Witnesses to Jesus

GOSPEL MEDITATION

The Gospel of John–John 5:30–47

Witnesses to Jesus

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture. Reread them. From memory, determine the central points.

  1. Following Jesus’ statement concerning His authority especially regarding His authority to judge, is a presentation of the witnesses that establish the truth of His claim.
  2. This witness is essential to meet the requirements of the Law of Moses as seen in Deuteronomy 19:15, the necessity of their being two or three witnesses.
  3. Jesus proceeds to explain His Father bore witness at His baptism when a heavenly voice declared, “You are my beloved son, with you I am well pleased.” (see Mark 1:11)
  4. Also John the Baptist bore witness when he declared as he saw Jesus coming to be baptized: “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (see John 1:29)
  5. A third witness is the miraculous signs Jesus does. Well known to the religious leaders is the healing of the man at the pool of Bethesda. And there would be more, with the feeding of 5000 coming up and then finally, the resurrection of Lazarus.
  6. A fourth witness is the Scripture itself. Jesus refers to Moses, but likely includes the entirety of the Hebrew Bible, which includes the many prophecies of the Messiah in the Prophets, but also passages from the Psalms like Psalm 22. How is it, Jesus asserts, that if the religious leaders reject that witness, how will they believe in Him at all?

Jesus is Equal with God & The Authority of the Son

John 5:18-29

Jesus is Equal with God & The Authority of the Son

 

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture. Reread them. From memory, determine the central points.

 

  1. It is one thing to be a Sabbath breaker, it is quite another to claim equality with God. Indeed, the religious authorities understand what Jesus meant when He said, “My Father is working until now, and I am working” (John 5:17).
  2. Jesus proceeds to explain what He meant as John recorded in verses 19 to 29.
  3. In statement after statement Jesus affirms that the God of Israel in His Father. You can imagine what might be going through the hearts and minds of those who are hearing Him.
  4. Indeed, the Son does what the Father does. We might understand this to mean that Jesus reveals both who the Father is and what the Father does.
  5. Jesus brings up the issue of judgment and states that the Father commits all judgment to the Son, meaning Himself.
  6. And even more, those who honor the Son are also honoring the Father. The religious authorities could not help but be upset and angry.
  7. There is yet more; Jesus asserts that those who both believe in Him and He who sent Him, meaning the Father, has eternal life. This person does not experience judgement but passes from death to life.
  8. Jesus now speaks more of the coming judgment. The dead will actually hear His voice and will live, have eternal life. The Son has life in Himself as only God has.
  9. Jesus Himself is the one who will judge and the result will be either the resurrection to life or the resurrection to judgment.

 

The Healing at the Pool on a Sabbath

John 5:1–17

The Healing at the Pool on a Sabbath

  1. Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
  2. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
  3. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
  4. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
  5. Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture.
  6. Reread them. From memory, determine the central points.
  7. This pool, called Bethesda, meaning “house of mercy” had 5 covered porches, the remains of which are still to be seen in Jerusalem, beneath a 5th century basilica.
  8. On a Sabbath day, a Saturday, during one of the feasts of Israel, Jesus approaches a man who had been disabled for 38 years. He was present at the pool hoping for a healing, and likely begging as well.
  9. Jesus initiates the encounter. He asks the man if he wanted to be healed. The man replies that he had no one to help get into the pool when the water was stirred up. (Omitted from modern editions of this passage is a fable about an angel stirring the waters and if entered then, healings took place.)
  10. Jesus tells the man to take up his bed and walk. He does so, and Jesus slips back into the crowd of people present.
  11. Religious authorities spy the now healed man carrying his bed and accost him, warning him that by carrying his bed he is breaking the Sabbath law against work of any kind.
  12. The man reports he does not know who it was who healed him. Later Jesus finds the man at the temple and tells him to sin no longer, which either means some sin had caused the illness or that he was still then deep into sin.
  13. The healed man goes immediately to the religious authorities and tells them the healer is Jesus. John then tells us that the healing on a Sabbath day was used to launch a persecution against Jesus. And to His accusers, Jesus speaks of God as His Father, thus making Him equal with God.

Jesus and the Woman of Samaria, part 2

The Gospel of John 

John 4:27-45

Jesus and the Woman of Samaria, part 2

  1. Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
  2. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
  3. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
  4. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
  5. Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture.
  6. Reread them. From memory, determine the central points.
  7. The disciples are surprised to see Jesus speaking with a woman. This Samaritan then returns to her home and invites all to come with her and see a man who told her “all that she ever did.” She wonders if this could be the Christ.
  8. The disciples urge Jesus to eat only to hear Him say He has food to eat that they are not aware of.
  9. This “food,” they are told, is His doing the will of the one who sent Him, which is the “work” of bringing in a harvest.
  10. Indeed a harvest has begun among the Samaritans, starting with the woman and now more are on their way after they heard the woman’s testimony.
  11. There are sowers, and there are reapers. There had been sowers previously, apparently the words of the prophets as recorded in the Hebrew Bible. The sower and the reaper rejoice together.
  12. The reward of the “labor” of sower and reaper, their “wages,” is the actual gathering of the fruit—seeing people being drawn to the Messiah.
  13. John then reports that many of the Samaritans believed in Jesus, and not because of the woman’s testimony but by means of the words of Jesus Himself.
  14. These new believers suddenly recognize that Jesus is truly the Savior of the world, something that only the Holy Spirit can reveal.