control of the wind.

5. "Thou" = Nicodemus.

6. "Hearest" = to perceive by the ear.

7. "Sound" = voice.

8. "Thereof" = of the wind.

9. "Canst not tell" = do not know.

10. "Whence" = from where; refers to the origin or source.

11. "It" = the wind.

12. "Cometh" = comes.

13. "Whither" = where.

14. "Goeth" = goes.

15. "So" = in this manner.

16. "Every one that is born of the Spirit" = like the wind you see Him not but you see His effects; you hear His voice; you see the changes produced when He blows through; you see His effects and you know that He does exist and operates.

 

V. 9

1. "Answered" = to begin to speak, but always where something has preceded (either said or done) to which the remarks refer.

2. "Him" = Jesus.

3. "How" = in what way; by what means; after what manner.

4. "Can" = to be able to come to pass.

5. "These things" = the things that Jesus spoke to Him concerning the new birth.

6. "Be" = come to pass.

 

V. 10

1. "Answered" = to give an answer to a question proposed; Jesus answered many questions ask Him with a question.

2. "Art" = are.

3. "Thou" = Nicodemus.

4. "Master" = teacher.

5. "Israel" = God's chosen earthly people; the Jewish nation.

6. "Knowest" = to know by experience; to understand; negated by "not."

7. "These things" = the things that Jesus spoke to Him concerning the new birth.

8. This is a mild rebuke for his spiritual ignorance.  As a teacher of Israel he ought to have understood this doctrine.  It was not new, but was clearly taught in the OT. (Psa. 51:10,16,17; Ezk. 11:19; 36:26)

 

V. 11

1. "Verily" = surely; truly; of a truth; used twice to emphasize the importance of what He is about to say.

2. "I" = Jesus.

3. "Say" = to point out with words.

4. "Thee" = Nicodemus.

5. "We" = refers to Jesus and those who have personal experiences of grace and are qualified as witnesses--His disciples.

6. "Speak" = to use words in order to declare one's mind and disclose one's thoughts.

7. "Know" = to have an absolute positive knowledge of the facts; the tense is perfect which indicates a complete action in past time with existing results; in other words there was a point in past time where they came to an absolute knowledge of the facts and still retain them at present; Jesus is speaking as man for He was always God and had omniscience. (John 1:1)

8. "Testify" = to be a witness; to give a first hand detailed account of what one has seen, heard, or experienced.

9. "Seen" = to see with the eyes; the tense is also perfect which indicates they (disciples) came to a point in past time where they saw and they still see it.

10. "Ye" = Nicodemus; refers to the group he represented because "ye" is plural.

11. "Receive" = to lay hold of; to seize; apprehend; negated by "not."           

12. "Our" = we; Jesus and those who had personal experiences of grace and are qualified as witnesses.

13. "Witness" = testimony.

14. Jesus had five witnesses which more than met the requirement of the law in Deut. 19:15 (John 5:31‑40): 1) Himself; 2) John the Baptist; 3) His works; 4) the Father; and 5) the Scriptures.  And the nation of Israel still would not receive Him. (John 1:11)  Their culture and traditions blinded them to the realities of spiritual truth.

 

V. 12

1. "If" = since; a first class condition sentence in the Greek, assumed to be true.

2. "I" = Jesus.

3. "Told" = to speak.

4. "Earthly things" = things existing upon the earth; things that are essential in salvation including spiritual experiences like the new birth from above which must take place on earth; refers to the operations of the Spirit which had to occur on earth, whose effects were visible.

5. "You" = "ye" = plural thus referring not only to Nicodemus but also to the group he represented.

6. "Believe" = to think to be true; to be persuaded of; to place confidence in; first "believe" is negated by "not."

7. "How" = in what way; Nicodemus had said, "How can these things be?" (verse 9) now Jesus uses the same word.

8. Second "if" = introduces a third class conditional clause which means the outcome is undetermined; if you cannot believe earthly thing how shall you believe heavenly things.

9. "Heavenly things" = the things that take place in heaven, like the deep secrets of the purpose of God in the matter of redemption such as the necessity of the lifting up of Christ as shown in verse 14; refers to things pertaining to the government of God and His doings in the heavens; things which are removed from human view and which cannot be subjected to human sight.

 

V. 13

1. "And no man hath ascended up to heaven" = this means that no one had ascended (to go up; heaven is up) and returned so as to be qualified to speak of the things there; it is true that Paul ascended up to heaven but was not allowed to speak of those things (II Cor. 12:1‑4); if Paul could not tell what he saw then I do not believe those who say they died and went to heaven and tell what they saw, really were in heaven.

2. "Heaven" = the third heaven; the abode of God.

3. "But" = shows a contrast.

4. "He that came down from heaven" = Son of man; Jesus; refers to the Incarnation (God robed with flesh) of the Pre‑existent Son of God who was in heaven before He came down (descended) and He knows what He is telling about "heavenly things."

5. "The Son of man" = called this because of His being a man; this is a favorite title which the Lord Jesus gives to Himself; He was God but He was also man because He took on the flesh of man through the virgin's womb.

6. "Which" = who; Jesus is a person not a thing.

7. "Which is in heaven" = "who is in heaven" = this emphasizes the timeless existence of God's Son who is in heaven even while on earth; He is God who is omnipresent; He is at this present time in Heaven at the right hand of the Father (Heb. 1:3) and at the same time He is in all saints as He promised. (John 14:18; Col. 1:27)

 

V. 14

1. Jesus illustrated the "how" of the new birth by pointing to an episode found in Num. 21:5‑9 as a type of His own crucifixion.

2. "Moses" = the one the Lord chose to deliver His people from bondage in Egypt; human instrument God used to write the first five books of the Bible; the one who made the brasen serpent and put it upon a pole as this verse indicates.

3. First "lifted up" = erected on a pole; placed on high, so that it might be seen by the people.

4. "Serpent" = the image of a serpent (snake) made of brass.

5. "Wilderness" = uninhabited desert area; in the desert and desolate country south of Mount Hor.

6. "Even so" = in a similar manner and with a similar design.

7. "Must" = it is necessary, if men are to be saved.

8. "Son of man" = title for the Lord Jesus.

9. Second "lifted up" = to lift up on high; refers to Jesus being placed on the cross where He died (John 12:32‑33); equivalent to "set forth" in Rom. 3:25.

 

V. 15

1. "That" = gives the purpose of His being lifted up.

2. "Whosoever" = each and everyone; this shows the fullness of the gospel.

3. "Believeth" = to put trust in; refers to saving faith; this indicates that the people of Moses' day had to believe God's cure for their snake bite was to look upon the lifted up serpent with faith they would be healed; it was more than just a mere look--a look of curiosity--for that teaches easy believism.

4. "In" = "on" = means to come to a point, place, and time with a purpose; this cannot be done without a complete work of Holy Ghost reproval or conviction. (John 16:8‑11)

5. "Him" = Jesus as Lord.

6. "Perish" = ruined; destroyed; death; refers to going to hell; negated by "not;" this means that a person does not have to perish and will not perish if he believes on Jesus with saving faith.

7. "But" = shows contrast between death (perish) and life.

8. "Have" = possess; the tense is continuous; this can be possessed now, not just in the future.

9. "Eternal life" = everlasting life; ageless or endless life, beginning now and lasting forever; this really is more, for it is sharing in the life of God in Christ (I John 5:12); its source and origin is in the life of God Himself.

 

V. 16

1. Verses 16‑21, while they are in red letters in some Bibles indicating the words that Jesus spoke, may actually be explanatory comments from John as he interprets the mission and message of our Lord and the teaching of Jesus to Nicodemus.  The language is referring to the third person instead of the first person.  Keep in mind that this is still the inspired Word of God but the red lettering was placed in our Bibles by man.

2. "For" = includes the explanation of God sending the Son into the world.

3. "God" = refers to the Father.

4. "So" = to such an extent; to the degree expressed; emphasizes the manifestation of God's love both in its manner and in its extent; it was an act of infinite love and infinite sacrifice, not only on the part of the Son on the Cross, but on the part of the Father, who sent the Son; the heart of the Father was pierced when sin was laid on the Son at the Cross and His holiness demanded that He give His Son. (Zech. 12:10)

5. "Loved" = agape; God kind of love; highest form of love; the tense reveals that God has always loved sinners, not that He approved of our character, but that He cared about our welfare; He hates sin but He loves the sinner. (Rom. 5:8)

6. "World" = the inhabitants of the earth; the whole human race, including Gentiles.

7. First "that" = shows the result of His love.

8. "Gave" = to give of one's own accord; indicates a free and unmerited gift; the tense emphasizes the act as a definite act.

9. "He" = "his" = God the Father.

10. "Only begotten Son" = single of a kind; only one of His kind; used of Christ and refers to the virgin birth.

11. Second "that" = shows the reason for giving His Son.

12. "Whosoever" = each and every one, even Gentiles.

13. "Believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" = repetition of verse 15.

14. This verse is often referred to as the gospel in one verse or the greatest verse in the Bible because it reveals the greatest possible:

       A. Love‑‑for God so loved the world.

       B. Gift‑‑that He gave His only begotten Son.

       C. Plan‑‑that whosoever believeth in Him.

       D. Deliverance‑‑should not perish.

       E. Possession‑‑have everlasting life.

 

V. 17

1. "For" = links the previous verses with this one and provides the reason for God sending His Son.

2. "God" = God the Father.

3. "Sent" = to allow one to depart; God gave by sending.

4. "Not" = refers to the fact He did not send Him to condemn but save.

5. "His" = God the Father.

6. "Son" = Jesus the only begotten.

7. "Into" = to come to a point, place, and time with a purpose. (Gal. 4:4)

8. "World" = the earth; in the midst of humanity.

9. "Condemn" = to judge.

10. "But" = shows contrast; not to judge but save.

11. "Through" = primary preposition denoting the channel of an act; by the means of.

12. "Him" = the Son; the Lord Jesus.

13. "Saved" = to rescue from danger or destruction; to deliver from the penalty of sin. (Luke 19:10)

 

V. 18

1. "He" = whosoever.

2. "Believeth" = trust; commit; to exercise saving faith.

3. "On" = to come to a point, place, and time with a purpose; this can only be done when the work of Holy Ghost conviction, called reproval, is completed. (John 16:8‑11)

4. "Him" = the Son; the Lord Jesus Christ. (I John 5:12)

5. "Condemned" = judged; negated by "not;" the tense reveals continuous action.

6. Second "believeth" = trust; commit; to exercise saving faith; negated by "not."

7. "Is condemned already" = means at this present time he is condemned by conscience, creation, and by law (Rom. 1:19‑20; 2:14-15; I John 3:4; Ezk. 18:20); the tense is perfect which means a past, completed action with existing results‑‑judgment has already been passed on the one who refuses to believe in Christ as the Lord and Saviour sent by the Father and that judgment (wrath) abides on him. (John 3:36)

8. "Because" = gives the reason of being condemned.

9. "Hath not believed" = has not trusted, committed, nor exercised saving faith; the tense is perfect which means that person has taken a permanent attitude of refusal; they did not and still do not believe.

10. "In" = on; to come to a point, place, and time with a purpose; negated by "not."

11. "The name" = used for everything which the name covers and is often put for the person himself. (John 20:31; John 1:12; I John 5:12)

12. "Only begotten Son" = only one of His kind; used of Christ and refers to the virgin birth.

13. "Of God" = the Son was conceived by God not man.

14. All men are by nature condemned.  There is only one way of being delivered from this state‑‑by believing on the Son of God.

 

V. 19

1. "This" = reveals the cause of condemnation (judgment).

2. "Light" = the revelation of what and who God is (John 1:4); to reject Light is to reject God.

3. "Is come into the world" = refers to the Lord Jesus Christ being robed in flesh, of whom John the Baptist bore witness (John 1:6‑9); the tense is perfect which means there was a point in past time when Jesus came into this world and He remains even though He is at the right hand of the Father; indicates a permanent result.

4. "Men" = general word for mankind whether male or female.

5. "Loved" = to be fond of; to welcome; to be well pleased; to be contented with a thing.

6. "Darkness" = emblem of ignorance, iniquity, error, and superstition; refers to spiritual darkness; to "love darkness" speaks of rebelling against the light.

7. "Rather" = to a greater degree; more readily.

8. "Because" = gives reason men love darkness rather than light.

9. "Their" = men's.

10. "Deeds" = action; things done; works.

11. "Evil" = wicked; vile; evil‑intentioned; degenerate; of a bad nature or condition.

12. Conduct is the evidence of character.

 

V. 20

1. "For" = clarifies the reason for the statement in verse 19.

2. "Every one" = every individual.

3. "Doeth" = to practice; to exercise; to be busy with; the tense reveals a continuous habitual lifestyle.

4. "Evil" = different Greek word than in verse 19; mean; wicked; worthless; bad; of no account; this word includes those things that may seem good but are not motivated by love (an example‑‑a religious Pharisee; he doeth evil even though religious).

5. "Hateth the light" = talks against it and ridicules Christ, Christianity, churches, preachers, and etc; means to detest the gospel for it condemns his conduct, and his conscience would trouble him if it were enlightened; therefore, as a result "neither cometh to the light;" in fact the devil who is the "god of this world" helps him not come. (II Cor. 4:3-4)

6. "Lest" = for fear that.

7. "Deeds" = actions; works; things done.

8. "Should be reproved" = may be exposed; means not only to detect or make manifest but also includes the idea of condemnation when his deeds are detected; the gospel would make his wickedness manifest, and his conscience would condemn him; therefore, he does not want to come to light.

 

V. 21

1. "But" = shows contrast between those who want to obey light and those who don't.

2. "Doeth" = different Greek word from verse 20; to act rightly; do well; execute; to carry out; to perform; obey; the tense reveals a continuous habitual life‑style.

3. "Truth" = moral and religious truth; refers to what is true in things concerning God and the duties of men.

4. "Cometh to the light" = indicates coming along a path of understanding; the tense is continuous.

5. "That" = gives the reason he comes.

6. "Deeds" = actions; works; things done.

7. "May be made manifest" = one word in the Greek; to be made clear and plain that his deeds are wrought of God.

8. "They" = his deeds.

9. "Are wrought" = exercised; performed; produced.

10. "In God" = means they are performed according to the will of God, by the influence and aid of God, and are such as He will approve. (Phil. 2:12-13)

11. The tense of "wrought" is perfect tense which means a past completed action with existing results.  This means at a point in past time this man's deeds begin to be performed according to the will of God and by His aid and they continue at present to be carried out in the same way.  He does not claim to be perfect, only that his deeds have been wrought and will continue to be so wrought in the sphere of and in the power of God.  When he sins he comes to "the light" in search of forgiveness and guidance. (I John 1:7,9)

 

V. 22

1. "After these things" = refers to the incident in Jerusalem where Jesus cleansed the temple and then had an interview with Nicodemus.

2. "Came" = to come from one place to another; Jesus left the city of Jerusalem which was in Judea and went into the rural area surrounding Jerusalem.

3. "Disciples" = a learner; pupil; denotes one who follows one's teaching to the extent they are said to be imitators of their teachers; there seems to have been at least six with Him. (See notes on John 2:2)

4. "Into" = to come to a point, place, and time with a purpose; Jesus never did anything without a purpose.

5. "Land of Judaea" = Judea; the region round about Jerusalem.

6. "There" = in that place.

7. "He" = Jesus.

8. "Tarried" = to spend time.

9. "Them" = refers to the disciples even though Jesus came in contact with many residents of that area.

10. "Baptized" = to immerse; to make fully wet; Jesus did the baptizing through the disciples as John explains in John 4:2.

 

V. 23

1. "John" = John the Baptist.

2. "Also" = indicates John was baptizing as well as Jesus; there was no rivalry between John and Jesus except in people's minds.

3. "Was baptizing" = the Greek pictures the continued activity of John the Baptist simultaneous with the growing work of Jesus.

4. "AEnon near to Salim" = these places are believed to be on the west side of the Jordan but the exact location is not known.

5. "Because" = gives the reason John the Baptist had chosen this location‑‑there was much water there; this was necessary if a person was to be immersed or made fully wet (baptized) which pictured the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus and the believer as well; the need for "much water" was not to quench people's thirst but for baptism.

6. "They" = the people; the multitude.

7. "Came, and were baptized" = the Greek graphically pictures a long procession of people who came to John the Baptist, confessing their sins and receiving baptism at his hands; the people did not confess their sins to John so he could forgive them because no man can forgive sin.

 

V. 24

1. "For" = explains why John was still baptizing.

2. "John" = John the Baptist.

3. "Not yet" = shows that John the Baptist was not put into prison until sometime after Jesus started His ministry.

4. "Into" = to come to a point, place, and time for a purpose; Luke gives us the reason for his imprisonment (Luke 3:19‑20); we must remember John the apostle is writing this gospel after John was imprisoned and his head cut off.

5. "Prison" = place where captives are kept; probably a dungeon.

 

V. 25

1. "Then" = these things being so.

2. "Arose" = to come into existence.

3. "Question" = a debate; a matter of controversy; a meticulous dispute.

4. "Between" = among.

5. "Some" = in italics because it is placed there by the translators because the Greek implies not all the Jews nor all John's disciples were involved in this dispute.

6. "John" = John the Baptist.

7. "Disciples" = a learner; pupil; denotes one who follows one's teaching to the extent they are said to be imitators of their teacher.

8. "Jews" = belonging to the Jewish nation, descriptive of the people as distinct from the Gentile world and from the followers of Christ; they held to very legalistic rites which came from the traditions of the elders.

9. "About" = concerning.

10. "Purifying" = refers to rites of ceremonial purification; it was an emblem of repentance and purity, and was used by the Jews, by John, and by Jesus; we are not told the specifics of what this debate consisted; it is possible that the Jews were attempting to stir up discord between the disciples of John and Jesus.

 

V. 26

1. "They" = John's disciples.

2. "Came" = came with their complaints; they probably were envious and jealous at the success of Jesus, and evidently irritated from the discussion, as if their teacher was about to lose his popularity.

3. "John" = John the Baptist.

4. "Said" = to speak.

5. "Him" = John the Baptist.

6. "Rabbi" = a title of respect used by the Jews to address their teachers; means "my great one" or "my honorable sir."

7. "He" = Jesus.

8. "Thee" = John the Baptist.

9. "Beyond" = on the other side; refers to being east of the Jordan since it is believed the place where John is at now is west of the Jordan.

10. "Jordan" = the one river of Palestine‑‑Israel; runs a little more than 200 miles from the mountains in the north through the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea in the south.

11. "Whom" = Jesus.

12. "Thou" = John the Baptist.

13. "Barest witness" = one word in the Greek; to testify; to give testimony; to give detailed evidence of a firsthand experience; this is a self‑inflicted reproach on John's disciples for since they knew John had bore witness of Christ, why were they not following their Messiah? Jesus spoke of even the Pharisees being willing, for a short while, to rejoice in John's testimony. (John 5:33‑35)

14. "Behold" = an exclamation; means to look‑‑to check it out.

15. "The same" = Jesus; this One.

16. "Baptizeth" = to immerse; to make fully wet; not personally as John did but through His six disciples.

17. "All" = everyone; men in italics thus supplied by the translators; overstated; everyone didn't come but a large number.

18. "Come" = are coming; the tense shows continuous action.

19. "Him" = Jesus.

20. This last statement reveals the source of their difficulty.  It was that Jesus was gaining popularity and they were afraid that John would be forsaken and his followers be diminished in numbers and influence.  That is the reason John answered such in John 3:30.

 

V. 27

1.  "John" = John the Baptist.

2. "Answered" = to begin to speak, but always where something has preceded to which the remarks refer; his answer to his troubled disciples is found in verses 27‑36.

3. "Man" = a human being; includes all human individuals whether male or female.

4. "Can" = to be able; to be capable, strong, and powerful; negated by "nothing" = not one thing.

5. "Receive" = obtain; get; gain.

6. "Except" = unless.

7. "Given" = supplied; furnished.

8. "From" = out of.

9. "Heaven" = the abode of God, thus a man cannot receive anything unless God supplies it; this applied to John the Baptist's anointing, it was not his own but His whose message he brought; this also applies to us in the area of faith. (Eph. 2:8‑9)

 

V. 28

1. "Ye" = John's disciples.

2. "Me" = "I" = John the Baptist.

3. "Bear witness" = to be able to give evidence; to be able to testify to what one has seen and heard concerning the subject at hand.

4. "Christ" = the Anointed One; the Messiah of the OT.

5. "Sent" = to appoint to go to a place with a purpose; refers to being divinely commissioned by God.

5. "Before" = referring to time; John the Baptist was sent in time before "him" (Christ) to point men to Him.

 

V. 29

1. John the Baptist uses an illustration drawn from marriage.

2. "Hath" = to have.

3. "Bride" = refers to the saints who make up the church.

4. "Bridegroom" = refers to the Lord Jesus.

5. "The friend of the bridegroom" = refers to John the Baptist; in a marriage it was his duty to attend the bridegroom on the marriage occasion; he was always near the groom during the marriage negotiations, the ceremony, and the vows; this was a high honor to be chosen a friend of the bridegroom.

6. "Standeth" = means more than just standing by his side during the ceremony but he vouches for him as to his character and sincerity; the tense is perfect which means a past completed action with existing results = means there came a point in past time where he assumed this position and remains in that position at present.

7. "Heareth" = to attend to; consider what is and has been said.

8. "Rejoiceth" = to rejoice exceedingly; the tense reveals a continuous action.

9. "Greatly" = joy; gladness; thus meaning he rejoiceth with joy.

10. "Because of" = gives the reason for rejoicing.

11. "The bridegroom's voice" = his commands, requests, or conversation.

12. "My" = John the Baptist.

13. "Joy" = gladness; same word as "greatly."

14. "Therefore" = these things being so.

15. "Fulfilled" = to fill to the full; to furnish or supply liberally; the tense is perfect which means he stands filled like a cup to the brim with joy.

16. John the Baptist is telling his disciples that the bride belongs to her bridegroom and it is to be expected that the people will come to Him, and that His success will be great.  John esteems himself highly honored to be a friend of the bridegroom.

 

V. 30

1. "He" = Christ.

2. "Must" = it is necessary; it has to be; that is according to God's plan.

3. "Increase" = to continue to multiply numbers of believers; His authority and influence must grow among the people and His doctrine shall continue to spread until it extends throughout all the earth.

4. "But" = shows contrast between Christ and John the Baptist (I).

5. "Decrease" = shorten; made small; to reduce; to decrease in authority or popularity.

6. In essence John the Baptist is saying, "The purpose of my ministry is to point men to Christ.  When that is done my work is done. I came not to form a party of my own, nor to set up a religion of my own.  My teaching must cease when He is fully established."

 

V. 31

1. First "he" = Christ.

2. "Cometh" = to come from one place to another.

3. First "above" = refers to heaven; represents the Messiah as coming down from heaven.

4. Second "above" = higher in nature, rank, and authority; superior.

5. "All" = refers to all creation; Christ is superior to all prophets, to all angels, and is over all the universe as its sovereign Lord.

6. Second "he" = John the Baptist refers to himself and all mankind.

7. "Of the earth" = refers to those who have no higher nature than the human nature which included John, the prophets, and the apostles; they were men like others, born in the same way, and sinking like others, to the dust.

8. "Earthly" = is human; is inferior to Him who came from heaven; Jesus had a nature superior to man; therefore, He ought to be exalted above all.

9. "Speaketh of the earth" = refers to his teaching as being inferior to that of Him that came from heaven; this is true of all prophets and with John the Baptist as well.

10. The last phrase is repetition of the first phrase of this verse with one exception‑‑he substituted "heaven" for the first "above."

 

V. 32

1. "He" = "His" = Jesus.

2. "Hath seen" = to see with the eyes; the tense is perfect which indicates the heavenly things.

3. "Heard" = to perceive by the ear; what is announced in one's presence; the tense indicates a historical fact; the revelation of God was based on historical knowledge.

4. "Testifieth" = to be a witness; to give a first hand detailed account of something.

5. "No man" = used in a rhetorical (insincere or pretentious language) sense and not an absolute sense as the next verse brings out; should be understood in the sense of "few."

6. "Receiveth" = to appropriate (to take possession of or make use of for one's self) to one's self.

7. "Testimony" = what one testifies; refers to His doctrine‑‑the truth to which He bears witness.

8. His doctrine was pure and plain yet few received it in faith even though multitudes came to Him.

 

V. 33

1. "He" = whosoever; the "few."

2. "Hath received" = means to fully believe His doctrine.

3. First "his" = Jesus.

4. "Testimony" = refers to Jesus' doctrine.

5. "Hath set to his seal" = to mark with a seal‑‑an instrument to make it sure; a seal was the sign of acceptance.

6. "That God is true" = faithful; is the author of the systems of doctrine, and will fullfill all that He has promised.

 

V. 34

1. "He" = "him" = Jesus the Messiah; Christ; this does not refer to John the Baptist.

2. "Sent" = to appoint to go to a place with a purpose.

3. "Speaketh the words of God" = the truth, or commands of God; His words are the very words of God all the time in contrast to the OT saints and prophets.

4. "For" = shows the reason that Christ speaks the words of God.

5. "God giveth not the Spirit" = the Spirit of God; though Jesus was God as well as man, yet, as Mediator, God anointed Him, or endowed Him with the influences of His Spirit, so as to be completely qualified for His great work.

6. "By measure" = not in a small degree, but fully, completely; God put no limit to the Spirit's relation to the Son; He has given the Holy Spirit in His fulness to Christ and to no one else in that sense (definitely not to the Catholic Pope).

 

V. 35

1. "Father" = God the Father.

2. "Loveth" = to love dearly; agape; God kind of love; the tense is continuous; His love never ceases; this same verb is used to indicates God's love for the world. (John 3:16)

3. "The Son" = "his" = Jesus Christ.

4. "Hath given all things into his hand" = refers to an outgrowth of the Father's love for the Son; this is not an indication that Jesus is less than God; just means that Jesus in His work of redemption has the love and resources of His Father under His authority; our Lord claimed the same thing in Mat. 28:18.

 

V. 36

1. "He" = whosoever; any person.

2. "Believeth" = to put trust in; refers to exercising saving faith.

3. "On" = means to come to a point, place, and time with a purpose; this cannot be done without a complete work of Holy Ghost reproval or conviction. (John 16:8‑11)

4. "The Son" = Jesus as Lord.

5. "Hath" = has; the tense is continuous thus the one who believes now has everlasting life (eternal) now and for eternity.

6. "Believeth not" = not to allow one's self to be persuaded; obeyeth not; the tense is continuous.

7. "Shall not see life" = shall neither enjoy true life or happiness here nor in the world to come; shall never enter heaven.

8. "But" = shows contrast between wrath and life.

9. "Wrath of God" = the anger of God toward sin; anger exhibited in punishment; the end result will be the lake of fire.

10. "Abideth" = remain; to continue to be present; implies that he is now under the wrath of God and under condemnation and that it will continue to remain on him.

11. "On" = upon; against.

12. If it were not for God's goodness, longsuffering, and forbearance that dams up that wrath to give space for repentance (Rom. 2:4) all who have reached the "knowledge of accountability" would be in hell in a split second.

 

 

New Hope Baptist Church
1661 Griggstown Road
Calvert City, KY 42029
Church -270-527-3864
Pastor - 270-559-7135
email: edgarleepaschall@juno.com
The Persuader