Living Water – John 3-4

Verse one of chapter 3 says that Nicodemus, the Pharisee, was a “ruler of the Jews,” which would make him a member of the Sanhedrin – the Jewish governing council. In fact, one of the other two places he is mentioned is in John 7:50, as there is division among them concerning arresting Jesus. Nicodemus states his belief that Jesus is sent from God because of the signs that he did, confirming that Jesus did many more miracles than were written in the gospel, as John states in John 20:30-31. Nicodemus seems to be trying to understand what Jesus means by being born again in a physical manner. But Jesus is speaking of being re-born by the Spirit by way of baptism (Romans 6:3-4, Colossians 2:12-13).

English: Christ and the woman of Samaria at Ja...

English: Christ and the woman of Samaria at Jacob’s Well (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The phrase “God so loved the world” is verse 16, followed by the other references to the world are often overlooked in their significance – not only for salvation being open to all, but the declaration of God’s love for all the world, not just the people of Israel.

In order to get to Galilee from Judea, one had to either go through Samaria or cross over the Jordan to go around it on the east side. A strict Jew would do the latter to avoid being defiled by setting foot on Samaritan soil. After the Assyrians captured Samaria, the Assyrian king brought foreigners from various places in to settle in 722 BC (2 Kings 17:24). Some Jews remained and intermarried with these foreigners, and the animosity between this mixed race of people and the Jews grew strong over time.

I chapter 4 Jesus, who had come to seek and save the lost, would naturally not avoid these people. As He approaches Jacob’s well, verse 6 indicates His humanity by saying that He was weary from the journey. Jesus intentionally turns the subject of the conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well to her “husband” in verses 17-19. His thorough knowledge of her history is enough to convince her that He may be who He says He is in verse 26, when Jesus makes a rare admission that He is the Messiah. After she told others, many came from the town and believed by their own encounters with Jesus that He was the “Savior of the world” (verse 42).

When His disciples return in verse 31, Jesus gives them a lesson about sowing and reaping in the kingdom in verses 34-38. He points out that the sowers and reapers can rejoice together now, as new believers are brought into His kingdom.

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

John 1, John 2, John 3, John 4, John 5

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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

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All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

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Jesus Preaching the Gospel – Luke 20

Luke chapter 20 opens with “One day, as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel…” When most people think of “the gospel,” they think of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. We think of Jesus as the Christ – of his crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. The term, as applied to Jesus’ preaching, is used elsewhere, such as in Matthew 9:35 and Mark 8:35.  So what gospel was Jesus preaching? It was the gospel of the kingdom. The Greek word for gospel from which this was derived is “euangellion,” which is best translated as “good news” or “glad tidings.” It was the good news of the kingdom of God that He had taught His disciples and sent them out to teach as well (Mt 4:23, Mk 1:14-15, Lk 9:1-2, and Lk 10:1-11). The “rest of the gospel” – the path of salvation was very much a work in progress. As Jesus said, the kingdom was at hand.

John the Baptist acclaims Jesus Christ. Part o...

John the Baptist acclaims Jesus Christ. Part of a 16th century polychrome sequence in Amiens cathedral. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus preached as one with authority (Matthew 7:29), and he had performed many “signs and wonders” – miracles. As chapter 19 closed, He had driven out those who sold within the temple right under the noses of the chief priests and scribes, further enraging them to the point that they wished to destroy Him (Luke 19:47). So they came up to Him with the elders, and said “Tell us by what authority you do these things, or who it is that gave you this authority.” It was more than just the equivalent of our phrase today “just who do you think you are?” They wanted Him to “convict” Himself by His own words – giving them ammunition for the destruction they sought for Him.

But it was not yet His time, so Jesus told them that He would answer only if they told Him by what authority John the baptist did his baptism – from heaven or from man. This put them in the horns of a dilemma. The people considered  – knew – John to be a prophet, and these men feared violence if they said it was only by man. But none of them had believed in John, and Jesus, they knew, would expose them as liars if they said they believed it was from heaven. So they simply said that they did not know. So Jesus told them that He would not answer their question either.

They had come to set a trap for Him with the most revered of witnesses, thinking to outsmart Him. But the tables had been turned on them once again; and you can be certain that their anger burned even hotter.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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