The Feast of Booths, John 7:1–13

The Gospel of John

Jesus at the Feast of Booths

John 7:1–13

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. Feast of Booths, or Tabernacles, one of the three Great Feasts of Israel, like Passover and Pentecost, when all men that were capable were to come to Jerusalem for eighth days. It would have been in late September or early October. It celebrated God’s care for His people while in the wilderness following their escape from Egypt. People constructed little houses of brush or tree limbs. Many Jews do so today.
  2. Already, at this point, and we do not know at what point in Jesus’ public ministry this took place, but He knew about His opposition.
  3. Jesus’ own family members wished, but for reasons that are not clear, wanted their half-brother as they were but likely did not know about the “half” of it, wanted Jesus to show off His miracles in Jerusalem.
  4. Jesus knew that the Kairos, or the timing of God, was not yet.
  5. The “hate” Jesus refers to is generated by fear, the fears associated with guilt, shame, exposure, judgment, and everlasting death, And reasonably so. We have all experienced this to some degree. Here it is now from Jesus and is, when understood properly, the fundamental of all terrors.
  6. Jesus urges His brothers to go up to the Feast, like they had no doubt done many times before; Jesus will not go up with them at that time. It is thought that Jesus considered that such an entrance into the temple to be dangerous.
  7. After His brothers had departed for Jerusalem, Jesus privately made the journey. And indeed, the Jewish leadership was looking for, expecting even, Jesus’ arrival. This indicates that some considerable time had passed in Jesus’ ministry, which is otherwise recorded in the Synoptic Gospels.
  8. There was then, as there is now, much confusion about Jesus. “Much muttering” John the Apostle tells us, was evident in Jerusalem. And this among the citizens and visitors gathered for the Feast of Booths.
  9. “A good man” some said, others that “he is leading the people astray.”
  10. For fear of the religious authorities, no one spoke publicly about Him. We must ask: Is the same true today? Or will such come to be?

A Hard Saying & The Words of Eternal Life

The Gospel of John

The Words of Eternal Life

John 6:60-71

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. After hearing Jesus speak of His body and blood as food and drink, which are necessary to ingest in order to receive eternal life, the disciples protest the words were a “hard saying.” And indeed they were correct.
  2. Jesus urges them not to be offended however. And there would be more. They would witness His ascension, and this after His death on a cross.
  3. Then Jesus explains that is the Spirit that gives life, perhaps meaning bringing understanding of what they are seeing since without such revelations, the disciples would not comprehend.
  4. He knows there are those whom are crowding around Him that did not believe in Him to be the one sent by the Father.
  5. John the author of the Gospel then explains that Jesus not only knew those who did not believe in Him but that one of them would end up betraying Him. Such a betrayal would be made to those who rejected Jesus claim to be the Messiah.
  6. He reminds His listeners that He had already told them that no one could come to Him, believe in Him, unless it had been made possible by the Father. Here then is a strong reiteration of the sure calling and election brought about only by divine intervention.
  7. Of course then, many of the followers were offended, even those who had witnessed the miracles, and walked away. But no one of the Twelve left Him.
  8. Peter, speaking for the called apostles, states that they will not leave as they have seen and understood who Jesus is, He is the one who has the words of eternal life.
  9. Jesus goes on to state that one of the Twelve “is a devil” even though He had chosen them all. This remains a mystery to us as it has for Christians down through the ages.
  10. John then explains that Jesus was referring to Judas Iscariot.

I Am the Bread of Life, part 3

The Gospel of John

“I Am the Bread of Life”

John 6:52–59

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. Jesus’ “I am the bread of life” (vs. 35) resulted in a dispute among His Jewish listeners. After all, they knew of Jesus’ father and mother. They did not know of the virgin birth and thus thought Jesus was simply common, and braggadocios.
  2. Jesus’ next words, likely lost on those present, nevertheless explains how extraordinary it is to know who Jesus is.
  3. “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” The word “draws” actually means “compel,” which becomes clear in Acts 21:30 when the same word is used to describe a mob forcing Paul out of the Temple.
  4. The reason for not understanding Jesus is that the Father has not “taught” them. A powerful spiritual awakening must take place before anyone will grasp who Jesus really is.
  5. He then proclaims, and this is the heart of the Christian Gospel, “whoever believes has eternal life.” Eternal life has as its very opposite eternal death, which is implied in Jesus’ statement.
  6. Jesus reasserts that He is the bread of life. As in the days of Moses, God gave the people manna, so now God gives the living bread in the very person of Jesus Himself. A scandalous claim if it were not absolutely true.
  7. Jesus came from heaven, the incarnation, so that people could eat of the bread of life and not die.
  8. Living in and for eternity is dependent entirely upon believing that Jesus is the bread of life from the Father.
  9. Jesus now says, the bread is His flesh, or body. Here Jesus is looking to His death on the cross.

 

I Am the Bread of Life, part 2

GOSPEL MEDITATION

The Gospel of John

John 6:35-51

“I Am the Bread of Life”, part 2

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. Jesus’ hearers state they want the bread that comes down from heaven, whereupon, Jesus proceeds to state that He is the Bread of Life.
  2. The first of seven “I am” sayings is here now–“I am the Bread of Life.” The “I am” in the Greek. EGO EIMI, exactly matches the Greek translation of Exodus 3:14, “God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”
  3. Jesus now clearly states that He is God. Yes, once again we encounter the mystery of the Trinity, and Jesus’ hearers were, of course, dumbfounded.
  4. In their state of consternation, the hearers refer to Jesus’ earthly parents meaning that this is just an ordinary man.
  5. The most difficult part of the passages comes when Jesus makes it clear that it is impossible to have eternal life unless the Father makes this possible. The whole idea of earning salvation by doing good is rendered error. And there is more: those who do come to Jesus can never lose their salvation.
  6. Countering the idea that Moses gave manna (bread-like substance) Jesus says that God gave the people bread not Moses. And here again, God once again gives the very bread of life, Jesus Himself.

Jesus makes it abundantly clear, to those present at that time, and for all people throughout the ages, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven.”

I Am the Bread of Life, part 1

GOSPEL MEDITATION

John 6:22–34

“I Am the Bread of Life”, part 1

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 the miracle of the feeding of the 5000, crowds gather about Jesus.
  2. At first He could not be located, but the people spurred on by the report of a miracle, searched until they found him.
  3. Someone in the crowd asked Jesus how he had gotten to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Apparently they did not know about the walking on the water.
  4. Jesus immediately states that they were looking for Him, not that they saw ‘Messianic signs,’ but because they had eaten their fill.
  5. Jesus now states the most important message they would ever hear. He tells them not to work for that which parishes but instead labor for that which yields eternal life.
  6. It is not that Jesus does not care about the fundamentals of survival, but there is something of much greater value to receive.
  7. Jesus is not afraid to disappoint hungry, poor, people. He knows certainly and for certain that before them all was life and death, both of an eternal duration. This shows the love of Jesus in action, risking rejection, maybe even anger.
  8. The real work of God is to believe in the one God has sent, Jesus tells them. But the crowd wants proof that Jesus is that prophet Moses spoke of, the real and actual Messiah.
  9. They want bread, like the manna Moses had given in the wilderness (see Exodus 16). Jesus then corrects His hearers and states it was God who gave the bread and not Moses.
  10. The good reply is, “Sir, give us this bread always.”

Jesus Feeds 5000 & Walks on Water

GOSPEL MEDITATION

The Gospel of John–John 6:1–21

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand &Jesus Walks on Water

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. Two “signs” now, both of which defy the laws of nature; multiplication of matter and suspension of the law of gravity.
  2. The attempt of Jesus to retreat with His disciples is thwarted by thousands of people descending upon Him. The popular personage, John the Baptist, is dead and now people are looking to Jesus, the one John pointed to as the “Lamb of God.”
  3. 5000 men eat of the barley loaves and fish, (plus women and children, Matthew states in 14:21), and all are satisfied. Afterward Jesus is careful to collect all food that was left over, 12 baskets full. (Would these baskets of food be given to families?)
  4. When the people recognize the great miracle done before them, they attempt to seize Jesus and make him a king. Anyone now except a hated Roman and especially since John the Baptist is gone. But Jesus withdraws further up into the mountains.
  5. The disciples come back down to the Sea of Tiberius, but Jesus does not come with them. The disciples start off in a fishing boat toward Capernaum about 5 miles away. Darkness is closing in on them.
  6. That sea, becomes unruly and wild, which is well known then and now. Likely they are drawing near to their destination, maybe a bit more than half way there, when they spy Jesus walking toward them, on the water. The startled disciples bring Jesus on board.
  7. Matthew’s Gospel, 14:22-33, tells us that Peter jumps into the sea and makes his way toward Jesus, but falters due to fear and begins to sink. Jesus “reached out his hand” and the two got into the boat. Jesus says to Peter, “O you of little faith.”

 

Jesus Feeds 5000 and Walks on Water

GOSPEL MEDITATION

The Gospel of John–John 6:1–21

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand &Jesus Walks on Water

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. Two “signs” now, both of which defy the laws of nature; multiplication of matter and suspension of the law of gravity.
  2. The attempt of Jesus to retreat with His disciples is thwarted by thousands of people descending upon Him. The popular personage, John the Baptist, is dead and now people are looking to Jesus, the one John pointed to as the “Lamb of God.”
  3. 5000 men eat of the barley loaves and fish, (plus women and children, Matthew states in 14:21), and all are satisfied. Afterward Jesus is careful to collect all food that was left over, 12 baskets full. (Would these baskets of food be given to families?)
  4. When the people recognize the great miracle done before them, they attempt to seize Jesus and make him a king. Anyone now except a hated Roman and especially since John the Baptist is gone. But Jesus withdraws further up into the mountains.
  5. The disciples come back down to the Sea of Tiberius, but Jesus does not come with them. The disciples start off in a fishing boat toward Capernaum about 5 miles away. Darkness is closing in on them.
  6. That sea, becomes unruly and wild, which is well known then and now. Likely they are drawing near to their destination, maybe a bit more than half way there, when they spy Jesus walking toward them, on the water. The startled disciples bring Jesus on board.
  7. Matthew’s Gospel, 14:22-33, tells us that Peter jumps into the sea and makes his way toward Jesus, but falters due to fear and begins to sink. Jesus “reached out his hand” and the two got into the boat. Jesus says to Peter, “O you of little faith.”

 

Islamic Studies: Equipping the Christian Witness to Muslims

The second edition of Islamic Studies is now available at Amazon.com. It is expanded 60% over the original edition. It is everything one would need to know about Islam. Below is the Table of Contents.To find it at Amazon type in, Kent Philpott Islamic Studies. The price is $27.00, wish it were lower but…

Please help me by promoting the book. If you get it at Amazon please write a review. And please consider sending it out to others.

Contents

Preface vi

Introduction 1

Islamic Studies Outline 3

A Summary of Understanding Islamic Theology 28

Sharia Law: An Introduction 69

Sharia Law: A Summary for Sunni Islam 71

Sharia Law: A Summary for Shia Islam 97

Ultimate Intentions of Islam 115

A Summary of The Exorcist Tradition in Islam 117

Commentary on the books by Ayaan Hirsi Ali 127

Commentary on No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam by Reza Aslan 143

A Response to the Call for Reform by Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Reza Aslan 156

Basic Details of the Qur’anic Chapters 158

A Short Biography of Muhammad’s Life 162

The Crescent and Star Symbol 164

The Sira: The Biography of Muhammad 166

The Miracles of Muhammad and Jesus: A Comparison 170

Essays on Islam 176

A Follower of Muhammad? A Follower of Jesus? 178

Were the Crusaders and Inquisitors Christians? 180

Looking at Muslims 187

A Fundamental Error of Islam 189

The Weakness of Islam 191

Islam’s Cultic Connection 193

My First Essay on Islam 200

Shame versus Guilt 203

Abrogation or Progressive Revelation? 207

Eid Al-Adha: Who Has it Right? 213

The Making of an Extremist 217

But . . . It Is Warfare! 222

Who Is Gabriel? 225

Debating with Muslims 236

Was Jesus Crucified? 251

Answering A. Deedat’s Combat Kit Against Bible Thumpers 261

Islamic Hygiene 289

Christian Hygiene? 294

Names Given to Muhammad in the Qur’an and Hadith 296

Twenty-Five Ways 298

Significant Muslim Populations 301

Three Religious Movements Associated with Islam 305

Ministries to Muslims 313

Glossary: Terms Related to Islam 315

Annotated Bibliography 344

Index 353

 

 

 

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.